Graham: Hopefully my show has a long run
My life continues along its bumpy ride. I spent four days during Christmas week without wheels because my car was in the shop. I had to depend on a co-worker for rides to work; otherwise, my only mode of transportation was my feet.
Luckily the car repairs were minor and I was back behind the wheel after just a few days. But it was another in a line of headaches for me.
I sometimes feel like I am on a television show, starring as a Job-like main character who goes through a series of trials and tribulations, every week bringing a new challenge staged mainly just to see how I react. I am sure there is a laugh track somewhere that I can’t hear, giggles and guffaws bursting out with every little roadblock thrown in my path.
I guess all of us are in the same boat, our TV show existences intersecting like TV Guide come to life. We often have cross-overs with other shows, but some of us unfortunately go through our entire run more isolated from other shows.
Along these same lines, you should make sure you are the main character in your show. Nobody should go through life as a sidekick in their own story. And you should try to have a lot of long-term characters. Better to be from a cast like “Friends” or “Seinfeld” where everyone stays together rather than “Grey’s Anatomy” where after a few years you realize you are the last person standing and everyone else has moved on.
It also would help to know the length of everyone’s contract. That way you could easily recognize how long a person is going to be in your life, how important of a role they will ultimately play and how emotionally invested you should become in them. Are they just passing through or is their contract longer term, maybe even for the rest of your run? Is the cute blonde across the hall a bit player, a temporary love interest or the next future ex-Mrs. Doug Graham (as Ian Malcolm would put it.)? Is your new boss Lou Grant from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” or Ned Stark from “Game of Thrones”? And will your co-worker be dropped down an elevator shaft next week like Rosalind Shays on “LA Law”?
(As a side note, what if you knew someone like Kenny from “South Park” who dies every week but somehow comes back without an explanation every week?)
Just like regular TV, we have no idea how long our show will air. Hopefully you have a run like “Gunsmoke” or “60 Minutes” instead of “The Beautiful Life: TBL,” which aired for just two weeks on the CW back in 2009. Of course, a few people have seen a revival of their show where it makes a comeback after it was canceled like “Last Man Standing.” But I am not sure I would want to know the person whose show returns after a 21-year layoff like “Roseanne.” Could be a little gamy.
The good news for me: The writers are obviously having too much fun torturing me to cancel my show anytime soon, so I have that going for me. Hopefully it doesn’t reach the level of “The Walking Dead.” I would prefer something like “Murphy Brown” where the big change every week is a new secretary.
I gotta tell you, though, if anyone suggests I jump a shark while water skiing I will become more than a little concerned.
Doug Graham is a copy editor for the Daily Courier. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.