Tag: TV shows

Shadow on the Land

 

I’m about to introduce you to one of the strangest, longest-forgotten TV projects ever launched: a December 1968 television movie for ABC made to pitch a weekly series called Shadow on the Land. The grim, Twilight Zone-like premise: the U.S. is ruled by a dictatorship, and has been for decades more than anyone realizes, backed by the Federal bureaucracy and their Gestapo-like ISF, the Internal Security Forces. The nation’s churches have been cowed or intimidated into submission. A small band of freedom fighters emerges within law enforcement and government, and their never-ending secret struggle of sabotage against their own agencies is the plot of the TV movie, and of the following series that was never to be.

This wasn’t The Man in the High Castle; no foreign invasion, no defeat in a war was necessary, it’s something we did to ourselves. One of the most disturbing and effective things about Shadow on the Land was a deliberate choice of the filmmakers: its normalcy, an America with freeways and shopping centers where you can drive a Pontiac, smoke Luckies, and fly TWA. Where even the men walking the halls of secret police headquarters look like the ad agency staff in Mad Men, with a visual background of typing pools and office Christmas parties. There are no futuristic props at all, nothing that suggests that what we’re watching is anything but today’s world. Wild stuff, huh?

Rob explains why it is sometimes necessary to laugh even if a joke isn’t funny and the striking similarities of a pre-school parent’s event and a Hollywood sitcom writer’s room.

 

I don’t know the exact demographics of this podcast, so sadly, I think I need to say this before I get going: Years ago, there was a show on American television called “Webster.”

Member Post

 

When I wrote my piece on the best Christmas movies http://ricochet.com/446440/the-best-christmas-movies/#comments, someone said that he had nominations for best TV shows. Well, here are mine: The first one I’d like to put down is my favorite networks. Many of the cable TV shows have their place. They can be very informative, such as C-SPAN, the […]

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The Elfstones of Shannara and Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency have new tv shows! Made by BBC America and (for some reason) MTV, and brought to you by Netflix! With approximately 7 billion people on earth, almost as many tv networks for them to watch, and Netflix now (almost) global, it’s getting easier for good literature to […]

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One of my sentimental guilty pleasures is the old Match Game, reruns of which appear on GSN and Buzzr. I watched the original after school as a kid. It’s possible I bought some of the original cards for questions used on the show, purchased from one of the writers, but I’m afraid I can’t confirm or deny […]

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Ricochetti, Pitch Your TV Show

 

635793943450430486-MITHC-NYCC-SFReading a post today about the new TV show “The Man in the High Castle,” which is based on a ridiculous premise first written by Philip K. Dick back in the ’60s. In defense of Dick, he didn’t have the decades of written work and scholarship that I have to draw upon; the idea of the Nazis crossing the Atlantic Ocean and invading the US didn’t sound as crazy as it does now.

We live in an era of Peak TV, where every idea is being thrown desperately at entertainment execs in hopes of it sticking. All kinds of shows are being green-lit that never would have made the cut before. Given that one of our founders is a successful TV producer and writer, perhaps he would like to see what ideas the Ricochetti might come up with. It could be a show of your own — that script you have always been meaning to write down. Or a novel series you want to see in broadcast form or a big battle from history that never has been told.

I have two ideas: one based on reality and one from fiction.