Peggy Archer, the original and still-reigning Queen of the Industry Blogosphere, put up a great post discussing the harsh realities facing all Hollywood work-bots these days. Everybody in this country who actually works for a living -- or is looking for work -- is suffering right now.* With our floundering economy facing a very slow recovery, it will be years before we can get back to anything like the way things used to be, and it’s entirely possible that boat has sailed for good. This time, due to a number of converging economic, geopolitical, and environmental factors, we may be in too deep to ever fully recover. Things will eventually improve, but by then the baseline level of expectations for most of us will be so beaten down that the go-go economic era now growing ever smaller in our collective rear-view mirrors will seem like a fever dream from another long-lost Gilded Age.
The common wisdom has long held that “Hollywood is recession proof,” and as is so often the case, the common wisdom has it wrong. In past downturns, the Industry held up better than most in resisting the worst effects of economic decline, but back then Hollywood had the bulk of the movie business to itself. Needless to say, this is no longer the case. Now they seem to make movies everywhere but Hollywood, even as the real bread and butter of this town – television – has begun to slip away to other states.
The good times -- the truly fat times – are over. We’ll all have to deal with that in our own ways, but it’s not going to be much fun.
On the brighter side, here’s today’s column from SF Chronicle TV critic Tim Goodman, reviewing two of the CW network’s new offerings. CW is an awkward hybrid cobbled together from the ruins of the WB and UPN, neither of which ever figured out how to create a decent show. It used to be said that any new show landing a slot on the WB rotation was good for a five year run simply because the rest of WB’s lineup was so bad. I don’t know if the same is true of CW, but Goodman is always worth reading – and today, he’s especially good.
* And just for the record, I don't think those miserable bastards on Wall Street do actual “work.” As far as I'm concerned, they’re nothing but con artists and criminals in three piece suits...