Last month, the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards show garnered the lowest TV ratings in the event’s history, with less than seven million viewers, a 32-percent drop from the previous year’s record low of 10 million. I didn’t even know the thing was on (not that I would have watched if I did), although I used to enjoy it years ago when I could still recognize a few of the nominees. Cable channel multiplication and alternate media alone cannot account for the steep drop in television interest, so clearly there are other root causes. I submit two: intersectional extremism and — the usual suspect in the death of entertainment — feminism.
Only one new network show, Prodigal Son, has a white male lead. Even granting the fact that Caucasian men dominated the small screen for close to 70 years and so moving over a bit makes sense in 2019, we still represent 36 percent of America. And while we applaud good minority-driven series like Empire (minus Jussie Smollett), we’d still appreciate the occasional representative hero, say, a Jim Rockford, Sonny Crockett, or Captain Kirk, as would traditional female viewers. In fact, many women, including professional ones, would also enjoy a show about a stay-at-home mom or a romantic girl, but none are to be found. That’s because today’s Hollywood producers don’t just ignore the large potential audience; they disdain it — indirectly through intersectional fare, yet quite noticeably. And wise persons avoid going to places where they’re unwelcome, such as the modern TV landscape.
I took a look at the new fall season’s primetime network schedule to see which freshman shows a conservative like myself — one of a group that comprises half the country — might want to watch. I confined my research to dramas on the four original networks, since politically incorrect comedy is as dead as Roseanne Barr’s career. I assessed, in broadcast order, the premise of each new series, the plotline of its second episode, its woke factor, and whether these elements give a positive or negative impression. Here are my findings.
All Rise (CBS). Premise: Judge Lola Carmichael dishes out justice for the people of Los Angeles (“justice” here clearly excludes getting homeless people off the streets). Episode 2 plotline: When an immigration agent pursues a defendant in Lola’s courtroom, she must fend him off. Woke factor: Crusading black female judge protagonist; anti-ICE/anti-Trump alert. Impression: Negative.
Prodigal Son (Fox). Premise: Criminal psychologist Malcolm Bright draws on his background as the son of a serial killer to advance his career. Episode 2 plotline: As Bright slips into the mind of a serial killer, he must deal with the repercussions of seeing his father for the first time in years. Woke factor: Irrelevant. Tired serial killer–mind hunter cliché. Impression: Negative.
Bluff City Law (NBC). Premise: Brilliant lawyer Sydney Strait joins her liberal lion father’s Memphis law firm in the belief that it’s her best chance to change the world (into Venezuela). Episode 2 teaser: Sydney eviscerates a squirming white male on the stand. “You’re twisting my words,” he cries. “No, sir, your words are twisted,” she snaps back (in truly awful writing). Woke factor: SJW female lawyer protagonist. Impression: Negative.
Emergence (ABC). Premise: A police chief takes in a young girl she finds near the site of a mysterious accident. Episode 2 plotline: Jo and Chris try to identify the sinister forces coming after Piper (probably a Christian cult). Woke factor: Female police chief protagonist. Impression: Negative.
Almost Family (Fox). Premise: Julia Benchley discovers two new sisters after her fertility doctor father reveals he conceived dozens of children (happens all the time). Episode 2 plotline: Julia is haunted by her new reality. Woke factor: Irrelevant. Three female protagonists is standard for a chick show. Impression: Positive for women only.
Stumptown (ABC). Premise: Army veteran Dex Parios works as a private investigator in Portland. Episode 2 moot. Woke factor: Female private eye protagonist. Impression: Highly negative.
Evil (CBS). Premise: Agnostic psychologist Kristen Bouchard joins trainee priest David Acosta in investigating the Church’s backlog of unexplained mysteries. Episode 2 plotline: Kristen and David investigate a supposed miracle when a teenage girl comes back to life after being declared dead for two hours. Woke factor: Female and black male co-protagonists, possibly offset by the strong Christian element. Impression: Positive.
Judging by the new TV season, I suspect next year’s Emmy ceremony will get even lower ratings. Fortunately, there’s Turner Classic Movies to keep me watching television. To indulge in more recent non-woke entertainment, however, I recently went to the movies to see Rambo: Last Blood, a film enjoying great box-office success ($40 million after three weeks in the top 10) despite — or perhaps because of — critical handwringing over its “toxic” white male hero dispatching Mexican “bad hombres.” Variety warned, “Suddenly, the infamous wall along the U.S.-Mexico border seems inadequate — less in containing the cartels than in protecting them from Rambo’s brand of vigilante justice.”
But before the movie started, I sat through four trailers: 21 Bridges, starring Chadwick (Black Panther) Boseman as a disgraced NYPD detective; Black and Blue, with Naomie Harris trying to balance her identity as a black woman and her role as a police officer; Gemini Man, with hitman Will Smith battling a younger clone of himself; and Midway, which probably would have had female fighter pilots attacking the Japanese fleet if the producers thought they could get away with it historically. I suspect next year’s Oscars won’t fare much better than the Emmys.
Notice to Readers: The American Spectator and Spectator World are marks used by independent publishing companies that are not affiliated in any way. If you are looking for The Spectator World please click on the following link: https://thespectator.com/world.