Entertainment Weekly recently expressed some faith that On the Lot is about to get better. Like, any day now. The reality show, in which wannabe Spielbergs vie for a development deal, has struggled mightily and has abysmal ratings. I keep trying to watch it, but I’m just about ready to throw a hissy fit and eat my pain at the craft services table.
So here are my five reasons to give up on On the Lot:
5. They keep retooling the show.
4. Film does not lend itself to snap judgments.
On American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, each performance seems to stand on its own and you feel comfortable making an assessment of just those few moments in time. But the contestants’ short films on On the Lot aren’t real-time performances: They’re submissions, prepared ahead of time and deserving considered analysis. How can I vote for my favorite when I haven’t really absorbed anyone’s work? Real-time voting should be reserved for real-time art.
3. The contestants are too egotastic.
2. I can’t distinguish the films from the commercials when I’m fast-forwarding.
1. I need more Carrie Fisher.
Garry Marshall is fun, but he’s like a quote-spouting college prof who seems really profound until you leave the classroom and can’t figure out what the hell you’re supposed to have just learned. Garry and Carrie do offer a "rundown" on the official site, but if so few people are watching the show, how many people are visiting the website?
EW said Fisher’s recent comments to contestant Jessica Brillheart (who made a horror film from a tree’s perspective — yes, really) were unfunny and embarrassing, but I thought they exemplified the Fisher wit. She crafts humor from her own angst, and it makes me love her.
I think maybe I just want to see the reality show in which someone follows Carrie Fisher around and captures all her mordant moments. Meanwhile, I’ll fast-forward (as much as I’m able, what with the retooling and the commercials) through On the Lot and hope to catch the zingers.