Friday, May 02, 2014

Flashback Friday: The stunt cast



Why? Why would they? There's no surer sign that a TV show is about to hurl its ass Fonzie-style across shark-infested waters than the stunt-cast.

It's never good. It never works. The pop cultural graveyard is littered with the corpses of TV hacks who in their last gasps were heard to utter, "You know what Ugly Betty's been missing all these years? Post Spice!"

Whether it's Nancy Reagan warning Arnold and Willis to say no to drugs or Brad Pitt's wooden banter and woeful in-jokes on Friends (hahaha he hates Rachel ...) or Color Me Bad and Jeremy Jordan thrashing out early-90s R&B in the Peach Pit, stunt casting is just awkward and embarrassing.

Suddenly the characters in this neat little self-contained universe are turning to the cameras and giving us the big wink and nudge and asking us to revel in the hilarity of oh look, it's Mrs. Cunningham on Drew Carey!

 It's not clever, meta, postmodern, self-reflexive or any other dumb things you spouted in cinema studies tutes. It's just dumb. It's lame. And Jessica Alba and Jack Black belong nowhere near Dunder Mifflin. That is all.

(First published December 16 2008)