The Insider: Diss ‘n’ Dat

Oct 12, 2008  •  Post A Comment

All Together Now: (CE)OMG
As The Insider watched Dick Fuld, the CEO of bankrupt investment bank Lehman Brothers, testify last week before the House oversight committee, she imagined it as the beginning of a new inquisitional era on Capitol Hill, one against which the McCarthy hearings about the “Red menace” would pale.
“Are you, or have you ever been, a CEO?”
She also thought of “The Godfather, Part II,” with Fuld coming across as less suave than Michael Corleone when he testified about the business he wasn’t in (and less entertaining than double turncoat Frank Pentangelo).
And to the CNBC “Power Lunch”ers who razzed the proceedings as worthless political showboating: Au contraire. The political showboating is not worthless. Hauling the feckless CEOs before an elected body on TV is as close as we’re going to get to seeing them flogged and humiliated in the town square. As the public mourns the loss of its retirement cushions and other investments, we must go through the seven stages of grief. This helps with Step 3: Anger (if not bargaining).
A Pro-‘Life’ Plea
The Insider fell in love at first sight with NBC’s “Life,” starring Damian Lewis as a cop who is back on the force after serving 12 years of a life sentence. During his time inside, he found the Zen attitude with which he looks for the fellow cops who framed him for a multiple murder.
Everything about it, from Mr. Lewis’s red hair and freckles to his partner (Sara Shahi), who can’t figure him out (and whose father is one of the bad cops), lures me in. Adam Arkin as Mr. Lewis’ character’s money manager is another draw. The nimble writing manages to be wry and righteous at the same time. Suffused with rich but restrained emotion, each resolution of the crime of the week—and each step toward the uniformed evildoers—pays off with a heart-hitting resonance that can’t be found on any other crime-centric hour on TV today.
So this is a personal plea to everyone reminding the public at large that “Life’s” ratings pulse is slightly lower than during its strike-shortened freshman season: Please stop before it becomes a sadly self-fulfilling prophecy.
Before you write off “Life” again, please consider: It is produced by NBC’s own Universal Media Studios. It is not NBC’s biggest prime-time worry. Indeed, in its first outing in its regular home against CBS’s time-slot king “Numb3rs” on viewer-starved Friday night, it gave “Numb3rs” a run for its 18-49 money. Other demographic data shows that “Life” has real upscale appeal and attracts those hard-to-corral young men and 18-34 adults.
‘Ex’ Marks the G-Spot?
Speaking of Friday night, The Insider was relieved to hear from CBS that the marriage-minded heroine, Bella (Elizabeth Reaser), on the new “The Ex List” won’t have sex with a new old boyfriend every week (as she did in the debut episode). Putting notches on one’s sexual belt at that clip would have been soooo last century.
And since we know that each week’s romantic repairing is doomed, the make up just to break up sex would play as gratuitous, not cute.
Speaking of not cute: How many of your thirtysomething pals spend their apparently endless leisure time lounging as a group in a wading pool in the front yard?
But The Insider digresses, when she thinks that if Bella should ramp up her bed-romping, say, during stunt-driven sweeps months, as she seeks the soul mate a fortune-teller said is on her list of exes, maybe a prominent product placement deal with a condom maker would be in order.

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