Thursday, July 21, 2011

When Your Job Is Making Crappy Television

In an episode of Gilligan's Island...Gilligan has a dream about "Jack in the Beanstalk." All of the cast members of course, have roles in the dream...highlighted by the Skipper playing some evil king trying to prevent Gilligan from climbing or descending the beanstalk. It's about as bad as episodic television can get. Television couldn't get moch worse than this....until of course...Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern came along.

When you think about was the jobs of the cast and crew of Gilligan's Island (in the year 1966) to make this rotten episode. During the course of (I'm assuming) a six day shooting schedule...the cast and crew of Gilligan's Island woke up at 5:30 in the morning...showered...had breakfast....left the house while their spouses were still sleeping....drove to the movie studio....flashed their ID badges at the front gate for the security guard...drove to the specific soundstage where this particular episode of Gilligan's Island was being filmed....reported to makeup and wardrobe....reported to Sherwood Schwartz....had a table reading of the script....received last minute instructions from director Richard Donner....and the lot of them collectively proceeded to film "Gilligan and the Beanstalk." Let's not forget the agonizing post-production process of "Gilligan and the Beanstalk" that Sherwood Schwartz, Richard Donner, Bob Denver, and Alan Hale Jr. no doubt agonized over.

Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern have proven that the days of crappy television haven't changed much since the days of "Gilligan and the Beanstalk." It is still the jobs of some people to make crappy television. Bonnie Hammer (for example) wakes up at 5:30 in the morning...quietly throws together a breakfast for herself while her spouse is still sleeping, showers, throws her clothes on...darts out the front door in order to arrive at the SyFy Channel offices at say...7:00 in the morning? She says "hello" to the lobby security guards with her ID badge around her neck....gets in the elevator that has the instrumental version of "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Around The Old Oak Tree" (Tony Orlando & Dawn) playing full she makes her way up to the say....32nd floor of where the SyFy Channel offices are at.

What does Bonnie Hammer do during the day? While she's drinking her first cup of coffee in the morning, she's in the process of giving final script approval to the likes of...."Sharktopus"...and...."Ice Spiders." Both scripts needing her final approval are sealed in manila envelopes labeled..."Top Secret...Property of NBC-Universal." She buzzes a buzzer on her desk...and a courier from UPS darts into her office and stands at attention. She proceeds to lock both scripts into a briefcase with a key...and handcuff the briefcase to the courier.

Bonnie Hammer: "If these scripts aren't in Vancouver by 9:00 am tomorrow morning...I'm going to take your ping pongs....paint them bright pretty colors....and ship them off to the Easter Bunny."

UPS Courier: "Yes ma'am."

He darts out of the room...and the sound of a helicopter taking off from the roof is heard.

Coming soon...the exciting conclusion of this saga...

"Bonnie Hammer Does Lunch"

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