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Find cultural alternative to average TV, film

When was the last time you went to a museum? What about a play? Visit any art galleries lately? Read any poetry? If you answered yes to any of these questions give yourself a pat on the back, you just earned yourself some “Culture Points.”

If our colonial ancestors caught a glimpse of the ways we entertain ourselves, they’d pull off a glove finger by finger and slap our collective face, Bugs Bunny style.

Surely they would be insulted to know they fought and died for independence so centuries later we could all huddle in front of a TV to watch a group of teens from California whining because the group members’ daddies picked the wrong color when buying their new Land Rover.

I understand the need to unwind after a long day of work, and of course I’ve watched my fair share of TV, but in recent years the creativity in TV, as well as motion picture, has taken a tremendous dive down the garbage chute.

In TV, the insane popularity of reality shows has taken away from the creative process.

Now all producers need to do is assemble a group of attractive people who are certain to absolutely hate each other, stick them in a small, confined area and BAM! There’s your show.

Call it whatever you like – the title is pretty insignificant. Just be sure to give the cast plenty of booze to fuel the drama.

And step back, because it’s going to get messy.

Once Hollywood scores a hit movie, the strategy for big sales is to put a number on the end of the title.

This brings to mind a slew of questions: Did the world really need another Rush Hour? Will there be a Spider-Man 47? Can they possibly think of another word that sounds cool paired with Bourne?

With sequels, where do you draw the line?

Of course I understand the desire of Hollywood producers to turn a solid profit, but this shouldn’t mean rehashing the same concept year after year.

The problem is that consumers like the comfort of knowing what to expect. Rather than paying $7 to watch a potential dud, most people will pick the safe bet, the series they already know. As long as this trend continues, movie producers will keep rehashing and remaking tired concepts. Why not?

It’s a lot easier; they’ve already got the main characters and the underlying plot.

All they need is to introduce a new villain and they’re set!

Sticking to what you know could mean missing out on the true gems that come along.

In the past year I saw two movies on the big screen that actually made an impact on me: Alfonso Cuarón’s “Children of Men” and Guillermo del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth.”

Though these movies have little similarity otherwise, the common element between the pictures is originality.

These films were made to please moviegoers, not to turn a profit.

Don’t support unoriginal material unless you want more of the same.

Producers of these films and shows are like the class clown in elementary school; paying attention will only make the situation worse.

Only by ignoring these programs en masse will we ever get our message of intolerance for unoriginality across to Hollywood.

Perhaps we should return to the days of classic entertainment.

The next time you’re stretched out in your armchair thinking about flipping on the tube to watch the backstabbing and betrayal of “Survivor,” put your intellectual side to some use.

See an original play production, examine some art, watch a band play live or read a book.

Your brain will thank you later.

Michael Best is a senior news-editorial journalism major from Longview.

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