(Fred Weinberg) – I’m sorry.
I just cannot handle President Josiah Bartlett kissing New York District Attorney Jack McCoy on the lips.
I know that Grace and Frankie (Netflix Original series) is supposed to be a comedy about Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston coming out as gay and leaving their wives, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, to marry each other.
I understand that homosexuality is the new big thing.
I understand that homosexuals have a lobby that would make the National Rifle Association or the Realtors blush.
I understand that according to their own lobby, 3.8% of Americans identify themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. That’s as opposed to the 2% of Americans Mensa considers geniuses.
But wait. Only 1.7% of that 3.8% consider themselves gay or lesbian which means that if their own statistics can be believed, there are actually more geniuses in the United States than people who have been making society uncomfortable with their attraction to the same sex.
That’s all great, but now we’re screwing with icons.
Liberal icons, but TV icons nonetheless.
I actually had to watch an episode of West Wing—fortunately, also on Netflix—to get rid of the bad taste of President Bartlett kissing DA McCoy on the lips. (“Decisions are made by those who show up.” Season 1 finale.)
And, with all due respect to the people who could put Martin Sheen, Sam Waterston, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda in a single cast, it was hardly Aaron Sorkin’s (West Wing) or Dick Wolf’s (Law and Order) writing.
In fact, it wasn’t even the Dick Van Dyke Show. (Where’s Rose Marie when you need her?)
That’s right. You can have the best jockeys in the history of racing, but if they’re riding dogs, you lose in the gate.
This show might have had legs with better writing. It will get some favorable reviews because it is about being gay. It will get other favorable reviews because of the cast.
But, at best, it will have its life prolonged only because it is on Netflix and not a broadcast TV network where the ratings are transparent.
If Netflix really wants to make a contribution to TV, it should pick up West Wing where the series left off, convince Sheen to become a Supreme Court Justice to Jimmy Smits’ President, and make Waterston the Attorney General. That ought to be good for another four seasons. In the words of President Bartlett, what’s next?
Mr. Weinberg is publisher of the Penny Press. Get to know more about him by visiting www.PennyPressNV.com.