Sunday, April 10, 2011

Auteur Watch - Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel

I wanna see if MGM has any lawyer power left at all... They probably would get on my ass for the following still from Little Monsters. Incidentally, the writers of that film, Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio seem to sorta occupy the Hollywood slots that Ganz and Mandel used to occupy.
Anyway, time for some more theorizing on favourite decades and such. For partners in writing Marc "Babaloo" Mandel and Lowell Ganz, which is it? Is it the lean and hungry 70s? The crucible of icons? Afros, bell bottom jeans, goldfish in the heels of your shoes, the whole ball of wax... in the lava lamp? What a time to be writing for television. Laverne and Shirley, oh the stories they could tell. These two were surely leaving the ranks of the Doomed to become the Screwheads of tomorrow! Work in TV was the low-hanging fruit ripe for the picking... or was it more like being fed grapes by beautiful busty wenches while lounging in comfy chairs? Alas, they knew this easy life was not all they wanted out of life. Then it was the go-go 80s, the Reagan Revolution, Iran, Granada and the Contras. The fall of Percy Ross and the rise and rise of Donald Trump. Does he not miss Leona Helmsley, his shadowy reflection? As for Low and Bab, they were ready to move into the A-list, but they knew the writer's place in Hollywood, and that's far, far away from the paparazzi and the flashing lights. They knew how to turn their big blockbusters into semi-successful TV shows. Apparently that's where the real money is made. They were also ready when the former wild and crazy guy Steve Martin was ready to mature into the semi-wild, semi-crazy father figure, and Parenthood was bourne. So too, the TV series. The 90s looked even more promising. City Slickers, A League of Their Own - Good! Mr. Saturday Night, meh. Still, there was something about that Billy Crystal. Michael Keaton was their 80s man, Crystal the 90s man. And so it went. Then Matthew McConaughey came along... would he be their 2000s man?... Apparently not. And clearly they're slowing down: no EdTV sitcom? I guess that's YouTube's job now. Surely the 2000s aren't their favorite decade. The kids are growing up and off to college... and now the work's REALLY slowing down. Where the Heart Is? Puh-leeze. Every comedian's dream is to be taken seriously. Take Al Franken and When A Man Loves A Woman, for example. What's that all about? The fall of Ganz and Mandel surely echoes the fall of democracy itself in the 2000s. Become a robot or a sports fan or die at your own peril. And so the Democrats would have to go underground for a while... until 2006! Yay. As for the writing team of Gan-del... Tooth Fairy? Seriously? Seriously, time to retire, guys, if you've really fallen that far out of favour with Ron Howard and the Happy Days bunch.

No comments: