So this show “1600 Penn” is starting and is billed as “NBC’s answer to Modern Family!”
First, anytime a show is billed as “whoever’s answer to whatever,” that show invariably is going to suck. “Modern Family” was successful because it was a fresh take on the traditional family sitcom with crisp jokes, brisk pacing and a game cast. I enjoyed this show for a time, but now find it shrill and obnoxious.
Back to “1600 Penn,” which, to me, is a lost opportunity. Instead of trying to futilely reheat the success of another network’s property, this show’s producers should have gone full hog and just made this what we’re all dying for: The continuing saga of President Whitmore dealing with the fallout of Independence Day. Bill Pullman is already RIGHT THERE playing the president. What am I missing?
So after they blow up the ships and crush the alien invasion like good ‘Mericans, what happens next? There’s now the wreckage of two dozen major metropolitan city-sized alien warships littered across the globe. Who gets to clean that up? My guess: Mafia. The hypothetical show’s guess: Scrappy blue collar workers with hilarious Brooklyn-style accents like that disgusting green mucus family from the Mucinex commercials. Likely answer: No one, gridlock, our Congress sucks, and the rest of the world is worse.
More importantly: You know not all of those aliens died in that explosion. There were simply too many of them. So that leaves them to assimilate to our culture, which, given how welcoming we’ve been as a populace toward Mexicans, this should go swimmingly, I’m sure.
One episode could detail the tribunals of the war criminals who led the soldiers in destroying our iconic cities and most strategic military locations. Hold it in the still-smoldering, twisted hellscape of Washington, DC. Hold it in Guantanamo Bay. Even better, just hold it Nuremberg and parade the alien lieutenants up there like dreadlocked Nazis. “We were just following orders,” they’ll say. Oh, where have we heard THAT before? That guy who played Brett in Pulp Fiction would play one of the meek aliens who feels bad about the whole thing. Christopher Meloni would play the angry prosecutor.
Once the haranguing is done, we move on to how to govern these folks. Do we provide them healthcare? Do they qualify for in-state tuition? Are humans allowed to marry aliens? Do aspects of the segregation South re-emerge throughout the world where there are “Humans Only” bathrooms, water fountains, and lunch counters? Can we bring back lunch counters as part of our alien invasion reconstruction? It’ll be like Battlestar Galactica crossed with conservative talk radio crossed with District 9.
And at the end of every episode, President Whitmore can climb on top of something and deliver a stirring speech about whatever holiday we happen to be celebrating with lots of product tie-ins that will help this be profitable for the network. We will not go quietly into the night without the door-busting deals provided by Walmart – Save Money, Live Better. We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on, we’re going to survive. Today… we celebrate our BLACK FRIDAY with this great deal on the K-Cup System by Keurig!
This is a show for the golden age of television.