Monday, September 11, 2006

PT911: balls good, laws bad

That’s what I learned watching part one of ABC’s far-right-developed prop-u-drama, The Path to 9/11, earlier tonight. I’m not sure who eventually won (you know, besides the terrorists), but the whole tedious two hours and 40 minutes was a battle between scenes that actually said things like “there are laws against domestic spying in America/What about a law against terrorists?!?” and scenes where they drank toasts “to cajones” (I swear it).

I also learned that without one-time ABC reporter John Miller, American intelligence would’ve known little about Osama bin Laden.

I also think I learned that somebody in the editing suite over at Disney still remembers his or her lesson on the Kuleshov effect. You can claim that you didn’t draw conclusions in the script, but when you cut together a montage that includes Monica Lewinsky, President Clinton saying “I did not have sex with that woman,” Harvey Keitel smirking while saying advisors were told not to let the scandal affect policy, and fruitless powwows amongst cabinet officials, well. . . .

The other thing I’ve learned is that ABC has made one bloated and convoluted piece of crap that couldn’t find itself one single sponsor to help break up the tedium with a commercial. The whole thing is shot like a brokerage commercial from the early 1990’s—lots of extreme close-ups and faky-shaky handheld camera. As unimaginative and dated as it was insufferable. I can’t wait to see the ratings. I have a hard time believing most viewers were as stupidly committed as I was to bearing witness to every “dramatized” (read: “made up”) moment.

Given that PT911 ran opposite the battle of the Mannings on the east coast, and the season premier of the Simpsons in most markets, we can only hope the American TV viewer had more sense than I did.


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