Sept. 10 Rowland column

September 10, 2002|by TIM ROWLAND

We've missed out on so much - all the business that's gone to Frederick, Md., the Civil War museum that went to Harrisburg, Pa., (the equivalent of having a World War II museum in Nepal) - then the Olympics dissed the greater Washington metropolitan area, and you have to consider all the local misfires over sports facilities, art centers and whatnot. Certain tribesmen in Botswana will get this year's new European fashions before we do.

Now I think it's time we jumped on the bandwagon early and staked our claim to the latest fad. A fad we should be particularly good at and enjoy a natural first-mover status.

Of course, I am referring to Hick TV. CBS has announced it wants to re-create "The Beverly Hillbillies" as a reality television show, and on hearing that, Fox immediately jumped in with plans to bring back "Green Acres" under the same guidelines.


CBS wants to find a family of genuine inbred, lazy, mentally challenged, macaroni-and-cheese-eating, low-SAT-scoring hoopies whom they will follow around with a television camera so we can all have a good laugh. How this differs substantially from E's Anna Nicole Smith show I don't know, but that's not my concern right now.

I'm thinking that here in the Tri-State we ought to have any number of people the network can choose from, and I'd like to see us for once get out on the cutting edge of something that will show all our attributes in a good, strong light.

And material? Pshaw. CBS wants a family? We could give them an entire town, ZIP code or congressional district. They want reality, let's give them a legislative delegation. The Annapolis Hillbillies. Anyone who doesn't think that Alex Mooney bears a striking resemblance to Jethro is in a serious state of denial.

You've got to pencil Sue Hecht in as Granny, since she was always scolding Jethro and threatening to give him a "tongue prunin.'"

I must apologize to John Donoghue at this time, since I'll be supporting Bob Bruchey in the November election on the basis that he would make a fab Mr. Drysdale. And sorry LeRoy, but I think most people would agree that Cas Taylor is a more plausible Jed. I'll leave it to Louise Snodgrass and Bob McKee to duke it out over the role of Miss Jane - although we may have to save Louise for Cousin Pearl. Sadly there's no part for Joe Bartlett, but if CBS ever brings back "The Andy Griffith Show," he's a slam-dunk Opie, (moving Louise to the role of Aunt Bea) and that works on another level since Don Munson could be a more jittery version of Barney Fife. We'll hold onto Chris Shank in the event they ever bring back fresh-faced Eddie Munster.

(It occurs to me after writing those last three paragraphs that I am probably a dead man. That or the delegation will typecast me as Delmar from "O Brother Where Art Thou." )

Ellie Mae is a problem, and it led me to recognize a larger societal problem, that being that THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH BLONDES IN GOVERNMENT. Who can possibly play Ellie Mae now that Marie Byers is out of office? We've got to go all the way to Frederick for Mayor Jennifer Dougherty or to West Virginia for Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, although my gut instinct is to save her for "Green Acres'" Lisa Douglas. So, yes, it's the break you've been waiting for - Roxann Long, call your service.

It occurs to me now that Ronnie Milburn was light years ahead of his time. The former Sharpsburg councilman used to videotape council meetings to record the wacky chicanery. Ronnie was into reality video before reality video was cool. And if TV viewers can be gainfully entertained by watching a fat, washed-up Playboy model waddle her way through her boring worldly chores, how much more emotionally and mentally stimulated would they be watching one of our small-town councils argue over leash laws?

Omigosh, I just remembered: Antietam Cable tapes and broadcasts our school board meetings. Memo to Antietam: Quick! Copyright it! Bottle it and sell it! In the world of reality TV, you are sitting on a gold mine. Whee doggies!

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.

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