joy magnetism: Money for nothing




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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Money for nothing

Magnet #488 - South Africa Taxi

Tonight's the premiere of NBC's The Philanthropist, which they premiered last night at the Paley Center, complete with a cast/production team panel (which I loved) and an exclusive afterparty (which of course I didn't go to).

I love going to these events at the Paley, because you just never know who is going to show up in the audience.

Last night's surprise was Sting. No. Seriously. Just walked right on by us. Here's something - we have no proof. No one has any pics of him (yet), and he didn't do the tiny little red carpet with the 'razzi corps. So now I'm second-guessing if it was him. (Of course, it was.) Other people were there as well - Julian Schnabel of Diving Bell/Butterfly fame, a ton of network execs, and Paley stakeholders. You know it's big when they reserve the entire center of the auditorium for special guests, and leave the riff-raff members to fend for themselves.

We screened the pilot of the show, which is based on the philanthropy of this real-life guy Bobby Sager who spends 10 months out of the year, striving to make real change in this world. And that's what James Purefoy's character does - he gets tired of the little that he can do with his money, and he goes out in the world to help people, really help them.

Not surprisingly, I'm totally on the fence about this show. I like James Purefoy a lot, but I'm not totally sold on his character, Teddy Rist - there's a smugness in Teddy that I don't like, but it will be interesting to see if they continue to have his character journey match his physical journeys. In other words, how much his character will grow with each new situation he helps with. To be honest, there's a part of me that wants to see if Teddy ends up wearing (with a suit) the funky lime green converse high-tops that Mr. Sager was wearing last night. Very Doctor Who-y. Hee.

But mostly, I had real issues with the VO flashback exposition...that's a function of the pilot, I know. So hopefully they move away from that format in the next seven episodes. (They have eight in the can.) It was fairly well written, and it did keep me entertained. Some of it was over the top and melodramatic, and some was a little teary.

But what I can't complain about was the absofreakin'lutely beautiful the location shooting is. That's why I picked this magnet my friend gave me, because when they needed Africa, they went to Africa - though bless him, Peter Horton thought he could make do with shooting Germany for Africa. Heh. But the location shoot added so much to the show, and I can't wait to see where they go next. The score was pretty good, and we were wondering if that's why Sting was there. (Yes, he was.)

Finally, it'll be interesting to see how this particular story (of a wealthy man giving away his money to people in need around the world) plays in today's current economic and political climate. What's more, it will be even more interesting to see if it can inspire John Q. Public to go out and make concrete baby steps toward a better world - which is part of what everyone associated with the project wants to have happen. (Besides wanting you to watch the show.)

Oh, let's face it. We all know I'm going to end up watching it, no matter how many critics pan it, or love it. It's summer. It's pretty. He's pretty.

So, yeah. Totally watching. Come. Join me.

eta:
OMG! I forgot the biggest, most relevant to my job, part of last night's pilot! The integration of bing.com for their global navigation - kinda like how Doctor Who closes in on Earth and zooms in? Yeah, just like it.

There's a part of me that thinks it was very cleverly done, because God help me, by the end of the episode, I actually waited for bing's logo to pop up in the corner.

Then, there's the other part of me that knows it was a blatant sell, and was annoyed by it.

Then, there was the other part of me that grudgingly and somewhat jealously applauded the terrific marketing team on both ends (NBC/show/agencies/bing) that brokered the deal.

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3 comments:

SeanR said...

This is a really cool magnet. You see these little buses all over Africa crammed full of people. I always wonder what would happen if an airbag went off!

Vicki said...

You had me at "he's pretty..." It's pretty is just icing on the cake.

joy said...

Thanks, Sean. Though the thought of airbags on those buses makes me giggle.

And Vicki, I've never been a *huge* James Purefoy fan, he was pretty, but I could take/leave him. Last night, he fairly lit the room when he laughed.