THE FACE OF EVIL IS NOT WHAT IT ONCE WAS. Rolling Stone’s recent cover pictorial featuring alleged Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in a Jim Morrison-esque selfie argued that evil is more likely to look like the beautiful boy next door than something from a James Bond film. The controversial cover, and the outrage that followed, is evidence of our fascination with evil, in all of its incarnations; terrorism, crime, Alex Rodriguez. We love evil as much as we fear it.
And so, of course, it shows up on TV.
Criminals, degenerates, and the dark side have never been bigger in pop culture. From the gleeful and critically acclaimed murdering in Dexter to final season of Breaking Bad to the success of the new Netflix series Orange is the New Black to the unspoken sinister undertones of Ellen, television has rekindled its love affair with the anti-hero, the unlikable character, the seedy underside, and we’re not talking about David Duchovny’s genitals.
Headshots suggests five unusual and uniquely dark corners that should be featured next on the small screen.
What could be more fun than an FX series set in the colorful world of legalized and organized prostitution!?!
Set in the under-celebrated and ignored TV setting of Reno, Nevada, this one hour drama series would focus on the trials and tribulations of a fading once-famous Hollywood Madame (I’m seeing Kirstie Alley in a comeback role of a lifetime) as she presides over a small brothel of women corrupted by broken homes and broken dreams.
How could this series not be a hit? It’s like CSI meets Breaking Bad meets The Bachelorette. It would be the first TV series to feature syphilis as a prominent character, with the exception of the final season of According to Jim.
We’ve had TV series about mafia bosses, mistresses, Seinfeld-on-crack bar owners, and serial killers, but why not a series that focuses specifically on assholes (besides Fox News).
This series — which HBO should email me about ASAP — would feature the world’s biggest dicks: Investment bankers, politicians, conceptual poets, and anonymous Internet comment section trolls. It would have to be set somewhere we’d find a plethora of assholes at once, like the front row of an NBA game or happy hour at Dave and Buster’s.
Viewers would fall in love with hating every character, with no room for a single likable being. It would be like revisiting high school.
The only redemption would be the inevitable series finale where everyone died.
We’d call it The Tea Party.
Is there anything worse than a sycophant? A pandering adulator whose sole purpose on earth is to fawn as a parasite, to lick the proverbial boot of the undeserving.
We’re talking about hosts of entertainment news magazines, sports journalists, and people who like Jay-Z. The series would no doubt be set in and around a tabloid television show, where the self-loathing celeb-crushing characters froth and orgasm at the news of a Kardashian’s pregnancy or Justin Bieber’s new haircut. Think of the guest star possibilities!
Celebs who wouldn’t even realize that the show’s sycophantic nature is an indictment of their fanbases!
4. College Arts Departments
There are few places worse on earth than College Arts departments.
Debaucherous and righteous faculty, co-eds riddled with self-esteem and daddy issues, and picturesque settings wrapped in a comfortable oblivion absent of pragmatism or reality. Institutions that haven’t changed in years, where everyone is an alcoholic, drug-addled, sex addict with no sense of mortality.
How is this not a show already?
It’s like Girls Gone Wild with a plot.
Throw in some evil deans and meddlesome parents, and you’ve got your next cultural institution.
There is currently no darker, more horrific place on earth (outside of the Middle East, and Africa, and Mississippi) than Mother Russia.
Russians hate democracy, they hate homosexuals, they hate women, they hate all other races and peoples, and they’re more tied into the criminal underworld than Tony Soprano on his best day. Or worst day. Depending on your interpretation.
Why has no TV series ever been set in the former Soviet Republic? Playboy hockey players, quietly evil dictators operating under the false veil of democracy, 11-month winters, and bad food.
It’s like Canada, but interesting. We foresee a dark dramedy centered around an upscale Moscow bar, where our cast spend their time drinking vodka, eating pickles, and hating America. It would be like Cheers, but with more oppression and liver cancer.
So, there you have it.
Producers can feel free to reach us via The Smoking Jacket. We don’t ask for much. A “creator” credit, and associate producer roles for the interns. Because, really, who knows more about the face and role of evil on modern society than unpaid interns?
You’re welcome, Hollywood.