Last word on Judy, OJ and Rupert

If you've never seen the series Action, the brilliantly caustic satire of Hollywood, you should. I popped it into the DVD player to watch again while doing my shoulder-rehab exercises.

Created by Chris Thompson, the show, which Fox cancelled after six episodes, revolves around angry, arrogant, action-movie producer Peter Dragon (Jay Mohr), the most amoral, pill-popping, backstabbing, hooker-hiring (and funny) anti-hero ever on American TV -- until, well, those murderous bastards on Deadwood (also created by Mr. Thompson. One senses a thread in his work).

In any event, what follows is practically the very first scene of the very first episode. Remember: Peter Dragon is willing to sell his wife to get a good opening-weekend box office. Try not to compare his reaction with what the response must have been like from Judith Regan, Rupert Murdoch and Barbara Walters when they first heard the pitch for the O. J. Simpson book and interview:

[Interior: Peter Dragon's office. While Peter eats lunch, an agent talks to him.]

Cody: Suppose I could deliver you a star so big that little children in the crap-infested streets of Calcutta know his name.

Peter: Cody, please, I'm eating spring rolls.

Cody: Sorry. But suppose I could deliver this huge star -- a guy better known than Tom Hanks -- and you'd only have to pay him scale.

Peter: Who is it?

Cody: Ah, he's a complicated client.

Peter: Who is?

Cody: I can't tell you.

Peter: Can you give me a hint?

Cody: He has had some legal problems.

Peter: Drugs? Is it Robert Downey, Jr?

Cody: No, Pete! My man's clean. Straight-arrow. Strong. Healthy.

Peter: Can you give me a bigger hint?

Cody: Well, he was falsely accused of a double murder.

[Long pause. Peter stares at him.]

Cody: Now, because of the potential P.R. problems, my agency can't 'officially' represent him.

Peter: You're pitching me O. J. Simpson.

Cody: Yes, I am -- Pete, little children in Calcutta know his face.

Peter: Yes -- they know to run away from it!

Cody: The name is more recognizable than Tom Hanks'!

Peter: OK, but you know what, Tom Hanks refuses to go that extra mile and hack his wife to death.

Cody: He was acquitted, man! Peter, with all due respect, someone is going to put him in something and people are going to want to see him. Yeah, first out of curiosity but I think they're going to be pleasantly surprised with his acting chops. He's been studying with a coach. I recently saw him do a monologue from Raisin in the Sun.

Peter: Really. How was that?

Cody: Truthfully, it was very moving.

Peter: Cody, get out.

Cody: How about a villain? He'll play a villain. C'mon! [making stabbing gestures] Who's scarier?

Peter: You're scarier.

Cody: C'mon, Peter, just the shock value sells a million tickets, and he's going at bargain basement rates. Hey -- do you play golf?

Peter: You know what? I think I just threw up -- inside my throat? Get out, please.

Cody: Just a word of warning [Peter closes the office door behind him, he has to shout] The guys at Fox are all over the guy!

Peter: God. [He pauses at the door.] He's such a good agent.

December 2, 2006 10:00 AM |



Best of the Vault


Pat Barker, Frankenstein, Cass Sunstein on the internet, Samuel Johnson, Thrillers, Denis Johnson, Alan Furst, Caryl Phillips, Richard Flanagan, George Saunders, Michael Harvey, Larry McMurtry, Harry Potter and more ...


Big D between the sheets -- Dallas in fiction


Reviewing the state of reviewing


9/11 as a novel: Why?


How can critics say the things they do? And why does anyone pay attention? It's the issue of authority.

The disappearing book pages:  

Papers are cutting book coverage for little reason

Thrillers and Lists:  

Noir favorites, who makes the cut and why



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by book/daddy published on December 2, 2006 10:00 AM.

Chain, chain, chain was the previous entry in this blog.

'tis the season ... is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.