Friday, August 25, 2006

Fall Preview: Smith

Have you ever wanted to be a master criminal? You know the guy every one turns to when they need something stolen from someone, and they are going to pay you a lot of money to do it? A life of lies, deceit, murder?

Yeah, me neither.

Sure, I would love to have an exciting action packed life, and perhaps if I didn't watch so much TV I might actually get that. However, I am not going to become some high-life criminal who pretends to be a family man, so that I can get that action. However, CBS wants us all to find entertainment in such deception.

CBS's Smith is about the life and actions of a "family man" who lives a double life as a master criminal. He is trying to get out, but he always seems willing to just one more job. After all, he needs to make just a little more after that last million dollar job.

The executive producers claim (video link) that their drive to make this show was to look at the inner evil in all of us. They equate the average man's driving over the speed limit and illegal parking to professional criminals who steal, murder, cheat, and who knows what else they plan on showing us.

I am nothing like Bobby Stevens (Ray Liotta), accept maybe in the looks category. And I don't really want to be. My minor infractions of the law are nothing like Stevens and his cohorts violent detest of the law while they parade themselves as normal family men.

At first, I thought that maybe this was about a man who was sincerely trying to turn over a new leaf. But as I watch the previews (video link), I realized that this isn't a show about changing for the better. Rather it is an exhibition of evil. The producers smirk as they discuss the next crime that these men are going to commit. They love the idea that we can all live vicariously as evil people through their creation. They openly admit these their main character is not supposed to be likeable.

This show is socially irresponsible. This paints the life of a criminal as action without consequences. It sends the message that you can do whatever you want and have the good life too. Many will watch this show and think that this as a way out of their drudgery and into excitement. If you doubt me, ask criminologist how many people started showing a greater interest in a criminology career after the popularity of CSI.

Production wise this will be a great show. Acting will be superb. For those who chose to watch it, they will probably mistaken think they are watching a movie and not a television show. Honestly, I expect that this show will last for a couple of seasons. It has the potential audience of 24.

However, I will not be watching and I hope that it doesn't make it into next year. I don't watch TV to see evil celebrated.

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1 Comments:

At Wednesday, August 30, 2006 7:36:00 PM, Anonymous Dennis said...

Without having seen the show yet, it's difficult for me to feel that any comment I make is valid. However, based on your post, I'd have to disagree that it's "an exhibition of evil." Evil is portrayed on TV and in movies constantly. In fact, it's difficult to find something where evil simply does not exist. I'll bet that in this show, there will still be many moral dilemmas, even if the main character is choosing between the lesser of two evils, and there's something to be learned by it. Ignoring evil does not make it go away, and learning about your enemies only makes your position stronger. Maybe that sounds cheesy, but I believe it to be true.

I plan on watching at least the premier episode of this show just to see how I like it. It's on after "The Unit," which is about basically good guys who often have to do bad things. "Smith" seems as though it's about bad guys who often have to do good things. There's not much difference there in my opinion, but there's always a lesson to be learned.

 

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