Monday, December 22, 2014

Did Ashton-Demi get vanity card treatment?

For someone in my line of work, I have a distressing lack of interest in the private lives of public people. And not just because it's hard enough to suspend disbelief watching someone on television whom I've met or interviewed without having to contend with the seamier details of a DUI or divorce.

Did Ashton-Demi get vanity card treatment?

For someone in my line of work, I have a distressing lack of interest in the private lives of public people. And not just  because it's hard enough to suspend disbelief watching someone on television whom I've met or interviewed without having to contend with the seamier details of a DUI or divorce.

But I do occasionally enjoy the spectacle surrounding the spectacle, and got a particular kick out of this Salon piece, “OMG! Did Demi and Ashton really tweet that?” about efforts to try to break the story behind the latest (possible) celebrity breakup through analysis of the couple’s much-followed Twitter feeds.

Which is why, when I managed for once to get my Slingbox/iPad combo to pause correctly on the Chuck Lorre vanity card for Thursday’s “The Big Bang Theory" -- the night's highest-rated show, with more than 14.5 million viewers this week -- I had to wonder if it didn’t contain a hidden message about Lorre’s latest high-profile star, now two weeks into his stint on “Two and a Half Men.”

Here’s what it said:

“I have long believed that we as human beings are genetically inclined to elevate and worship those of us we deem to be very beautiful or very talented. We do this because we are somehow comforted by our adoration. It makes us feel good. As children we sleep beneath the images of movie, TV, music and sports stars and dream about the mystery and grandeur of their lives. As adults, the posters come off the wall, only to be replaced by a steady, noxious stream of tabloid culture. But perhaps most enjoyable of all is watching the fall from grace. Nothing beats a good ol' public crucifixion. Especially when it's self-inflicted. My theory for why this is considered entertainment is, again, a genetic one. DNA, even if it's mediocre, wants to ensure its own survival. The existence of superior DNA is viewed as a threat. When beautiful and talented people screw up, we can't help but feel that this somehow improves the chances for our mediocre descendants to eat meat. In other words, evolution my ass.”

It’s an intriguing, if not elegant, theory and has the advantage of applying to just about anything that comes up now, or in the future, with actors on any of Lorre’s shows. Or, for that matter, in the known universe. Could it possibly have anything to do with @aplusk and @mrskutcher? Or has Lorre still not run out of ruminations about Charlie Sheen? And how far in advance does he write these things, anyway?

By the way, most, if not all, of Lorre’s vanity cards are archived here, and arranged by show. With “Mike & Molly,” that’s three platforms a week to reach the masses (or at least the subset of the masses that can hit that pause button in time, a group whose descendants may or may not be able to obtain meat).

Ellen Gray Daily News TV Critic
About this blog
As the TV critic for the Philadelphia Daily News, I've always believed my job is less about thumbs -- up or down -- and more about the conversation. Because the more choices we have, the fewer people in our lives know what we're talking about when we say, "Did you see that?" And that's when television really starts to get interesting.

Ellen Gray Daily News TV Critic
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected