Friday, October 26, 2007

So those Bee-Movie Shorts Aren't Seinfeld's Biggest Embarassment?

I write this as somebody who was a fan of both Jerry Seinfeld's stand-up comedy and his long-running (if somewhat over-hyped) NBC show. That said, the full-blown Seinfeld onslaught of late has been a bit much.

His guest appearance on '30 Rock' was entertaining, but I'm crediting that to the great Alec Baldwin (whose performance last night as Tracey and his family should lock up another Emmy nod). However, any goodwill he created with his guest spot was immediately wiped out – and continues to be crushed – by the unbelievably unfunny "shorts" that have been shoehorned into the NBC Thursday night lineup. Ironically, they are as annoying as the bees and insects Jerry and his famous friends appear as in his upcoming flick (please flop, please flop, please flop).

"But THG," you're asking, "what does this have to do with food?" Well, in an amazing bit of coincidence, Jerry's wife Jessica has a cookbook coming out at the same time as her husband's movie. Frankly, it must be great to be able to double up on promotional appearances – like their mutual Oprah lovefest – because it lets them commute together.

The basis of Deceptively Delicious is that kids hate eating stuff that's good for them but you can sneak it into other things without them knowing. Okay, I'll buy that, though I'm not sure it's a radically new concept, or if I buy that Mrs. Seinfeld is in the kitchen busily cooking for their kids.

Now comes an article in USA Today that points out the striking similarities between the Seinfeld book and the book The Sneaky Chef by Missy Chase Lapine. I'll be the first to admit that the lengthy gestation time required for a book suggests that there was simply some overlap between the two tomes, but Lapine's claim that she pitched both Seinfeld's publisher and the Oprah staff several times before her book was published in April has me wondering...


Aj said...

They don't just put those Bee Movie shorts in the Thursday night programming... they're all over the schedule. I've seen 'em on Mondays and Wednesdays as well. And they are ANNOYING. I wasn't planning on seeing the movie in the first place, but now, like you, I hope it flops.

Alec B. was genius on 30 Rock last night (10/25), specifically the therapy session. I thought this season was lagging a bit behind Season One, but last nights epi was the best so far this season.

Dan said...

I haven't seen any NBC programming on other nights. Sorry to hear viewers on other nights are being subjected to these things. Thank god for DVR!

Totally agree about '30 Rock'. I enjoyed but hadn't loved the first few eps this season and was worried it wasn't going to live up to the promise of last season. Last night was a solid winner, though, loved the shot of Jack pouring Liz's wine into his glass at the end.

"What are you, a foreigner?"

Anonymous said...

If I took a potential Number 1 hit song, change some lyics around slightly, maybe change a few musical notes around, and call it my own, then is that plagiarism?

Ms. Lapine's problem was that she didn't have an author agent when she initially gave her manuscript to HarperCollins. Basically, somehow, Ms. Seinfeld's book prep team must have gotten the manuscript and said, "WTF, use it."