Director of Special Projects

On Friday night we attended our second TV taping in NZ. This time, it was a show called The Project, which we can’t stand.

We went because we hope that our willingness to endure an hour of smarmy earnestness will win us brownie points with Tania, the Audience Wrangler – best title ever – for Seven Days, which is awesome, as well as this mess, so we can go back to Seven Days, because we think it’s awesome.

The in-studio segment was a sheep shearer. In NZ, of course, putting a sheep shearer on TV is the most blatant kind of pandering to an older, rural audience. The shearers were perfect, smarter and funnier than you’d expect. The hostess who was drafted to try her hand (“I grew up on a farm but at shearing time my job was to bring scones to the menfolk”) was even more useless than I expected. The sheep had been through this before and knew that resistance was futile.

After the show, the hosts gamely pose for pictures with audience members. And this is where it crystallizes for me. We know Jeremy Corbett, on the left, from Seven Days. He’s witty, acerbic, and obviously smart, and as viewers we’ve decided that’s the “real” Jeremy. But he turns it all off for this show, and it just hurts… we feel betrayed. We’ve all done what we need to for a paycheck, but few of us do it so publicly as actors do. And of course we don’t know this man. Anthony Hopkins (probably) never ate fried brain with fava beans and a nice Chianti, and maybe Jeremy loves the pablum and goes home in tears after every week of Seven Days.

So, Tania, and everyone at The Project, thanks for the free tickets. We appreciate your willingness to put it all out there, although we’re unlikely to come back. We hope after this show gets cancelled you’ll get to work on a project we will want to see!

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