Wednesday, May 22, 2002

A Show About Nothing

I sometimes wonder if New York City (or, more accurately, Manhattan) is actually full of people like the characters on Seinfeld. I hope not. I hated that show SO MUCH...and, since it's in rabid syndication, I still hate it SO MUCH...It's FLAMES...around my face, flames coming out of my ears...

All of these people with whiney voices, with the manners of demented baboons, with the social skills of learning-disabled paramecia, with a complete lack of discernible morals and ethics...really, without any apparent redeeming qualities whatever. Even that strange bass-line that announced a change in scene is unbelievably irritating. I never understood that show's popularity.

On the other hand, Friends doesn't bother me at all, and it drives some people I know straight up the panelling. So there's no accounting for tastes. But at least we all know that Manhattan is not "as seen on Friends."

I've never been to Manhattan, of course, but I feel like I know so much about it. So many movies, so many musicals, so many novels, so many magazines, so many television shows are set in Manhattan. I could rattle off a dozen songs I know that are specifically set in or sung about the Isle of Manhattan. I've studied maps of Manhattan, the architecture of Manhattan, the museums and shops of Manhattan. I know how to get from the corner of East 90th and Fifth Avenue to Port Elizabeth, Maine (I had to plot that for my novel...for even I, who have never been there, have set stories in Manhattan).

And if I ever discovered that it was really all full of Jerrys and Elaines and Georges and Kramers, I wouldn't be caught dead there. I'd much prefer it to be full of Sex and the City characters, or even, in a pinch, Damon Runyon characters.

Nothing, of course, is set in Oakland. There was a sitcom called Hangin' with Mr. Cooper that was set here, but they only used Oakland exteriors in the intro credits...the show was shot in LA, as are most TV shows. There was another sitcom on the WB starring two guys with whom I went to high school, but that predictably didn't last long. And of course one often spies Oakland exteriors in TV shows set in San Francisco (like Nash Bridges, which used the old Liberty House building as a set for a few seasons, and often had recourse to the Dunsmuir House...which bad horror movie fans will recognize as the house in Burnt Offerings).

So...where was I? Oh, yes, rambling incoherently about Nothing, Seinfeld, Friends, Manhattan, and Oakland. Why don't I just quit now, while I still retain some reputation for intelligence?


I have no idea what city that is...

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