The Unbearable Banishment: playwright theresa rebeck hates cbs president les moonves

Friday, July 10, 2009

playwright theresa rebeck hates cbs president les moonves

I saw Our House, the latest comedy-drama by Theresa Rebeck at Playwrights Horizons. Rebeck is primarily a playwright, but she also wrote episodes for NYPD Blue, which I’m assuming provided her with a pretty healthy income. She burns so many bridges in Our House that I can only assume she never wants to work in TV again.

There are several plot strings but the funniest and most interesting (to me) was the biting parody of the real-life relationship between the skeevy CBS president Les Moonves and his young, hot employee, Julie Chen.

Ms. Chen was a B-list member of the CBS news team, which is an old and dignified news organization. After fucking old Les (he is old enough to be her father) she scored a plum position as host of Big Brother. It's the oldest story in the oldest book.

There was a lot of gnashing of teeth in the newsroom over Moonves's decision. The conflict of interest could damage the network’s journalistic integrity, but top-shelf sex will make a man do crazy things (see recent Republican foibles). One character in the play accused “Wes,” of “…thinking with is dick.” I‘ve done that myself once or twice.

The story has two great plot twists, but I found the casting and acting to be uneven. It’s always a shock to see sub-par acting being performed at an established company like Playwrights Horizons.



Blogger Jimmy Bastard said...

Is there a man alive who hasn't my friend?

July 11, 2009 at 3:13 AM  
Anonymous Rob said...

I guess it's interesting that one can get away with not-so-subtle parody of real life events. This doesn't constitute libel?

the oldest story in the oldest book

Humans haven't really evolved much, have they? Most of us are still slaves to biology.

Oh, and going from CBS News to Big Brother? I would consider that a step down, not up. But, that's just me.

July 11, 2009 at 11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...she never wants to work in TV again"

maybe she just doesn't want to work with CBS... seems she'd have a nice home on HBO or Showtime (where the really good writing seems to find a home anyway...)

and the discussion has left me feeling rather inadequate. never screwed or blown my way into a job... damn. hate missed opportunities!

July 11, 2009 at 12:33 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Jimmy: If he said he hasn't, he's a liar.

Rob: I agree that Big Brother is stooping low, but she needed to be a celebrity and that was just the ticket.

Daisy: She's got a new play coming out in the fall so she's doing just fine.

July 11, 2009 at 8:45 PM  
Blogger A Free Man said...

SOunds like a good one, I love that kind of satire.

July 11, 2009 at 8:57 PM  

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