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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Wednesday (3/17/10) 3:16pm - ... wherein Peter fields a formspring question about TV.

My latest formspring answer:

If you could be on one TV show which one would it be? [3/16/10, auto-generated]

Ladies and gentlemen, behold:  the first not-awful auto-generated question from formspring.  I stand amazed.

On to my answer....

The first thing I thought of was that I'd want to be a guest on Charlie Rose.  If I have anything interesting to say about the world, Mr. Rose is the interviewer who'd figure out how to draw it out of me.  Plus it would be great to see how the man works in person, and given that his studio only ever contains Rose and his guest, that would be the only way to do it.

I would give damn near anything to be able to have the conversations that he manages to have.

But I assume we're talking about having me act on a scripted show.  And let's just assume we're in some mirror-universe where I'm about a zillion-times-better actor than I am, and that I actually know my way around a film set.  (God knows, I'd hate to ruin a TV episode or series with my ineptitude, inexperience, and unprofessionalism.  TV actors are goddam troopers.)

Ideally, I would want to be in a show that's either really early in its life cycle or in a good place to introduce a guest character.  I mean, a guest shot on LOST would have been great in  season two, but that show's almost entirely in the can, and they can't (okay, shouldn't) really go introducing new guest stars now.

So my gut instinct is to want a small role in the upcoming HBO production of Game of Thrones.  I mean, odds are, it's going to be the only truly great fantasy series that ever gets made.  (Xena fans, please post your angry comments below.)  I doubt it'll be financially-successful enough to justify making more such shows, and I doubt that the business model will ever support the production values for swords-and-sorcery in the future.  Plus, I imagine that this fantasy world would have room to accommodate somebody tall, pallid, gawky, and generally-funny-looking.  "Real-world" shows are much more about the conventionally-handsome.  (Not that I mind that -- I'm just saying that casting an actor who doesn't *look* like he belongs on the show is bad casting.)

(Another possibility would be Scorsese's Boardwalk Empire, but I think that one is pretty much in the can, no?)

As for shows currently underway, I'm not sure.  Again, my gut instinct would be to nab a part on one of these late seasons of Friday Night Lights.  I wouldn't have to leave Austin, I'd be able to compare notes with friends who've been on the show, and as far as I can tell, it's a really amazing set to work on, heavy on improvisation.  Plus, it's a really good show -- its first season is arguably the best season of any network drama -- and I'd be obnoxiously proud to be a part of it.

Failing that, I'd want a guest stint on one of these new-fangled, actually-funny sitcoms like Parks & Recreation or Community or Modern Family.  It would be exciting to be a part of something new and different, and I suspect I'd be better-used in comedy than drama.

Now, if we're talking about writing... well, again, we'd have to assume I'm about a zillion times more talented than I am.  At this point, honestly, I'd want a gig working for some relatively-new but solid basic-cable drama.  Maybe White Collar on USA?  Ooh, or something heavier like Justified(Side benefit:  it's set in Kentucky!  I could write about where I'm from!  Squee!)  Either way, I'd get to write good material for a show that somewhat flies under the radar.  It's a weird dichotomy -- these cablers are very traditional and comfort-food-y, yet they also get more leeway to experiment than most broadcast shows do.  So I could learn to write a fairly straight-up procedural, but maybe without feeling like the show was hidebound or culturally irrelevant.

Ask me questions at my formspring page!

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Date:Wednesday (3/17/10) 3:28pm
As ever, I am impressed by the depth of your analysis with this stuff.

I don't know what this says about the way my mind works (although I could take a guess), but I would have read that as "if you could be a character on one TV show..." In which case, neither LOST nor Game of Thrones would equal happy fun times. Though I am definitely looking forward to watching the latter.
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