Wednesday, February 27, 2008

What About Bob?

With the writer's strike now officially over, couch potatoes across America are finally able to let out a collective sigh of relief. Things are starting to get back in gear on some of our favorite shows, while others will have to wait until next fall or (GASP!) January.

But there is one question that I've been asking since November - What about Bob?

You know Bob - he's the guy behind the scenes. He's a production assistant, or a key grip, or gaffer, or works for craft services. he is the guy who lives with a few buddies from film school so that he can afford his ridiculously high LA rent. He's the guy who was already working a second job handing out fliers for Mr. Cluck's in an itchy, smelly chicken costume. What happened to him?

The actors were out in full force supporting the writers. We saw the faces of all of our favorite stars (and some we loathe) on the picket lines. But these are people who have amassed huge fortunes over the years - making 7-figure salaries for movies and up to 6-figure salaries for each episode of a long-running TV series. I don't mean to detract from their support - it's great that they showed solidarity - but trust me on this: it's a lot easier to be "noble" when you've got a couple million bucks in your bank account.

Don't get me wrong - I understand the importance of the unions and striking; they are a powerful tool to help keep the big, bad corporations and media conglomerates from taking advantage of the little guys. But during all of this, who was watching out for Bob?

And now that everything is getting rolling again, does Bob even have a job anymore? Are our favorite shows going to be staffed by the same good folks who've been working behind the scenes all along?

I don't suppose there is much that we as viewers can do to make sure that Bob still has a job. (After all, picketing is so over-done right now.) But the next time you catch yourself complaining about how "Lost" is only 8 episodes, or how you don't know how you can wait another 10 months for your Jack Bauer fix, take a few seconds to think about Bob. I can guarantee that the strike has been a hell of a lot harder on him.

No comments: