Written by: Ron Bricker
Notes from a Crank
After a brief respite, thanks to the WGA (seriously–thanks, guys/gals! As bad as reality TV is, I hate inane sitcoms and forensic investigation dramas even more, because they pretend to be something worthwhile, while reality shows openly embrace their trashiness.), Patricia Heaton has unfortunately made her way back into the public eye. Delightfully so, however, because something tells me her PR reps weren’t behind this particular newsflash:
Patricia Heaton has no bellybutton.
Yes, it’s true. Read all about it, and check out some scary photos, to boot.
Oh, Patricia…where did your parents go wrong? Where did you go wrong? How did young, presumably-at-one-time-innocent, wannabe-actor Patty get to where she is today? I mean, let's face it–although I’m sure she wants to be, and thinks she is, she is decidedly not an artist, and certainly no comedienne. She repeatedly plays the same boring, stock character, which is no doubt not very different from her real-life identity. For those of you unfamiliar with her oeuvre, Heaton played 'hilarious' Debra Barone, Ray Romano's wife, on Everybody Loves Raymond, an awful show that seemed to go on forever, but was actually only on the air for a finite nine years. 209 episodes. She made $450,000 per episode in season seven–$11 million that year alone.
Rivaling King of Queens for the title of ‘longest-running worst show on television,’ Raymond thankfully expired in 2005. And it did expire–it was not canceled and, in fact, did not even finish out its last season. According to www.patriciaheatononline.com (yes, this fucking website exists, and packs a punch, let me tell you):
"Raymond Falls Short – Despite a last-ditch effort by CBS to lengthen its final season, Everybody Loves Raymond will stick to Plan A and produce just 16 original episodes before signing off in May. "We honestly couldn't think of any more [ideas]," says series creator Phil Rosenthal. "We brought in a couple of people to pitch stories, but everything either reminded us of stuff we've done before or wasn't good enough." Damn you creative integrity. Damn you!"
Now, I know what you're thinking or, at least, should be thinking: where was your creative integrity the last nine years? Did every single one of those 209 scripts really not remind you of every other episode you'd ever done? Did the initial concept, and every subsequent idea, really not remind you of every other stock, cardboard character/storyline in the boring-ass sitcom pantheon? Were they all 'good enough?'
Landing a long-running network sitcom is every shitty actor’s dream (think Matt LeBlanc here, friends). It makes them wildly rich, it thrusts them into the public eye, it redeems every sacrifice they ever made for their ‘art,’ it serves as indelible vengeance against every agent/manager/casting director who ever told them they should find something else to do with their life. Some of them understand this, enjoy it while they can, and fade softly into the Malibu hills when their show ends, playing tennis and making their own jewelry/bedding fanboys, depending on level of attractiveness. Some of them spend the rest of their sad lives, and fortunes, chasing that delicious initial high and end up an embarrassment even to themselves, when all is said and done.
Where does Patrica Heaton stand in all of this, you say? Well, after nine years of going to work five days a week to play herself on national TV, she could have pocketed the $60-80 million and lived out the rest of her life quietly, raising her four young boys, eating finger sandwiches with her hubby, etc. But no–that would be too easy, too sensible. Instead, she decided to appear in commercials that seem to play constantly, even to this day. Is this her 'honing her craft?' She obviously doesn't need the money…
To make matters worse, in 2006, she appeared in a pilot for a TV show that never even received a proper name–that's how bad it was, how quickly the umbilical cord was cut from this 'baby' by the powers that be–The Untitled Patricia Heaton Project. Since I know you're curious, here is a synopsis of this series that thankfully went nowhere:
"A recently widowed woman (Heaton) starts a new life for herself by joining the PTA."
No need for a joke here–the work has already been done. Thanks, Patricia!
Sadly, in 2007, Kelsey Grammer decided he needed to add Patricia's 'star wattage' to his new unnecessary show, Back to You. In this show, Kelsey Grammer plays Dr. Frasier Crane–but with a different name! His range is truly stunning. Talk about somebody who doesn't need the money. Kelsey! Go away! Swim around in your vault full of gold coins, cackling like Ebenezer Scrooge, and leave us alone! You were funny in Cheers, but that's in the past! You don’t need your own website! Not that many people care about that funny thing your dog did the other day! You’re not relevant to people who know how to use the interweb!
Isn't the goal in life, for those of us not lucky enough to be brilliant geniuses forced against our will to create things the world needs, to make a bunch of money and retire young, to enjoy life the way it was meant to be lived, as children of paradise, sipping fruit smoothies out of coconut halves and making love in the surf, nary a care in the world? When you have $80 million laying around, shouldn't you just go on vacation for the rest of your life, raise your children, and work on the occasional pet project? TV sitcoms are not art–they are popcorn entertainment created by, and starring, people who are only doing it for the paycheck. Why do greedy-soccer-mom-actress-whores like Patricia Heaton not understand this? Why does she think we need to see more of her one-trick-pony acting? How come she doesn't understand that she has no need for her own website? How come she doesn't realize we all see right through her? How come she had her belly button removed by a plastic surgeon?
Wait, I know the answer–she's a psychopath.
For more Goodtime Charlie goodness, check out his blog.