In news that will stun those three people in Western Indiana who aren’t complaining about the lack of original ideas in mainstream media, that viral “Honey Badger” video that everyone loved so very much last year is now slated to become its own television program.
“Honey Badger” is essentially footage from a National Geographic special on badgers narrated by a breathless young man with a tendency towards sibilant s’s. He seems both awed and repelled by his subject:
Unfortunately, this is not the first time television producers have attempted such a move. Can we ever forget the furor that surrounded Cavemen, a program based upon a series of (already not-too-funny) GEICO insurance commercials? Even the show’s IMDB page seems to be struggling to maintain its dignity, intoning that the show consists of, “A trio of Neanderthals (struggling) to live in modern day America.” The series was canceled after only a handful of episodes, which begs me to ask the question–why start this sort of thing up again?
And then there’s $#*! My Dad Says, based on Justin Halpern’s Twitter feed, in which a young man basically transcribes expletive-laden diatribes from his crotchety septuagenarian father. This was turned into a sitcom on CBS starring William Shatner, and got off almost immediately to a rocky start because, well, you can’t really have a naughty title like that on television, can you? The show was poorly reviewed and canceled after eighteen episodes.
I guess the trend we should note here is that commercials (and internet memes) are short-form comedy. To maintain a joke or a gag for a twenty-two minute television show might require, oh, I don’t know, characters or plot rather than a mere gimmick. But there is hope, America. The Honey Badger show is only in development–it hasn’t been picked up by a network yet; here’s hoping that executives will look at the aforementioned failed examples and opt out. And while we as a nation sit and wait for news of this program with bated breath and bitten nails, I have a new solution: take your producing dollars and go give them to Joss Whedon. I dunno. Just a thought.