I always read between the lines. For example, when I read a book, I make a loud humming noise for all the white space between the sentences. And when I watch television, movies and web series, I’m no less critically aware and active. That’s why I’m constantly coming up with ideas for paradigm-shifting think pieces. Unfortunately, editors are obsessed with the paradigm, so they won’t let me spin it around like my Ford Taurus when I’m doing donuts in the Target parking lot, which is where I do my best thinking. Here are a bunch of pitches I’ve made that no one will let me transmute into essay gold.
1. What Bosch Has to Say About Gun Violence
Guns are machines that scare, hurt and sometimes kill. We need to talk about gun control. Do we want guns to vote? When all our jobs are taken by robots, will we take over for guns by spitting little rocks at people? Bosch demands we think about this for the first time.
2. Girlboss is Not Just Another Nasty Woman
I haven’t seen it yet, but from the trailer alone, I know that this show is going to be extremely pertinent to the conversation. Named after the show Girls and the book Bossy Pants by Amy Poehler, Girlboss flips the script on the male-dominated eBay community. Hillary Clinton may still be lost in the woods, but I think I found our next “nasty woman,” and she’s a girl, and a boss.
3. The Radical Celebration of Teens on the CW
Ever since the life expectancy in America went up from 14 to 40, teens have been a largely ignored group when it comes to television. The CW is blazing the trail for teens to have shows that they want to watch. Whether it’s hanging out at a diner or outside a school, the CW shows teens exactly like they are in real life: hot, horny, hungry and in hoodies.
4. The Radical Celebration of the Elderly on The Golden Girls
Can you still be hot, horny, hungry and wear hoodies when you’re in your 90s? The Golden Girls isn’t afraid to say “yes” to everything but the hoodies part. I think this is on Lifetime, but it could be Hallmark. It’s on pretty much all the time between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m.
5. The Walking Dead Shows that Alive People are Sometimes Worse than Dead People
At first you’d think that brain-eating monsters are the only “monsters” on AMC’s The Walking Dead. But you’d be wrong. Sometimes the scariest people of all are people.
6. What The Walking Dead Says About Shopping at the Mall
Take a look around at a mall and all the people walking around, looking at stuff. Remind you of something? Yes, that is right, they are just like zombies. AMC’s The Walking Dead may seem like just a fun show where really cool guys and like a couple of girls fight monsters, but maybe the real monsters… are us? (See pitch #5.)
7. The Movie The Graduate and Millennials and MILF Culture
In June, a lot of kids will be graduates of high school and college. What will they do with their life? The 1967 film The Graduate was way ahead of its time by showing a young guy just hanging out at his parents house and having an affair with a married woman twice his age. The first relatable film for millennials to ever be on Netflix, The Graduate is Mike Nichols’ only movie that I’ve seen.
8. Big Little Lies is Still Around
If people haven’t seen Big Little Lies, I’m pretty sure it’s still available. Touching on subjects as diverse as projectile vomiting and Adam Scott having a weird little boy voice, the series Big Little Lies is still possible to stream on HBO GO and HBO NOW. Featuring an incredible cast of women actors that show they’re just as good as the boys, I’d just like to remind everybody that Big Little Lies can be found by Googling it or downloading a torrent, if you know how to do that.
9. The Out of this World Wokeness of Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Honestly, I can’t think of a single person better to write about how the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise features only one main white guy. I will talk about how being an “alien” has a double meaning, because that’s what people call immigrants too. Even though Chris Pratt is the main character and best part of that movie, the rest of the characters are funny and cool too, and they’re for the most part not white. Just a heads up, I’m going to spend about 10,000 words talking about Rachel Dolezal in this.
10. Make American Gods Great Again
wrote the book that the new STARZ series American Gods is based on way back in 2001, but I will absolutely not talk about that year or anything that happened in it. Instead I’ll talk about neoconservatism and how the true American Gods are money, greed and capitalism. I probably won’t even say when it was written. I’ll just say, “a while ago” or something. I will talk about how every character is either George W. Bush, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon and/or Barack Obama. It will all build up to a point where I’ll suggest that even though this series is full of monsters, it’s quite possible that the real monsters are us. (See pitches #5 and #6, I really think they’re the strongest anyway.)
Steven Markow is a writer and comedian based in New York.