Damn you, Seth MacFarlane

Let us sincerely hope the sun has not set just yet
Let us sincerely hope the sun has not set just yet

If ever there was a need for a man in a white hat to ride in and save the day, now would be a good time.

First THE LONE RANGER is the mega-bomb of 2013, followed by the much-heralded crash and burn this weekend of A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST.

Mea culpa – I’ve not seen MILLION, and based on what I’ve read, have no real desire to do so. It doesn’t bode well when a lot of the reviews generate more laughs than the trailer.

The western just can’t catch a break. Every once in a while you get something incredible like TRUE GRIT, 3:10 TO YUMA or DJANGO UNCHAINED. Jeez, even RANGO had a little redeeming value. Films like these come along and hope grows in our hearts, but then we get dreck like JONAH HEX or COWBOYS & ALIENS, and back to movie jail goes the western.

I had no real hopes for Mr. MacFarlane’s latest, but at least he was attempting to do some kind of western. Granted, it was trying to be this generation’s BLAZING SADDLES, but apparently failing miserably.

This goes beyond another nail in the coffin. At this point the coffin’s already in the ground with a few shovelfuls of dirt on it.

As a writer offering up a totally kickass western spec, my hopes for success seem to diminish just a little bit more with this kind of news.

I can imagine every potential recipient recoiling in fear. “A western? Eek!” followed by the frantic pressing of the ‘delete’ key.

Contacting a friend repped at a high-profile agency, I asked if anybody there might be open to reading it.

“I wrote a western, and they won’t sell it,” was the reply. “They don’t believe there’s a market for them after THE LONE RANGER.”

Well, sure. Because every western is going to be an overpriced, convoluted bloated crapfest.  It doesn’t help that a lot of them actually have been exactly that.

Why have so many recent westerns been bombs? Wish I knew.

Skimming the credits of some of the great westerns of the past shows that the people who made them had a real understanding and appreciation of the genre – John Ford, Howard Hawks, Clint Eastwood, just to name a few. And it shows in the finished product.

Hopefully somebody else will give it another go in the near future, sooner rather than later, and know how to do it right.

Did I mention I’ve got a totally kickass spec?

6 thoughts on “Damn you, Seth MacFarlane

  1. If it’s lower budget enough, think TV movie (not a bad thing) – cable tv – like History channel, etc. Shooting for the 4,000 screens and Hollywood’s crazy tent pole mentality – many more projects get made at the indie level. It’s not over yet! No spec is EVER dead! Carry on and I LOVE the Western – one of my top fav genres!

  2. I loved this western. I would see it a million times, along with the other 5 million of Seth’s fans. He did an outstanding job combining a western (and the real humor behind the old west), a love story (gasp, and he wrote it very very well), and the perfect amount of comedy. The acting was not only funny but incredibly sweet. I had a smile on my face for the entire two hours. Critics need to give Seth a break please. So he made an inappropriate talking teddy bear hysterical. Ever consider he actually has many other talents as well? I will see “A Million Ways…” again, buy the DVD and am reading the book. It’s called having taste, stop criticizing the guy because y’all learned he actually has some (taste, that is). PS. I am also over 40, with an IQ of 163, and my Mom loved the movie (especially Seth) as well. With that said, you are entitled to your opinion, as wrong as it may be.

    • I don’t begrudge him his success, nor do I think he’s lacking in talent.

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. I love westerns, but this just doesn’t appeal to me. You may disagree with my opinion, but neither of us is wrong.

      Thanks for reading!

  3. She doth protests too much….and must justify that she’s not an idiot, too……I think Mr. MacFarlane paid you a visit, Paul. Ask him to buy your script when he comes back to see what you replied with.

    • I highly doubt it was him, but you never know…

      Actually, I’d thank him for the FAMILY GUY-STAR WARS episodes and using Neil DeGrasse Tyson on COSMOS.

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