Talent v. A Pretty Face
If Batman and Superman can use the v to mean both ”versus” and ”and”, I am going to run with it too. Now, perhaps you’ve heard this before, if not, it might shock you to the core and send you into a frenzied attempt to find answers, but…sometimes…being pretty trumps acting ability when the casting process happens!
I know, I know, it’s completely out of left field, it’s an absurd notion, one you never thought you would read about when browsing the internet for rousing Captain America speeches or kittens, but there you have it: the harsh truth that explains so many badly constructed TV series, that somehow do well when it comes to ratings (or flop miserably to everyone’s shock and confusion), the equally poorly developed big screen adaptations of your favourite books or even the rare original movies that flop because pretty=money and talent is just an accessory that can be dispensed with because Boobs! and Abs! and Ass!
Don’t get me wrong, there are as many talented and pretty actors and actresses as there are pebbles in the mountains, however, that not so rare combination is difficult to find more often than not, mostly because now everyone has to be a quadruple threat and that translates into models who are gorgeous but couldn’t act their way out of a paper bag or singers who confuse music videos with full length features. Replacing those other actors that actually have more going on for them than their pretty face.
These two things, however, talent and beauty are not mutually exclusive. Nope, they can coexist! (I know, I am just delivering harsh truth after harsh truth) People that are not seen as conventionally beautiful can also find fame and fortune and a hoard of rabid fans to break in and steal their underwear, but that is a story for another day. Let’s just focus on the matter at hand. Why do good looking people stay in business even if they star in nothing but flop after flop, dragging the whole castle of lies down with them, despite their obvious lack of skill?! Why?! Why?!
For the same reasons that the prince fell for a girl he didn’t even know the name of after a 3 hour long dance routine. And for the same reason the girl fell for the prince after the same dance routine (well, she also needed to escape a bad family situation, so who knows, he could’ve looked like a frog and the ”magic” would’ve still happened). Have you figured out that reason yet?
Why this random rant, you ask? Well, because I feel somewhat slighted by constantly tuning in to watch a show/movie that has a lot of buzz going for it and then having to force myself to trudge through at least 4 episodes to see if the story, which might be great, is enough to redeem the wooden acting of some cardboard cut-out that has somehow come to life and is making my screen bleed more than Martha Wayne’s tomb. And the worst part? Instead of it being an occasional occurrence, this beauty over skills thing seems to be getting out of hand lately. I see it in all the new shows that popped up recently, with people actually picking up on the inability of actor this or actress that to convey anything other than utter constipation or whatever that expression is supposed to mean, and yet nothing changes. Second seasons are granted, because a lovely pout is better than the alternative, right? Right?! Wait…no, that’s not the right answer!
I am the first to admit that I like looking at pretty faces, who doesn’t? But if you make a deeply emotional scene have as much emotional depth as a dried out puddle, you need to really reconsider your life choices. Two pretty people kissing on screen? Awesome! One of them looks like they’re passing kidney stones in a painful manner because they simply don’t know how their faces work when they are doing anything other than keeping in neutral to avert wrinkles? Not so much. Or how about those painful death scenes that actually leave you in stitches and when you leave the movie theatre people look at you like you’re a psychopath, because how can you be serious when the dying looks like they are passing a particularly painful stool?! How, I ask you?!
I would name names, but I am sure you can all look deep within the vault of movies you’ve suffered through for one reason or another, even though they were horrible caricatures of what movies/series ought to be. Unfortunately, good looks don’t justify the horrible after effects of such an endeavour and by the end I usually look like this. No amount of pretty can wipe the red tears streaking down my face as I weep for humanity.
Rant over kids. A free piece of advice: save yourself the minutes and stop watching bad shows with bad acting, even if the leads look like the gods showered them in gold and sparkles and carved them out of living marble. Well, if that is what happened I suddenly understand why they look as alive as slabs of stone. (A second free piece of advice – if you do have talent in a field, try to focus on it. Don’t feel the need to turn into a triple threat, because guess what? Being good at eating pizza does not make you a wonderful baker and those encouraging memes you see going around, telling you you can do anything you want if you set your mind to it, generally lie).