- starfleet: we're glad you're home
- starfleet: we've been reviewing your records
- janeway: k when is my promotion
- starfleet: what makes you think you're getting a promotion
- janeway: my future self told me all about it when she broke the temporal prime directive and brought me stolen future technology
- starfleet: yeah so in that vein there are some things we need to discuss
- janeway: if there's a problem with the paperwork blame chakotay
- janeway: i don't do forms i do holographic irish bartenders and former borg drones
- doctor: i can assure you that while in the delta quadrant we conducted ourselves with grace and dignity according to the highest principles of starfleet
- b'elanna: yeah step off our balls you weren't there you don't know
- tom: yeah you weren't there that time we stole a keg of omega molecules from some douchebag aliens who were going to blow up the quadrant
- harry: or that time we played space nascar and ended up in the center of a terrorist plot
- tom: or that time we were all super horny and built a fake irish city so that we could get drunk and laid
- harry: or when we tied that guy to a chair and waited for the aliens to eat him because he wouldn't tell us what we wanted to know
- tom: oh shit remember that time i got 30 days for ignoring the wishes of some foreign government and destroying their mining operation
- harry: that was almost as crazy as the time you restored that old shuttle but then it fell in love with you and tried to kill b'elanna
- b'elanna: speaking of which remember when that bomb i made for the maquis came back and tried to kill us
- chakotay: that reminds me of when seska stole my dna and tried to impregnate herself with my child
- tom: nothing will ever compare to the time me and the captain had kids and left them on that planet
- janeway: we were young and innocent then
- tom: how many lizard years to a human year i feel like i should send a birthday card
- janeway: like 6
- tom: you don't even know you're just saying that
- janeway: you should talk you're such an absent father
- tom: oh no you didn't
- janeway: i didn't even want kids
- starfleet: is there a reason you stenciled PARTY BUS on the side of voyager
- janeway: is there a reason i shouldn't have
Extremely. Limited. Edition. GOOOOOOO!
…purchased. Thanks 13P!
13Purchased! Well, except I only bought one. Which will come in the mail.
Gosh do I admire their artistic model. And a great deal of their work individually. My favorite 13P quote is definitely from Paula Vogel: “I would give anything to be the 14th P.”
So, this is ridiculous. The short version is that a playwright named David Adjmi made a loose parody of Three’s Company titled 3C and is now in legal trouble.
Three’s Company. That old sitcom where John Ritter would often go on two separate dates with two women at the same time and then haphazardly run into his landlord who believed he was gay. The show whose principal cast changed more often than American Idol's. A show that's been out of production for almost thirty years.
Legal trouble for this?! Guys. Come on. Everything is derivative. Three’s Company itself was derivative of another sitcom, Man About the House. If someone directly rips scripts from Lost without permission and adapts them into a well-selling but poor-quality stage musical, besmirching its name while making tons of dirty, filthy money, please sue their asses off. But when a dead property is given new life—new, exciting, well-reviewed life—the correct response isn’t “cease and desist,” it’s “thank you very much.”
But, says Donald Taffner Jr. (a son of one of the producers of the defunct television program), “We’re up for renewal soon with TV Land, and we’re playing around with the idea of doing a theatrical version of Three’s Company ourselves, so we don’t want anything out there that might cause harm, and we think 3C borrows far too many elements to make a fair-use parody argument.” The chief problems with this argument, as the common sense will well reveal, is that if a real Three’s Company play were made, it would:
1. Tank. Duh. Who wants to see more new Three’s Company? I don’t. You probably don’t.
2. More importantly, it would lack the important quality of irony that a derivative work like 3C has.
It’s irony that powers many stage and filmed works in today’s atmosphere of rebootery. Particularly, whenever something older is re-imagined, audiences expect winks and nudges acknowledging that, yes, the source work is a bit campy or old or horridly sexist. Yes, that last one was aimed at Three’s Company. Some people would disagree with my jab here, arguing the show was entirely a conscious satire of its period’s sexual mores. Further examination proves them wrong, revealing that, nope, Three’s Company was a run-of-the-mill sex comedy dominated by male writers and actors.
I digress. Back to irony. The sexual mores that Three’s Company based its humor around are even more dated than its characters’ wardrobes. A derivative play like 3C will acknowledge this, examine it, and move forward. Take Spamalot, half the book of which is spent openly acknowledging the Broadway tropes it’s being forced to give in to—and yet still writing a love letter to the form. Or The Brady Bunch Movie, which openly acknowledges the dated nature of its titular family, and uses their silliness to wax nostalgic on entertainment-at-large’s somewhat tragic loss of wholesomeness. The list goes on. A licensed Three’s Company play created by aged television executives without theatrical knowledge, likely in a committee room of underpaid writers who understand only TV, would almost certainly fail.
There’s a lot in this argument about 3C counting as parody under the First Amendment and that being the reason it’s okay. Perhaps in court this distinction will matter, as U.S. law allows art to exist only within a small set of silly, arbitrary boxes of definition. I’d argue that even if 3C is more accurately a “re-imagining,” a “derivative work,” or even an “unashamed ripoff,” the bit of revenue it’s ultimately making for Adjmi does not constitute grounds for legal action. The people going to see Adjmi’s play are not paying for admission with money they would otherwise spend on the DVD box set of Three’s Company. For the law to assume that to be the case with every ticket bought is ridiculous. To lump this case in legally with piracy, plagiarism, and theft is a gross misuse of the law against art, and threatens to dangerously dilute the myriad artistic abilities stage plays currently have to reference and surpass previous works.