Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Top 10 Reasons To Keep Kids Off The Screen

Top 10 Reasons To Keep Kids Off The Screen: "
There’s a commercial running for a little while now, a promotion for a new t.v. show that’s about to air. About aliens violently invading our planet, whereupon the world becomes a dystopia of overturned cars and utter panic. In it, after showing scenes of deranged-looking aliens (CGI, no less) ripping humans apart and plasma cannons blowing through architecture like micro-tsunamis, a little boy, not even looking up from his Game Boy, simply, effortlessly, and casually says to his dad, “I just want everything to go back to normal.” Not because his friends and family are one by one being targeted by homicidal space-beings (which exist) or that he’s homeless and been forced into a game of survival, he offers the emotional content as if he just said “I don’t want to eat a lollipop right now.” Doesn’t that piss you off?

There’s a reason why midgets filled Teletubby costumes or why cartoons always cast a female voice actor to play any boy character. Because a real kid would screw that up, too. Kids don’t belong in the entertainment industry for myriad reasons, many having to do with the instant diminishing of enjoyment that comes with having one on a set, having to be responsible for one. Maybe it’s just a pet peeve, but these terrible child actors speak for themselves (when they really shouldn’t). Here is a list of the top ten reasons why the kids should stay the hell out of the picture:

(Warning: if you love children and every single thing they do, read no further. If you’re a mom that insists on repeatedly dragging your kid to a talent agency because you’re proud of your only true creation, stop. You’re a terrible person.)



Reason: They are legal hell.

Simply put, a working child under the age of 18 must adhere to labor laws, laws which require constant breaks and limited working hours in a day. Such restrictions are not conducive to a film schedule, which often consists of full 12-hour days. Then there’s the concern of subject matter, say involving sex scenes, that must adhere to age-oriented decency law. Jodie Foster, for instance, was about 13 when she played a hooker in Taxi Driver. Of course, hookers have sex, perform certain explicit duties, duties no thirteen-year-old is inherently qualified for (her much older cousin actually filled in during the suggestive scenes). Even still, this child actor must be aware of what’s going on, given the informative nature of a script, and, as such, out goes innocence. Nowadays, such sexual awareness is constantly finding its way to younger and younger ages, to where innocence hardly has much of a chance to take a first breath out the womb. At any rate, a kid can only slow down adult-oriented momentum, to where that kid shouldn’t be present at all.



Reason: They are often cast through industry nepotism.

Jayden Smith, son of the Fresh Prince, is a movie star in his father’s rite. Hell, even Will’s 9-year-old daughter has a paid-for career making terrible pop music (like father, like daughter). Even funnier, SHE looks JUST LIKE HIM. It’s true what they say, the business is ALL about connections, but rarely do those connections make for a direct funnel of talent (quite the opposite in fact). Did we need to have a karate kid remake? About as much as another actor’s kid needed to provide a supplementary income in Summer blockbuster royalties.


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Reason: They are always the least interesting/most annoying character in a movie made for adults.

For one, an adult in the film industry just can’t seem to write a part for a child with any sense of believability, discounting John Hughes (if you call a teen a child, and you should). The most terrible example in recent years is the part of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s chubby little sister in (500) Days of Summer. Everything about the movie is swallowable, except for her character’s posture: she continuously talks down to him as she feeds him advice and life wisdom, as if she’s seen everything but a Hello Kitty backpack and the Jonas Brothers 3D Concert. And it’s obvious that kind of condescension and general knowledgeability is ill-fitting for a girl her age, because the little girl who plays her can’t give a credible performance. More despicable yet, is how this girl has a stable film career, continuing on in a vein of ill-fittedness (as ill-fitted as her transition out of prepubescence) from role to role in movies like Kickass and Let Me In. Damn it, cast her out already, or at least in something more fitting, (perhaps a poncho?) as an extra.

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