While Community creator and executive producer Dan Harmon may not be clear about his participation in his own show next season, it turns out that he can give us a glimpse of television's more distant future. When Vulture recently asked him to predict where TV was headed, he did us one better, sending us a note from 2032.
“OMFG” from the future! I’m addressing you via transtemporal Apple-Warner iFiber, an invention that has revolutionized 2032, mainly by enabling us to steal ideas from 2052. We’ve received so much knowledge from our own advanced future that lately, our future doesn’t even seem very advanced. Last we looked, in 2040, everything’s on fire and they’re using rocks for furniture. Good one, guys. Been there, done that!
My head has been temporarily thawed so I can tell you about the future of television. Why me, you ask? Why not Whedon? Hurwitz? Cox? Well, she’s got a country to run, and as for the other two, get over yourselves. It’s New York Magazine, not TV Guide online. You’ll take what you get and you’ll like it.
You’ll be to-sto (that’s how we say “totes stoked”) to know that in 2032, TV has been turned upside-dow-dow. Not only can a typical viewer now watch content via any compatible iHat, iRattle, or Smart Sandwich, but I am told that within six months Apple-Warner will be putting an “i” in front of a product that already has an “i” in front of it. This verifies that by 2038, all technology will be a single black monolith called “iiiiiiii.” It’s exciting, if only to frozen heads like myself, who have been promised that once humanity achieves perfection, they will finally consider letting us die.
As you can imagine, these revolutions have necessitated a revolution of the industry. In your time, a self-sustaining class of rich, nanny-raised oafs with a fundamental contempt for viewers had to develop twenty arbitrarily chosen pilots over a salad and jam the five that tested well down the public’s throat. In the future, there’s no salad. Vegetables don’t grow. Also — okay, there is no also. Everything else in the industry works exactly the same as it did in 1980. But like we used to say when I worked at NBC, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and if it is broke, definitely don’t fix it, because the last guy was only here for three weeks and he didn’t fix jack shit.
With all these changes in the way we view and create TV, you better believe the content has changed dramatically. People who can watch whatever they want however they want ain’t using it to watch The Honeymooners, baby. We’re using it to watch The New Honeymooners 3 (ABC 8/7 PST). You wouldn’t even recognize it. On the other big three networks (Fox, CBS, and Univision) the top shows are Good Singers 2, Sing Good 5, and Best Dancing Ever: The Next Generation, while on smaller cablers like USA and the ’Cock (formerly NBC), you can taste the passion of less-censored writers in groundbreaking dramas like G.D.I. (it stands for “God Damn It!”) and Have a Suuuuper Nice Day (it’s ironic!), and the brazen new HB-Sho original series City of Fuck. Zeta Beta Aniston stars as a guy who does nothing for a living, but there’s a twist: He fucks everyone.
But is anyone actually watching these shows? Totes. Just last night, the new Lorne Michaels–produced sitcom The New Lorne Michaels Produced Sitcom (it’s about Lorne Michaels producing a new sitcom) pulled a seventeen Nielsen rating. That’s not a one point seven, that’s a seventeen, mister. In fact, every show on television has been getting historically high ratings since the Nielsen Company adopted a new ratings system it calls “Decimal Point Deletion.” Needless to say, it’s not able to share how it arrives at its numbers, since, well, you know … it literally sells numbers for a living. And to give you an indication of how important those numbers are, do you know what Lorne Michaels got paid last year? Africa. You heard me right. In the future, continents are the new currency. It works perfectly because there are seven continents and seven rich people. Everyone else works for clean water.
So whatever you do, gentle reader, don’t get comfortable. If you thought TV had changed since the first show about a fat guy complaining to his hot wife about his salary, you’re not going to believe the changes that happen between the 70th show about a fat guy complaining to his hot wife about his salary and the 900th. Hope you enjoyed this issue. Insider stock tip: shotgun shells. Don’t ask!
This article originally appeared on nymag.com.