The entire planet was palled by a cratering sadness late last night when it was announced by Variety that Greta Gerwig, Queen of Indie Darlings, had signed on to produce, write and star in CBS’s spin-off sitcom How I Met Your Dad. Her most ardent fans are furious that they’ll be able to see an actress they love on a weekly basis.
Of course, per Arbitrary Cultural Rule #293, it also means that her nuanced indie filmmaking career is over. As we all know, once you’ve chosen artless sell-out fare that will provide a higher profile that empowers you to make more personal films, you can never make a personal film again. To make matters worse, Gerwig’s show will shoot in New York City where independent films are rarely, if ever, made.
But perhaps most disheartening for fans, her How I Met Your Dad character is described as “a female Peter Pan who has never grown up and has no idea of where she’s going in life,” which seems like anathema to the roles Gerwig typically chooses to play. Fortunately, some level-headed responses from leading film pundits have emerged:
— Andrew Wallenstein (@awallenstein) February 12, 2014
Selling out is now a virtue. Make money, fuck art.
— Devin Faraci (@devincf) February 12, 2014
What other response could there be to Gerwig giving up forever and ever and ever on making heartfelt, important movies? Faraci wisely followed up a string of statements by explaining that his irritation is due to how seriously he takes entertainment.
Of course there’s still a chance that the darling might return to the fold. For one, the show will have to survive pilot season, so if it isn’t picked up for series, Gerwig will be free to take a tarnished reputation back into the quirky wilds of indie filmmaking where the talented, dynamic actress will have to beg for roles.
There’s also the renegade option, but it means violating Rule #293, and that’s almost unthinkable. However, a small handful of sitcom actors like Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Nick Offerman, Jeff Garlin, Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Josh Radnor, Jason Segal, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, Thomas Lennon, Rebel Wilson, Robin Williams, Marcia Gay Harden, and John Goodman have — at great personal and professional risk — dared to violate the rule by having careers richly mixed with indie and mainstream films alongside (sometimes simultaneously with) their schlocky sell-out work. Hopefully it won’t come to that for Gerwig.
If it does, moribund fans will have to salve themselves with DVD copies of No Strings Attached and the Arthur remake.