Writing, as you can probably tell from this amazing column, is a fine art. The problem is, anyone who has ever written an email thinks they can do it, budgets are being slashed, and now we have another threat to the profession – AI. Who cares if you don’t have any ideas or your writing skills extend to typing “Milk, eggs, Andrex” into your Notes app? Just use ChatGPT and let it do the work for you. Meanwhile, the genius who wrote the incredible line, “Your earlobes are thick and chewy, like barnacle meat”, in Succession is flipping McSpicy burgers and living in a skip.
The Hollywood writers’ strike wasn’t on when The Night Agent was released, but if ever a show was written by AI, it’s this one. It doesn’t stop this daft political thriller being entertaining and unintentionally funny, though. Long story short, it’s about an FBI agent who saves countless innocent civilians from a bombing on a subway train and is recruited to answering the night phone at the White House (is this actually a thing?). From 8pm to 8am he sits in a room with a phone in it, a comically large phone that will only ring when something really bad and dramatic happens.
Whaddya know, in the first episode, it goes off, and we are taken on a circuitous journey of corruption and intrigue at the highest level. I haven’t seen the whole series yet but I’m assuming from the shifty machinations and clunky acting that the call is coming from Inside The (White) House.
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But why am I trying so hard to explain this to you? Let me see what happens when I put “write a funny TV review about The Night Agent” into AI instead.
*Puts feet up and smokes a cigar*