B ack in the days when TV presented pictures in black and white and you were the envy of your neighbors if you had a set with a 25" screen, you didnit need a scorecard to know who the good guys were; they always wore white. Times have changed: TV screen sizes have grown, and the pictures, via High Definition, are so lifelike that allergy sufferers need to medicate themselves before watching the Animal Channel. Good guys no longer wear only white, they may just as often wear a nice pinstripe suit or jeans and a leather jacket, and they may not fall into everyoneis definition of igoodi. So how do you tell whois cool and whois a fool? The good guys have Macs, of course.
In fact, Macs have started popping up on TV and on the big screen like dandelions after a Spring rain. Ever wonder why that is?
Justin Toomey of Athens, Ohio asked that very question of the Chicago Sun-Times Movie Answer Man, Roger Ebert. We thought you might like the question and the answer, so here it is:
Iive noticed an interesting trend over the last few years: You can sometimes tell who the "bad guys" are in a movie or TV show by what computer they use. For instance, on "24," all the bad guys used PCs while the good guys all used Macs. The same holds true for "Austin Powers," "Legally Blonde," etc. Why do you think Apple always gets the plumb roles? Iim of the opinion that Hollywood loves the underdog and has a close relationship with Apple computer, whereas PCs seem controlled by a megalomaniac in Seattle. Are there a lot more Mac zealots like me in Hollywood? Does Apple pour sponsorship money in big-budget studio movies?
Justin Toomey, Athens, Ohio
[Ebertis answer:] Since many Windows machines look alike, Apple is one of the few manufacturers that can gain by product placement, which accounts for some of the Macs. Itis true that the movie industry and creative types in general prefer the Mac. The novelist Tom Clancy sends e-mails with this signature line: "Never ask a man what computer he uses. If itis a Mac, heill tell you. If itis not, why embarrass him?"
The Answer Man goes on to tackle other questions, like whether Johnny Deppis character in Pirates of the Caribbean is based on the Loony Tunes skunk Pepe Le Pew, so stop by and read the full column, you might find it very entertaining.