Memo to Executive Producer, Donald Trump

Re: Failing TV show

Listen, your show has definite potential. You’re certainly trying to challenge Game of Thrones for outlandish plotlines, power-hungry scoundrels, palace intrigue, and constant threats from the gnome-led Department of Injustice. You even have your own version of the Undead (Republican attempts to repeal Obamacare). Plus, your ever-changing cast of characters has memorable names: Ivanka, Jared, Melania, Reince, The Mooch, Spicy, the Grim Reaper and Kellyanne Conjob.

But let’s discuss some areas where improvement is needed.

Character development: The main character (you) is a less-than-attractive, 71-year-old grandfather. Ouch! We understand that the dramatic potential of his impetuousness keeps the audience (the whole world) on constant edge. What crazy thing will this fickle, feckless boy-man do now? Will he tweet a wackadoodle conspiracy theory, or just another ban against another group of vulnerable people, or a bona fide declaration of war?

However, the problem is he never seems to grow, mature or evolve…If this is supposed to be a show in the genre of realism, doesn’t that strain credulity?

Genre: We have a problem here too. What genre is this? Is it a soap opera or a sitcom or a docu-drama or a reality TV show or a horror or a miniseries about a circus? Or is it a throwback to a Cold War-era spy movie?

Are we supposed to think House of Cards or Jerry Springer or The Manchurian Candidate or Honey Boo Boo?

Writers: Is it time to consider a new team of writers with a better command of the English language? Much of the dialogue mutilates every rule of basic grammar and syntax. The characters constantly mangle even the simplest of phrases.

Maybe the young kids in the cast who speak Mandarin should have bigger roles? We’re eager to expand in the huge Chinese market. Why so much Russian by the way? It’s not as lucrative a market so please diminish the number of Russian characters.

No Hero — Game of Thrones has been careful to give us some attractive, principled characters to root for: Tyrion, Jon Snow, Aria Stark, Daenerys Stormborn who has some really cool dragons.

Who is the hero in this genre-scrambling show of yours? Is it possible to introduce a hero or at least some less diabolical characters?


What’s up with the sinister, snowy-haired Christian who always pops up behind the main character, repeating his lines? Does he symbolize anything beyond stone cold hypocrisy and bloodchilling ambition?

What about a character who offers a bit of comic relief?

If you insist on having a cast made up of septuagenarians and octogenarians, why not give a bigger role to the white-haired Maverick or the other white-haired guy with the Brooklyn accent? Characters with some principles and a bit of integrity? Is it too much to ask?

Pacing and distribution: We do feel that


The frenetic production of so many back-to-back bombshells needs to slow down. We know you’re ratings-sensitive. We’re concerned that releasing so many episodes simultaneously might alienate half the audience and make them tune out. Is it possible to scale down release of episodes from a dozen per day to once a week? Do you not risk fatiguing your audience?

Rating: Currently, your show is R rated because of all the profanities and the main character’s crude references to female genitalia. Possible to make this suitable for family viewing?

Title: Chaos is a great name for your show. But maybe something more specific, like Disgrace, Abomination, Democracy Demolition, The Trump Telenovela or THIS IS NOT NORMAL.

Upshot: Season Two is not guaranteed.

Improving Season One: Will you consider adding some stronger female characters besides the handful of fierce, fabulous lady Senators and the snazzily-dressed dame from San Fran? At this point, according to online comments, most of the audience is only hate-watching your show. Will you be able to retain your base of committed fans? If not, advertisers will begin to flee.

What can be done to turn this around? Once the genre is clarified, we recommend you fire yourself and install a more likable, principled, appealing protagonist (and someone more attractive — sorry to be shallow but we’re talking about TV here).

We also suggest you consider adding some trolls, vampires, zombies, werewolves or even some dragons.




Links to Melissa Tandiwe Myambo’s other writings can be found at Most recently, she is the editor of Reversing Urban Inequality in Jozi.

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Melissa Tandiwe Myambo

Melissa Tandiwe Myambo

Links to Melissa Tandiwe Myambo’s other writings can be found at Most recently, she is the editor of Reversing Urban Inequality in Jozi.

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