On your entertainment agenda? Lots of corporate scandal


For having such a big impact, the recession is kind of low on drama. It's hard to draw juicy stories from a tangle deregulation, subprime mortgages and credit default swaps.

Which may be why the creative minds behind theater, film and television are taking inspiration from good old-fashioned corporate scandals, rather than our current national mess.

"The Informant," which raked in $10 million in its debut last weekend, stars Matt Damon as the bumbling, deluded FBI mole who helped expose price-fixing at Archer Daniels Midland in 1985 (the movie doesn't sound funny, but it is).

On Oct. 23, USA Network introduces "White Collar," a series that puts a buttoned-up spin on the typical cop drama -- instead of following crime scene investigators tracking down murderers, it revolves around an FBI agent taking down exec-level felons.

And across the pond, a 28-year-old playwright has turned one of America's most famous corporate scandals into the hottest ticket in London. "Enron," which opened last month and is playing to sold-out crowds, gives a fictional Jeffrey Skilling the stage the real, long-winded Skilling probably always dreamed of.

So if you're feeling bored by the downturn, head to the movies, set your DVR or hop a transatlantic flight -- and return to a simpler time, when corporate misbehavior still surprised us and executives were only shrewd and greedy enough to screw their own employees and investors, rather than the country at large.