Monday, September 28, 2009

Quick Update

From now on, you will have to be registered to post comments. Sorry, but there won't be any more anonymous readers playing games here. It's not fair. For one of you in particular (AND YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE), I can't take your attacks, threat or opinion seriously if you remain anonymous. What are you afraid of?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Readers & Writers

The "I will not read your fucking script" kerfuffle is finally settling down but there are still a few things outstanding. Most of the comments are from people who get it. Some of you aren't produced writers yet but the understanding you have about what it means to have people read your stuff shows that you're not of the "This first script of mine is hella brilliant" variety. You HAVE to learn how the industry works if you want to be a part of it. If you're not willing to do that, then you're not serious about being a writer.

Josh doesn't have to read anybody's script. But his feedback was, "you suck, hire a real writer to tell your story for you." That's not helpful.

Josh's job isn't to be helpful. He's not getting paid to teach. If someone invades your space and essentially demands that you spend your valuable time reading something just so you can hand the bit of genius to a producer or an agent, then you have every right to tell them to fuck off. And that's not what Josh did anyway.

Anonymous, whichever one you are:
And a lot of success qualifies you to divine someone's "calling?" Do you get some sort of psychometric vision from scripts that tells you what that writer will accomplish for the rest of his or her writing life? No, Mr. Olson, I'm betting you don't.

You're leaving out a fundamental point -- those who work in the industry know how it works. Those who don't work in the industry do not know how it works. This is the same shit that used to happen over at the AOL screenwriting days, back before 56k was the fastest connection speed. People conveniently forget that this is a business. It's not just some writer romantically toiling away in a garret on the left banke. No matter how glamorous it looks it's still a business, and it's a tough one to learn to navigate. But people think reading Entertainment Weekly gives them entree into the inner workings of the entertainment industry. It does not. It's not the success that enables someone to tell whether or not someone can write. It's the experience. Not understanding this shows how little you understand the business.

Kay, you say that someone who "sucks" shouldn't get encouragement. But if that person perseveres and improves and becomes successful they'll appreciate the lack of patronizing all the more. But there's a flaw in your logic: if they got better and became successful, they didn't suck. Maybe that one script sucked but quitting then would have been a mistake. How do you get from, 'Don't ask me to read your script,' to 'you're not qualified to set pen to paper so do something else?' To judge someone's ABILITY by sometimes as little as a single page of a script is just ridiculous.

I can tell if someone can write. End of fucking story. The script may not be very good. The writer may have made all of those rookie mistakes that we all made. But if that person has the ability to write, I CAN TELL. If they have a tin ear for dialogue, I CAN TELL. If they can't structure a story, I CAN TELL. Not because I'm successful, but because I've read three million screenplays. I've been in writer's rooms breaking stories. I've given notes. And I've written. I've read scripts that are hot messes, but there's a voice there. Writing is ALL about voice. Either you have it, or you don't. Sure, people can learn to structure stories correctly. They can learn the mechanics of writing. But they CANNOT learn to be writers. Either you have a voice, or you don't. If you don't understand what makes a writer, then I guess I can't explain it to you.

A bad script is just that, a bad script. No more, no less. There is a learning curve for this kind of thing. Aren't you still learning about your craft? Or have attained such supreme mastery that every page you write is now perfection?

I was an illustration major in college. Like Josh, I can draw pretty well. And I thought I could make a living at it until I met someone whose work had voice. And I realized that although I could do a pretty decent job, I didn't have that voice. I realized it because even though I love making art, I allowed myself to be open enough to really see what made a successful artist. And I didn't have it. I was close, but I didn't have it.

Yes, of course I'm still learning. Writing isn't something to master, in my opinion. I'm not in a race with writing. For me, it's not simply about results. It's about exploration. If you want to write to please yourself, great. Do it. But that doesn't mean you're going to be a successful writer. And it doesn't mean you have a voice.

Look, I get the whole "how the business works," argument. But you and your Smila's Sense of Screenwriting presume to know way too much about people and their motives, i.e. getting a million dollar check, not even from reading their scripts but from just being asked to read a script.

Um, yeah... because that's virtually always the motive when someone who hasn't even bothered to learn about the business asks you to read their script. How can you not understand this?

You don't wanna read some neophyte's script? Don't. But would you want someone, anyone, making a final judgment about your ability and potential based solely on one of the clunkers in your file cabinet?

Well, they have, haven't they? Because that's also how the business works. Sometimes people like your work, and sometimes they don't. Doesn't mean I can't tell if someone has a voice or not. Hey, brave little toaster. How about coming out from behind your safe anonymous wall? Or are you afraid because I might read your script one day?

What I’m saying is…

IT DOESN’T MATTER IF THEY’RE GOOD OR BAD… AND YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO PUT YOURSELF IN THE POSITION TO FIND OUT. As Josh would say, “Don’t read their fucking script.” (In fact, I'm pretty sure I agreed with this, saying, "You don’t have to read someone’s work… and, to be honest, I think you’re perfectly right not to," and "It’s unprofessional... to ask strangers or acquaintances to read your work," and even-- "Part of your job as a professional writer... is to be able to gauge relationships and know when to ask favors.") BUT…

You can still applaud them for writing.

But why should I? Isn't that kind of, I dunno, patronizing? Doesn't it show a lack of personal respect?

I also don't believe that simply asking someone to read your screenplay means you're a crappy writer. It's a faux pas, definitely. It's a sign of immaturity, sure. It means you're not yet professional enough to navigate this business, without a doubt. But it doesn’t mean you don’t have talent and can never make it… it just means you’re GREEN. And being green shouldn't earn you the scorn and derision of your “superiors,” people you admire.

Maybe you haven't been involved in a lot of these situations but it's NOT just a sign of greenness. I've read so many scripts it's not even funny. Most of them are just middle-of-the-road. Like I said above, there's no voice. And those are actually the most frustrating because there's a certain level of competence, in that these folks can string together sentences that function correctly. They sort of understand the form, and they know that characters should probably have arcs. But the writing doesn't SING. And sorry, but I think it should. I'm not scornful of writers. Quite the opposite. If someone has the drive AND the talent to succeed, then I'm going to be pulling for them. I just don't think that everyone in the world should be encouraged to do something they aren't cut out to do.

I didn't have an easy time breaking in as a writer and went through some frankly horrible stuff where people tried very hard to discourage me. But I learned how to navigate the business and I got feedback from people I trusted. I wouldn't know to trust them if I didn't know the business. And I got to the point where I put myself into situations where I could let people know I wrote, but didn't have to ask them to read anything. They trusted that I wasn't a crazy psycho or only interested in fame/glory because there we were, in the same circle. More often than not, people finish their first screenplay and then want everyone on the planet to read it. MISTAKE. When you get your chance, your shot, the moment that could make you a working writer, you better have more than that one script. Because you may never get another chance. This is not aimed at people who are working very hard and learning the business and finding out if they have voices. Those people, the ones who've commented here, seem to grasp the point.

But does entering a contest mean they "suck as a writer?" Does that mean we should condemn them for TRYING? Is their mere attempt really that "fucking insulting" to you? I mean, hey-- maybe they haven't learned their craft, but maybe they were inspired to try by watching or reading something YOU wrote.

Their attempt IS that fucking insulting when I have to slog through a script that's not properly formatted and isn't grammatically correct. There is nothing cooler than reading for a competition and finding someone who actually has a voice. It's wonderful, because there are SO many writers who don't. If someone isn't going to show respect for the form by even learning how to spell, why shouldn't I be insulted?

You can even say, "Listen, kid-- I won't read your script. And when you ask strangers and acquaintances, you look like an immature amateur. I'm telling you this not to be a dick, but because if you're genuinely talented, I truly hope you make it. God knows the world need more good writing... and maybe you're the one to provide it."

If saying THAT to someone is insulting or threatening, your issues might run deeper than simply taking pride in your craft.

First of all, that's kind of what I'm saying with this blog, right? I'm telling people that they have to learn the business. But I don't have to patronize them, either. I wasn't patronized, thank God. Nobody put on the kid gloves with me. If you do that, if you coddle people, the learning curve is going to shock the crap out of them. And how is that helpful? Criticism is a huge part of this business. You're going to be passed on twenty times to every one time you're hired. I'm not a teacher, but isn't part of your job as a teacher to prepare them for this business? It's you who are doing aspiring writers a disservice. Not me.

And secondly, don't psychoanalyze me. It's not necessary.

I'm not sure you read my post and Josh's response as closely as you could have, Chad. I appreciate your devotion to the aspiring writer but I wish you could understand a little more clearly what the people who've learned to navigate this business have to offer.

np -- the fucking Dodgers losing to the Pirates. Really, Dodgers?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Absolute Beginners

Sometimes your friends do awesome things that help you come up with blog posts. To wit, this Village Voice piece by Josh Olson, in which he swears that he will not read your fucking script. This little guy got re-posted all over the interwebs. The beauty of that? Comments! And they were legion.

Some people went, "What a dick. Someone had to read HIS script, right? Who does he think he is?" Now, maybe people just have a tough time understanding things they read. I dunno. I give a break to those who aren't in the industry. They don't understand how the industry works. See, everybody has a story. And most people can put a sentence together on a computer screen, or even on a piece of paper. They all go to the movies, watch TeeVee, and have opinions on what stories they loved and what stories they hated. So according to these folks, they are just as qualified to be a writer as, well, professional writers.

However, nobody who watches "House" thinks they can just be a doctor. Because a doctor needs to go to school and study and cut open cadavers and do all the stuff they do on "ER," right? You have to get licensed to practice medicine. All you have to do to be a writer is to put your grandmother's immigration story down on some paper. Because writers don't have to be licensed. They don't have to go to school. Hell, they don't even have to be able to construct a grammatically accurate sentence (trust me on that). Nor do they have to do internships or pay their dues. A writer can crawl out of a fucking SWAMP but if he's got a terrific script, he can sell it for a million dollars. And the next day, he's John Wells.

Obviously, this is complete and total bullshit. It's a CRAFT, people. And a craft needs to be practiced and perfected. A craft does not just happen out of nowhere. The anonymous writer who sells the big spec probably did not crawl out of a swamp with 120 pages of magic in his flippers. That guy's got ten other scripts that didn't sell. He's been working in the business for awhile, either as a writer already or in production or development. See, THAT WRITER knows how the business works. If you want to be a screenwriter or a TeeVee writer yet you don't have any interest in learning how the business works, then you're an asshole, and you're a liar. All you want is that million dollar check.

You won't get it, because you suck as a writer. How do I know this? Because I've read your fucking script. I read it when you submitted it to an agent or a TeeVee show or, God help me, a screenwriting competition. Look, all writers want when they DO read someone else's script is for there to be something there. They want to read something good. ESPECIALLY if it's a script by a friend. And as Josh says in the article, writers can tell right off the bat if someone can write. Seriously, you can tell from the first page. You, the swamp-crawler, are not going to fool me.

The claim that all of us professional writers went in search of mentors, or had to ask someone to read our scripts is just foolish. The deal is, you get to know the business. You make contacts. People will find out that you write. And then they will ASK to read something. It's rare that you will ask someone to read something. And you will NEVER ask someone who isn't already a friend of a colleague to read something. And that's how you know that you are finding your way around the industry. If you're just starting out and you're asking people to read your stuff, you're doing it wrong. It's the sign of a total amateur, and the perception is that you aren't serious and just want a quick payday. One of the most important things that should happen to you if you're going to have any longevity in this business is that you learn how to take criticism. I guarantee you that ANYONE who just tries to palm his grandmother's immigration story off on you, or just came up with a great idea for a TeeVee show and wants you to pitch it with them, is only interested in a fast road to riches.

This isn't the lottery. It may seem like it, since all you hear about are the successes. You hear about the sales. You don't hear about the tens of billions of scripts and specs that professional writers write every year. You don't hear about the TeeVee and feature pitches that DON'T sell.

Most, if not all, of the comments show that people didn't grasp the point. To wit, this criticism from Chad Gervich:

Josh says this:
…not only is it cruel to encourage the hopeless, but you cannot discourage a writer.

And Chad misunderstands by saying this:
And while you can’t discourage a real writer, I disagree that you should discourage ANYONE. In fact, I think you should ENCOURAGE EVERYONE.

A) Today’s shitty writer could turn into tomorrow’s Ernest Hemingway… but only if they keep writing. At some point, Michael Chabon, J.J. Abrams, Virginia Woolf, and Josh Olson were all terrible writers. But they kept at it. Relentlessly. And to do that they needed encouragement. Or at least, they didn’t need DIScouragement.

A few things. One, Josh meant that real writers simply CANNOT be discouraged or swayed from writing. Even if they get awful feedback or coverage, if he or she is really burning to write, that will not discourage them. They will learn from the criticism or setback. They will grow as writers. But if someone is just trying to sell a script for a million dollars, then they will be discouraged. A real writer can write shitty scripts. We've all done it. Nobody comes to the party fully-formed. But a real writer will keep plugging away, learning their craft and learning about the business. Discouragement is either something to learn from, or to ignore (depending). That's what Josh was saying. Reading comprehension is your friend.

Two. I do NOT believe everybody should be encouraged. That kind of thinking leads to what we have now, which is a grandiose societal sense of entitlement. THIS IS BAD. No, you DON'T get encouragement if you suck at something. And if you are desperate to keep doing it, then you GET BETTER AT IT. You prove them wrong. And guess what? The win is greater. People treated you like a capable adult. They didn't lie to you and hold your hand and tell you that even though you have no talent at this, YOU STILL DESERVE A SHOT JUST AS MUCH AS SOMEONE ELSE. That's bullshit. That leads to what we have on TeeVee, with all this American Idol/dancing show nonsense. The competitive culture has made situations like this even worse. ANYBODY can become a celebrity. That's incredibly sad.

Discouragement is a huge part of this business, and if you are cocooned in some fake writing school where people treat you with kid gloves and tell you how wonderful you are, even if you aren't, then real life is going to destroy you. Protecting people from the realities of the business is going to make them LESS able to cope with discouragement, disappointment and downright meanness.

C) Why would you NOT encourage artistic expression? Whether it’s a screenplay, a novel, a magazine article, a poem, or a personal diary—why would you not want to encourage someone to WRITE? To express themselves creatively? Personally, I think MORE people need to write! Who cares if they never get published, produced, bought, or read? Isn’t the simple act of writing, of plumbing our inner-most fears and desires something everyone should spend more time doing? In fact, more people—and it sounds like Josh especially—need to write for the sheer joy of it, for the fun and thrill of exploring who they are.

"Artistic expression" doesn't only mean writing. As Josh says, everybody's good at something. Now, if someone is writing ONLY for the sheer joy of it and isn't trying to get published or produced, well... fine. But that's not what we're talking about. The minute you take it out of personal enjoyment and put it into the marketplace, everything changes. So what you're talking about, really, is journaling. And that's great. But geez, can we just STOP pretending that everybody has an equal RIGHT to do this? It's really fucking insulting to those of us who HAVE learned our craft, are STILL learning it, and have managed to find ways to navigate this fucking impossible business. Mentoring doesn't mean what you think it means. And if elitism means working really hard to make it in an industry, then you can call me an elitist, too.

This is actually the best part:
So you don’t have to read someone’s work… you can turn them down when they ask… but it’s an insult to your craft and your fellow writers to DISCOURAGE them… especially people who admire and respect your work enough to ask your opinion. You don’t have to give it to them—and, to be honest, I think you’re perfectly right not to—but how hard is it to say…

“Unfortunately, I can't read your script. If I read every script handed to me, I wouldn’t have time to eat. However—the fact that you’ve taken time to FINISH a script… and that you have the courage to put it out in the world… says you’re already miles ahead of your competition. So if this script is meant to get made, it will. And if it’s not, it won’t… and you’ll sit down and write another one. Immediately. Because that’s what real writers do… they never stop writing. And I can tell you’re a real writer.”

I'm shocked that this came from someone who works in the business. Truly. Because no, writing a script does NOT make you a real writer. Writing a novel doesn't make you a novelist, either. I've got two completed novels, but I wouldn't DARE call myself a novelist. I need to do a lot more work before I can do that.

Thanks for the attempt to totally diminish what working writers do, by the way. Nicely done. It makes me nostalgic for the old AOL days. This was a constant argument.

So you’re right, Josh. Aspiring writers have a responsibility to act professionally. But professionals have responsibilities, too… and one of the main ones is not to discourage people who want to be in your shoes.

As a professional writer, I think I get to decide what my responsibilities are. Seriously, who made you king? Do you GET how insulting that is? Ahem. Anyway. My personal responsibilities. First of all, it's to myself getting work. I mean, obviously. Right? Then I have a responsibility -- one that I choose myself -- to my friends and colleagues. If I can read something, make a call or send an e-mail, then I'll do it. And since I was mentored, my other responsibility is to use my own experience to do whatever I can for the baby writers coming up and the assistants trying to get that first writing job. As it was made easier for me, I want to make it easier for them. Nothing would make me happier than to get a show on the air and hire all of the wonderful writers I know. I want them to have the fabulous experiences I've had, and it really hurts to see them struggle with bad showrunners, sucky shows, or the asshole economy that's taking so many jobs away from all of us. I wish I was in a better position to help them navigate the business and I strive to get there so I can help them more.

But you're telling me that I also have a responsibility to some guy who hasn't even taken the time to learn a Goddam thing about the business? Fuck that. What the fuck happened to personal responsibility??

If you read Josh's article and think he's an ungrateful asshole, then you don't have the stomach for this business.

And fuck Kanye West. Motherfucker.

np -- Anything but Kanye West

Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Resistance

I'm watching tennis, waiting for Rachel Alexandra to take on older horses in the Woodward, and trying to erase the sight of last night's Dodger game from my eyes. I've been remiss with blog posts because Los Angeles has been on fire and it's been deathly hot. And we've been pitching pilots. More on that next time.

Awhile ago, I came across this gem. Obviously we'll see what happens when Leno's show actually premieres, but I do find it interesting that the other networks aren't allowing the stars of their shows to guest on Leno's show. Makes sense, because his show is directly competing with ten o'clock dramas on other networks.

Anyway, take a look at the link.

Hmm. The guy whose show just took five drama slots away from drama writers insists he's not destroying drama. How many drama writers has he hired? What's that? Zero? Just a guess here, but I don't think Jay's actually neutral in this debate. Y'know, I don't blame Jay. Not really. He's a capitalist, getting work where he can. Even if he will never need to work for another six lifetimes. But his slavish defense of this untruth doesn't exactly endear him to me. Especially when the defense includes the weak "They'd just put reality shows on anyway." Like Jay doesn't REALLY understand what his show's success will do to an already bleak TeeVee landscape (utterly destroy it, for those who aren't paying attention). Reality shows are what they are. Putting talk shows or lame comedy hours on? That's a whole new ballgame of potential suck. But knowing the American public, they may buy it.

I know what some will say. "It's a free market, and if the public wants one thing and rejects another, that's just how it works. It's fair." But is it really? If the public well and truly liked a thing, what would be the point of marketing?

If a marketing department can sway people and turn them towards one film and against another, then that's an indication that the public doesn't always know what it wants (which is why there are marketing departments). Americans exist to be marketed to anyway. It's our default position. Everybody knows that since time immemorial, the public has ignored and shunned movies and TeeVee shows that have later been heralded as great. And this has been happening forever. Good stuff falls through the cracks. A lot of times, that's because good things are not easy to market, so lazy-ass marketing departments just fucking give up. Other times, networks and studios try really hard but America just isn't having it. I would rather see them support something as much as they possibly can, because then the work is reciprocated and they can say to the filmmakers or show creators, "Hey, you can see that we did everything we could. We love the show/movie. But America just wouldn't listen." Wouldn't that make for a nicer, more honest working relationship? Writers and directors would certainly be less cynical, and maybe marketing departments wouldn't feel like the enemy all the time. And also, maybe they'd actually do some fucking work instead of just sitting back and playing Wizard of Oz with what they see as "product" and creative types see as "my fucking soul, you assholes."

Speaking of marketing, I don't think they should be making creative decisions about shows or movies. They're MARKETING people. Their job is to MARKET what they're given. The rise to power of marketing departments correlates to the drop in quality of TeeVee and movies. I mean, how pathetic are marketing people when they are basically telling you that they can't do their fucking jobs? When something is marketed well, BRAVO. I think the marketing folks at SyFy did a great job with "Warehouse 13." They marketed exactly what the show is, and it's just gone through the roof with the audience. The marketing for "District 9" was fantastic as well. Inventive, inspired and true to the film.

But then you see them fuck something up so badly that it makes you want to drop them in a lake. Take "Bandslam," for example. You've seen the posters. You thought it was a "High School Musical" knockoff. It's even got one of the HSM kids in it. It looked like an ABC Family movie getting a theatrical release. But the reality is that the film couldn't be more different. For me, it was true to the spirit of the John Hughes film. Teenagers with problems, but also with pasts, which we don't really see in teen movies anymore. And such believable kids, too. The authenticity of the movie, from the emotion of the characters to the inspired authenticity of the music, makes this movie work on every level. There's such an ease to the character development and the storytelling. I adored it from the moment it started (the main character writes letters to David Bowie) and it avoids the ending that a lesser film would embrace. The irony is that the way the film works itself out speaks directly to the lousy marketing of the Summit people. Unfortunately for "Bandslam," America (and the critics) bought the bullshit. "Bandslam" won't have the happy ending the movie had. Hell, I wouldn't have seen it if Nikki Finke hadn't gone fucking crazy over how poorly it was marketed. So thanks, Nikki.

It's infuriating that a little gem of a movie gets overlooked like this. But if you look at "500 Days Of Summer" and then "Bandslam," I guess it makes sense. "500 Days Of Summer," while a lovely film, is also shit-cool. As awkward as the characters pretend to be, well... it's false. They're awesomely cool. The entire movie looks like it was designed by Urban Outfitters. I don't exactly see the truth in that movie but it's very entertaining and adorable. "Bandslam," on the other hand, is a messy nerd of a movie. It's loud and exuberant. but it has a rampant enthusiasm that the more restrained "500 Days" lacks. I think it's a more honest movie, but it comes off as less cool. But that's what emotional honesty gives you. On TeeVee shows, especially if you look at the new CW lineup, every teen character is so cool that it's ludicrous. There's more fantasy on "Melrose Place" than there is on an actual fantasy show.

And Summit? Even I could market "New Moon," you fucking idiots. You shouldn't even get a paycheck for that.

Bill Cunningham sez:
I would hope that you would amend that to say, "I blame BAD marketing executives taking over movies studios." I say this simply because one of the most popular and successful movie studios of all time - and certainly one of the most fun - was A.I.P. which was co-run by Jim Nicholson, a marketing and sales guy from way back.

As I said above, I don't think marketing people should be running movie studios. No matter how good they are.

Anonymous writes:
I'd never heard of Clara Phillips, aka Tiger Woman (who I can't believe has no Wikipedia article, or even a page on one of those True Crime websites--guess you have to kill more than one person?).

Amazing story, way more interesting than Aileen Wuornos. David Lynch could do a great job with it, though I doubt he'd ever try. Somebody ought to do something with it. But not try to improve on what actually happened. Just tell it straight, and let people make up their own minds how they feel about it.

There have been a few specs but nobody's really taken it on. It DOES seem like a no-brainer, doesn't it? And even if you did it straight, people still wouldn't believe that shit actually happened.

TL Foreman:
I'll listen to the podcast. Thanks!

Coffee 777:
Digital. Okay. "S Darko". I didn't realize this wasn't shot on film until listening to the commentary. The Red Camera Systems used in that film (and "Knowing" and the "Leverage" series) is really good. When you can bring that kind of tech to lower-budget filmmakers, I think it opens up a lot of possibilities.

What Ronnie Pudding said (and blogjack away if you're going to be all SMART about it). You still have to have the creative know-how to make something good. Technology isn't going to make up for that. "Knowing" was one of the biggest pieces of crap I've ever allowed into my eyes. Just because a film's made with the Red camera doesn't mean it's any good. "Leverage," I hope, will have some effect on reducing TeeVee budgets. If all the technology did was THAT, then it would be a leap forward. So far, it's not having enough of an impact on budgets. Hell, streaming dailies on a remote location show is still a fucking nightmare and you'd think we'd at least be THERE.

IMO, the main issue surrounding this technological revolution is monetization. Until this technology can be used to monetize, say, the Internet, then we won't be there.

VJ Boyd had an issue with Torchwood:
I guess I'm surprised, because there seemed to be one huge hole in the entire thing, that being Torchwood didn't actually DO anything but run away or run surveillance until the final 15 minutes of the mini-series. There's a lot of talk about how great they are, but shouldn't they have to prove it at some point? They seemed like the most impotent alien-battling organization ever. In fact, Harkness isn't even the one who comes up with the final method of defeating the 4,5,6, it's some secondary character.

Funny, because that's one thing I liked about it! You would definitely get that note on a US show because a few cable shows aside, we're a "hero" country. Your main characters must act heroically. And they must be proactive. What actually happens to the characters BECAUSE of the plot is what made Torchwood so magnificent. And Captain Jack making that huge sacrifice? That WAS a big plot element but more than that, it was one of the most momentous character moments I've ever seen on television. Again, try that on US TeeVee. You couldn't get away with it.

Anonymous wonders:
Looked through your profile and noticed that you're a Bradley Denton fan. Apparently, Buddy Holly's Alive and Well on Ganymede is being made into a movie with Jon Heder. Any thoughts on how they should proceed with the adaptation?

Faithfully, I hope! When someone options an obscure book like this, it's usually because they genuinely like the book. This wouldn't be the Denton book I would option, but hopefully it'll come out cool.

Okay, gentle readers. Back to tennis! And looking forward to the new Muse record, which comes out week after next. Hence the blog title...