At last! The explanation that this TVWriter™ minion, for one, has been eagerly waiting for…and I’m so young that I binge-watched this series, so think of how excited the older folks who’d been watching for years must feel:
If learning your lesson was easy, it probably wouldn’t be much of a lesson, would it? Can you handle the challenge of recovery?
by David Silverman, MA, LMFT
t’s tempting to follow in the footsteps of great writers who used alcohol or other substances to boost their productivity. Tempting, maybe, but also long term most likely not such a great idea.
“Write drunk. Edit sober.”
This quote has been attributed to Hemingway, but the that’s been disputed. Regardless, it gives you an idea why writers do it. That first draft is so agonizing to get on paper. Staring at the blank page fills many writers with fear. Writing (drunk or high) can lower your inhibitions while you get it down for the first time.
Should you have trouble avoiding this temptation, be warned. While writing drunk and editing sober might work for a while on some level, think about the long term. All that drinking, or all those drugs, can affect your grasp on reality, your performance as a writer, your general level of functioning – not to mention your liver.
Why do writers have the worst track record of recovery in Hollywood?
Why is it worse for writers? Why is it harder to get sober for other creative professionals in town, like directors, producers, actors, rock musicians; and in another category… agents. Why? Because, all those performers and cut-throat business people, they’re on view every day, doing their work.
If they drink, everybody knows about it. If they drink on the set, people will smell the booze. If they smoke pot in their trailer, people will smell that, too. Too many witnesses.
Writers, on the other hand, can write in the privacy of their own homes, stoned, drunk or both. They don’t have to clock in. They can write all night. They can drink scotch and pop a handful of pills first thing in the morning. Nobody will be the wiser.
When do you decide to clean up your act? You’ll know when it’s time. Your life will start falling apart. You might be hiding your addiction from others in your life. You might have trouble paying the bills. You might not show up to meetings on time. Even worse, you could get a DUI. Speaking of which, why do people still get DUI’s when there’s Uber?
Reaching the decision to quit drinking or using drugs is the most important step in the process of recovery. If you’ve reached this decision and have time, you might need to be treated in a residential rehab for anywhere from 28 to 90 days.
Success in treatment involves developing a new way of life, with sober friends and supporters. It also involves getting to the cause of the addiction, and work towards removing that cause as a reason to self-medicate.
You’ll have to develop healthy ways of managing stress in this new way of life. If writing is a trigger, as it is for perfectionists, for example, getting sober will be a more difficult task….
This article fascinates us because it’s a look into the thinking of those responsible for a show that to those of us here at TVWriter™ may well have been the worst U.S. network adaptation of a UK hit ever.
The finale of the U.S. version put the final nail in the coffin, replacing the shaded, mysterious, semi-supernatural conclusion in the original with the absolutely most mundane, over-obvious explanation a show called Life on Mars could possibly have.
The fact that the guys in charge of the U.S. version, starting at the highest executive level and working down, are so proud of their take on it is proof, if any of you need it, that the pros ain’t necessarily any smarter or more talented than the rest of us. (Just richer, maybe.) Cast your jaundiced eyes here:
Behind the Scenes of TV’s Most Bonkers Series Finale
by Liz Shannon Miller
In describing the nuances of one-season wonder “Life on Mars,” executive producer Josh Appelbaum coined a term: “It was exce-silly — excellent and silly.”
None of the 5 million people who originally watched the ABC series finale would likely disagree. Tracking the mystery behind why modern-day detective Sam Tyler (Jason O’Mara) finds himself transported back to the year 1973, the cop/sci-fi hybrid based on the UK series of the same name failed to secure a second season, but thanks to the forethought of Appelbaum and his fellow showrunners, the series did manage to deliver an ending.
And oh, what a series finale it was. The episode “Life Is a Rock,” which aired on April 1, 2009, features one of modern television’s most bonkers final twists, and was actually 100 percent the ending planned by the creators from the beginning.
Yes, it came a little sooner than they would have liked, but the creators remain grateful for the chance to put that ending on screen. How that ending came to be, in all its insane glory, is a story best told by those involved: Appelbaum, fellow executive producer Scott Rosenberg, director Michael Katleman, and series star Jason O’Mara. Despite the years of distance, all of them had the deepest affection for this epic “exce-silly” episode.
“The Wrong Network at the Wrong Time”
Rosenberg: Steve McPherson at ABC was obsessed with [“Life on Mars”]. They had shot a pilot with as good an auspice as you can get in television: David E. Kelley wrote it, Tommy Schlamme directed it, and Jason O’Mara starred in it. We were vaguely aware of the BBC original. McPherson brought us in, he’s like, “You guys want to take this over?” So we looked at it and it was honestly, I can happily say this on the record, it was terrible.
So we said, “Oh, it’s full of really good actors, but just kind of not gelling in a particularly good way.” And, we said, “We’ll do it, but you have to let us re-cast everything and set it in New York City.” And, he was like, “You can re-cast everybody except Jason O’Mara.”
O’Mara: I spoke to Steve, and I said, “What’s going on, are you picking up the show?” And he said, “I’m getting rid of everything except you and the title.” I said, “What?” He said, “Yeah. I’m changing everything.” I didn’t have a choice, because I had a holding deal with the network at the time….