THE GLADES is Back for Season 3


by Larry Brody

My wife Gwen the Beautiful and I have been enjoying A&E’s THE GLADES since its debut. For us, the series has two things going for it.

  1. It’s a cop show from the days they were cop shows instead of police procedurals, which means that although there are some unexpected twists  there’s also a light-hearted feeling that makes me glad to be watching. (As opposed to,  say, the plodding grimness of the CSIs, and the forced, usually unsuitable unclever repartee of the “Characters Welcome” shows on USA.)
  2. The star, Matt Passmore, looks just like old friend, law-enforcement-officer-turned-actor-writer-producer Chriss Anglin.
Not Matt Passmore

Last night we settled in to watch our DVR’d Season 3 opener and had a good time. This show goes especially well with tequila, and with 1800 anejo…ah. We were especially pleased to see that the spark has returned to the Jim Longworth-Callie Cargill relationship. (The hero and his honey, right.)

But–

The last time we watched the show they were barely speaking. Sure, the Season 2 finale ended with the beginning of a reapproachment, but in this episode they were in full-on lovers mode, grabbing each other by the hormones whenever and wherever they could.

Without the audience ever having been part of The Moment It Became Real.

You know what moment I’m talking about. It’s the one we all seek in that funny thing called Real Life…and remember forever. (Or, at least, until the Big Bad Permanent Break-Up That We Never Forget.)

This isn’t just frustrating. It’s a cop-out. A cheat. When I see things like this (and GLADES isn’t the only culprit here, is it, BONES fans?), in my head I hear the writers saying, “Hey, we’re clueless. We have no real-life experience in romance, only old movies. So bear with us, folks, cuz we just couldn’t think of a new, interesting way to write the realization and acceptance of love. Pretend you saw it. Pretend we did our job.”

With very few exceptions (MOONLIGHTING back in the day, CASTLE – yay! – just a few weeks ago), the rule on TV has been to keep the leads apart. Anger gets played onscreen, because anger = conflict, and conflict is what stories are all about. But the kind of love that grows into a powerful link between human beings has usually been treated as, simply, subtext. In fact, years ago, when I was doing otherwise highly satisfying and hugely successful (with critics if not always the audience), shows like POLICE STORY and MEDICAL STORY, Executive Producer David Gerber laid down a rule:

“Nobody in my shows says, ‘I love you.’ Ever. But if you have someone say, ‘I hate you,’ you’ll make me smile.”

That was 35 years ago.

Some things don’t change.

But they should.

Interview With 5, Count ’em, 5 DOCTOR WHO Giants (um, Doctors)

Doctors 300x225 Q&A with ‘Doctor Who’ stars: The five Doctors

Here at TVWriter™ we’re in thrall to two things. Television writing and DOCTOR WHO. Well, maybe three things. TV writing, DOCTOR WHO, and tequila. Well, maybe four things. TV writing, DOCTOR WHO, tequila, and all the good times that come along with tequila. Well, maybe five–

You get the picture. We luvs us our Doctor, in all his forms, which is why this is, quite simply, magic:

Q&A with ‘Doctor Who’ stars: The five Doctors

Over the weekend Neela Debnath attended the Collectormania convention in Milton Keynes where five of the actors who played the Doctor were present. Colin Baker, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Paul McGann and Sylvester McCoy answered questions from fans about their time on the show…

Would you be interested in coming back next year for the 50th anniversary?

Tom Baker: Well, if they ask me nicely or I could see what they wanted me to do I would consider it because I think the fans have been so good to me, they expect me at least to make an appearance so of course I would consider that. If it was something witty but I would want to know what the detail of the scene was or what I was supposed to do. I just don’t want to be paraded through as some shagged out old icon of the last century. It’s too much of a source of happiness. I was never really happy until I became Doctor Who. At the same time although, it’s the loveliest job I ever had, it essentially killed my career stone dead because I suddenly realised I liked being Doctor Who more than anything that had ever happened to me. So when I went to play Macbeth the audience wanted me to play Macbeth in the style of Doctor Who and naturally I did. Afterwards a critic said ‘I had no idea how nice Macbeth was’. So I realised then that the people coming to see me – people like you – didn’t want to see me playing Jack the Ripper or whatever it was. So when I went to Ireland to play Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty in the same play, they were absolutely baffled because they were absolutely interchangeable, my reason being the same person, really. So that was another failure, a glorious failure.

COLIN BAKER, PETER DAVISON, PAUL MCGANN AND SYLVESTER MCCOY ENTER THE ROOM

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Why We Write

by Larry Brody

And now, a personal moment brought to you by my favorite kindred spirit, the comic strip Ballard Street, and its creator, Jerry Van Amerongen.

Unless I’m totally deranged, I’m not the only person this comic panel gets right.

Don’t Just Wax Nostaligic for Your Favorite Old Crap Series: Buy! Buy! Buy!

Back in 1966, one of LB’s first published works was a letter to Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times, complaining about what an utter “travesty” (his words) the then newly-minted BATMAN TV series was.

Now, 46 years later, this camp classic returns – or, at least merchandise based on it does. Which only goes to show: Dreck never dies, it just keeps soiling us till we wipe it away with our wallets.

(Yeah, that’s a pretty crappy analogy, we know. Replacement suggestions welcome.)

Warner Bros Launches Merchandise Campaign For 1960s ‘Batman’ TV Series

BURBANK, Calif., June 7, 2012 — Holy Licensing Program, Batman! Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) unveiled today, in advance of Licensing Show 2012, a new licensing program inspired by the classic 1960?s television series, Batman. The program will feature captured photography from the live-action series, as well as the illustrated character art inspired by the series’ animated opening sequence, and will incorporate the vehicles, gadgets and catchphrases that have made the show a cultural phenomenon.

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The Writing Life

Writers aren’t like other people.

They’re crazier.

And television writers aren’t like other writers.

They’re crazier still more frustrated, angrier maybe, because they’re doing what they’ve always wanted to with their lives…but not quite. Because they’re doing it under someone else’s – the production company’s, the network’s, the star’s, once upon a time even the sponsor’s – control.

Muralists paying their mortgages by painting people’s walls.

One of LB’s beloved early mentors was a very cool guy named Gerald Sanford, whom LB worked with (which is showbiz for “under”) in the early ’70s on a show called BARNABY JONES. They still trade e-mails from time to time, two alte cockers pretending they like rocking on that old front porch.

You can learn a bit about the Sanford career here.

And something about him here:

From: Gerald Sanford

To: Larry Brody

Lawrence of Scripts, do you remember when we writers “pitched stories” in hopes of getting an assignment, and the Story Editor would tell us… “I like it. Write it up in five lines or less, and I’ll send it to Quinn… or whoever.”

Well, unable to tell my stories in five lines or less, I’d simply turn in the entire script and tell ’em to do whatever they wanted with it. Of course, that can be a bit risky. But then again…we’re in a risky business.

Like the time I was sitting in this basement apartment in Coney Island, along with a wife and two kids, looking at my 12″, B&W TV screen, and see that Jayne Mansfield was killed in a car crash the night before, and Matt Cimber, her current husband, was taking it real bad.

“Matt Cimber”? Damn, he’s the one who directed my off-Broadway Play, ‘WALK-UP’. About a bunch of characters living in a Greenwich Village Walkup.

And would you believe, seems Jayne just wrapped a movie where she played 5 different roles about 5 different women living in a Greenwich Village Walkup. Obviously just a coincidence. Besides, his movie was called, ‘SINGLE ROOM FURNISHED’.

Years passed, and passed. I had 4 more movies made — and got credit for — did a ton of TV, when I see that Matt, still directing, has moved to L.A., so I call him and we make plans to have lunch in Beverly Hills. Ya see, I had another script I wanted to give him.

We meet for lunch, but before giving him my new work, I ask about his making ‘WALK-UP/SINGLE ROOM FURNISHED’ without paying for it, or even letting me in on it. And he looks me straight in the eye, and says, “Gerald, believe me, I tried getting in touch with you, but I didn’t have your address.”

No, shit, that’s what he said.

The moral of this story: “Hey, no one twisted your arm to be a writer.”

P.S. That lunch Matt and I had. I not only paid, I gave him my new script on the way out. Never heard from him again.

gs

Updated! A TVWriter™ bonus. Some publicity pix of SINGLE ROOM FURNISHED. Proving that somebody made some money from this thing. Just not gs.

Some might say we’re just looking for excuses to post  scuzzy pictures of Mariska Hargitay’s mom. Geddoudda here! No way!