munchman: ABC Gives McG Pilot Commitment for…”Romeo and Juliet?”

That’s a lot of initials, all adding up to another set of letters: WTF?

As modern a version of R & J as we need

For reasons I can’t for the life of me fathom, ABC today announced a deal with The Feature Film Director Who Pretentiously Calls Himself McG. (A name that might be kinda cool if he was African-American, but since he isn’t…)

The genius behind the film re-doodoos of CHARLIE’S ANGELS is producing a primetime soap based on either Shakespeare’s play or Leo DiCapria’s film or something. According to TVBizWire this time around we have two families in Southern California’s Venice Beach, one “well-off, the other struggling.”

They fight for power. Their kids fall in love. Romance, violence, and, most likely, boredom ensue.

Think I’m being too hard on this project? Do the titles HUMAN TARGET and FASTLANE ring a bell? Didn’t think so, but they were series produced McG. He also was in on the ground floor of SUPERNATURAL, NIKITA, and CHUCK, but I don’t care how long those shows have run or are running, they still suck.

There is, however, one ray of hope. The pilot for whatever this thing is called is scheduled to be written by Byron Balasco, who bring with him some good as well as some bad.

The good: He wrote DETROIT 1-8-7, which Yours Truly munchman liked.

The bad: Every other TV writer in Hollywood has written one version or other of DETROIT 1-8-7, under titles like NYPD BLUE, LAW & ORDER, DARK BLUE, THE DISTRICT, DRAGNET. Why, our boss, LB, has himself written 5,497 such shows–

Know why they call it “Development Hell?” Because, all things considered, what else can this kind of Development by Familiarity (with concepts, stories, talent, other attachments) possibly be?

Guilt & Loathing For Writers

…The guilt being how terrible we feel because we’re not using our time properly and, you know, writing. Because writing is so much more important – to us anyway – than getting a job, loving our spouses, and/or taking out the garbage.

The loathing being self-loathing. Because, let’s face it, how can you not hate yourself for:

  1. Not writing
  2. Believing for one instant that said writing is more important than loving our spouses (although it just may outweigh getting a job and/or taking out the garbage

Bottom line: This stuff is tough to deal with. And considering how hard everything else already is, why have guilt and self-loathing on our minds? Gotta get rid of it, you know. Open ourselves up, let the voices in our heads get down into our hands and clickety-clack on our keyboards.

What’s that? You’re clueless about how to do that? About how to make time to do the thing you simply can’t live without doing? About how to feel good about yourself while doing (or not doing it)?

Our answer to this dilemma is this tip, which some may call the Secret of the Universe, but which we call “Keep Busy.”

As for how to get ourselves to keep busy, ah, have no fear, Scott Hanselman, who describes himself as, “a former professor…now a Microsoft employee…[and] a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author” has what turns out to be a remarkably good answer (even for non-writers):

Productivity vs. Guilt and Self-Loathing – by Scott Hanselman

The not getting stuff done sucks, but the guilt and self-loathing is where you really get into trouble. You likely don’t say it out loud, but you think it. You might not tell your spouse, but you think it. I suck. Man, I suck. I’m just not getting a damn thing done…

Here’s what I do when I’m feeling non-productive and guilty. Again, watch the video for more details, it’s not selling anything and I go into more detail. I need to just write a small book on this.

  • Stop Checking Email in the Morning
  • If it’s important, Schedule It
  • Measure, then Cut
  • Do smaller things
  • Let go of Psychic Weight
  • Schedule Work Sprints
  • Stop Beating Yourself Up

Read it all

Why is DOCTOR WHO So Good? ITWS!

“It’s the writing, stupid!”

Shakespeare on – where else? – DOCTOR WHO

Today we got word – from our P.R. friends at the BBC – that Jack Lothian is writing an episode of the Good Doctor’s Adventures. Lothian has written for such U.K. shows as SINBAD, BEAVER FALLS, SPOOKS, DOC MARTIN, and the Boss’s personal favorite, ASHES TO ASHES, so you know he’s one of the best.

Inspired by this bit of inspired writing casting, we looked around for info on more DOCTOR WHO writers and found a pretty good rundown by alex on a blog with this also, to us, inspirational name: A Beginners Guide to Free to Air TV.

alex lists:

  • Steven Moffat
  • Stephen Thompson
  • Neil Gaiman
  • Matthew Graham
  • Mark Gatiss
  • Tom MacRae
  • Toby Whithouse
  • Gareth Roberts

Strangely, the list omits Russell T. Davies. But you can find him on Wikipedia, of course. Along with a gaggle of others, including those from the Good Old Days, AKA the Classic Years, et al. Definitely worth perusing, if only to gawk at the name of one Douglas Adams, no less. (And Richard Curtis. The Richard Curtis.) Go to Wikipedia’s List of Doctor Who Writers and you’ll see what we mean.

We think every show should have at least one site discussing its writers. (And we’d love to be writing on all those sites but, well, just looking up this stuff has wiped us out for the rest of the day.)

Good writing does mean better TV.


LB: Uh-Oh, I Think I Just Saw The Real Me

…And, man, does it hurt:

And to think, only yesterday I was so fresh-faced and eager:

But then, this morning in the parking lot:

These paintings, and many, many more – all wonderful – by Andreas Englund.


If DOCTOR WHO Were Made in the U.S.A.

…By Dan Harmon and the COMMUNITY gang. (Should that be “former COMMUNITY gang?” We won’t know till we see what the new showrunners come up with, will we?)

From ~tinderbox210

It’s show within a show, see? On COMMUNITY. Or as, ~tinderbox210, the creator of this poster puts it:

This is my newest obsession – a sadly very underrated comedy tv series called COMMUNITY. Those who know the show have probably fallen just as fast as for it as i did, those who don’t – shame on you :P

I love making fake movie posters, so this is a fake poster for a fake movie of a fake tv show … from a real tv show…

If the show existed and was anything like this poster, we’d definitely turn it on.