Cartoon: ‘Advice to Writers’

Because Grant Snider of Incidental Comics is absolutely the finest visual philosopher…ever!

More Grant Snider wit, wisdom and posters at Incidental Comics

munchman: Better Days are Coming?

munchman’s TV Musings #11
by munchman

I was shocked – shocked, I say! – to look over TVWriter™’s Google Analytics this past weekend and discover that munchman’s TV Musings is far and away the least popular of all regular features on this site. Not just for this new year, oh no, but for all time. Even if you include my old Love & Money column, which held the title up till now.

So thank you, friends and neighbors, mates and exes, for you continued lack of support. I promise to continue bugging the shit out of you for many days, weeks, months, possibly even years to come!

Which brings us to:

  • Life in our oh-so Phil-Dickian Universe of black comedy and ennui (and who’d a-thunk those two concepts could co-exist so well?) continues to bring a simultaneously disgusted and bored smile to Yer Friendly Neighborhood Ubermuncher’s face. Case in point: Recent news that the Coen Brothers are going to write and direct their first TV series. It’s called The Ballad of Busty Scruggs, and guess what, ya illiterate bastids? Sucker that I am for anything that’s the ballad (or even ballade) of anything, I’m intrigued as hell and looking forward to what they end up giving us. Welcome to the Binge Watching Brigade, balladeers!
  • OTOH, recent news that Constantine, a successful comic book about a very successful and un-Doc Strange or even Harry Potter type wizard that has failed in all previous attempts to bring it to both film and TV is coming back as an animated series reaffirms my suspicion that my eternal depression is justified. Don’t get the munchadingus wrong. I lurve the comic book incarnation of everybody’s favorite bi-sexual magicker and would love to see it on my laptop, but this time around it’s appearing on the farm team’s farm team. By which I mean on the CWSeed website, which is where the morons-who-consider-themselves-ultrahip-geniuses show stuff that even they understand isn’t good enough for their grossly inadequate attempt at being a television network, the CW itself. I’m thinking, “Yikes!” and worrying that I’m being too optimistic.
  • Speaking of comics, BleedingCool has a list of the top selling comic books of 2016 that probably would tell me a lot if I bothered to analyze – that means think, if any Trumperfuckers are reading this – it. Turns out the numero uno seller of last year was Big Trouble in Little China/Escape from New York #1 by Greg Pak and Daniel Bayliss, which beat not only Marvel’s Civil War #1 but D.C.’s first issue of Harley Quinn. A non-tentpole winner, guys ‘n’ gals! A property with no toys, no games, no recent successful film or TV series! Maybe there’s some hope in this world after all, yeah?
  • While we’re on the subject of hope, I noticed that Wil Wheaton – yeppers, that Wil Wheaton – last week posted a short, uh, post on his website about a subject that should be near and dear to our hearts. It’s called “Three books that helped make me a better writer,” and I’d say it’s a must-read except…sorry, Wil, I love you as a mid-range almost-threatening mildly-irritating evil boss in most if not all of your recent TV play acting, but this writing thing? Better writer than what? Any other almost famous in another area beginner? Keep hoping, pal. Dreams can come true!
  • Ooh, Drew Barrymore is coming to the TV series meatmarket next month with a series called Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix. Methinks that’s cooler than shit but what’s this thing where she’s playing the MOM of the lead character? No way is she old enough for that. No way can I, Ms B’s absolutely biggest fan who thought she was fantastic in Guncrazy no matter what anybody sez, be that old either. Curse you, Phil Dick! Get yer universe outta here and go!
  • I’m gonna go now too, but first one last cooler than shit bit of showbiz newz. For reasons that my former significant other could never understand and to be honest I’m not so sure I do either, I’ve become a fan of a tumblr blog called Left,Write, LeftAnd as that selfsame ex can attest, when I’m a fan I’m as fanatic as they come. So not only am I recommending the blog, I’m also here to officially congratulate its writer, Adi Blotman (whose name, come to think of it, may be as real/unreal as munchman itself is or is not) for having what it takes to write a full length pilot script of some sort or other, as opposed to just thinking about it in bed at night and falling sleep while trying to decide what color hair the protagonist has. And, further, for entering it in the 2017 Launch Pad Pilot Competition. Hey, Adi, have you thought about entering this in the next PEOPLE’S PILOT as well? I know the head guy over there pretty well, and…

Oops, I’m outta time and space for this week. (My ex sez I’m always outta time and space, but what the hell, I kinda like the dimension I’m in. Tune in next time to hear me quietly rage about Love, Money & The Industry…and the goddamn Philip K. Dick multiverse we’re fucking stuck in!


Yer Friendly Neighborhood munchman is the official TVWriter™ scapegoat and has been getting kicked around here since the very beginning of this site. He wants us all to know that he’s cooler than we are. And we think you’ll agree when we say to him, “Dood, we don’t effing care!” You can learn more about muncher (but not all that much, really) HERE

TVWriter™ Online Workshopper Scores in Terror Film Festival!

by TVWriter™ Press Service

We got some good news last week and would like to pass it on. Dawn McElligott, an occasional contributor to TVWriter™ and frequent TVWriter™ Online Workshopper, has placed 2nd in the Feature Length Screenplay category in the 2016 Terror Film Festival.

Here’s what Dawn had to say about it:

“Movin’ On Up” Again!

I started with “Honorable Mention” at the 2010 Terror Film Festival for “The Fool of Muncaster”, then went up to 3rd Place for “Lady of the Lake” in 2014.

Now a revision of said screenplay has earned me 2nd Place in the Craft of Screenwriting for the 2016 running of the Terror Film Festival!

Both screenplays and revisions were workshopped in your class!  Thank you so much!

The Terror Film Festival is, in its own words, “a blood-chilling, alien-probing, online international film festival designed for filmmakers and screenwriters, that runs every October on the worldwide web.

According to the organizers, the fact that the Festival is online “removes the shackles of venue limitations …and increasing the potential for you to gain more fans.” Its Claw Awards screenwriting competition “is a great feather in the cap for any screenwriter.”

Congratulations, Dawn. And we thank you too, for keeping us in the loop! (Which reminds us – when are you going to write us another fine article?)

More about the TVWriter™ Online TV and Film Writing Workshop HERE

More about the Terror Film Festival HERE

2016 PEOPLE’S PILOT Semi-Finalists!

25th PEOPLE’S PILOT SEMI-FINALISTS
For contest ending November 1, 2016

1/2 HOUR (or Less) SERIES SEMI-FINALISTS
(alphabetically)

ANTONIA ALLWAYS: Antonia Joins the Union by Gordon Charles Phipps

ANTONIA ALLWAYS: Who is Merlin by Gordon Charles Phipps

BAD PRESS by Adam Santa Maria

FERAL: by Bryan Kett

iNEFFABLE by Laura Richardson Reilly

KICKING & SCREAMING by David Young

OPEN by Erica Lies

QUEENS by Raul Martin Romero

TONY ST. SQUATCH, PRIVATE EYE by Andres Jose Smith

STAR ACADEMY 3013: CROTCH BUSTERS by Eugene Ramos

STAR ACADEMY 3013: WHAT ARE SEX ROBOTS MADE OF? by Christopher Valin

1 HOUR SERIES SEMI-FINALISTS
(alphabetically)

CRUISE by Wayne Johnson

DARK FOREST by Kenyon Geiger

DARKWICK DOWN by James Hancock

DREAMS OF HAVANA by Jorge c Perez & William Garcia

HOMEFRONT by Alexander John Stathis

INCOMPATIBLE by J. Faye Yuan & Robert Raffety

MATRYOSHKA by Angela Berliner

MEPHISTO’S PROTEGE by Diana Black

NEVADA BLUE by Vin Morreale, Jr.

NIGHTMARE by Lance Wayne

OUT OF BODY by Gabriel Meyer

KYLA’S WAR by Hank Isaac

SERPENT’S ROW by Chance Muehleck

SNAPBACK by Ned Vankevich

SOUTHERN GOTHIC by Jared Ronin

SUGAR LAND by R. B. Ripley

SWING, YOU SINNERS by Caroline Klimczuk

THE RECOVERY by Angela Berliner.pdf

TONGS OF CHINATOWN by Nadia Madden

OVER 1 HOUR SERIES SEMI-FINALISTS
(alphabetically)

DREAMERS by Allie Theiss

EMILIA by Marlena Brown

HOSTAGES byJohn Gorski

KODAK MOMENT by John Alarid

OF KINGS AND KINSMEN by Mark William Meredith

VENOM by Ned Vankevich

TVWriter™ congratulates all the Semi-Finalists. Your work is awesome.

As in years past, the overall quality of the entries was superb. Once again, the judges had some very difficult choices to make. Literally every Semi-Finalist this time around could have been a Top 5 placer in previous runnings of the PEOPLE’S PILOT.

The competition was closest in the One Hour Series Pilot category where 5 different scripts scored 9.00 points or more out of a possible 10.00 and the cut-off point for Semi-Finalists was an incredibly high 8.55. Very Professional Indeed.

In fact, the professionalism in all the categories amazed everyone who read the submissions. The judges had an even finer time than usual reading them. And, of course, the judges’ work still isn’t done as they fight tooth and nail regarding Finalist and Winner placings. We wouldn’t be surprised if you could hear the arguing from the relative safety of your own home or office.

Be joyful, Semi-Finalists. You have done yourselves proud!

NEXT WEEK: The 2016 PEOPLE’S PILOT Finalists

Larry Brody’s Poetry: Dog And Cat

image via Youtube – Bengal Cat Grooms Poodle Pup by XYumekoX

by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB: 

Looking through The Return of the Navajo Dog, I saw this poem about the death of a cat I had sometime in the mid-1980s. I’m confused and a little embarrassed because although I remember the cat very well and loved her because she was so gentle with me and considerate of my cat allergies, I can’t for the life – or death – of me recall the dog I speak of – oh, crap, I just did. He was a wonderful dog, allowing for his need to hump everything in his path. And his path, like all of ours, was filled with twists and turns.


Dog And Cat

I had a cat that died suddenly one day.

She seemed to be fighting a great

Battle with spirits only her cat-eyes

Could see.

The battle exhausted the cat. She hid

Under a loveseat, and shuddered, and groaned.

I felt close to the cat as she went. There was a

Bond that hadn’t been between us before.

I was not what you’d call a good guy (at the

Time, the worst human being I’d ever met

Had just told me to, “Be a better person),

But it seemed as though the cat was doing

All this for me.

This morning, my dog woke me with his barking,

And when I went outside to yell I saw his eyes

Fixed on a nothingness in the middle of the yard.

The dog growled, and feinted, and attacked his

Invisible foe. He shook the air triumphantly,

Then grinned at me and circled back to sleep.

I don’t know if I’m a better person, but I suspect

The dog is nowhere near as good as the cat.

She died for my lack of virtue,

While he has killed for my sins.


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. Although the book whose cover you see above is for sale on Kindle, he is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.