Wynne McLaughlin sees ‘The Kominsky Method’

NOTE FROM LB: Wynne McLaughlin is a video game rock star – what else would you call the lead writer of The Elder Scrolls Online and The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind, among other things? – and one of my favorite guys to hang with here online (because he’s not exactly in my Puget Sound nabe, you know? But if he was we’d be on the beach crabbing together right now…)

You get the idea, yeah? And in this short review Wynne makes sure we get his idea, and pronto. Talk about a hell of a lede:


by Wynne McLaughlin

OMG, this new Netflix show starring Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method, is perfection.

Seriously, Emmy material.

Funny, touching, perfectly cast, and most remarkably, created, largely written, and very often directed by Chuck Lorre, the writer-producer of sitcoms like Two And A Half Men and Big Bang Theory.

The Kominsky Method is a single camera show with no audience or laugh track, a complete departure for Lorre, and by FAR the best work he’s ever done.

We watched three straight episodes and had to reluctantly force ourselves to stop and not binge-watch the whole season.

Watch it, right now if you can.

Trust me!


MORE FROM LB: Wynne’s response to this show struck more than a chord with me. It resonated like Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (which, as my, um intimates can tell you, is the song that plays in my head 24/7, keeping me focused on, well, living, but that’s another story).

Gwen the Beautiful and I have seen five of the eight episodes comprising the first season, and we both feel that they perfectly captured our lives at our ages.

We too had to force ourselves to take a break from watching, Gwen because she wanted to have the remaining episodes to look forward to for awhile, I because my brain was totally knotted up from  spending two and a half continuous hours laughing and crying simultaneously.

In other words, watch The Kominsky Method.

In other, other words – Trust Wynne!

Is ‘Saved by the Bell’ Your Future?

Ah, technology! This TVWriter™ minion loves tech, I gotta admit. But sometimes, well, I dunno if I can handle it anymore.

And this, I admit, is one of those times:

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock (1623055a)
Saved By The Bell: Hawaiian Style , Mark Paul Gosselaar, Dustin Diamond, Mario Lopez

by Ben Travers

Television began by offering a square, 4:3 image. As home viewing grew more and more popular, HDTVs helped make the big screen’s 16:9 framing the standard for small screens, too, but now things are changing again. Content creators of all kinds — from Snapchat to NBC Entertainment to “Homecoming” director Sam Esmail — are sharing stories with vertical framings fit to your phone.

Say goodbye to widescreen and hello to… tallscreen? Thinscreen? Vertiscreen?

Whatever the kids decide to call it, taller, narrower frames are becoming more and more prevalent. As discussed on this week’s Very Good TV Podcast, take the new versions of “Saved by the Bell” — a series originally shot and broadcast in the box framing of its era that has now been recut into mini Instagram episodes. Oddly enough, even though Instagram made square images all the rage, these five-minute recaps are reformatted to utilize the full vertical frame of your phone.

Most of the images are simple zooms, focusing on Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) when he says something charming, or A.C. Slater (Mario Lopez) when he’s wearing pleated baggy khakis you just have to see from waist to ankle. But there’s a little more effort put to these cuts than cropping. In “Student Teacher Week,” when Zack asks Slater and Kelly Kapowski (Tiffani Thiessen) to reach a compromise about the football kids cutting class, they both shout “No!” simultaneously, and the screen divides in half horizontally so you can see Slater on top and Kelly on the bottom. It holds this look until Kelly can give her morally superior final line and storm out of the room, when it goes back to a full vertical shot to better punctuate Zack’s difficult choice….

Read it all at Indiewire.Com

Change Your Life in Just 2 Minutes a Day: 10 Quick Habits

Worthwhile reading for those of us who aren’t perfect. Especially writers whose positivity needs a boost or ten. (In other words, all of us, you know?)

by Henrik Edberg

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
Lao Tzu

“The distance is nothing; it is only the first step that is difficult.”
Madame Marie du Deffand

Making a positive change in your life does not have to be about making a huge leap.

But I believe that belief is one of those things that hold people back from improving their life and world.

A simpler way that more often results in actual action being taken and new habits being established – in my life at least – is to take smaller steps but many of them.

So today I’d like to share 10 quick habits that can help you to change your life in just 2 minutes or so a day.

Through these small steps you can start to build habits that become stronger and over time can change your life in ways you perhaps can’t imagine now.

To remember to actually do one of the things below each day I recommend writing down a simple reminder.

Put it on your nightstand so that you see it when you wake up each morning. Or put the note in your workspace so you see it early in your day.

If you like and if possible, expand on the small habit after a week or two and do it for just a few more minutes a day.

1. Just start working for 2 minutes on your most important task.

I use this one at least one day every week.

On some days I simply don’t feel like getting started with work. I’d much rather stay lazily on the sofa.

So on such days I just start to work for 2 minutes on my most important task.

That is the deal.

The thing is: getting started is pretty much always the hardest part.

After I have started moving and been at work for those 2 minutes it is usually pretty easy to just continue working on that task….

Read it all at The Positivity Blog

The Best Way to Pitch Your Project to Netflix or Amazon

Richard Botto knows this stuff

Speaking of writing your way into the future (as we were just a moment ago here), does anybody remember when Netflix and Amazon were streaming dreams about tomorrow?

Well, they’re here, buddies, and also here is a quick primer in how to get your foot/feet/arms/face/imagination/whole self in today’s door:

Brought to us by everlovin’ Stage 32

VR might just be the future after all

Two interesting news stories about VR. All we can say is that the people making this happen are going to need one Acme Boatload of WRITERS!

Wonderscope iPhone App Turns Bedrooms into Stages for Children’s Stories in Augmented Reality
BY TOMMY PALLADINO

Augmented reality content makers often position the technology as a new storytelling medium. And who loves stories more than children?

Available now in the App Store as a free download with in-app purchases for additional content, Wonderscope uses ARKit to place content, which users can then interact with in the app’s camera view.

“Millions of kids use screens as much or more than adults, and they often do it alone,” said Chris Milk, CEO of app developer Within, in a statement. “With AR, we see an opportunity to change that dynamic. Rather than disappearing into our devices and shutting out the world, Wonderscope promotes a new kind of screen-positive experience, one that opens you up to everything and everyone around you.”

The experiences available at launch include “A Brief History of Amazing Stunts by Astounding People,” which brings to life three historical adventurers and their feats….

Read it all at Virtual Reality Pulse

And there’s also this:

Magic Leap is Offering Individual Developers up to $500K for Their AR Projects
by Scott Hayden

At Magic Leap’s developer conference last month, the company announced they were ready to throw down serious cash to developers to build apps for their new AR headset, Magic Leap One. Now, the company has unveiled the specifics of the Independent Creator Program, which aims to give individual developers and teams up to $500,000 in grant money to start their ML One projects.

There’s no clear ceiling on how much Magic Leap has earmarked for the development fund (see update), but it’s safe to say it’s pretty high considering the company is offering between $20,000 and $500,000 per project to populate their content store.

This, the company says on the program’s site, comes along with developer and marketing support, and also a Magic Leap One headset itself.

The company underlines the fact that the program is a grant, and not an exclusivity deal. “You own your IP and publishing is not exclusive to Magic Leap,” the company writes.

Applications are now open starting today and continue until December 15th, 2018….

Read it all at Road to VR