Peggy Bechko has been one of the most popular contributors on TVWriter™ since we went to our current format. All you have to do is type her name into the searchbox on the right of this page and you’ll access dozens of her my-t-fine posts about, well, about writing for crying out loud.
In a very real way, Peggy supports all of us who engage with this site – TVWriter™ visitors, writers, editors, and certainly our Beloved Leader, LB. So we’re thinking that it’s a pretty good idea to return some of that support. Buy her books! Visit her site!
And, for only a little added fee, wear Peggy’s extraordinary work on – heh – your chest:
What’s that? You’ve seen this video and don’t think of it as “peer production” at all? It’s just…”art?”
Holy crap, gang, that’s exactly what peer production should be. An unsupervised, unrestrained take on…well, erm, on whatever the hell this is an unsupervised, unrestrained – and to us fascinating – take on:
Latest News About Writers Who Are Doing Better Than We Are
Karl Schaefer (EUREKA) is showrunning Syfy’s new zombie drama Z NATION. (The series is already a go, so if you know Karl, or have some zombie adventure cred, have your peeps get in touch with his peeps and get your awesome self on the staff of the show.)
Art Linson & John Linson (SONS OF ANARCHY) have a new overall deal with HBO, starting with the drama series, YELLOWSTONE about, uh, violence in Montana. (The munchy one has absolutely no interest in Montana, so no way am I going to watch this if it gets on the air. Well, maybe if I get on staff. Yeah, if I’m writing the damn thing I’ll be glad to watch. But only my eps, dudes, cuz that’s how munchies roll.)
Steven Knight (LOCKE) is writing an 8-part BBC drama called TABOO, about a 19th century adventurer fighting with the East India Company. (Ooh, man versus corporation. I can hardly wait. What could be better than watching the guy who broke Batman’s back go up against a corporate charter? Thing better be made of some very thick paper!)
David Milch has extended his overall deal with HBO. (Evidently cuz HBO thinks that having a hack has-been who’s last decent work was on the air almost a decade ago is preferable to letting anybody new and/or under 60 into the building. The Milchman is gobbling up a piece of the pie that could’ve been yours, mine, or anybody else’s. The only Big Name who’s gone lower than Milchovic is Bruce Springsteen, who now makes his living covering hits recorded by dudes at least a century younger than his botoxed self. Oh, brave new world – why hast thou forsaken us? Or something like that.)
Yes, it’s true. On the whole, we at TVWriter™ aren’t fans of BROOKLYN NINE-NINE. We find it, well, fatuous would be the best word. Overly simplistic, unrealistic, dumb. So when we saw this oh-so-positive review we had to read it and emerged with a new understanding of the ways of the world – cuz writer Jen Krueger, who’s a fave of ours, actually loves B99 for exactly the reasons we loathe it.
Oh, God, our head is exploding —
by Jen Krueger
On the list of things I originally expected from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, emotional resonance isn’t to be found. With a former Saturday Night Live cast member as the lead, I figured the show would be goofy (in a good way) and peppered with cameos from comedians.
While these expectations were met early in the first season, the thing I’ve come to like most about the show is the slowly developing romantic storyline between Jake (Andy Samberg) and Amy (Melissa Fumero).
But as much as I’ve enjoyed the pining these characters both think is unrequited, I keep reminding myself not to get my hopes up too much about the future of this storyline since sitcom love rarely flourishes in an enjoyable way.
I’m not sure there’s a single narrative show on TV that doesn’t have at least one romantic storyline, but very few half-hour comedies seem comfortable letting their characters actually get together. The Office was getting so much mileage out of Jim and Pam wanting each other but not being together that even after Jim put his cards on the table in “Casino Night” (sorry, couldn’t resist), the show kept inventing reasons to keep them apart.
And though I’m about as big of a fan as you can find of the slow burn approach to the development of relationships in TV, I hate it when the hurdles a couple must leap feel like they’ve been put there just for the sake of adding more hurdles. Jim transferring to Stamford smacked of artificially inserted conflict, and I never bought that he’d bother keeping up a relationship with Karen after returning to Scranton and finding Pam single. And since it was inevitable that Jim and Pam would get together in the end, it drove me nuts that the show was delaying the one thing I so badly wanted to see.
When we saw the article below we knew we wanted to run it with a positive “woman driver” type punny pic. Soon we found out that was almost impossible because all we could find were images mocking women drivers. We decided to look for an action photo of the world’s most well-known woman racing driver, Danica Patrick – and lo and behold, 99% of those we found were beauty shots. The closest we could come to a pic where a renowned sports figure could be identified engaged in her sport was this: (And it ain’t exactly close at all! Kee-rist!)
by Cameron Maitland
As creators of new web series content, we’re constantly excited by the multitude of diverse female-focused series on the web. It would seem that the internet affords us viewers with styles and situations we can’t find on television and in turn it would seem that the most successful series tend to bring something very unique to the table. As we began pre-production on our new series Sisters of Mercy, with a focus on women and diversity as well as storytelling, we looked to some of our favorite series for inspiration. Here’s a list of five, how they inspired us, and why we think they’re worth a watch for any web creator.
Burning Love is a technically brilliant parody of the Bachelor that has run for three seasons skewering everything from the banality of reality tv competition to the wild personalities of those drawn into the spectacle.
With its massive success and involvement of Hollywood A-liters, the ‘inspiring diversity’ angle of Burning Love is often overlooked. Still, at its core Burning Love is created by Erica Oyama and was a brilliant way to highlight female comedic performance. By latching onto the ‘Bachelor’ parody concept Oyama opened a door to fifteen comic actresses, a number that dwarfs the big Hollywood success of Bridesmaids. Also, through its bombastic tone and multi-season arcs it has allowed these actresses a chance to perform the kind of strange, over-the-top humor that has mostly been the providence of male performers online. The abundance of talent on display in Burning Love definitely defeats the notion that the world has a lack of talented funny women.
We think creators looking to focus on women and diversity should look to Burning Love and its building blocks. Oyama saw The Bachelor as popular, female-friendly and woman filled form of entertainment and built and sold her own idea around it. Sometimes the outlets for diversity can be right in front of you, in places you least expect them.
Nikki and Nora is a fun P.I. romp with a twist: the detectives are a lesbian couple. Set on a backdrop of New Orleans, the first season delves into the music scene and all the fun and danger inherent in detective work.
The story of Nikki and Nora is a classic example of the struggles involved with getting diverse content on air. Originally shot as a pilot in 2004 but not picked up, the show leaked online found a fan base among lesbian viewers desperate for content. Creator Nancylee Myatt stuck with the project in the interim, eventually got back the rights and found a home for it online.
Nikki and Nora is a great example of how a relatively traditional genre story can get so much flavor from diversity. There are plenty of female detective shows out there but making the leads lesbians adds a dimension to the storytelling that puts it a cut above cable drama. By pairing with the lesbian content platform Tello Nikki and Nora also found a way to focus on and reward its loyal diverse fan base, as well as provide a strong, traditional series backbone for a fledgling content stream.
Web Creators should see the struggles and successes of Nikki and Nora and Nancylee Myatt as a template for commitment to a creative, diverse idea. It’s easy to get caught up in the fast pace of web series and bail on a project that’s not getting heat but creators shouldn’t be so quick to bail. Nikki and Nora proves that even years later, with the right audience, an idea can be a success.