I like my coffee black and unsweetened, so I can taste the
pristine flavor of the coffee.
why drink coffee if you don’t like how it tastes?
And borderline doctrinaire.
“Doc Trinaire. You are
wanted in surgery.”
“Call me Doctor Trinaire or I’m not coming.”
Anyway, where was I?
As with liking pristine coffee, I like my commercial
entertainment, unencumbered by diluting illusion and artifice.
And I have never once found
(I give acknowledging “passes” to the likes
of The Wizard of Oz,
if they are truly exceptional.)
I know funny people in actual
life; I have occasionally been one myself
Somebody says something funny, you laugh real
Where is that paralleling natural
exuberance in TV shows in movies?
I saw the film The Meyerowitz Stories
and Selected” as if they are actual stories when they’re not
All I experienced in that movie was “acting”,
everyone furiously pretending to be “troubled.”
The withholding father.
The bickering brothers.
The sister’s a basket case.
Maybe it was the writing.
“Look at this nightmarish
“You see how dysfunctional they
Is this over soon?
Our entertainment feels dismissingly fake to me.
The thankful exception to the
norm of slathered illusion and artifice:
Parts of Judd Apatow movies.
It seems like
Probably because they’re
not acting, they’re improvising, the freeing spontaneity of
that approach according a welcome reality to the cinematic proceedings.
However, like in Apatow’s The Big Sick
, when they get to the obligatory “story points”, they’re
And not particularly skillfully because
I am extremely difficult to please.
Though I do not – the writer assures us – just “talk the
Like those intrepid, trailblazing
pioneers of Yore – and elsewhere; sorry, I can’t help myself – I also,
demonstrably, “Walk the walk.”
Insistently believing, if you don’t find it, do
Offering – as close as is humanly possible – unadulterated commercial
Like the All Things
audition commentary I submitted, about “The people who do
commentaries on the radio, they’re not talking
to you; they’re reading
And when I said, ‘They’re reading to you’, I
And when I said, ‘I read
that’, I read that too.
And when I said,
‘I read that too’, I also read that
I am reading this whole thing!”
Ah, yes – an overdue expose, blowing the lid off the radio
All Things Considered
turned it down.
Intrepid Experiment Number Two
(* Not in chronological order.)
I created a sitcom called Family Man
, trying to replicate normal, everyday life.
That “normal everyday life” being my own.
The lead character was a comedy writer.
Married, with both a stepdaughter and a biological
(I threw in a boy, to
play “Young Me.”
Which sounds Chinese,
but it isn’t.)
I ordered a living room set built, duplicating our actual living
room at home.
The house’s “Exterior
Location” – the front of our Santa Monica craftsman bungalow.
I got rid of the live studio audience, liberating me from
writing the obligatory “hard jokes” required to make live studio audiences
guffaw, and giving me the freedom to garner laughs in a naturalistic
I told stories that had actually happened to me, in my
earlier life and
as a parent.
most exhilarating formula-free writing experience of my career, the closest I
ever came to the kind of comedy writing I inherently believed in.
The show was cancelled after seven episodes.
And then there’s this blog.
Where if I mess up or change direction, I leave everything in, trying replicate,
manicured essay writing but the
meandering flow of recognizable conversation.
My readers are precious to me.
But they are tellingly few in number.
Sending the reverberating message:
illusion and artifice.
Maybe an uncontrived movie or TV show can’t be done.
It sure hasn’t been so
Possibly because it
is effectively impossible to pull off.
Or because the “Smart Money” knows there is no money in attempting
I’m going to keep at it, at least on this fragmentary level.
Maybe someone interested will pick up the torch, carrying it
successfully to the box office “Finish Line.”
I hope so.
I know it’s worth
A more muscular champion to get the job done.