Keeper Of Records gets us started.
With Atlanta being such a hotbed of production lately, and Fallon bringing The Tonight Show back to New York after 40-some years, LA seems to have lost a lot of its cachet. The rise of Youtube and online video means you can be famous no matter where you are. So how much does "Hollywood" really matter in this day and age?
Quite a bit because shows may be produced in Vancouver and Atlanta but the decisions to make them are made in Hollywood. Screw the cameras. That's where the power is.
Plus, don’t kid yourself – there’s still a lot of film and TV production going on in Glitter City. If you don’t believe me, just drive somewhere in Los Angeles when you’re in a hurry and you’ll find a traffic snarl due to some Goddamn filming.
Being outside the profession, I've assumed that a writer's room would have a variety of talents just like a bullpen will have a variety of talents available (set up guy, hard throwing left-hander, a Jamie Moyer type, etc). Like a writer who maybe can't write a script but comes up with great jokes, or can edit really, really well. Someone who comes up with great stories but isn't great with dialogue. Writer's can't do it all so what deficiencies would you accept, and is it like a bullpen in that regard?
Putting together a writing staff is like putting together a baseball team. There are some players who can field but not hit, or hit but can’t run, or can just pitch to lefthanders, etc. Then there are the rare “five tool” players. They can hit for average, hit for power, field, run, and have great throwing arms. But since there are precious few of those, you sign players who bring certain strengths.
Same is true on a writing staff. Ideally, you want a writer who is a whiz with story, turns out great drafts, and is a joke machine in the room. But realistically, you might hire someone because he’s very funny in the room but weak on drafts, or someone who turns out terrific scripts but is very quiet during rewrites. You might want someone who is extremely clever when it comes to plotting stories or fixing stories but he’s not a good joke man.
The key is accepting that not all writers are five-tool guys. This is why a lot of comedy writers team up. They combine their strengths and minimize their weaknesses.
Cheryl Marks queries:
Stage version of Cheers, good idea or bad?
Depends on whether I get royalties.
Seriously, I’m not sure it is a great idea. Audiences will be comparing the cast of the stage version to the “reallys” and at best they’ll be decent mimics.
It's not like a play where everyone does Hamlet. There’s really only one Sam Malone and that’s Ted Danson. And even he can't play Sam Malone anymore.
My other concern is the content. The book writer will be cutting and pasting from existing scripts I understand but if he doesn’t really understand the characters, tone, or style of what we were going for he’ll likely miss the mark. Seems to me it would have been much smarter for the producers to seek out actual CHEERS writers. Not everyone can write this show. And just watching and studying the episodes doesn’t mean you figure it out.
But who knows? This guy could do a spectacular job.
Still, it’s a gimmick, trying to capitalize on a franchise. I wish Broadway and the theater scene would develop more new material instead of remaking movies and TV shows.
Unless I get royalties. Then I think someone should do “MASH: the Musical.”
What's your take/thoughts on all the "after the show" talk shows like Talking Dead, After the Black, and After the Thrones?
There’s usually a lot of inside laughter and clichéd answers. Rarely do I get genuine insight.
Too bad they didn’t have shows in the ‘80s. Would have loved to have seen AFTER-AFTERMASH.
Way more fun is watching bonus tracks on DVD’s when Vince Gilligan is doing them. I actually learn things.