Tag: television

Discomfort, and eventually… Growth.

Discomfort, and eventually… Growth.

“Our biggest growth stems from when we are uncomfortable.” Not my words, actually, but I heard them last night while at a nice gathering of various young artists in the entertainment industry. My friend and production manager said these words to me when I told her that I resigned from my job and moved to Los Angeles with a computer and a dream. I feel like that is a saying, isn’t it? A suitcase and a dream…a kid and a dream…something like that. Well, that happened. And now, I sit in a California coffee shop and work on my script. Luckily, I am not alone.

As of today, my writing has begun to serve a new purpose: comfortable discomfort. I know, ridiculous. Allow me to explain. I’m sure we have all received advice at some point to be “risk takers” and “bold believers.” It can become hard to explain to even myself sometimes. A decision to leave all loved ones and all familiarity for something so uncertain. So that is when we have to ask – what is the alternative? The alternative is to remain comfortable. A nice salary, a nice group of friends, a full refrigerator, and probably a paid vacation or two. Writing, however, has become my comfortable discomfort. The thing that I do that is risky, unpredictable, and at times, inexplicable to many. So although I chose the discomfort, it comforts me to know I’m giving it a try.

So in my wordy reflection on this sunny Saturday — what is your comfortable discomfort? What is something that you NEED in your life that also brings out your messy, unscheduled, unraveled side? All of the craziness, all of the uncertainty…it is how we grow. It doesn’t have to be moving across the country or giving up something drastic, but it does have to be something that allows us to fail. We can’t appreciate success without feeling like a disaster at some point on the journey.

So, take a leap. Be fearful, but do it anyway. Be uncomfortable, so that you can find comfort with yourself. All it takes is the decision to start.

Tears of Clarity…and pursuit.

Tears of Clarity…and pursuit.

When the topic of “good” writing for television comes up, I always ask one question: Would you rather watch motivated characters triumph over tragedy, or would you rather witness someone solve a crime or a case? Maybe you enjoy both. Maybe they aren’t mutually exclusive. There really is no correct answer, but in all honesty, all primetime television can be categorized under those two umbrellas. So, why do YOU become invested in a show?

Let’s talk This Is Us for a moment. Hands down the largest hit of the previous primetime season by a significant margin. Why? Well, many would say this: “It’s a show about normal people solving problems.” Sure, you could say that. But actually, I would argue the opposite. It is not simple at all. Dan Fogelman found a refreshing, impactful way to portray how our past experiences influence our ability to walk through life as imperfect humans. No one is simple, and no one is normal. Obesity, insecurity, infidelity, dishonesty, and love – these are elements of struggle that the show tackles. Sure, it’s all fiction. But well-rounded characters that are motivated to make their lives better? That, my friends, is non-fiction. That is clarity. Clarity that we are not alone in this pursuit of happiness. 

Lastly, we close with an iconic, critically acclaimed drama that lived 6 years at NBC: Parenthood. No “viewer discretion advised” warning needed. No cliffhangers. No shocking murders. Briefly, let’s name a few storylines: teen pregnancy, Autism, financial troubles, infidelity, family feuding, parenting, and forgiveness. Oh, and when season 4 comes around, we can add breast cancer, career changes, and divorce once you reach Season 5. Many people who might pick crime dramas or case dramas would ask me: “why would you put yourself through Parenthood? Too sad. Why would you want to cry watching TV?” My answer to them was simple: They are tears of clarity. Tears of motivation and empathy. Every single one of us can identify and empathize with one of the themes listed above, and THAT is why we watch. More imperfect examples of people powering through tragedy that might just make you approach yours a little differently.

So, all in all, isn’t that what every writer wants? A story that reminds a reader or audience member that he or she is not alone. A story that provides clarity for someone who needs a friend. A leading character who often mirrors the mistakes we make on our own journey. As Bob Dylan tells us in Parenthood’s theme, “may you always be courageous, stand upright, and be strong.” Yes, Bob, we will do our best.

Which TV-Watching Personality Are You?

Which TV-Watching Personality Are You?

Okay, now that we have covered some deep material here, it is time to have a little fun. We all watch TV. Well, for some of us, that means we watch the Super Bowl and maybe the Grammy Awards. MAYBE. For many of us, however, we dabble in many different types of television. Most importantly, we are proud of it. So, which one are YOU? 😉

  1. The Bashful Binge-er

    Binge watch doryOkay, so maybe you aren’t bashful about it, but I just love alliterations. If this is you, you are an extroverted introvert. You decide when you would like to save the entire weekend to watch the ENTIRE Gilmore Girls revival. You like being social…SOMETIMES. You also LOVE to wait for the entire season to be put on Netflix in June. And you watch them all very quickly. You might occasionally watch one live if a friend invites you, but you truly love your bed, your laptop, and a glass of wine. Binge-away!

  2. Reality Rachel

    Reality rachel memeAlright, time to fess up, Rachel. You don’t care how many people poke fun at you, you LOVE The Bachelor. Who needs scripted character development? Oh, wait. The Bachelor is scripted. SPOILER ALERT! Anyway, you also love J-Lo’s World of Dance and Dancing With The Stars. You might even consider dabbling in ABC’s American Idol reboot. MAYBE. So, Reality Rachel, am I right?

  3. Catch-Up Carly

    Far behind memeWell, Carly, you try. We give you credit. You really do try. But, if there is a work function this Thursday, you go for the open bar. If your Tinder date asks if you are free, you say YES. And lastly, if your friend’s cover band is playing down the street, you go. You miss the episode. Hell, you might miss 2 weeks in a row. Now, you are tempted to just join in with the second half of How To Get Away With Murder because your friend just ruined the cliffhanger for you. Goodness, Carly, catch up already!

  4. Cathy Cable

    HBO memeOkay, so Cathy Cable has a point. Cable shows rock, not to mention they often fill most of the nominations during Emmy and Golden Globe season. The Walking Dead, Girls, Game of Thrones, Big Little Lies…..the list goes on. Graphic, intense, gruesome, brutal, honest, and passionate. Cathy Cable knows what’s up. You aren’t messing with primetime precautions or catastrophic commercial breaks. Did I mention I enjoy alliterations? You go, Cathy!

  5. Primetime Ponderers

    LIve tv memeLive, live, live! Your twitter is out. You’ve already tweeted your fellow fans. Your wine is poured, and you don’t make ANY plans. THE NEW EPISODE IS YOUR PLAN. No one can call. No one can text, well, until a commercial. You’ve thought about the episode at least twice at work today. Also, you have watched ALL of the previews that were released on the Facebook page. You might even follow a Tumblr fan account and secretly look for spoilers. You love live TV. And better yet, you make a blog about the power of live television and the impact it has on audiences worldwide. 😉

Well, which one are you? Sound off in the comments below by clicking on the title of the article!