Friday, June 28, 2013

Stuff I Wish I'd Written

I'm a fan of the show "Elementary."  I like the characters, the premise, the writing.  I get so absorbed, I don't try to text, check facebook, or do anything else while I'm watching.

I felt the same way about "Lost."   Even though the last two seasons involved time travel and some wonky magnetism, the writing was riveting.  I felt like I knew these people.  They were multi-faceted and complicated.  I cried when Sun and Jin drowned. I cried when Juliet died.  I cried when the series ended.  I still miss that show.  

I felt the same way about "Home Improvement."  I could relate to the character Jill, a frazzled mom with three boys, trying to work, then returning to school.  Her POV was realistic, and she could have been my best friend.  

I feel the same way about the movie "Mr. Holland's Opus."  Richard Dreyfuss is stellar as the beleaguered music teacher who really wants to compose, but finances and family dictate that he maintains steady work.  So he takes a "regular" job and writes when he has a minute (sound familiar?)  I love this man.  His dedication, his frustrations, his humor.

These are a few of the projects I think are well written. When I run across a piece of work that moves me, it often runs through my mind, I wish I'd written that.  Quirky characters, tragic characters,  sacrificial characters, funny characters...these are my favorites.  I love realistic dialogue and surprise endings. 

Most of the stuff on TV these days doesn't interest me.  Most current movies don't interest me.  Most of what I read is nonfiction.   But, now and then, some wonderful and soul-stirring characters cross my path and stay with me.  Like Jonny Lee Miller's Sherlock Holmes.  Jack and Kate and John Locke.  Jill and Tim Taylor.  And Mr. Holland. 

I'm so grateful for good writing.  It keeps characters alive.

What do you wish you'd written?


  1. I find myself admiring the writing and characterisation on many of my favourite programmes. I'm watching Stargate at the moment, and often find myself in awe of the dialogue and plot twists. There are some brilliant writers out there working in television. One of the best lines ever is from Homer Simpson: "Alcohol - the solution to, and cause of, all of life's problems."

  2. I know exactly what you mean. My favorite show is Burn Notice, about an ex-CIA spy who spent the first few seasons trying to find out who “burned” him (set him up so he got blacklisted by the CIA) and also helps various clients- usually innocent people who got mixed up with the wrong people- along the way. Those who are unfamiliar with the show might see it just as a shoot-em-up type thing, but while that part is fun, the real value of it is the depth of the characters and how they and their relationships have changed over the seasons. Add on to that the amazing plot lines (you’re always convinced that okay, THIS time they’re toast- but then they get out of it in remarkable but perfectly believable ways!), the fun things you learn about being a spy (ex: if you get caught in someone’s house where you’re not supposed to be, open the fridge and grab something to eat like you live there. Then act very confused- you’re less likely to get in big trouble that way.) and it’s just a super fun show. I’m so sad it’s ending this season! Ah, well. I’ll just go back and watch reruns. :-)

    My favorite episode was where they ambushed this guy and his cronies in an alleyway. The guy brought his brother (who was the kingpin of the operation) back to where it had happened to show him the carnage, but Michael (the ex-spy) and his friends had cleaned it all up so you couldn’t even tell anything had happened. Then they set up an empty storefront nearby to look like a church, Michael dressed up like a priest, and one of his friends, Sam, paid a guy at a corner fruit stand to wear his hat and sell his fruit for awhile. When the guy brought his brother back, he was like, “No, I swear! It was right here! They shot all our guys!” and then he saw Michael (who was dressed like a priest now) and was like, “Him! He did it! He shot everybody!” Michael just looked at him and said, “Oh, Jimmy. Is it happening again? Jimmy, we’ve been over this. I’m not a killer. You need your meds.” Then Michael turned to his brother and explained that Jimmy had been coming to his church seeking help for his mental problems. So the brother tried to take him back out and Jimmy was yelling about it, then saw Michael’s friend Sam on the corner with the fruit stand and was like, “HIM! He did it too!” then one of their other friends, a woman, walked by like she was shopping, and he started yelling “SHE WAS THERE TOO!!” They all looked at him like he was crazy, the older brother stuffed him into a car and carted him off to a loony bin! LOL! Priceless. ;-)



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