Monday, April 19, 2010


Okay, so this is the last week of my entire life that I will ever be 30-something (<--how's that for a melodramatic statement? lol). Yep, I'm turning 40 on Saturday. (*pout*) So, in honor of that, I thought I'd spend this week's blogs devoted to my favorite t.v. show in the world, "Thirtysomething." Now, before you click off, or roll your eyes at me for loving this "yuppie" show (sadly, that's the stereotype it got stuck with), or think this week's posts will have nothing to do with writing -- just take a second to hear me out...

I love "Thirtysomething" for many reasons, but the main one is the writing. Deep, thought-provoking, realistic, witty, smart. Those characters dealt with rivalry, job loss, death, miscarriage, cancer, divorce, and pregnancies. They had complex friendships that sometimes broke apart and never recovered. They loved, they fought, they struggled through this thing we call life. That's what I enjoy so much - the realism the show provided. The fact that there weren't clear answers all the time. The acknowledgment that life is messy and complicated and difficult - but that it's also still hopeful and precious. Even if you've never seen a single episode, I hope the posts this week will still be relevant to the writing process.

Today, I wanted to share a clip of a fantastic episode devoted entirely, ironically, to writing. The main character, Michael Steadman, takes a Creative Writing course. The problem is, he's rusty. Like, REALLY rusty. His writing is exceptionally bad, but he can't see it. And the teacher, throughout the episode, pinpoints the problem - Michael's lack of HONESTY in fiction. (I see this quite a lot in my own students, actually - a lack of truth/honesty in fiction).

Michael's characters don't seem like real people. They move/walk/talk like cardboard cut-outs. The metaphors are heavy-handed and the dialogue is odd and unnatural -- compared to his other friend who's also taking the course, Nancy Weston. Her writing is real, based on her own life. It holds bits of truth that readers can latch onto. So, in this clip (fast-forward to the 5:00 mark), you see a hilarious bit where Michael is writing the story, messing up, re-writing, and reading it aloud. And then, you'll see the contrast of Nancy's quiet writing, full of truth and poignancy.

I just think it's a creative scene that any writer can relate to. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Never watched that show....but from your description I can see why it's relevant to you, as a writer.