Josh Schwarz, David Crane, Michael Schur, Marta Kauffman and Dan Goor are my best friends. They make me laugh. They make me cry (sometimes). They have given me some of my best times, some of my worst, some of my most golden memories and some of my most heartbreaking. They have always been there for me, even when life is at its absolute bleakest. They are sharp-witted, brilliant geniuses who dared (and still dare) to toy with the confines of traditional writing conventions and push the boundaries, breaking the classic humour and drama stereotypes, always moving in new directions. But I can bet that 90% of you have never even heard of these people. And here’s why.
BRIEF BUT DESCRIPTIVE EXPLANATION OF SOMETHING
Now I’m not gonna lie to you, I love my comedies. In fact, out of the fifteen or so TV shows I watch, only three are dramas. Precisely why all of the writers listed above focus on comedy except for Josh Schwarz, even then he created and wrote Chuck. However, this post will focus on the overlooked incredible talent of all kinds of TV writing: drama, comedy, even musical ( I’m looking at you Crazy Ex).
BACK TO MAIN ARTICLE
Ever heard of Aaron Sorkin? Amy Sherman-Palladino? Larry David? (of course you have, why did I even bother?) These people are the brains behind The West Wing, a series renowned for its superbly smart and quick dialogue, courtesy of its writers, Roseanne, the show that opened the door for clever family-friendly writing, The Newsroom, the exceedingly neglected series cancelled too early, Gilmore Girls, a classic if ever there was one, and of course, Seinfeld, perhaps the greatest show of all time. All of these shows are known for being well-scripted and yet, no one truly gives enough credit to the writers.
I grew up with the mindless antics of four characters, who, despite popular opinion, have a fairly considerable depth to them. Names? Jerry Seinfeld, Elaine Benes, George Costanza and Cosmo Kramer*. These four idiots are the product of one of the greatest writers in the history of TV. Larry David is stuff of legend, except not really because you know, he is real and tbh, a bit of a weirdo. I still love him though. His comedic timing is impeccable, his ability to keep a show running for nine seasons and only manage to have a few creative mistakes is remarkable (although I’m not sure the last episode was a mistake so much as a disaster) and his insurmountable skill to even create a show about nothing, let alone write a script twenty minutes long for one, is exceptionally noteworthy. So what made him a true Hollywood success and the others underrated? Is really because the huge phenomenon that Seinfeld was or is it because simply no one cares?
I can assure you that the latter should not even be a reason at all but it, unfortunately, is correct. No one in this world cares for the brains behind the beauty. The actors who grace our screens are the only people in the whole production that we care about. Think about the hours and hours that the writers spend thinking up plot-lines and the endless stories for our pure enjoyment. Think of the time spent on evolving characters, developing scripts and creating the jokes we laugh at, the deaths we cry at and everything in between.
No one cares enough to celebrate our amazing TV writers. We only have to go back nine years ago to the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America Strike to see evidence of the lack of praise and, honestly, money that they so clearly do not receive.
Give them the recognition they deserve. Next time you sit down and watch that hour of gold that we all look forward to once a week, watch for the clever script, the funny banter and the sequence of events; all fruits of the writers hard labour. And it is almost always taken for granted.
Watch for the unsung heroes.
xxx- One Half of the Two Crazy Youths
* This is the first time that my partner in crime is hearing about this. Why you ask? Well my all time favourite TV show is Friends. So you can imagine the shame and embarrassment of absolutely loving Friends and loving Seinfeld as well. My dad is a huge Seinfeld fan and I did, I really did grow up with Seinfeld. Seinfeld is the reason why comedy is my one true love. Seinfeld is the reason I hate soup. Seinfeld is the reason why TV is so important to me. Call me a traitor, fine. Tell me I need to sort myself out before I can continue on living, don’t worry, my dad has already said that to me.