Storytelling is not confined to the Written Word. We should challenge ourselves to find and hail good storytelling regardless of medium.
And, no, that’s not just an excuse for not finishing a book this week.
So, here’s something else for your enjoyment.
(like there’s humor in a situation)
Hot in Cleveland
I remember seeing ads for this and thinking, “I should watch that.” But, like most series I mentally bookmark, I forgot about it. When it popped up on Netflix Instant Play, I had no excuse any more. Queue it up!
Three vapid LA women on their way to Paris are grounded in Cleveland, where they find life is not the same as it is on the West Coast. They buy a house that comes with a snarky caretaker.
I am a fan of Jane Leeves. I’ve seen every episode of Frazier, and I loved her as Daphne. All right, you guessed it, I love British accents no matter who’s “ew-ing” the U’s, but, hey, that’s good casting.
I’m not a Betty White follower, but concede that she is a great actress and has a knack for comedic timing. The relationship between Elka (White) and Joy (Leeves) is great.
You cannot go wrong with the cast. Wendie Malick and Valerie Bertinelli are playing roles they are perfect for.
Sean Hayes (Jack from Will & Grace) has a hand in the series as executive producer.
I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. Hot in Cleveland took a 30 Rock concept (S1:Ep.20) and turned it into a series.
This is 100% okay. Hot in Cleveland coasts on concept for six episodes. I was starting to think “Okay, I get it. Just one more.” Man cannot live on concept alone.
Boom. Episode 7, everything is a well-oiled machine, and this series hit its stride. It’s nice to see a show that can make fun of the vapid and fast-paced culture of the coasts, as well as the detached and relaxed culture of Middle America. No one is safe.
I started watching season 2 and snorted coffee.
Season 2 begins in a courtroom with Wendie Malick’s voiceover, “In a situation comedy, there are two separate, but equally important, stories.” A Law & Order tribute? Yes. Yes, indeed. A million times yes.
TV Land, hats off to you. Good choice and well done. A hearty Midwesterner cheer for your continued success.
For the introvert, we sometimes think that, if it were possible, we could go out to the middle of nowhere and stay forever. If only we establish that precedent of self-sufficiency, we could rule our own piece of the planet.
No need to hope anymore.
Turn fantasy into reality.
Items of Interest: Ep. 15
What is a micronation?
A micronation is a self-proclaimed sovereign state. They are often not interfered with by larger governments, but are not recognized as official independent states.
I know what you’re thinking.
Didn’t I see this on an episode of Family Guy?
Yes, but my point is still valid.
Sealand is probably the world’s most well known micronation. The site of Sealand is about 10 km off the coast of England, and was originally a World War II sea fort designed to deter German air raids. Eight shades of awesome.
In 1967, Paddy Roy Bates occupied the sea fort (then called Knock John) and used it to run an off-shore pirate radio station.He and his family have claimed it as an independent sovereign nation, including issuing passports. Bates claimed that the nation was granted de facto statehood when Germany sent a diplomat there, and a 1968 UK court ruling stated that because of its location in international waters, it is outside of British jurisdiction.
This is connected to what is perhaps the most fascinating event in Sealand’s history, which took place in 1978. While Bates was away, Alexander Achenbach, who refers to himself as the Prime Minister of Sealand, along with several German and Dutch compatriots, staged an armed takeover of the facility.
What? Sweet. Let’s fight over a platform. Look at that picture. Was this just a couple of adults playing King of the Hill?
They held Bates’s son, Michael, hostage for several days, later releasing him in the Netherlands. You know, because the Netherlands has the monopoly on the hostage release market. Bates raided Sealand from helicopters. He held Achenbach and the others as prisoners of war, and while the others were released, Achenbach was not. Since he held a Sealand passport, he was charged with treason against the micronation and was held unless he paid a hefty fine. When the British government would not help, Germany sent a diplomat to negotiate his release.
From time to time, rather extreme things like this have happened at Sealand, including an instance in 1990 in which a British ship was fired upon with rifles from Sealand for passing too close and “invading Sealand territory”.
Torrenting gurus The Pirate Bay attempted to buy it in reaction to harsher copyright restrictions in Sweden, its homebase.
If you’re going to go claim sovereignty, please put a little more thought into the name, by the way.
So, introverts, start looking for those loopholes. When my micronation invades yours…shoot, you’re going to be so surprised.
I may have…accidentally…on purpose…inadvertently…quit my job.
That was the teaser.
Now for something completely different.
My final semester of college, I flipped my academic advisor (and group of friends) the bird and moved to New York City. NO REGRETS! Jiminy Cricket, I love that city. I participated in an internship program. The Great Lakes Colleges Association purchased an old hostel on 29th Street and 8th Ave. (I could practically spit on Madison Square Garden). Out of all the artistes participating in the program, the coffee-fetchers, the case carriers, the note-takers, I had something amazing.
An internship at Sony Pictures Television.
I was in a three-person department which consisted of the Development VP and Producer for Mini-Series and Made for TV Movies, her assistant, and lil ol’ me.
And this was no coffee-fetching internship. I was picking writers for projects. I was determining which rights to acquire. Script coverage, contacting agents, sitting in on budget meetings, editing scripts…my God, I’m almost shedding tears thinking about it.
Once the writers’ strike was over, the VP was on set while her assistant and I held down the fort at the New York office. I was watching dailies, seeing costuming. I only went out for coffee once, and the assistant apologized at least four times for asking me to do it.
I was in love. There’s something about that city. It doesn’t work for everyone, but when it gets inside you, you feel it. It whispers in your ear. It tugs on your heart. It lifts you up high and reminds you of every low. It makes you forget everything outside of itself.
In retrospect, I did some stupid stuff in that city.
I walked around by myself at two-o-clock in the morning just to feel the pace still burning through the streets when the world should be sleeping. Okay, I didn’t go to Central Park at night. I have seen almost every episode of Law and Order: SVU. I’m stupid, but not suicidal.
And, when walking through NYC at two-o-clock in the morning, I knew what I want to do with my life.
I want to produce content. Not just books, not just TV shows, not just movies. I want to tell stories, no matter what form that takes. I want to take these fantastic images in my head and hand them to someone else and say, “Look. Without me, this would not exist. What do you think?”
I know. All mad gab existential.
But, more than that, I want to be someone people can associate with quality storytelling. I want my name to be attached to a TV show, and a group of people take over a bar on premiere night so they can make up a series drinking game. I want to share other people’s stories that I find brilliant.
I want to determine what gets added to the cultural genetic structure.
Sounds crazy, no?
It’s not about the money. It’s not even about the reputation. It’s about the story. It’s about the culture. It’s about striving for a higher standard, raising the expectation, and achieving something amazing.
This past weekend, I took a step back and looked at Day Job. I adopted a British accent, stuck my finger in its face, and screamed, “You’re not helping me achieve my bloody goals!”
I told my boss I think I needed to explore my options. Because I have to keep moving forward. Stagnancy is going to kill me.
Wish me luck, pray for me, keep me in your thoughts, whatever.
Because I might be broke forever, but, at the end of everything, at least I can say I tried my hardest.
And, that counts for something.