bekah brunstetter
Bekah Brunstetter I care deeply. About a lot of things. Like really, really deep. Ow
playwright in brooklyn, NY

tv is the new black

September 10th, 2016 by Bekah Brunstetter

Hear ye, Hear ye: Queen Sugar on OWN and Atlanta on FX are the best new shows on TV this fall, and I WRITE for a show new to TV this fall (I selfishly and affectionately declare This is Us third best.) Exceptional tone, writing, acting, beautiful landscapes in each. Atlanta makes me laugh and squirm in a way I think I forgot how to. Queen Sugar is the first TV show to make me cry in, maybe ever. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that both were created by black writers and feature mostly black casts. Culturally, we need both shows, so badly. They reveal truth behind cliche and public perception. They are gritty and real, they are at once specific and UNIVERSAL. If,  as a white writer, this means I need to step aside for a minute, I will step aside and aside and aside, and happily watch from said side as these shows change TV for the better.

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January 27th, 2016 by Bekah Brunstetter

I love  many things about morning television, but I adore most this tendency: when the producers are like, nothing is happening in the world right now that is interesting to us so LET’S JUST GET OUR HANDS ON A WILD BIRD OR ANIMAL AND JUST SORT OF PUT IT THERE AND MAKE THE HOSTS PLAY WITH IT, and then America will be all, WHOA LOOK AT THAT THING! And we’ll all have a laugh, forgetting as per usual that we too are just wild animals given language and shoved into pants or skirt or skort.

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January 12th, 2016 by Bekah Brunstetter

If you are not watching this show I genuinely do not know what you’re doing with your life. It’s a reality baking competition, but with really lovely and polite British people who never get that upset. Everyone from blue collar workers to grandmas to high schoolers studying for their exams compete. Its episodes are called things like ‘Advanced Dough’ in which they make things called ‘savory parcels,’ and they are given challenges  — at once tough and cheerful and adorable — like to craft towers of buttery pies shoved full of various fruits and chickens, adorned with tiny bread birds. Then these two really nice people — one the ‘mean’ guy and then Mary Barry, who I think is Britain’s Martha Stewart?

give them feedback on their bakes. The harshest criticism is Not a good bake to which the baker responds, Alright then! Better luck next time, then! There is a cheeriness and cleanliness to the episodes that makes it the TV version of floating on a cloud of angel food.  And the products are quite incredible:


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where no my brain has ever gone before

August 29th, 2015 by Bekah Brunstetter

Hi, I has new job! I am  honored and stoked beyond recognition to get to work on the first season  of a Starz show based on the epic and epically beautiful novel American Gods by Neil Gaiman.  HI TO NEIL AND TO NEIL’S GOOGLE ALERT.  It’s only a book about all of the Old World Gods who have been brought over to America by immigrants, who live among us, but are dying out as no one believes in them anymore — waring with New Gods — media and internet and war and fear. It is only about Everything Ever. It is only about agency and selfhood and faith and God and Gods and money and holidays and tv and dreams and Babylon and Ireland and Genies and morality and loss and gain.  JUST THOSE THINGS. I find myself thrust into the very center of every giant question we should be asking ourselves, both personal and political.  I think it has the potential to be a show that is theatrical and big but small and specific and forces us to look out ourselves in an arrestingly truthful way. ONLY THOSE THINGS. Okay so off to build a tower of books to climb up to this VERY HIGH BAR.

Posted in a lot, awesome, i am lucky, I write for television?, life, politics, the future, the whole world, tout, TV, working | No Comments »

Binge this.

March 13th, 2015 by Bekah Brunstetter

TV, YOU ARE SO GREAT RIGHT NOW! The past week, I have been preaching this new Netflix show’s gospel to everyone I meet, spreading its word. It’s Tina Fey’s new genius mindbaby. Ellie Kemper plays a girl who spent the past 15 years in an underground bunker, after a cult leader convinced her that the apocalypse was coming. She gets rescued, and promptly moves to New York. The product is brilliant. It’d be too easy to just make a show about ‘naive girl from Indiana moves to the Big City! Does stupid things!’ But the layer of her literal separation from society for the past few decades makes her naiveté incredibly real and sympathetic. I love this show so much.  It is colorful, adorable, optimistic, but most importantly, it is SMART. It is not quirky, it is clever, and it is relevant. Tina first set it up at a network,  but they passed and are now most likely kicking themselves and also binging this show. While the Netflix / binge model of the hour long show, for me, promotes hermitage and ‘wait, when is the last time I stood up?’ I’m really liking the half hour show binge. Honestly, if Kimmy episodes were being dropped once a week — I MIGHT have disengaged. But this way, I can grab an episode here and there at my leisure. A 26 minute episode serves as a reward for work complete, but is not long enough to suck you out of work mode. It’s the best. TINA AND ALSO NETFLIX, DON’T EVER STOP.

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March 5th, 2015 by Bekah Brunstetter

I just wanted to voice in this public space that I am loving this new HBO show, so much. It’s about a married couple in LA, and their friends, their kids, their relationship.  Seems simple, right? Perhaps too simple? But like any good show: the world is perhaps familiar,  but the TONE, the SPECIFICS, the weird ways in which the characters express themselves, the worlds they find themselves in, all of these choices make the show explode with humor and sadness and grit. It’s arresting to watch it now, as I am not yet married — there are moments when the show makes me want to run screaming away, find celibacy in a cave somewhere forever.  But ultimately, it makes me sort of long for the complications that marriage brings. It makes me want to feel the sort of love and connection and need to protect and provide for and fight for that I think comes from having kids. It’s about the future.  It’s about love being tested by time, and what happens when two people continue to Grow Up way into their adulthoods.  Grown ups CAN play dodgeball and make new friends and accidentally drink mushroom tea. You get older, it gets harder, but it gets better, and life never stops surprising you. BRING IT, LIFE! IF YOU COULD ALSO BRING A DODGEBALL THAT WOULD BE GREAT!

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Jane the Virgin!

October 14th, 2014 by Bekah Brunstetter

I had the pleasure of attending the Jane the Virgin premiere last night with my buddy and fellow tvwright (noun: a playwright who also writes for TV, I just decided)  Chris Pena. It’s a new CW show about a girl, a virgin, who, through a bizarre series of events, scored with awesome score and narrated by hilarious narration,  accidentally gets inseminated at her gyno. If it sounds insane, it’s because it is, but in  a good way. It’s modeled after a telenovela, is aware of its form, and it is, to my MOST GREAT PLEASURE, straight up chock full of whimsy. I love whimsy. I love when whimsy knows that it’s whimsical. Call me simple or nuts, I just do. I especially love seeing it on TV, and even more especially love when its grounded in truthful and likable characters. I also had the pleasure of meeting a few of the lady actors:

These are not seasoned, jaded TV stars. These are actors who are happy and gracious grateful to be there, who are stoked to be a part of a show that’s innovative and re-energizing its network. Reminded me very much of the cast of Switched. TV, I LOVE YOU SO MUCH RIGHT NOW! I’m definitely going to keep watching this show, as should You.

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March 14th, 2014 by Bekah Brunstetter

I am finally watching this French series on Netflix, in which the dead start coming back to life with no awareness of their death. Not as zombies or ghosts, just — suddenly There again. I like it for a myriad of reasons: its look, its twists, its peoples, but mostly that it’s about something MIRACULOUS.  There’s something really beautiful about seeing people have their dead loved ones in their lives again, but it’s also this painful exploration of how complicated that would be. So far, there’s no real mention of where the people have been for the last some odd years, whether or not they’ve gone to heaven or some sort of afterlife. It’s more about the immediate and human reactions to the miracle, and the unravelling of mysteries. It’s deeply human and shocking but also subtly twisty-turny. Point being: If you aren’t watching it, I GENUINELY DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE DOING WITH YOUR LIFE BUT IT’S PROBABLY THINGS THAT AREN’T WATCHING TELEVISION AND SO WELL GOOD FOR YOU.

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Orange is the New Black is the New Thing I can’t Stop

August 5th, 2013 by Bekah Brunstetter

This show, vs:



Doing things

quality time with other humans

THIS SHOW ALWAYS WINS. I love this show. I love the dramedy. I love the specifics and the horror. I  can’t wait for all of the subsequent costumes this halloween and for when women start paying to go to jail, for fun. Lastly So proud of  / jealous of all my friends writing for it and bein in it.

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The Ghost is Seen

February 17th, 2013 by Bekah Brunstetter

I’d like to issue a formal apology for the sadsack nature of my blog as of late, but I’m basically just a ball of snot and feelings these days. As soon as I can breathe through my nose I’ll go stick my face in a puppy or go on a hike and tell you all about that. For now:

I don’t know if you’re watching HBO’s Enlightened, but I’ve watched it on and off since its beginnings. It’s one of those shows that miraculously is still on TV, because each episode is like a little one act play where oftentimes, not much happens and it dares to have a protagonist that’s oftentimes punch her in the face grating. My favorite and least favorite part is always the voiceover, depending on the episode. Most recently, this character Tyler, pictured above, a simple, lonely IT guy who’s mostly been a pawn, gets his own story, and it’s incredibly sad and beautiful.

He starts:

It’s okay to be a ghost. It has its pleasures.

You’re light. You float. You slip in and out unseen.

There’s no love to lose. Or burden to be.

You have so little to hold you down. You are free.

Some pearls are never found.

They hide under the sand on the ocean floor, No one knows they’re there.

But the pearl knows. Maybe there was a time he wanted to be found. To be seen. And to be held. But now, only hope hurts.

I am my own secret. A scret kept by me.

And then after he’s found an awkward love with Molly Shannon:

Something is changed.

Now, the ghost is scared.

He cannot float. He’s heavy. He’s flesh and blood. He must open doors. He can’t slip away unseen.

The ghost is sad. All those years invisible, haunting now.

Why didn’t he try?  Or care? Or be?

The ghost is happy.

He is found. He is held. And he is seen. The ghost is seen.

I’ve always surrounded myself with lots of people, though I very much love to be alone. But when I’m alone NOT by choice, it’s terrifying. That unknown is terrifying. But I feel like Tyler is telling me through my computer screen that it’s okay to be alone, and it can be liberating, and that I should start comparing myself to pearls and using more pearl metaphors, in general, as this will win me lots of friends, including but not limited to Molly Shannon.

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