My first episode of This is Us airs tonight! I just love writing for this show, so much. It’s the first TV job where I really feel like I can be my full writer self, a little heartfelt, a little cheeky, little strange. I can’t tell you much about what happens in tonight’s episode, but I WILL say that characters will say things, feel things, make decisions, make jokes, sit in cars, put on clothes, and eat cheese. GUYS, ALL OF THE SIGNATURE BRUNSTETTER TOUCHES ARE ALL UP IN THIS EPISODE.
Press is starting to drop for the new show I’ve been writing for, This is Us! I’m not sure I’ve mentioned it here yet, because whether or not I’m eating cheese this week and whether or not Unicorn dresses surely takes precedence over career announcements. I won’t spoil it much, but let’s say that if NBC’s gift to viewers at the screening of the pilot, these personalized packs of tissues, are any indication:
THE SHOW WILL BE WEEKLY BURROWING INTO YOUR HEART AND PRESSING ON YOUR TEAR BUTTON.
My creative thoughts always feel slightly disconnected from earth. I try and bring them down, make them real, but I can’t really gather them. I try and touch them but they’re made of bounce or whimsy or cartoon. There is a candy film between myself and Them. I can only conclude that thoughts are a bunch of multi-colored helium balloons, colorful and filled with air and tied to a chair at a kid’s birthday party. They will wilt by morning. They will not fit in the trash.
I bid a bittersweet farewell to the Switched at Birth writers, cast and crew last night. After 103 FREAKING EPISODES, it is being sent off to that great big vault of excellent shows in the sky, where shows go to take naps and reminisce and, as my theory of heaven goes, dine on waffle sundaes and unlimited peel and eat shrimp. Practically everyone who’s ever worked on the show turned out to celebrate what we made. I’m still new to TV, but I get the sense that it’s rare to work on a show with so much love and camaraderie. The fact that it gave a lot of people their first chance at their dream I think lodged it in a special place in a whole lot of hearts. Lizzy and Paul gave lovely speeches about how surely we’ll all work together again, and so it’s not really the end. By which I of course mean, of Gils Marini’s abs.
IT WILL NEVER BE THE END.
ABC Family, or Freeform as they are now calling themselves, announced a few days back that this season of Switched at Birth, Season 5, will be the last. The blunt / tough / biz way to put this is, of course, is, SHOW CANCELLED. But really, it’s sort of a beautiful end of an era. The show is coming to an end, yes, but not before it reached 103 episodes, which is a rare accomplishment for a show, especially one featuring deaf and hard of hearing characters. I MEAN. I moved on from Switched months ago, but the more time that passes, the more I realize how unbelievably special the whole experience was. I don’t think I will ever work with better people, or in a more loving environment. I just might spend the rest of my career chasing or trying to recreate it. Maybe I will even try and recreate myself with my own show. Lizzy says it feels like college graduation, and I couldn’t agree more. The whole thing did feel like college. There was learning. There were snacks. There are now lifelong friends. There was a regular walk up and down a moderately sloped hill. There was pride. There was comradery. And I very much already can’t wait for the reunion.
SIX MORE WEEKS OF WINTER
(For those just tuning in, the main character’s name in American Gods is Shadow, and so PUNS FOR DAYS. Yesterday we got to meet our Shadow, Ricky Wittle! HE’S THE BEST WHICH HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HOW MUCH HE BROUGHT US ALL WINE.)
When you’re a adapting a book for TV / film, I think for a while you forget about the book, just for a moment, to create a larger world. And then you remember it, return to it. American Gods is stuffed full of brilliant musings about belief and what it is to be a human in the world. My new favorites:
‘The paradigms were shifting. He could feel it. The old world, a world of infinite vastness and illimitable resources and future, was being confronted by something else — a wed of energy, of opinions, of gulfs. People believe, thought Shadow. It’s what people do. They believe. And then they will not take responsibility for their beliefs; they configure things, and do not trust the conjurations. People populate the darkness; with ghosts, with gods, with electrons, with tales. People imagine, and people believe: and it is that belief, that rock -solid belief, that makes things happen.’
‘There are stories that are true, in which each individual’s tale is unique and tragic, and the worst of the tragedy is that we have heard it before, and we cannot allow ourselves to feel it too deeply. We build a shell around it like an oyster dealing with a painful particle of grit, coating with smooth pearl layers in order to cope. This is how we walk and talk and function, day in, day out, immune to others’ pain and loss. If it were to touch us it would cripple us or make saints of us; but, for the most part, it does not touch us. Want allow it to. No man, proclaimed Donne, is an Island, and he was wrong. If we were not islands, we would be lost, drowned in each others’ tragedies. We are insulated (a word that means, literally, remember, made into an island) from the tragedy of others, by our island nature, and by the repetitive shape and form of the stories. There was a human being who was born, lived, and then, by some means or another, died. There. You may fill in the details from your own experience.’
The writers milled about The Broad –the incredible new contemporary art museum in downtown LA — searching for story, for color, for inspiration.
They were dismayed to see the teenagers not even fully looking at the art, not taking it in, but instead just posing for pictures next to the art, then grabbing their phone back from their friend, inspecting the picture as if it were art. “How sad, that they are not even fully appreciating what they are seeing, that to see something fully, they must take a picture of themselves looking at the thing, and then the picture itself becomes a remnant of the moment, and the moment itself disappears,” the writers thought, above and annoyed, while waiting patiently for the teenagers to clear the frame, at which point, they themselves stepped next to the art, For a Picture.
Lots of glamour and innovation at the Emmy’s today, folks, as Hollywood’s finest hit the red carpet in their sunday best / cleavage. Lets go live to Bekah Brunstetter’s iPhoto booth!
YOW! Bekah is sporting a balletish mini dress by Kimchi Blue for Urban Outfitters, which she had a real crisis about purchasing as she wasn’t sure if she was too old to enter an Urban Outfitters. Via this dress Brunstetter travels back in time / pretends that she did ballet as a child / was / is graceful and small. Brunstetter is sporting freshly washed, still wet hair, bare lips, birkenstocks, and remnants of last night’s eyeliner. When asked how she felt today, she said “wait Is this the one that’s for TV or the one that’s for movies or the one that’s for both?” She then found a popcorn kernel stuck in her bra.