Tag: Justified

In honor of the Emmys

The Emmy Awards will be presented tonight. It’s my favorite awards show because it honors one of my favorite mediums. I have always been a fan and imagine I always will be.  I remember my mom having her favorite shows and life as a kid of the late 60s and early 70s was put on hold in hour increments. As long as there were no broken bones or arterial bleeding, of course.

403934_10150982049728460_1617799206_n1Chad Everett as Dr. Joe Gannon of Medical Center. Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett of the original Hawaii 5-0. I suppose like many women her age and at that time, my mother wasn’t above a little lust.

My favorites, in no particular order:

Hannibal: The epitome of the good vs. evil storyline, and how more often than not, those lines can blur.

Justified: Perfect characters. Again, there’s a thin line between the good guys and the bad guys and sometimes the line is crossed in both directions. Who can forget Jeremy Davies performance as Dickie Bennett? You wanted to smack him while wishing Raylan would just go ahead and shoot him—until he cried in his mama’s arms. And Dewey! Poor Dewey. He wanted to be bad. And of course we can’t talk about bad characters without mentioning Boyd Crowder. Maybe the baddest of them all. But we loved him.

The Walking Dead: Talk about the perfect “what if” scenario! Think about it a minute. What would you do if you woke up from a coma to find the world as you knew was no more? It’s not just about the zombies, or gore, or violence. It’s about so much more. Surviving. And what would you do to survive and to protect your loved ones? But the kicker? You do what you have to do to survive and hold on to your humanity.

16941415_1300x1733Hill Street Blues: Overlapping dialogue, panning camera shots, multiple point-of-view storylines, ensemble cast. Groundbreaking in so many technical aspects.

Modern Family: My go to when I need to laugh. I also find myself studying the pacing and how it’s used with dialogue.

The Big Bang Theory: Proves even the not-so-attractive, socially awkward, geeky nerds can have fun and find love.

Longmire: Who doesn’t like a cowboy? Great storytelling.

M*A*S*H: A comedy that often left us in tears. The death of Col. Henry Blake…oh my. Clutch your chest, hold your breath shocker. mash-title-960x590

Friday Night Lights: Coach. And Riggins. ‘Nuff said.

True Detective S1: Flawless.

imagesE.R.: Mark’s funeral. Doug’s redemption. And watching Dr. John Carter grow up before our eyes.

These are a few of my favorites. What are yours?

You call that work?

Remember when you worked a job where you were given a week, two weeks, maybe more each year for vacation? Some jobs even gave you a certain number of sick days, or personal time as some call it. Remember when you punched a time clock? Or signed your name at the end of the week to a time sheet?

You went to work. You worked. You clocked out and left work at the end of the day. Life was simple. writer's clock

And then you became a writer.

There is no time clock to punch. No scheduled vacation, sick days, or personal time. There is no time “off”. Why? Because if you’re really a writer, a true creative soul, there is no down time. You can’t shut off your inner self.

I worked at the local television station for a couple of years when my kids were small. I worked in the studio production department for the six and eleven o’clock news. It was a fun job but it ruined my ability to ever simply “watch” a television show. Or even see a movie for that matter. My mind is not only following the story, but I’m critiquing the lighting, the camera work, the background music, etc…

When I am able to stop thinking about the actual production of the show, I’m thinking ahead of the plot—the writer in me won’t let the show just unfold—I’m three scenes ahead.

Dickie

Jeremy Davies as Dickie Bennett, “Justifed”

One of my favorite television shows is “Justified”. The acting, writing, direction, story lines, everything about the show is take-your-breath-away perfection. The second and third season featured the Bennett family—and I, ever the sucker for a great character, fell head over heels for Dickie Bennett (expertly played by Jeremy Davies). The character was so well written and acted, Dickie Bennett became somewhat of an underdog one might actually find a ping of sympathy for. And the whole time I’m crying for Dickie Bennett, I’m wondering why? Why—because although I’m fully engrossed in the show, there’s a part of my brain going “Wow! What a character! I wish I could write a character like that!” So I’m back to working.

It’s the same with a book. Fellow writers—do you ever wish you could just pick up a book and read for the pure joy of it? Or are you working when you read? I study the style, the dialogue, the pace…and sometimes, it drives me nuts! Because there I go, working again.

writers-quotes-story-writing-34823017-400-263I took Sam for a walk today around the block. Great being outside in the fresh air, away from the laptop, away from the pen and paper, away from the cell phone. Just me and Sam—and a thousand characters running around inside my head. Scenes played out, dialogue was spoken, opening lines were toyed with…a simple walk turned into a working break.

And then there’s social media. As writers, a lot of our books’ success or lack of can be traced to social media and how the book is “marketed” on such. So each time I sign on to Facebook, am I working?  Each tweet I send, am I working? Yes. I’m building and nurturing a relationship with readers. Sorry—playing Candy Crush probably doesn’t count.

So I’m going to wrap this up so I can go watch the Superbowl. I like the commercials. Advertising at its best. I’m always fascinated by the production that goes into some of the spots, the quick and to-the-point message delivered in thirty seconds, the words used to…oh darn. There I go again. Working.

 

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