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Bad Writing Jobs in Film and TV Land

What is it about TV episode guides that dictates they must be poorly written and loaded with typos? Don’t these people use grammar checkers? Don’t they know grammar? Aren’t they getting paid to write these little summaries for their networks? (Just pick any show and read its episode guide online – you’ll see what I mean.)

And what about movie video summaries – “Jane and Martha went on a car ride that changed their lives forever.” I’d be willing to bet 9/10 films have their blurbs including that little phrase. Get real. Get creative. Film is art, not revelation.

Let’s not forget that most TV still is complete crap. My hopes were lifted when I was first introduced to “The West Wing” and learned there are gifted writers in television. But now with RealityTV taking over everything and Aaron Sorkin’s latest fling not quite as hot as his last (IMHO, his legacy), I have to wonder what’s next? Each new season, 1-2 shows come out with some writing respectable enough to merit watching them, but it’s rare that one really blows me away.

Meanwhile over in Hollywood, there are sequels to movies like “Sixteen Candles” in the works. With all of the starving, wannabe screenwriters out there, they can’t come up with better material than that?

Luckily there is still life in the big apple. Tom Stoppard, one of my favorite playwrights of all time, finally has his three-play, nine hour epic, “Coast of Utopia”, staged at Lincoln Center, starring Ethan Hawke.


  1. >I’ve been turned on to “24” over the past month and a half or so and am about midway through 2nd season. It’s rather gripping and decently well-written (if you forgive it does have to stick to episodic narrative and “catch people up” as needed). I also watched the first episode of “Shark” (I think that’s what it was; it’s the courtroom drama with James Woods) and enjoyed it pretty well.