Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Those Fictional Writers on TV

Someone on Facebook, sorry I can't remember who, posted about how TV shows aren't about writers because no one wants to watch them sit at a computer all day.

Actually there are quite a few shows where one of the main characters is a writer. But in most cases, you don't see them working as a writer. Even if they are wildly successful they have a day job which is frankly dumb. Most writers would be more than happy to kick the day job. Often giving a character the job of the writer is great for TV because it leaves them free to do stuff that they wouldn't have time to do if they had a real job. Plus since TV shows are written by writers it makes sense that they want to write about writers.

So following are some shows with writers and some drool worthy critique because when it comes to male writers, that's what's important.

Castle - Richard Castle is a multimillionaire murder mystery writer. He also solves murder crimes in his spare time through his connection to the city mayor and the police force. We never see him actually writing although his work is mentioned all the time because that's why he's working with the police force, and his muse is his partner. Occasionally we see him at book signings. He's rich, he's handsome, he's kind, he loves his mother (but is not a mama's boy), he loves his daughter, he is a big kid but still responsible, he's funny and he's totally drool worthy. I could storm his castle anytime. He would probably put up the drawbridge though because he can so easily get a prettier princess.

Criminal Minds - David Rossi is a successful true crime writer. He started his career as a criminal profiler, left to become a famous writer, and then feeling guilty for making money from making criminals famous, he's back to being a criminal profiler. One episode had him refusing to take his vacation. Most writers would happily take a vacation so they can write, but not Rossi, yet he still does write. Someone needs to profile him. For an older man, he is worthy of some drool.

Bones - Temperance Brennan is another multimillionaire writer. But in the daytime she plays with dead bodies. That's not creepy at all. However she did manage to snag a sexy vampire. Oh wait, he's not a vampire here. That was a different show. He's definitely drool worthy too.

Smallville - It took eight years for Clark Kent to find his career as a journalist. True, he was in high school for four years (and my goodness wasn't he a grown up looking fourteen year old). But when he did become a journalist (without going to journalism school) he took it seriously, that is when he wasn't rescuing everybody he knew from certain death and traveling between planets, and fighting off other worldly bad guys, and rescuing the Green Arrow from himself, and chasing Lana, and chasing Lois, and fending off every woman that noticed how drool worthy he was. Oliver Queen (the Green Arrow) was totally drool worthy too.

Lois and Clark - Clark Kent gets the job right away and spends four years chasing down the story, chasing down Lois and capturing those criminals while wearing spandex and a cape. Yes, he was drool worthy but far more drool worthy as Clark Kent than as Superman.

Ugly Betty - Betty Suarez worked at a fashion magazine as an assistant while she waited for her break as a magazine writer. She rarely ever wrote anything since her job was mostly getting coffee, rescuing her boss from his various forays into stupidity, competing with gay office guy, fending off the wicked witche's evil plans, and volleying fast balls from the receptionist.

8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter - Paul Hennessey is a newspaper columnist. I've been a newspaper columnist. I've never been able to afford lunch from a column never mind raise three teenagers in a nice house. I guess they lived off of his wife's pay from being a nurse. Paul is always around to make his daughter's lives miserable. After all, that's what a father is for. He may not be totally drool worthy but he was nice.

Everybody Loves Raymond - Raymond Barone is a sports writer. Sometimes he goes off to work somewhere. Mostly he stands around and whines. He wouldn't have time to stand around and whine if he had a regular job. He is not drool worthy. Mainly because he never backs up his wife on anything and she has to do all the work. Did I mention he whines?

Sex and the City - Carrie Bradshaw is a columnist in New York writing about sex. Although her apartment isn't fabulous it is decent and she can afford to pay several hundred dollars for one pair of shoes, and she has like a thousand pairs of shoes. I have no idea how a columnist is able to afford to live in New York let alone buy collector shoes. Yes, I said collector, not designer because how often do you wear those shoes? She and her friends have sex with every man they meet and she writes about it. She also wears ugly clothes but they are all a fashion statement. She went to live in Paris with a boyfriend and left her laptop behind so she could take a scarf with her and then had a miserable time because she had nothing to do. Like a writer is actually going to do that.  Writer's go to Paris to write! She also got a fabulous book party when she got published. So being stupid wins. As for Mr. Big, the actor might be drool worthy to some people, but Mr. Big is not.

Just Shoot Me - Maya Gallo is a magazine journalist who can only get a job at Daddy's magazine. She fights against the fluff while carrying on with the bald photographer who frankly wasn't even interesting until he showed up on Flashpoint.

Murder She Wrote - Jessica Fletcher is a very successful cozy murder mystery writer. We get to see her write in the opening credits. Everywhere she goes a murder happens which she has to solve. She is walking death. You would think that people would run when they see her. It's easy for her to write mysteries because after she solves the mystery she goes home to write about it. No one yet has caught on that she's probably a serial killer who kills these people, frames someone else for it, and then makes a couple of million off the story. I bet David Rossi would figure her out.

Newhart - Dick Loudon writes how to books while running a New England inn with his wife Joanna. He should be writing strange but true books instead because he comes up against Larry, Darryl and Darryl. Turns out it was all fiction anyway and it was all a dream. He wasn't a how to book writer but a psychiatrist. It would make anyone crazy. Not drool worthy and you wonder how he even got his beautiful wives - oh yeah, he dreamed one up.

The Waltons - Johnboy Walton is the oldest of seven kids during the depression. The show opens with a voice over of his memories and closes with him at his desk in his room writing by hand (there weren't computers back then and the family is too poor for a typewriter). Johnboy does write and several episodes are about his writing adventures including starting his own newspaper. The only odd things in this heartwarming series is that Johnboy isn't the least bit embarrassed that his name is Johnboy.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show - Murray Slaughter is not a murder mystery or a crime writer in spite of his name. He's a news writer and we do get to see him write. In fact that's all you see him doing. His entire roll involved sitting at his typewriter and insulting Ted Baxter the newscaster and mooning over Mary. Not drool worthy but a nice guy to have around if you don't annoy him.

The Odd Couple - Oscar Madison was a sports writer who worked out of his apartment. He spent his time fending off his roommate Felix Unger from his desk and totally destroying his mojo. Oscar was a happy slob except when finicky Felix got in his way. Not drool worthy in the least, but that's not his fault. He was funny.

The Dick Van Dyke Show - Rob Petrie was the head writer for the Alan Brady show, a variety show on TV back when variety shows were popular and funny (how I miss those days). Rob actually went to work everyday and we saw him work with his other writers, Sally and Buddy. Some of the funniest bits from the show came out of the creativity in that office. Of course some of the funniest bits came from home life too and you could totally see what Laura (Oh Rob!!!) Petrie saw in him. Definitely drool worthy.

So that's what I came up with. If you can think of others, by all means add on.