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Open letter to Hollywood Execs: Shows that Should NEVER be rebooted

With the return of Will and Grace,which has left me feeling very conflicted, I wanted to send an open letter which will most likely go unread by the executives of Hollywood but I felt it was super important to state my case anyway even though no one really cares.

Dear Hollywood Executives,

The reboot is all the rage. Gilmore Girls. Fuller House. I get it. They’re fun, it offers nostalgia, instant ratings. It’s fantastic and I happily binge watched them while eating snacks and refusing to speak to others which you know, is a healthy way of living in the world.

Now, we’ve got Will and Grace coming up and while I will hope for the best and have no power regarding any sort of reboot or how Will and Grace will go….I will beg and plead in a semi-desperate and slightly pathetic way to please leave the following shows alone and away from any rebooting.  Just wipe it away and they never need to be rebooted like ever in the history of the world. There are other shows. Leave these alone.

1) Friends

Yes, this would bring in A LOT of money and huge ratings but at what cost? Okay, that’s a dumb question and I don’t mean that as a literal question….’cause let’s just be honest, it would cost like bucket loads of money to get a Friends reunion show. It would probably take money that hasn’t even been printed yet.  Money that could go to feeding starving children and providing me with an employable salary and health benefits but that’s another issue for another open letter, one that involves a continuous stream of my tears  while sitting in a dark corner rocking back and forth. Anyway, that aside, the cast and executive producers have been saying they do not want it and they’ve been saying that since 2004.

The show ended so perfectly.  Sure there are questions like, ‘did Rachel really give up her dream job in favor of a clearly unhealthy relationship?’ The answer would be, yes….yes, she did. So that’s just how it will have to go. She got off the plane and we can only hope that she and Ross had some intense couples counseling off screen. Okay, so maybe instead of a show,  a group interview would be better. I would be happy to narrate and ask all the inappropriate questions. How does next Tuesday around 2, sound? In all seriousness, no Friends reboot. They aren’t in their 20’s or 30’s anymore and the show was about a specific time in someone’s life and now they’re out of it, married with kids and jobs except maybe Rachel…but they’ve moved on. That time where your friends are your family ended for those characters in 2004. There’s nothing left to tell.

2) The Wonder Years

First things first and probably the most important, Fred Savage has said it will never happen so unless you’re planning on doing a reboot taking place at Kevin Arnold’s funeral with Winnie narrating and a special appearance by Marilyn Manson played by Paul Pffeifer played by Josh Saviano, there’s no possible way to make this work. You kinda need Kevin Arnold, he’s necessary to the whole plot ’cause of the whole narration thing.  Besides, there’s that whole Wonder Years DVD thingy which has all the reunions. They did it, no need to be greedy. Although, if you really want it, I would like to pitch a Wet Hot American Summer version of a reunion where they do that seventh season but don’t recast. Just have them at the age they all are now playing seventeen….but I don’t think anyone will be happy with that except me. But I  could pitch….next Tuesday, around 2?

3) The Sopranos

Tony Soprano dies at the end! Spoiler Alert!  He totally dies. That cut to black proved it and I will yell mean things at anyone who tries to convince me otherwise. The show was told through Tony Soprano’s eyes and he has no more eyes because he’s dead. There’s also another much sadder reason why a reboot of The Sopranos would not work….the passing of James Gandolfini. Recasting would be insulting to his memory and it should be left in the fond memories of fans. James Gandolfini was a giant and was absolute perfection as Tony Soprano. The best way to celebrate his memory would be to not reboot the show that made him a household name.

4) Seinfeld

I am still hurt by that finale. It hurts my television watching soul. I mean, okay, it was finals week in college and that finale was going to be my reward for studying all week. I even took my tiny little television out of my dorm and gave it to a friend. I did not watch television for a whole week. I was proud. My parents were proud. My friends….well, they didn’t really care….but I like to think they were proud. When finals week was over,  I sat wrapped in a blanket, surrounded by boxes while drinking wine and eating a Papa John’s pepperoni pizza….they knew me at Papa Johns. College was fun.  Anyway, and oh, I didn’t eat the whole pizza by myself because that would have been wrong. Please believe me. Although, after watching that finale, no one would have blamed me for eating my feelings and because of that, I don’t think Seinfeld should have a reboot. That finale aside, it was a phenomenal show and I don’t think you could even capture it’s brilliance today. It was really a show about nothing so no need to make it into something.

5) Cheers

This show was a place where everyone knew your name and not only that, they were always glad you came! A reboot of Cheers just could not work today, not with information being a click away. Cliff’s stories would be debunked with a simple click or internet search.  Cheers was symbolic of a simpler time. No internet, no smart phone, just human interaction and technology would destroy a reboot of Cheers. It just would not work today as the premise was not a complicated one and considering how low the ratings were when it first premiered, it’s doubtful a show like Cheers would last longer than a season today. Cheers was about a quieter time and was about people, about finding humor and drama in relationships in a neighborhood bar.

In fact that’s what all of the above shows focused on which would not make them good candidates for reboots today. They weren’t about technology, instant information or whether or not you got a lot of  “likes” from that Instagram picture of your dog and you sharing spaghetti over a candle lit meal. I don’t want to see an episode where Monica posts a Facebook live video of the twins soccer game or Paul and Kevin arguing over Twitter about baseball cards. I don’t want to see Elaine, Kramer, George and Jerry sitting in a deli watching funny YouTube videos or Norm checking his Tinder at Cheers.

Let’s keep those shows where they belong… in the past and maybe come up with something new?

Just a thought….and if you need me to pitch you some ideas, I’m free next Tuesday. Around 2.

Luv,
Me

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In Defense of Friends from College… and other First Season Shows

Terror. Fear. Horror. Fright.

The above is a list of the adjectives I felt when reading the reviews for the new Netflix show, Friends from College.

I was a little saddened by this. The cast is amazing. You have Keegan-Michael Key (Key and Peele), Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) and Fred Savage (The Wonder Years) which is more than enough to make me happy. Then you also have Billy Eichner, Kate McKinnon, Seth Rogen, Ike Barinholtz in supporting roles and Nat Faxon, Annie Parisse and Jae Suh Park to round out the main group, it’s the best and with all those shiny happy people, it’s the perfect group.

On top of all of that, it was created by Nicholas Stoller who is responsible for Neighbors and Forgetting Sarah Marshall and the very much underrated show The Grinder which has nothing to do with the app.

With all of this talent on board, why wouldn’t it be a hit?

The answer came with those reviews.

Now, I kept coming across two stories:

  1. The show is awful, horrible, just the worst…..everything that is stinky in the world is apparently because of this show.
  2. Fred Savage doesn’t like to play with others…..when the cameras stop rolling

Okay let’s discuss the second one first because this is going to be a rant that will be irrelevant to the rest of this but I feel like ranting anyway.

How is Fred Savage not wanting to hang out with his co-stars a story?

This has clearly taken on a life of its own so let’s take it out of the context of a celebrity not wanting to hang out with co-stars and put it into the context of someone not wanting to mix business with pleasure and wanting to keep his personal life separate from his business life, look at it that way and Fred Savage is no different than the millions of other people in the world who prefer to keep a distance between their work life and personal life.

In fact, I actually find it admirable that he has such boundaries. I always thought work happy hours were mandatory…..I could stay home instead? I always thought I had to go so I could network and be sociable and crap. I don’t have to? Fine with me. I mean, okay, people have boundaries. It’s no different than people who refuse to add work friends on Facebook. It’s not personal, it’s just a way to keep things separate. This should not be a story. Unless the story becomes “Fred Savage won’t hang out with his co-stars and also kicks them in the shins and runs away from them super fast” there is no story and we’re putting a negative spin on professionalism.

Rant over.

Now let’s discuss the reviews.

Is this show perfect?

Well…..no. No, it’s not.

The show centers around six close college friends: Ethan (Key),Lisa (Smulders), Sam (Parisse), Nick (Faxon), Max (Savage) and Marianne (Park). Ethan and Lisa are married as is Sam but Sam and Ethan are having an affair which has been going on for twenty years. This is kept hidden from the rest of the group with the exception of Marianne. So basically, Marianne knows that one of her best friends is cheating with the husband of one of her best friends. It’s a little twisted, not gonna lie.

Now, the show has been compared to Friends but with the exception of it being a co-dependent group of six, the fact that it takes place in New York and two of the main friends in the group are married to each other, the two friend groups really could not be more different. For one thing, the six friends in Friends were in their twenties moving towards the future together. These friends are in their forties and are tied to the past and not looking ahead at the future. Also, Rachel and Chandler were not having an affair that only Phoebe knew about…..so there’s that.

Another difference is that Friends had 236 episodes and ten years to add layers to those characters. Friends from College only had eight thirty minute episodes. That’s four hours to get to know six people.

That’s not a whole lot of time and because of that, I hope they get a second season.

The world we live in now is fast. We want immediate gratification. If a show is not a smash right out of the gate, it’s finished. We are definitely in a Golden Age of  Television. We have so much amazing content out there. It used to be that movie stars would look down on television actors, now we have people like Oscar Winner Reese Witherspoon starring in one of the biggest shows on HBO: Big Little Lies.  We are so consumed by content that there aren’t enough hours in the day to consume it all and while this is most certainly a blessing, it’s also a curse.

The curse being that a lot of television shows are not being given a shot to prove themselves past the first season.

When shows are given a chance to grow, magical things can happen.

For example, did you hear about that show that took place in a bar in Boston? First season, it was dead last in the ratings. Yet when Cheers ended in 1993, 84 million people watched that finale and it is now considered one of the greatest sitcoms of all times and that finale was pretty awesome.

Oh and there was another show about four friends who basically sat around and talked about nothing. Research that was done on the pilot received mostly negative reviews and now, just like Cheers, Seinfeld is considered iconic. Even the horrible series finale did nothing to damper the quality of the rest of the series.

Seinfeld and Cheers were given a chance to find their footing, to grow, to be better. Even Friends, their pilot episode while hilariously funny no longer fits with how the series developed over time.

Look at Orange is the New Black on Netflix. The show doesn’t even resemble what it was in the first season. Piper is no longer front and center and rotating characters seems to be the norm now.

So, the point?

Sometimes more time is needed and in the case of Friends from College, I hope they get that chance. This is definitely a show that needs more than four hours to prove itself.

And if they do get a second season, I hope it’s longer and here’s what I would love more of:

1) This season focused mainly on the love triangle between Sam, Lisa and Ethan. Lisa had no idea about the affair between Sam and Ethan. Sometimes this got a little tiring. If there’s another season, can we focus on Max, Marianne and Nick? I felt like all three had so much more to add and there were so many stories to be told that could feature the three of them. Nick has a trust fund, but what does he do all day? What was his purpose in the group? Max is an agent with apparently a very light work load….he has one client, Ethan….and Marianne is an actress? I wanted to know so much more and let’s go back to Marianne. She’s stuck in the middle of her two close female friends, Sam and Lisa, knowing everything that’s going on. She deserves a prize.

2) I hope they go into more background on all of the six. I want to know more about them. Why are they even friends? That was the question I kept asking. Yes, they have fun together, they enjoy each other but for the most part, they’re not very nice to each other. There’s the affair and the episode where it’s revealed that all of the friends forgot Max’s 40th birthday. Lisa and Ethan interrupt Max’s birthday dinner with his boyfriend, Felix, who is played by Eichner….Max reminds them and yet nothing is really done. Yes, Lisa and Ethan were in the midst of a crisis of their own, dealing with Lisa’s infertility issues but I was hoping the final scene of that episode would be a birthday party for poor Max.

I also hope that whatever background they do bring, they add layers to Ethan because Ethan is not all that sympathetic in this series. It’s one thing to be unlikable but I wanted to root for him a little bit. He’s sleeping with his wife’s best friend who is also married, he’s an author but he relies on his agent so much that it doesn’t seem like Max has time to focus on anyone else.

3) Bring Billy Eichner back and have him be the Billy Eichner we all know and love. Yes, it’s great that he can play more subdued and he was a fantastic partner for Max.  He is very talented but I like the Billy on the Street character. It makes me happy. Although, I guess I can see why they had him be more subdued. It matched more with Max who was a little more hyper and the two balanced each other out…..but still… I’m  gonna just sulk about it.

4) Jobs? Yes, in the world of Hollywood, jobs are secondary to the plot, but if this is a show about the nostalgia of the past competing with the present then career would be important.  Marianne is an actress? Yet the play she does seems to be in a high school gym. Max is an agent but he has one client?  Lisa has a high profile job where she’s often subjected to sexual harassment? It might be interesting to see how their addiction to each other interferes with their real lives? We get a little bit at the end with Max. Max ends up not only losing Felix but makes a major mistake which I won’t spoil but in real life would cost him his job and quite possibly his one client..which leads me to my final thing

5) No consequences. There are no consequences to anyone’s actions. From adultery to destruction of property to drunk driving, these six friends live in a world where they don’t suffer from the consequences of some pretty serious actions. Television is filled with self absorbed characters, unlikable characters but every action has a reaction and maybe that’s where a second season will come into play….

What will happen next?  Is there a fall out? There are more stories and with this cast and Nicholas Stoller at the helm, these stories can be told.

These six deserve another shot…every show deserves a chance to grow even in the world of instant gratification.

Oh and if there is a second season, cool it on the YA dissing. As an adult who loves and writes Young Adult fiction, it’s not all about werewolves, witches and monsters but then again, the scene with Fred Savage tap dancing while high on cocaine was one of the better moments and also Kate McKinnon….okay, on second thought, continue with the werewolves and monsters if it means more Kate McKinnon.

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Watching the Wonder Years 24 Years Later….Some Thoughts

Like any television watching adult knows, the summer viewing schedule is often littered with reality shows, repeats and random cable shows so when faced with a decision to read or perhaps binge watch an old television show, I chose to binge.

And I chose to binge on The Wonder Years.

Now, I have not watched The Wonder Years since it went off the air in 1993. Twenty-four years and when deciding to watch a show you have not actually seen for almost a quarter of a century, there are dangers involved in this task:

1. It will cease to be funny or charming and will have lost all of the appeal and humor it once had or you once thought it had. I’m looking at you ALF and also quite possibly Small Wonder.

2.  It will still be funny and you will love it still but you will start noticing more and more flaws that you hadn’t noticed in the first viewing. I love you Friends but let’s be honest, Ross could be kind of a dick. 

I went in with trepidation and snacks which is really how you should binge watch anything and I came up with observations.

It’s very scientific so get your pencils.

1. Kevin Arnold is a flawed protagonist

There are internet rumblings. Kevin Arnold is a jerk. Kevin Arnold yells too much. Kevin Arnold is the worst. There’s even a website listing everything that was wrong with this character.

My response:

Why would you want to see a show about a perfect person?

Also why are we criticizing the behavior flaws of a fictional character between the ages of twelve to sixteen. I would be willing to bet that most of us are at our worst between those ages.

Daniel Stern’s narration, however, shines light on Kevin’s behavior, reflecting on the good, the bad and the not so pretty. The adult version of Kevin Arnold fully admits to the times where he made an error, rushed to judgment or perhaps did not show himself in the best light. The narration took the show to a more vulnerable place with the adult version exposing his worst moments along with the best.

The Wonder Years also proves that we are the products of our environment, Therefore Kevin Arnold’s short tempered moments make perfect sense. Let’s take the episode where Kevin gets a puppy from his grandfather and his father Jack keeps going back and forth as to whether or not they will keep the dog. At the end, Kevin yells at his dad about his flip-floppiness. Jack Arnold’s response?

“You remind me of somebody.”

That line in itself shows one of the many messages of The Wonder Years:

You can never truly escape who you really are. You can never truly escape your surroundings.

Jack Arnold was short tempered so it made sense that his children might carry that on. I fully disagree with those internet rumblings. Besides, it didn’t seem like anyone was ever that intimidated by Kevin Arnold…even when he was all yelly. Instead, they all just seemed to brush it off as a quirky personality trait or gave it right back to him.

 2. Friendship Growing Pains

I am lucky enough to have two friends whom I’ve known for over thirty years so the friendship between Paul and Kevin feels even more familiar now than it did in 1988. The Wonder Years did a terrific job at reflecting those growing pains.

In a season six episode where Kevin and Paul are playing poker with friends, there’s a realization that they’ve both changed. That their friendship at that moment in time might be going in separate directions but with the imagery of Paul and Kevin as old men playing poker with their friends, their friendship will come back together.

While that moment had no true meaning to me back then, now it most certainly does. Back then, I probably took it as the end of their friendship. Watching it again, it’s not the end…it’s just simply another direction. A temporary detour and that’s the way it usually is when you’ve known someone that long. Your relationship ebbs and flows. Sometimes you need each other more than anyone because they just know things without you having to explain yourself but other times….other times, you go off, explore your own life away from that person. Sometimes you don’t speak for years, sometimes you lose touch for a time but they will always be there because they simply mean too much and their place in your life is just too special for you to truly let go.

3.  The show will be never be dated because it already was

The Wonder Years premiered in 1988 yet took place in the late 60’s, during the Vietnam War. A brilliant move in retrospect because it never ran the risk of becoming dated. The storylines were universal regardless of the decade. Yes, there were protests and young people dying overseas. There were race riots and turbulence in the sixties but when you’re twelve, your world is not that big. When you’re sixteen, your world still isn’t quite that big.

Take the episode that had Wayne’s friend Wart returning from Vietnam. When Kevin Arnold delighted in finally catching the owl mascot of the rival high school during homecoming, he spotted Wart sitting on a bench with his clothes off. Wayne approaches him and Wart’s line, “nothing fits” weighed heavily. The world had expanded in a violent way for Wart, a way that it had not widened yet for Kevin who was still young, still sheltered.

So while they did touch on some dramatic moments, it was only to widen the world of Kevin Arnold, forcing him to think outside himself which is a relatable part of growing up, learning that the world is so much bigger than you can ever imagine.

4. Winnie and Kevin were not meant to be

This was controversial at the time. People were upset. It would have been like Ross and Rachel not getting together but thinking it over, it actually makes sense that Winnie and Kevin were not meant to be. Fred Savage stated in an interview that Winnie and Kevin getting married would have almost ruined the fantasy because Winnie was truly the dream girl.  Danica McKeller had referred to her character as a bit of a mystery and it’s true.

We as an audience never really knew Winnie Cooper. We only knew Winnie Cooper through the memory of Kevin Arnold. To Kevin Arnold, Winnie was flawless. She was perfection. Of course there were glimpses into Winnie’s pain. Her parents divorcing and then later reconciling, her brother dying in Vietnam. Yet Kevin did seem oblivious to her pain at those moments quite possibly because it would ruin the image he had of her and also because he was twelve. It was the scene after Winnie was involved in a car accident and the two whisper to each other through the window that they loved each other that forced Kevin to see that the happiness and bliss he had been feeling may have been the polar opposite of what she was feeling.

So maybe having Winnie and Kevin getting married might have ruined that image.  Even adult Kevin keeps up that image of perfection. Winnie was the girl next door. She was an ideal, a dream. She was never meant to be his reality. We were never meant to know the true Winnie Cooper because Kevin Arnold didn’t really know the true Winnie Cooper.

5. Child Stars Gone Good

We hear so many stories. Hollywood is littered with tragic stories of child stars who have fallen victim to substance abuse problems, legal problems, just problems but for every cast of Different Strokes, there is the cast of Wonder Years. At the end of the series , the fictional characters of Winnie, Kevin and Paul are off to accomplish great things but so were the actors who portrayed them.

Danica McKellar went to UCLA and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. She even co-authored a paper called Percolation and Gibbs States Multiplicity for Ferromagnetic Ashkin-Teller models, which you know….duh.

She had also written five math books specifically geared towards pre-teen girls to get them excited about math. I wish she had written these when I was in high school, although when I took the CSET for math and science, I picked up Math Doesn’t Suck to use as a study guide and they are so well written and easy to understand. I recommend it for anyone who wants to improve their math skills.

It would have been amazing had the producers added this math genius part of Danica McKellar to character of Winnie Cooper. I was only a couple years younger than Winnie Cooper so it would have been pretty cool to see a female character around my age excel in math like that.

Fred Savage has continued with acting, starring in The Grinder with Rob Lowe which was really funny. It was like the story of Josh Saviano. Lawyer and actor….where does one end and other begin? Seriously, it’s like they took him and separated him into two characters.

Fred Savage will also be appearing in Friends from College on Netflix and if you have not watched his appearances guest hosting Live with Kelly, you really should. He’s also become a director. After leaving Stanford in 1999, he concentrated fully on directing. He’s directed everything from Boy Meets World (I heard he had an in….apparently the guy who played Cory Matthews is like a brother to him) to Even Stevens, It’s Sunny in Philadelphia, Modern Family, Party Down, Greek, Casual. He’s become an incredibly respected television director.

Oh and also Josh Saviano who played Paul Pfeiffer is not Marilyn Manson although I would like to restart that rumor and not have it die because of the truth.  So I guess we can call that a hashtag alternative fact?  Josh Saviano actually went to Yale and is a corporate lawyer who now specializes in helping actors with their brands, He was also in a few episodes of Law and Order SVU.  He may not actually be Marilyn Manson but maybe he really was the inspiration for The Grinder? Perhaps he should use his lawyer skills to discuss royalties with Fred Savage and Rob Lowe?

It’s not just the main three who are thriving. Jason Hervey is a producer producing reality shows and a lot of wrestling shows. Looking at his producer credits, is it weird that I now desperately want him to appear in the next season of GLOW?  He also produced a really interesting show coming out at the end of the month on A&E called Dope Man which is a documentary that follows an an ex-con struggling with a heroin addiction while he help others. It’s in the same vein as Intervention which means it will be amazing, difficult to watch and necessary.

Alley Mills, Dan Lauria and Olivia D’abo are still acting and doing quite well.

There’s just something comforting knowing that a show about nostalgia and hopeful happy endings transferred off screen. Everyone involved has had happy endings of their own….at least professionally. I can’t speak for them personally but judging them solely by social media posts alone, they all seem to know how to have a good time.

6. The Guest Stars Complete Me

David Schwimmer. Alicia Silverstone. John Corbett. Mark Paul Gosselaar. Juliette Lewis. Soleil Moon Frye. Carla Gugino. Jim Caviezel. Giovanni Ribisi. Seth Green.

I mean, come on!

It’s pretty cool watching the show now and seeing people who you now know from something else. I mean, was there a time when Alicia Silverstone wasn’t Cher, David Schwimmer wasn’t Ross and John Corbett wasn’t Aiden who was too good for Carrie Bradshaw?

There was.

My favorites?

Giovanni Ribisi  was perfect. I loved his character and he was so much more subdued than he was on Friends as Phoebe’s step brother. While he was fantastic on Friends, I kinda loved seeing a him in The Wonder Years. He added humor and seemed like a good match for Fred Savage.

Also, the episode with Carla Gugino called Triangle is definitely worth a watch again. Carla Gugino plays Wayne’s girlfriend who ends up making out with Kevin. I loved the quieter moments with Kevin and Wayne, the moments where you could tell they actually truly loved each other and the ending of this particular episode proves it.

And yes when David Schwimmer appeared on screen as Karen’s boyfriend Michael, I did say that he shouldn’t be there because he had to move to New York, change his name to Ross and tell Rachel that they were on a break.

Was that wrong?

7. Sibling Bonds 

Is there anything more complicated than the relationship between siblings?  You hate each other, you love each other. You can treat them horribly but G-d forbid someone else tries something.

The Wayne/Kevin relationship was intense. When we first meet Wayne, he seems like a monster, making Kevin’s life miserable. The episode where Wayne sucks up Kevin’s science class hamster with a vacuum cleaner comes to mind but as they get older, you see a bond form. They actually like each other despite their best efforts.

Kevin truly does care about Wayne. I mentioned the Triangle episode earlier but another episode that truly sticks out is New Year’s Eve when Wayne’s girlfriend, Bonnie, dumps him and goes back to her ex husband. Bonnie stands there telling Kevin that he must hate her. His response? “I’m so sorry….but not for you”.  Kevin then proceeds to search for Wayne, finding him in a laundry mat, drinking and throwing socks in a washing machine. Wayne also covers for Kevin as well as seen in The Lost Weekend when the Arnold parents go out of town, Kevin throws a party that goes wildly out of control and Wayne covers for him, taking the fall.

Wonder Years showed just how complex relationships with siblings can be and that never changes.

8. Spotty memory makes for great episodic television

In the eighties, you could have a child drive a car into a house in one episode and by the next, it’s as if it never happened. I’m looking at you, Full House.  This was a common theme for a lot of 80’s sitcoms. Things just happened never to be spoken of again.

The way The Wonder Years was set up, this very 80’s way of doing television, was the perfect fit. It didn’t matter if a girl featured in one episode was never mentioned again or a sport Kevin played in another was also never spoken of again. When you tell stories about your past, you pick and choose. You add your own embellishments. You make yourself look better or worse then you really were. Some characters or moments are really significant just for certain things. It works.

It also works because Kevin is not always in the right and as mentioned in the episode where Kevin hits a homerun and is carried out of the park, he says that it may not have actually happened that way. The Wonder Years is about selective memory and what you choose to remember. We are listening to certain stories in the life of Kevin Arnold and we’re listening to an adult looking back on his childhood, only showing the innocence, the successes, the failures, the moments you wish you could erase. It doesn’t need to be perfect or consistent or completely accurate because it’s all told through the memory of an adult and usually the stories of your childhood are never quite consistent.

9. No reunion but there should have been a seventh season

This one is obviously not the fault of the cast or crew but there should have been a seventh and final season. I didn’t think much of it at the time but now, yes, they needed a seventh season but now it’s too late.  Unlike Gilmore Girls, Arrested Development and Full House, there was always a bit more realism attached to The Wonder Years and now that Kevin Arnold would be older than his narrator, a reunion doesn’t work.

We needed that final season. It was necessary and for a show that won a Golden Globe, an ASCAP award, a Casting Society award, a DGA, a Peabody, a TCA, two WGAs, two Viewers for Quality Television awards, three Humanitas prizes, three BMI awards, four Emmy awards and four Young Artist Awards…..it more than earned a proper goodbye. Yes, the ratings had fallen in that final season and it was no longer a top 40 show as it had been the previous season, but still….it never got a true chance to say goodbye.

I get that it probably cost too much to make but it could have had a reduced season or maybe the network could have trusted the fans. True fans will stick with a show. The fans who had been elementary aged kids in season one were teenagers by season six and seeing Kevin in more adult situations would not have been as upsetting as maybe the networks thought it might be. I mean, the show began with Winnie Cooper’s brother dying in Vietnam….I think the fans would have been fine.

We had watched these characters grow up and not seeing them graduate high school, go to prom, get into college made that final episode a little jarring. It was a fine finale but it was a season finale, not a series finale.

And there’s what happened to Jack.

We learn from the narration in the final episode that Jack passes away. This was more shocking to me than Winnie and Kevin not ending up together. Jack did not seem to have any health problems throughout the run of the series and his death came out of nowhere. What if they had had Jack pass away in the seventh season? Watching the Arnold family adapt to a new normal that they hadn’t been expecting might have been interesting to watch but we never got that chance.

I was okay with Winnie and Kevin not ending up together, I understood the reasons but there were too many other loose ends. There  was also Karen who shows in the final episode visibly pregnant although without Michael, her husband, so maybe Michael really did move to New York and changed his name to Ross?

Or maybe that’s another Wonder Years message?

Sometimes things just don’t go as planned and you have to accept the goodbye even if it doesn’t truly feel like it, even if there are loose ends and more stories to tell. Sometimes the goodbye just comes when you aren’t quite ready and you just have to accept that sometimes things happen that are simply out of your control.

10. It still works

The Wonder Years still holds up. Despite my issues with the finale, it still works…..even twenty four years later.

The stories are timeless. Growing up is never easy, relationships are complicated and things don’t always end up the way they should. It will always work because the stories will always resonate depending on the age you are when you watch them.

The older you get, the more stories you have to tell.

The more you get to learn and make each year you get…..a wonder year.

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Hundredth Post…Self-Marketing, Self Exploration and Fixing the Broken

**the following is the speech I gave to my Marketing and Advertising course. Thought I’d post it here.

When I was in the fifth grade, I was going to marry Neil Patrick Harris. We were going to live in a mansion in Beverly Hills with our two children. Right across the street, my childhood best friends, Catherine and Amie, would live in their mansions with their respective husbands and children. Our families would be the best of friends and for a career, I would be an Emmy Award winning screenwriter having recently won an Emmy for having the number one comedy. I have a little bit of that for you tonight and I’d like to share with you that speech that won over my Barbie Dolls, Cabbage Patch Kids, Pounds Puppies and Care Bears:

“Oh my G-d, thank you so much for this honor. I really did not expect this. I thought the other nominees would totally get it…..their shows are amazing. Okay, so I’d like to thank my family, my husband and kids, the cast and crew, my friends and NBC….”

So why am I sharing this story? What’s the point?  

Obviously, there will be no love story for Neil and I. Catherine lives in Santa Monica. Amie lives in New York and I have yet to pretend I’m shocked about winning an Emmy for Best Comedy.

Dreams change and with the Self-Marketing of your dreams, so do you. So do I.

“People don’t change. If anything, you get more set in your ways as you get older. Not less.”


That’s a quote from author Sarah Dessen and while I adore her Young Adult fiction writing, I don’t adore this quote.  I would challenge this quote and say people do change. They change their dreams, their friends, their beliefs, their identities.  Every single day, people look at the broken parts of their life and make a decision to put the broken back together and to make that change because broken people don’t have to remain broken.

My career path has broken down at thirty eight years old.

It’s a dusty path littered with close calls, excessive emails, wasted money, two Masters Degrees in Marriage and Family Counseling and Elementary Education, discarded vision boards and snack wrappers that clearly point to the patterns of an emotional eater.

It’s an empty, blindingly bright road with the sounds of past employers echoing overhead and it’s lined with doors. So many doors, knocking, kicking, striking, punching, pounding on each one until the correct one opens.

It’s been seventeen years since my college graduation and I still have yet to experience finally knocking on the right door.

Maybe this door, the one I’m knocking on right now might be the right one.

I’m changing again.

I got my Masters in Marriage and Family Counseling in 2003. I tried working as a school counselor. I was twenty five and after a quick stint working as a script supervisor on what could possibly be considered the worst reality show ever called, Chains of Love. I had actually left my PR job because I thought this could be the right door. The show and I’m not lying was about six men chained to one woman or six women chained to one man. It was like Elimidate meets The Bachelor/Bachelorette but instead of someone not getting a rose, they were eliminated by being unchained from the group. I am not joking. I wrote down everything they said and after the show was over, I went back for that Masters in Marriage and Family Counseling.

Yet, being a school counselor was not the right door.

I remember two moments in particular where I thought another change was in order.

First was an eighth grader sitting in my office and I had to inform her that she would have to repeat the eighth grade. Her expression blank, she shrugged and seemed rather unaffected. I realized I was more upset than she was.

Second, was a six year old girl describing to me how she watched her father in the bathroom kill himself and she saw his body because she had been in the bathroom when he had pulled the trigger.

I brought it home. I cried. I wanted to do the eighth grader’s homework to hopefully change her circumstances. I wanted to go back in time and get that six year old away from that bathroom.

While I decided this may not have been the correct door, I took valuable tools that could help in any job, any field. I learned how to read people. Often times, what a person doesn’t say is far more important than what they do say. Knowing what the client really wants, knowing your audience is an essential skill for being an effective writer. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing a cover letter, an ad campaign, a book, a grant, a screenplay, a text, who are you writing it for?  

After getting my first Masters, I obtained a Masters in Elementary Education thinking this might be the better door. This led me to getting a teaching credential that would help me work with kids that have special needs. I’ve worked with students across the spectrum. I’ve taught life skills, behavioral skills, academic skills. I’ve worked as a Resource Teacher and an Educational Therapist where my job was to tailor a lesson to a student who needed more help. I wrote IEP’s where I needed to create learning goals, I assessed where students were in the learning process.

Yet, there was always a nagging doubt that this was not right. I love working with kids. I love understanding their minds. Kids don’t see hate. One of my favorite days in the school calendar year to work with children is when a school day falls on September 11th.

Why?

Because the kids I work with don’t remember it. Much like how November 22nd is just a day on the calendar for those of us not around in 1963, September 11th to today’s youth is simply a day on the calendar. That innocence, that excitement of just looking at everything for the first time or imagining a world bigger than them.

Hey, did I ever tell you about the magical jungle gym that’s at an elementary school in Encino? It’s quite impressive actually. It’s where the kindergarteners have recess. In that playground, there’s a jungle gym set that comes with the monkey bars and swings and slides…..and a steering wheel. Now, to the grown up eye, it’s a steering wheel that does nothing but not to the five year old mind. No, no, with the turn of that steering wheel…..they’re suddenly at Disneyland, at the movies, on a pirate ship, on a rocket ship. They’re ninja turtles, Elsa and Anna, Batman and Superman, Mario and Luigi. They’re princesses, superheroes, their imaginations take them to the ends of the Earth and beyond.

I tell this story to show that when working with the imagination of a child, the ideas, the marketing, the writing, it’s limitless. Math, Language Arts, science, history, they take the world, the messages they’ve taken from their screens and make them more than you can possibly imagine so if the imagination of a child is limitless….

Why are there so many limits for adults?

When did these limits get put in place?

When looking at job applications, there are limits. How many years experience? Degrees? Letters?

What happened to taking risks? To believing that a jungle gym could take you to the moon….if you just believed?

I never tell students how hard it is. I have been promised tickets to every conceivable awards show, concerts, New York Fashion Week, a Superbowl or two, anything because I don’t tell them the truth. I let them dream and believe with every fiber of their being that showing at New York Fashion Week is as simple as saying the words. When you’re under eighteen, you don’t need to know the truth just yet.

It’s the belief, that dream that you can marry a celebrity and get an Emmy that keeps kids going and keeps them believing they can accomplish anything. That no path is ever really broken when you’ve gathered the tools to fix anything.

I guess I should talk about the writing.

That’s another part of this crazy intense path of broken career dreams.

I wanted to be a writer and in college when a professor called my writing bubblegum, I knew immediately I needed to write and market myself to a younger crowd.

My senior thesis in college was a twenty two minute sitcom about six single friends that lived in Los Angeles called, Together.

Yes. I know.  Yes, you have seen that show before. It was called something else.

Now, I had no help on my senior project in terms of an advisor.  Professors looked at my production notes and went, “alright, well, it’s not really our thing but okay.” But I knew I had a formula that worked and not just ‘cause it was blatantly ripped off from a formula that was currently on the air at the time. Although, there’s a reason that formula works. People will always enjoy shows that remind them of hanging out with friends.

When I showed my film at 1a in the Pitzer College theater, it was a hit. The greatest compliment I got was from a kid who told me that he didn’t own a television and hated television but if my show was on the air, he’d buy one just so he could watch it and no, I did not tell him he could probably watch a version of it at 8 o’clock on Thursday nights on NBC.

Years later, I would stick to that same feeling of knowing who I was writing for when I rewrote Grease. I was working at a summer camp for kids with severe special needs. These were and are kids who cannot function in a general education environment. They have autism, emotional disturbance, they are the kids that are unfortunately cast aside and considered forgotten, their voices silenced because they have a disability that diminishes their credibility. I made it appropriate for teenagers, rewrote the songs, added funny lines and I had people say to me, “I think you made it too hard for them” or “oh, they need it simpler” and I said they didn’t.

They hit every note, remembered every line and were phenomenal actors. They didn’t need it simplified. They didn’t need limitations. They already had limitations and this performance was like their version of taking a jungle gym to the moon.  It doesn’t matter what obstacles or hurdles they have, if you know you have the tools, limits mean nothing.

While getting my Masters Degrees and working in education, I have never stopped writing.

I wrote spec scripts for Lizzie McGuire, Sex and the City and of course, Friends. I put them in mailing tubes and put Hershey kisses in them with a note that said if you don’t enjoy the script, enjoy the chocolate.

From a Fan Fiction story I wrote, I wrote a Young Adult fiction called Choose about the aftermath of a school shooting. It received five manuscript requests. I am currently working on another fiction story about addiction. I am fascinated by people who manage to succeed even when their lives have broken down.

I have written about dating and relationships for Thrillist and about being hearing impaired on HelloGiggles, I have written for other people’s blogs and created my own. While my path is crooked and a little broken, it’s fixable because the tools I’ve gathered have made me an asset to any job. I’m also hearing impaired so I am resourceful. If you’re lucky enough to have an impairment in middle school, it’s kind of a required skill.

Look, if MacGyver can open a locked door using dental floss, a piece of paper and a vacuum cleaner, I can certainly have a successful writing career with a BA in Media Studies and two masters degrees.  With the tools I’ve gathered, I’ve learned nothing is ever truly broken. There are more doors to be knocked on and eventually the right one will open.

Will it be yours?

 

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Open Letter to People Who Keep Asking About a Friends Reunion

Dear People of Earth,

In yet another article, this time in Variety and while promoting his play End of Longing, Matthew Perry stated that he has a recurring nightmare about a Friends reboot that no one watches. As a fan, I am getting a little annoyed at the constant question of whether or not there should be a Friends reunion. I can’t even begin to imagine how annoyed the cast is getting with that question.

So, I am here to explain the reasons why we DO NOT need a reunion show and/or reboot of Friends. Here are my reasons, please read them and discuss it with your friends and/or family….or don’t do that. Whatever.

Everyone involved in Friends has said they don’t want a reboot. 

Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer have all said they don’t want a reboot or reunion episode. They have said it in pretty much every interview where they’re asked which is pretty much every interview. Matt LeBlanc even joked once that no one would want to see an episode of Friends where Joey and Chandler get prostate exams together. Each of the cast has said in every way possible that they do not want to do it and not only has the cast said it but the creators of the show, Marta Kauffman, David Crane and Kevin Bright, have shot down any thoughts of a reunion. So with the entire cast and the executive producers saying no then maybe it just should not be done. If they did do it, it would feel forced. It would almost feel like a “money grab.”  It would be like they just did it so people would stop asking and it wouldn’t feel genuine given how many times they have all said there’s no way it’s happening.

Yes, Matthew Perry can crack a joke. So what else is new?

Matthew Perry playing a sarcastic funny guy. Jennifer Aniston playing a spoiled girl next door. Lisa Kudrow playing a ditz. Matt LeBlanc playing dumb. Courteney Cox playing a mom character. David Schwimmer playing a lovable geek.

Been there. Done that.

Those actors can play those roles. They can play them unbelievably well. They spent ten years playing them. Why do I need see it again?

I loved watching Jennifer Aniston playing a self-absorbed drug addict in Cake or seeing Matthew Perry playing a possibly sociopathic politician in The Good Wife and The Good Fight. They’re actors. Sure, they’re famous for a particular role and all six have gone on record to say how grateful they are and how everything that has happened in their careers has been because of Friends but I don’t really want to see them play a character I already know they know how to play.

I would love to see Jennifer Aniston do more indie films or see another season of The Comeback with Lisa Kudrow. Matthew Perry said in that Variety article that he wants to play dark and edgy, so maybe he could pop up in a darkly funny show like Shameless.

It’s crazy but it might just work?

All I’m saying is why force them to do the characters we know they already know how to play?  They’re actors….let ’em act.

I really don’t want to see Chandler and Joey get prostate exams together

The Gilmore Girls reboot worked because the show originally did not have a series finale so the Year in the Life reboot, despite its problems, worked because it finally had an ending.

Fuller House works because Full House was always a little cheesy and Fuller House sticks to the nostalgia which everyone needs. Especially now.

Arrested Development works because it’s about family and there will always be an endless supply of stories about family. Drama, laughter and the subtle chipping away of self-esteem and self-worth…..wait, what?

Anyway, Friends was about six people in a very specific time in their lives. We followed these six people from the ages of twenty-four to thirty-four even though the writers were very inconsistent about their ages. The show began with six single friends relying on each other for love and support. It ended with them starting families of their own. Monica and Chandler moving out of the apartment to the suburbs with their twins, ended things. Joey moved to Los Angeles. Ross and Rachel had Emma. Phoebe had Mike. They didn’t need each other as much as they had in their twenties.

So what could they possibly do?

I would even venture to say that it’s easier to do a reboot of a show where the main characters are family members rather than friends because friendships do change over time, family members you’re stuck with which leaves an endless supply of stories to tell.

Why does it need to be a show?

Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, and Courteney Cox did a skit on Kimmel. Oh, and Lisa Kudrow and Jennifer Aniston did the celebrity curse off on Jimmy Kimmel as well.

Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, and Courteney Cox did a skit together on Ellen.

Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, and Matthew Perry all appeared on Courteney Cox’s show, Cougar Town. Jennifer Aniston also appeared on Dirt which was another show of Courteney Cox.

Courteney Cox appeared on Matthew Perry’s Go On and appeared on Lisa Kudrow’s Web Therapy and Who Do You Think You Are? which Lisa Kudrow executive produces.

Speaking of Web Therapy, not only did Courteney Cox appear on it but so did Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer.

Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow played Celebrity Name Game together and Lisa Kudrow not only did Hollywood Game Night with Matthew Perry but was also interviewed by him when he filled in for Piers Morgan.

Finally, David Schwimmer also appeared on Matt LeBlanc’s show Episodes.

Add all of those appearances to the countless interviews done with any number of them together in the last twenty-three years and I wonder why we even need a scripted show in the first place?

These six actors play off each other and still play off each other so well that why couldn’t we just get Ellen or Oprah or Kimmel or Andy Cohen…..or me (hashtag wishful thinking)….to do an interview with them?

Sit them at a table like those Hollywood Reporter roundtables and let them go. Why does it need to be a thing? They all clearly still adore and love each other. There’s no need to see them as Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe. We did for ten years. Let’s hear stories from Jennifer, David, Courteney, Matthew, Matt and Lisa. I’d much rather watch that.  I want to hear them talk about the projects they’ve done since then. I want to hear what they have to say, do they have thoughts about each other’s projects? Let them talk and see what comes up.

An interview would be far better than any scripted show could possibly be so maybe instead of trying to force something that it seems no one connected to show wants, maybe we should go in another direction?

Just a thought….
Luv,

me

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An Open Letter to Hollywood Darlings and Why It Makes Me Happy

Dear Christine Lakin, Beverley Mitchell and Jodie Sweetin,

Thank you for Hollywood Darlings and for bringing nostalgia back.

Thank you for the ultimate in fun nostalgia for all those kids in the 90’s who know how to sing the themes songs to Step By Step, 7th Heaven and Full House on cue.

Thank you for giving us a moment to escape which was the true essence of 90’s television and we need it more than ever.

Thank you for bringing that to Hollywood Darlings and thank you for helping the fans relive the wonders of Al Lambert, Stephanie Tanner, and Lucy Camden.

Thank you for filling each episode with tons of 90’s stars: Patrick Duffy. Staci Keanan. Andrea Barber. Nicholle Tom. Jaleel White. Soleil  Moon Frye. Lori Beth Denberg. Tamera Mowry….it is so packed and so awesome to see all of them. I loved that, for the most part, we did get to see a very mini Full House reunion and a very mini Step by Step reunion.

Maybe for season two, Jessica Biel and I heard she was married to some singer guy from a 90’s band…..wonder whatever happened to him?

Now, I’d like to be kinda weird and address you each individually if I may….

Christine Lakin is underrated and also I want to be her friend and appear on her podcast, Worst Podcast Ever. Now, I realize this all sounds creepy and borderline desperate and slightly obnoxious but let me explain.  First, she’s hilarious on Hollywood Darlings and second, her stories on Worst Podcast Ever are just the best. Okay, can I please mention Angela Watson?

Holy crapballs, Batman!

I mean, I guess there won’t be a Step by Step reunion and I did love hearing Staci Keanan on the podcast as I’ve been a fan of hers since My Two Dads and I love that she’s doing so well but wow, the whole Angela Watson saga was heartbreaking. I definitely felt for Christine Lakin when she explained what happened. I’ve had so many “friendships” like that where you give your heart and then without warning, they decide you’re no longer worth their time and do not give you any explanation. It’s one of the most painful experiences and while I don’t know Christine personally (although I have been tempted several times to friend request her on Facebook) I hate when anyone goes through something like that.

I loved the female characters on Step by Step. Dana was who I probably was, Karen was who I wanted to be and Al was the perfect mixture of both. They each brought something so different to the table and I’m glad there’s a friendship still going with Staci Keanan and the reunion they had with Patrick Duffy on Hollywood Darlings was nothing short of perfection. Maybe for Season 2, Suzanne Somers….she can bring the thigh master?

Jodie Sweetin is amazing. I love comeback stories. I love stories of people who put themselves back together. Post Full House, the road clearly hasn’t been easy for Jodie Sweetin and yet seeing her on Fuller House, seeing her be sarcastic and hilarious on Hollywood Darlings, it makes me happy. Stephanie Tanner was always the best Tanner. My apologies to Candace Cameron and Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen but Stephanie could drive a damn car into a house and suffer no consequences, that is pretty badass and the next week, it was as if it never happened.

There’s a strength there that is unmatched and it’s exciting to watch. It gives credence to Matthew Perry’s quote that broken people don’t need to stay broken.

When she was on Christine Lakin’s podcast, she talked about her time working at a treatment center. She talked about loyalty to her daughters. There’s something amazing to watch there and as a fan, it makes me happy. Yes, this may sound weird and creepy as well but when you watch someone not only break through obstacles but overcome them and crush them as well, it gives the rest of us who are struggling hope…..although, word of advice having read how she broke her ankle: stay away from fences.

I want Beverley Mitchell to organize my life. I strive to be how she is on Hollywood Darlings but seem to fall short. I want to go shopping with her, listen to her stories because I think she’s got some stuff to tell. I will be blunt and my apologies to Beverley Mitchell but of the three shows, I wasn’t always the biggest fan of 7th Heaven. It did sometimes make me slightly angry with stories that seemed to be way too over the top and I didn’t mind Stephanie Tanner driving into a house!

I remember once there was one episode featuring Beverley Mitchell’s character desperate to get out of jury duty, only to go and find the defendant was an ex-boyfriend and all I could think was–what did he do? There’s the story! It was never explained but still in Hollywood Darlings, Beverley Mitchell might just be the person I relate to the most. I want an assistant to answer my phone and tell people I’m busy. I don’t like to go out too late and I would do a 90’s sleepover party as I was never that wild either. I feel you, Beverley Mitchell, going out after 10 is just ridiculous.

I am now ending this week’s open letter and while I know I will never get a chance to discuss my worst dates ever or worst job experiences ever on the Worst Ever Podcast….or get to ask wildly inappropriate questions which will make everyone feel slightly awkward….nor will I ever get asked to sing a Full House/Step by Step/7th Heaven theme song mash up which will make everyone scream for the pain to stop….even though those dreams will never occur….here’s to a nostalgic filled second season of Hollywood Darlings!

Thanks for bringing back the 90’s!

Luv,

me

P.S. Also because everyone needs a theme song

 

 

 

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Visualizing. Manifesting. Praying. Still single and unemployed.

Television plots are ripe with manifestation. It’s what a story is, we need a hook, a plot, a reason to root for the characters to get anything they want. We get an imaginary world where boyfriends are a dime a dozen, you can marry your best friend, you can get any job regardless of your qualifications and if you need a job, well the right person will just be there and by the end of an episode, you will have exactly what you want.

Show of hands.

How many of us have been in a restaurant complaining to our best friend about our employment history only to have the guy sitting next to us just happen to not only be in the industry you want to work in but also happen to know of a job in that field?

Anyone? Or was that just a plot from Friends?

Here’s the question, has this fictional version of life messed with our heads so much that it has given us this false hope that it can happen in real life?  That all we have to do is visualize and pray and manifest and there it is, in sixty minutes or less we are planning our weddings while sitting in our corner office overlooking the entire city of wherever you want to live?

We see the posts on Facebook:

“I visualized and put it out into the universe that I would land my dream job and/or my perfect man and I got exactly what I wanted.”

We read these posts and wonder, “wait, why not me? or “why am I not that lucky?”  “Am I not visualizing/manifesting/praying enough or correctly?”  The rest of us go on a string of failed dates and are doing everything in their power to apply for that dream job only to be rejected and it doesn’t matter how many times we imagine it happening, it’s not happening. At least not now.

So is this idea of praying/manifesting/visualizing just a fictional, made for television way of looking at the world? Is it too easy? Vision boards are like storyboards for sitcoms and dramas. Here’s what will happen in Act 1 and by the final act, well, everything will end happily. I will be living the life I was meant to live.

Lately, the real world seems to be a far more depressing place. You can imagine your dream job down to the outfit you will wear, where you will go to lunch and imagine the meetings you will attend, only to be rejected from the job. You can imagine your wedding day down to the last detail, know where you want your future children to go to school only to go on yet another date with a guy who will never speak to you again after that outing or tell you he’s not interested.  You can imagine your novel being loved by millions or going on Ellen to promote it only to receive yet another letter saying that it’s not what they’re looking for and to the millions of truly struggling people out there, the truly broken, whose to say they haven’t visualized a better life for themselves and have found it led to nothing.

So how do we fight this whole fantasy story or do we fight it? There are plenty of people that do fight it. We see the negative Facebook posts declaring it all to be fake. I’m sure I’ve been guilty of writing a few. There are the eye rolls at the people who talk openly about the luck they had just simply by putting things out into the universe.  All of it seems like a television plotline. “I wanted this character and that character to get together by the end. I wrote it and they did.” Is there a fight to be had or is it just something nice to look at, to comfort us as the real struggles threaten to take us down. It’s like wrapping yourself in a blanket when you feel sick. You’re still sick, but the blanket is nice.

Maybe we have to look at those “putting things into the universe and being successful” posts the same way we would look at a plot of a television show. People don’t typically post the number of rejections they get. They don’t post the tears, the pain, the number of times their dream job was not to be or how many times they stared at their emails, hoping someone would respond or every time the phone rang and thought, “well, this has to be for a job” only for it to be from someone selling life insurance or a trip to Cancun. So just like the plot to a television show, all this manifestation/visualizing/praying is just that….a plot. It’s just nice but there’s no basis in reality or it’s an altered reality that is instead purely fiction.

The real work has nothing to do with the universe or a higher power or a vision board, it has to do with you. Sending the resumes, the cover letters, letting the rejections bounce off you like Teflon.  It’s listening to the people telling you to give up because you’re clearly not good enough while you keep on working because someone somewhere is going to finally say yes because you know you’re good enough. It’s about you as you keep working and working and working some more. Maybe put away the vision boards and rework the resume, that might make more of a difference or update your dating pictures and keep going out until finally, there’s a connection in both your professional and personal life. Then at the end of the day, you’ll finally be able to sit back and say….it was worth it.