Mar. 30th, 2017

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1. Those new television series are dropping like flies...both Doubt and Time After Time have been cancelled right out of the box. I didn't really try either, so not surprised. But at least the one's that started in the fall got 13 episodes...these got two-three before getting yanked. It's rare nowadays for a television series to get a full 22 episode order. More and more networks are doing mini-series with a 10-18 episodes order. They are fighting a fickle audience that jumps to the next shiny thing --- and to be fair there are so many shiny things out there to choose from.

It's funny, the more television serials that are on, the least enthralled and interested I am in watching...they just seem to take up space on my DVR until I get around to deleting or binge-watching them. I deleted EMERALD CITY, on the fence about STAR, WHEN WE RISE, but fully intend on binge-watching VICTORIA, THE EXPANSE, SCANDAL and LEGION.

2. Saw a moving post by Wentworth Miller (Prison Break) on FB today (Someone else liked it, I'm not a fan of the actor or the series, don't necessarily dislike it, just ambivalent)...it was about his bout with depression and using food to cheer himself up.


Ashamed and in pain, I considered myself damaged goods. And the voices in my head urged me down the path to self-destruction. Not for the first time.
I've struggled with depression since childhood. It's a battle that's cost me time, opportunities, relationships, and a thousand sleepless nights.
In 2010, at the lowest point in my adult life, I was looking everywhere for relief/comfort/distraction. And I turned to food. It could have been anything. Drugs. Alcohol. Sex. But eating became the one thing I could look forward to. Count on to get me through. There were stretches when the highlight of my week was a favorite meal and a new episode of TOP CHEF. Sometimes that was enough. Had to be.
And I put on weight. Big f--king deal.
One day, out for a hike in Los Angeles with a friend, we crossed paths with a film crew shooting a reality show. Unbeknownst to me, paparazzi were circling. They took my picture, and the photos were published alongside images of me from another time in my career. "Hunk To Chunk." "Fit To Flab." Etc.
My mother has one of those "friends" who's always the first to bring you bad news. They clipped one of these articles from a popular national magazine and mailed it to her. She called me, concerned.
In 2010, fighting for my mental health, it was the last thing I needed.
Long story short, I survived.
So do those pictures.
I'm glad.
Now, when I see that image of me in my red t-shirt, a rare smile on my face, I am reminded of my struggle. My endurance and my perseverance in the face of all kinds of demons. Some within. Some without.
Like a dandelion up through the pavement, I persist.


Raise your hand if you can relate. I certainly can. That's my anti-depressant of choice...sugar, chocolate and food. Of course I don't have to worry about the paprazzi taking my photo and comparing it to my hunky former self. [Seriously, we live in a sick society...that is obsessed with body image.]

What I found moving...was it is so universal. I know so many people who fall into this category. This is not an easy world to live in, or an easy culture. I love the fact he stood up and said something.
More and more are doing so. It is helping. I may watch the revival of his series...

3. Did not like tonight's "Grey's Anatomy" -- but I was struck with how cleverly the head writer/show-runner redirected the series from a mostly white cast with a few token POCs to pushing various POC front and center. The show has several African-American characters who are lead characters, with the central focus on them. When the show started, that was NOT the case, they were supporting characters or in the background -- it was one of the things Isiah Washington was so pissed about. Now, the African-American characters are front and center. And Rhimes did it slowly over time, chipping away at the network studio block.

Several years ago, around about 2004 or so, I listened to a commentary about television writing/producing from Judd Apatow -- he was talking about "Freaks and Geeks" and said that the networks had a quota. You had to have so many women or POC characters in your series, whether it called for it or not. They didn't have to be stars, could be supporting or even recurring characters. I remember cringing as he was talking - because it was obvious that he was whinging about it. And it reminds me a lot of a program in place at my agency, where we have to sub-contract work out to minority and women owned businesses. There's a specific percentage of work that must go out to these firms, which are certified by the state after taking a class and proving that they are 90-100% owned by a minority or female. We even have mentor agreements in place, where we "help" them figure out how to propose and acquire the work. It can be aggravating from our perspective, but I know in my gut that it is the right thing to do. Change can only happen if you massage it along.

Anyhow...in the 1990s and early part of this century, it was rare to find a series with more than one character that was a POC, aka not white. If they were on the show, they were obviously the "token" black or asian or hispanic character. Buffy the Vampire Slayer didn't have any, except as guest stars and later recurring characters. This was also true of West Wing, and lots of other series at that time. Not just Buffy. It was actually hard to get POC casting or even color blind casting past the studio heads.

Then things started to shift. Now we have several series with entire casts that are POC. And most if not all series have lead characters or strong supporting characters that are POC. We also have LGBTQ characters...which did not happen that often in 1990s. Usually it was male homosexual characters that were living with heterosexual women as their friend (Will and Grace). Or the best friend...or recurring character. Buffy was one of the series that broke that rule. And then up popped various other shows here and there. But prior to Buffy, you only saw Lesbian and Homosexual relationships on cable and daytime soap operas (occasionally). BTW the daytime soaps pre-dated Buffy on the homosexual characters storylines.

Now, it's become common place and is almost expected. The world has shifted. And it's a good thing.
I noticed it on Grey's -- because there is a definite then and now shift in effect.


4. Reading Meme...

I'm reading romance novels again. Mainly because I want something sweet and sexy, and well...TMI.

Finished "Hitchhiker's Guide"...it didn't work for me, for some reason or other. Moving on, reading Eric Larson's Devil in the White City, the UU book on Christianity, and the romance novel entitled "How to be a Proper Lady by Katherine Ashe" - Katherine Ashe is a European History Professor who moonlights as a historical romance novelist. (Actually most romance novelists appear to be history professors and English Literature Profs, I find this rather amusing. Did run into one Archaeology Professor, and a former journalist -- although the former journalists prefer to write thrillers for some reason. Courtney Milan is a former SEC Attorney...which entertains me to no end. Actually a lot of mystery, romance novelists, and thriller writers are former attorneys. I know of at least three historical romance writers who are or were attorneys. One in family law. The thriller writers, who are male, either were former lawyers or spies (aka they worked for intelligence agencies). Some of the women - lawyers or spies. Apparently that field attracts a lot of writers.)

Eric Larson? Former journalist. Lots of journalists become travel novelists and non-fiction novelists.

The book "How to be a Proper Lady" really critiques gender roles. And the traditionalist view of gender roles. I have issues with traditionalists. 98% of the world's problems can most likely be laid at the feet of the frigging traditionalists.

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