Pilot Season: ATLANTA

Donald Glover’s Atlanta is unique in many ways: it plays with style, tone, and ancient mythology while still staying mostly grounded in reality; it evokes a hyper-specific place* but with characters you could imagine living in most US cities; it hits a dark notes most US half-hours won’t come near; it clearly utilises Glover’s experience … Continue reading

On the Unique Joys and Upcoming Trials & Tribulations of Saint Ted Lasso

Like the buoyancy of its titular character, the exact vibe of Ted Lasso is hard to pin down.       It’s a family comedy with sex and swears, a deceptively simple drama about people trying real hard, dotted with very American jokes and thoroughly English sensibilities. It’s the weird characters and team-microcosm-within-a-specific-organisation-within-a-specific-town of Parks … Continue reading

Inside the Fast Turnarounds and Wild Stories of Live-Shoot K-Dramas

The more k-dramas I watch, the more impressive it is to know how the sausage is made. Part of the fun in movies and TV is studying how they write and shoot; in the case of k-dramas, some are fully pre-produced, but the ones which aren’t are usually still shooting the middle episodes when the … Continue reading

GLOW’s pilot mechanics

I’m writing STAY AT HOME HITMAN, a sometimes-raunchy half-hour comedy-drama involving suburban politics and scholastic espionage, mental health and struggles of new parenthood, relationships and drugs of all sorts, with a smattering of class struggles, internalised and external homophobia, infertility, familial expectations, meddling lollipop ladies, and body disposal. I revisited GLOW because despite its much … Continue reading

The Dude With A Thousand Faces: A Screenplay Template

I recently broke down the Stumptown pilot to examine hyperfunctional formulaic writing. Yes, times have changed and templates can be outdated, but I argue a formula isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it’s how you execute – story, characters, themes, acting, direction, dialogue, every fleshy detail – which matters. So when some mates released this short, … Continue reading