May 07, 2009
I've been indulging myself, reading all the kind things on the message board and in the previous blog comments and well... I'm touched. I'm not great at sincere, but seeing as people actually took time out from their lives to not only watch television, but to share good thoughts with me: Please allow me to thank every person who watched this show. I had so much fun making it, I would have done it for free (kind of) and would have been happy just showing it to my friends and family.
I've been nostalgic all day - a feeling I'm not used to. It's kind of itchy. Anyway, so many of you have taken the time to offer thanks to me and the truth is that I have long made a career out of taking credit for other people's hard work. The cast, crew, and all the other writers are not only crazy talented people; they are my friends.
It's a little overwhelming to read all the comments and the message board threads, but the last few days I went psycho and did just that. Much to my chagrin, whenever I tried to respond or type a message it was there for a second, then gone. If this is some kind of God trying to keep me from venturing onto the interhighway and occasionally confronting people, I say this, "M'am, it's too late." Perhaps it's some kind of board moderator unconvinced that I am VDOOZER on the board because no one would live such a sad life that he has time to waste on his own show's message boards. If it's a mean moderator - stop it. If it's my college buddy Todd Burski - I understand your anger, I'm not great at keeping in touch. And congrats on somehow having power over my computer and the internet.
My favorite thing about the finale. Just dumb trivia that makes me happy... The dialogue in bed between J.D. and Elliot at the beginning ("So, we live together...", "I feel like I should have been told") was lifted word for word from the SPIN CITY pilot (Between Mike Fox and Carla Gugino) thus proving that I can essentially only write one story.
Anyway, thanks for being so nice. It's a little much so if someone wants to pop on the comments here and take a nice crap on something that would, as always, be helpful. Goodnight. Bill
May 04, 2009
Am I regretting my vote? No. Do I think the country's priorities are a little out of whack when the president can so brazenly pre-empt the penultimate episode of my show? ...No. I'd do the same thing if I were the president. You know, pre-empt stuff. Oh, and hey, FOX network, we get it, you're pissed he won the election. BL
April 29, 2009
Hello again, hello (that's a Neil Diamond quote that means a lot to me). President Obama doesn't seem to realize how important the last two episodes of SCRUBS are to a small handful of important people. ABC is nicely putting our penultimate episode on Tuesday before the hour long finale Wednesday. I think fans will be really happy with the last episode - I'm really proud of it.
It looks like we might get to do another season of SCRUBS, but next week still marks the end as we know it. I say this because when the news broke that SCRUBS might be back I read a lot of nice things, but also was treated to a lot of "It'll suck!", "Oh, no!", "Let it die!", "You'll ruin it's legacy!", type stuff. I even went on Joel Keller's TV SQUAD blog and went after him a bit (all in fun, I like Joel). See, here are my issues/problems with those responses:
How does anyone know it'll suck? Look, I love television and am very aware of shows that have gone on too long. In many ways, I felt SCRUBS was ready to end last year but the writer's strike and NBC screwed that up. I've always said that if the show moves forward, it would have to be new - like Frasier was to Cheers (which, by the way, I still would've watched if it was called "AFTERCHEERS", or "Cheers; the pompous guy from the bar"). I would never just pick up next year with different characters/actors and move forward as if nothing happened. Nor, as many have suggested, would next year be a show called "The Interns", in which all the new characters we introduced are the stars (though I really liked Eliza Coupe a lot).
The legacy issue: who gives a crap. Legacy-schmegacy, it's a tv show and nothing can happen that will make me not proud of it.
But Neil, Johnny C., and Donald all have new jobs... no they don't. They shot PILOTS, and I hope for their sake some of them get on TV but the odds are always against PILOTS. Everyone else (including Zach) is around.
I guess what really bugs me the most is the pre-judgement I've been hearing/reading. Look, I never have issue with people saying my show sucks, as in, "I watched it, and it sucked so much it made me angry and sad at the same time." No one has seen next year yet, or even knows what it's about or who is in it. Guess what - it may end up sucking. I've made some sucky episodes before, hell, I've made some sucky pilots, but I'll say this (as I did on Joel's blog): If I had to bet on my production team (and me) or a different group of writer/actors doing a brand new show - I'm betting on us. Because I'm cocky, and also because we aren't betting actual money - this is just a hypothetical.
The things I promise: If SCRUBS comes back it will not be the same show, thus cheapening the finale. It will not be a lame imitation of the original. We will work our butts off (Yes, I will work on it, too - I'm too much of a control freak to totally let it go) to make it new and interesting and surprising and different and redundant synonym. Don't get me wrong, it may still suck. But if it does, it will not be a fizzle-suck. It will suck in a truly grand, disasterous way. Just give it a chance, AND THEN be outraged and hate it. Thanks,
April 16, 2009
Okay, hard to watch last night because, as stated, I can't act. If you have it tivo-ed, watch for me looking on the ground for my mark when I enter the bar. Whatever. I liked the Bahamas episodes more as one, hour long episode (the comedy/drama was more balanced - but understand that ABC had to split them up. I'm going to try to get the hour long version (which is actually quite different) on the DVD.
I'm finished with Cougar Town (only for now, hopefully) and have returned home to my cave. Rather than dive in and start pontificating, I thought I'd answer all the questions I've ignored from the blog comments section. Feel free to post more here if you want me to fire-off a, most likely, uninspired, unfunny response. I'm a little rusty (as you can tell if you go to my questions thread on the message board). Please try to tee me up so I can at least attempt to get the funny/snark back.
STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS ANSWERS: Season 8 overseas soon. Steve, I asked about the song then forgot - will check again, yes the Janitor's name is in the finale - Neil and I kind of made up that scene as we filmed it, NOBODY'S WATCHING is dead and part of me died with it, I miss Rowdy and Steven, too, the wife and I are doing great, Thanks Ethan, Kelso is just a made up name but I like the Jamestown connection so I'll use that, I like Cougar Town - it's funny but not SCRUBS-like at all, If SCRUBS is on next year (read next blog post) I'd have to work on it, I'm a control freak Zach, I'm not famous, thankfully, so I don't get stopped a lot, Sacred Heart is indeed named after Christa's school, Sam Lloyd's "Hey Ya" on itunes - I'm trying, been loving the original Pilot of SCRUBS a lot lately, chose Hopetown because my folks live there (that's my dad at the bar with Kelso), lots of tall comedy writers and a few banker/lawyer's in b-ball game, Christa didn't love getting thrown in the pool but it was scripted, Kate Micucchi's songs are all over the interweb.
March 30, 2009
Hey, just finished shooting COUGAR TOWN with Courteney Cox. I think it's funny, and I'm not remotely biased. Also, I got the flu in the middle of it (my children are a giant petri dish). Anyway, I'm back - haven't spoken since the last two episodes which makes me feel guilty and small. The one with Turk/Sportscenter two weeks ago was especially weird as it was shot mostly during the Writer's Strike (without us there) and was then cobbled together with new stuff this year (50% of it was shot over a year ago). I still think it was funny, and again - not biased.
I'm going to go to my thread on the message board and answer some questions, but maybe my next blog post should just be answering some of the blog comments. What say all you people?
February 21, 2009
I will also answer the marriage proposal in the previous blog's comment section (yes, I read them). As my current wife has been extremely pissy lately, I'd like some time to consider my options.
I AM ACTUALLY IN PRODUCTION/CASTING THIS NEW SHOW - HENCE MY DISAPPEARANCE. THE WIFE AND I ARE GETTING ALONG SO I'M AFRAID THE MARRIAGE ANSWER IS "NO, FOR NOW". SHE DOESN'T READ THESE SO IT'S OKAY. STILL, IF I END UP DEAD, I THINK WE ALL KNOW WHO DID IT, YES? TELL DATELINE.
AND KATHLEEN, ENJOY THIS MUCH DESERVED RANDOM SHOUT OUT FOR EXPLAINING PARAGRAPH BREAKS.
February 07, 2009
Okay. Outstanding list making, people. Here is the basic point I wanted to make: television is still good - there are just more outlets. When I hear people lamenting the state of television, I get upset. Sure, with every channel trying their hand at original programming, the talent pool can get stretched thin, and their IS more crappy television than ever before. There are also more great shows. You just have to look a little closer.
Oh, and before I compile my own personal lists, I have an on-topic pet peeve. People who say they don't watch television - guess what - they do. Why is it a position of pride for some to so proudly say "I don't even own a tv." I get especially mad when folks get excited to say it to me. I can't imagine doing it back (really, you're a lawyer? I think law is stupid and mostly about tying up our court system with empty law suits, so I ignore law. You're a chef? I don't eat, eating is for idiots). Look, I'm the last guy that would argue that television is "art", but I will go toe to toe with any movie snob. Better comedy is often on television, even though I loved "Paul Blart, Mall Cop". If I wrote that my soul would shrivel up. Anyway, the point. It's okay to watch television. It's not a crack habit - it's just TV.
REASONS I HATE MYSELF (AS PROMISED)
3.) Occasional ass zits
4.) Receding hairline hidden by girlish bangs
5.) Arrogant without ample reason
MY FAVORITE CURRENT SHOWS
3.) The Office
4.) 30 Rock
5.) Flight of the Conchords
6.) Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives
7.) SPORTSCENTER (it counts)
9.) South Park and Simpsons
10.) Daily Show/Colbert/Letterman (still a comedy stud)
MY FAVORITE ALL TIME COMEDIES
1.) Monty Python's Flying Circus
7.) British Office
8.) Wonder Years
9.) All in the Family
10.) The Cosby Show
MY FAVORITE SHOW THAT I CAN FEEL EATING MY SOUL
1.) Dr. Drew's celebrity rehab, and Sober House
SHOWS THAT I SAY I WATCH BUT I REALLY HAVEN'T SEEN THEM, BUT I WILL SOMEDAY, AND I WILL LIKE THEM
1.) The Wire (love it)
2.) Alan Partridge (brilliant)
3.) Freaks and Geeks (finally saw it last week - DVD start to finish)
4.) It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (I've laughed every time I've seen this, so I need to try to watch more)
I'm sure this wasn't much of a blog, but it was crazy fun for me to see all of your lists. Mostly, because they contain good television, but also because they are, to a number, the shows that I would hope that a SCRUBS viewer would also watch. Very cool. And The Sopranos, and the "Hush" episode of Buffy rocked. As did the "Doll's Eyes" ep of Homicide. And Oz was pretty badass...
January 22, 2009
l changed this topic to "WOW" because of how lame I've been. Here's the giant excuse: As we all know, I was attacked by a very, very severe common cold. This lingered for days until... I went back to my old college and taught/lectured/felt like a rock star, and returned yesterday. Anywho, I'd like to begin with a "sorry", follow it up with a "seriously, I was lame", then get right back into things as if I had never left.
The reason LOST rocks. Okay, obviously I'm a fan. But never a hater - "why?", you ask? (You did ask that, I heard you.) Because the great episodes are unbelievably great, and the supposedly mediocre episodes still have something totally cool, original, and worth remembering. Seriously, I shoot for that in SCRUBS. See, the thing about TV is that it's deadline oriented. It's a snowball rolling down a hill - if an episode isn't perfect, eventually you have to let it go and try to do better the next week. This leads me into my least favorite SCRUBS episodes of all time. I hated "My Tuscaloosa Heart", because I hated the contrivance that Dr. Kelso was a folk singer who recorded albums (fake, bad writing). I hated the Season Premiere when J.D. was strung up on a flagpole, defying the laws of physics and reality (and thus being representative of bad SCRUBS line-blurring between reality and fantasy) and I hated the episode where J.D. told Elliot "I don't love you." after he had fought so hard to get her (had we spent one more episode dealing with his feelings, obviously painting them as childish fear so they seemed believable, we could have pulled it off). I also hate seeing that scene where J.D. was wedged in a backpack because it wasn't a fantasy. This leads me back to LOST. The thing I have hopefully copied from them is this: Even in those episodes that make my heart hurt, there are still moments/jokes/scenes that I cherish. This is sometimes all you can hope for in television. It's not like a feature film where you can work on it/perfect it forever. On the high side, you can always fight on the following week.
SCRUBS is switching timeslots. This is neither disrespectful, nor rude. They told me about it at the start, as they (ABC) hope to launch a new show in a slightly more sheltered environment. I look forward to the move, as they will continue promoting/showing re-runs. Plus, Victor Fresco, the creator of "Better Off Ted", is a good guy. Hopefully we can help launch his show (haven't seen it yet, but will pass it on once I do).
Back to my college. William and Mary won't do (name that song lyric). If you're wondering whether you can return to your college at age forty, go out drinking with your old fraternity until the wee hours, then wake up and lecture a class the next morning none the worse for wear, the answer in an emphatic "no". Also, if you're wondering if you are still pretty young, the answer is also "no". Apparently to be in college now days, you have to look like you're twelve. Still, as a person who grows progressively more cynical with each year, it meant a lot to me to see young folks who were smart, funny, driven - everything. Yeah, they were scared - apparently something is going on with the economy - but they were optimistic. It restored my faith, maybe partly because the student body finds me funny. I often find that I like people who find me funny more than those that don't find me funny. It's a weird quirk of mine. The stay culminated in a giant assembly of fans/students. I realized how small the world is because I also said that SCRUBS was over. I meant (and explained) that if it were to go on without Zach Braff, it would have to be a different show (maybe even different title). When I got home, there were plenty of internet articles about how the show is over/cancelled. Whatever, live and learn. I doubt I'll ever realize how to keep my mouth shut.
By the way, I think "I really want to *&%@#* you" is an awesome song. That being said... RANDOM SHOUT OUTS: These aren't that random. I've noticed the same peeps on the boards forever. The absolute least I can do (seriously, could a grateful man do less?) is type their/your names. Here goes:
Steve Barry (from someplace called Bweeng), Alice, Mike Rowl, Andrew, Ace, Shelly, Angie (from someplace called Canada), Valposh, Coxian, Irish Sean, Coco Bosco (old fav), Aragorn (old fav), Michelle M (great fan, talked to her once years ago, lost her for a while), Kelsosan, Ben, Gavin, My dog Gus, My children, My hair, and Buster (plays Rowdy on show). Feel free to slam me with names I forgot - this is from memory for heaven's sake. Thanks for giving a rat's ass. BL
January 16, 2009
Let's start by saying that that the "p" thing finally worked, but only if I don't edit anything. Kicking my computer only worked a little. Thanks for all the help.
Okay, here was my thinking. There was massive argument/discussion between writers/cast/wife. Ultimately it came down to this - I wanted, at some point, to sleep with my wife again...
No. The real skinny. Christa, Zach and others were right: Sarah and Zach do have chemistry, and whether I wanted people to care or not, they apparently care about this couple. So, I'm stuck in a position of not bbeing able to please everybody. Which, then, is the better option?
If they don't get together, there will be no pleasing the happy ending folk that wanted this to be so. They would simply feel like I got them invested and then didn't deliver. On the other hand, if they do get together, I will lose everyone that desperately didn't want this to happen. Or will I (arch eyebrow raised)?
See, my problem with the Jelliot coupling was that we - as writers - fell into a trap whenever we put them together. We wrote about nothing but them as a couple, and the show changed. This is why I tried to kill them for good with that awful "I don't love you" moment. But it didn't bury it, so I had to acknowledge that the relationship was unkillable. I made a deal with the other writers. If we could put J.D. and Elliot back together in a mature/grown-up/non-sexual/non-sensational manner, and if we promised not to make the show suddenly about them, then I was open to it. Plus, I was not interested in their re-coupling being a key element in the finale of the show. But the fourth episode...? I tried to put into J.D.'s mouth, words that are a promise to fans (from us writer types) about the "no more ridiculousness" tone of this relationship now. So, I hope the shippers are happy, I hope the others don't feel betrayed, but those are my reasons.
And, of course, the sex with my wife thing.
January 11, 2009
Okay, let's start with the pathetic admission. I don't know how to make this write with paragraph breaks. I'm sorry, I am still getting used to even having a magic typing machine as until recently, I wrote all scripts on legal pads. True. And sad. SCRUBS STUFF: The episodes Tuesday are good, and the second one is a big deal. I'm sure some will like it, some... will not. I like it, and I'll gladly defend it afterwards. Defend it? Why, is it that offensive an episode of television? No, just an important and complicated episode for me personally. That's why it's a bit of a bummer to go against the American Idol juggernaut, but whatever. It's only this week, and maybe some people will skip the early rounds when we're encouraged to laugh at brain damaged people who can't really sing (but I doubt it). I'm annoyed that I've turned back into a ratings watcher because it took me four years to get off of that. Plus, SCRUBS is never miraculously going to end up in the top ten. Otherwise; no, the Janitor is not gone. This is, in fact, one of my favorite seasons for both the Janitor and Dr. Kelso, two characters you would assume to be absent after watching the first two episodes. I think we plotted the year out pretty well. It felt like a big puzzle - wanting to give everyone some juicy stuff and still needing to find time for Todd, Jordan, Ted, Doug, interns, and The Worthless Peons.
Now, on to more important stuff. I can divide my friends into two simple groups: those with children, those without. I feel I am still, even at my advanced age, the type of guy that gets a good joke. And yet, I find funny stories about my children (I have three of them - not entirely sure of their ages) and my friends children to be HI - wait for it - Larious. My friends without children - let's call them the soulless ones - have yet to find a single one of these anecdotes remotely amusing. The soulless ones seem to feel that these tales are sad reminders that once you become a parent you essentially stop having an adult life. You have nothing to offer to the conversation anymore. Well, maybe I'm tired of talking about movies and new restaurants, and where to eat or what movie to see, and occasionally the important new indie-band that has a great song then disappears without changing the music world the way we all anticipated. Plus, even though I still talk a big game, two drinks get me liquored up, and I get sleepy nowadays around 9:15 - I need to keep the conversation focused on what I like to talk about: our kids. Maybe they aren't that funny, but they are pretty @^#&$*ing cool. Plus, the other night my son called down (he was supposed to be asleep) and said "I think there's a monster in my closet." I informed him that there was no such thing, and in my forty plus years, I had never once seen a real monster. There was a pause, then he yelled down "Then you probably want to come see this one." Solid stuff. BL