The Golden Age of Television
May 23, 2012 2:59 PM   Subscribe

"TV is where writers get to tell interesting stories right now, because writers, for the most part, run television." Matthew Weiner of Mad Men, Vince Gilligan of Breaking Bad and David Milch of Deadwood talk to GQ about writing for television. Also: The New Rules of TV everything you need to know about the Golden Age of Television. Want to hear even more about the world of writing rooms, showrunners and screenwriting? Check out the Nerdist Writer's Panel Podcast.
posted by Artw (10 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
Don't they also showrun?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:06 PM on May 23, 2012 [3 favorites]

Is that Rolling Stone cover of Peter Dinklage supposed to look that Rolling Stone cover of Kurt Cobain?
posted by Trurl at 3:11 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

I watch "Mad Men" religiously, read most of the recaps the next day, and would do the same with "Breaking Bad" but for the violence. However, I'm harrumphing a bit at the use of the term "Golden Age" to describe 21st century programming. "New Golden Age", well, maybe.

I'm more inclined to point to the early '50s, when the likes of Paddy Chayefsky wrote one-hour dramas for TV, or to CBS's Saturday night lineup in the '70's (Jeffersons, the Bob Newhart show, the Carol Burnett show) as more likely candidates. In the '50s, you could see Charles Laughton do an hour of spoken word on network TV.

I'll go rinse my dentures now. And I don't think anyone on TV in the '50's was as handsome as Peter Dinklage or Jon Hamm.
posted by Currer Belfry at 3:22 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

I love the way Gilligan and Weiner talk about what it's like to write for TV then Milch interjects with a comment on the very essence of the human condition like some sort of Yoda Aurelius Shakespeare.
posted by fullerine at 3:22 PM on May 23, 2012 [13 favorites]

The UI in the "New Rules" article is absurd and broken. The tiny column with lots of words next to the giant picture of nothing remotely useful is too short; the text scrolls right off and there's no way to scroll down to retrieve it. I finally--out of sheer curiosity, rather than a burning desire to finish the blurb--managed to see the end of the paragraph by zooming out three times in Firefox, at which point I'd then need a magnifier to read it. Going to a different slide flips the slide...and then scrolls the whole page up to the top, apparently because you need to be shown a great big freaking GQ.

Maybe the point is that I need to go watch television instead of looking at their Web site.
posted by darksasami at 3:24 PM on May 23, 2012

Thank you for this!
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 4:54 PM on May 23, 2012

Thanks for this. Milch is my hero. Some day I'll work for him. Mark my words!
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 7:01 PM on May 23, 2012

Thanks for this. Milch is my hero. Some day I'll work for him. Mark my words!
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 4:01 PM on May 23 [+] [!]

C/C+. Strong (if vague) goal for the protagonist, good array of inferred obstacles, but the cold open is terrible and we need proper dialogue if we're going to be rooting for the hero.
posted by Sebmojo at 7:06 PM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

screenwriter is a word now?
posted by mwhybark at 7:49 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the nerdist writers panel pointer. I've listened to one. Good stuff. However. I don't believe this is any kind of golden age for television. And listening to the podcast, it's cemented that thinking further. Just listening to those folks talk about how the town works, I mean, there's just too many suits. Plain and simple.

However, podcasts themselves are freaking great. Long form, in depth talks with smart people. That's the golden age happening right now. To this old fart anyway.

Load up the Fuze with podcasts like these, take the dog out, and get your head filled with ideas. Love it.
posted by Trochanter at 10:50 AM on May 24, 2012

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