Yup. Tina Fey and I don't get paid a red cent when our work is distributed via these 'new media', like the internets. So we are on strike! Actually, we are showing our discontent in slightly different ways - she's on the picket lines and I'm lazy-blogging today, in a show of solidarity with my fellow writers.
Yup, pens down means pens down, so instead of explaining the details of the strike, I'm just going to send you to After Ellen to read about it and hook you up with some Jon Stewart:
UPDATE: You knew I wouldn't be able to leave it at that. Even in laziness, I have no will power. Because, quite frankly, I am bothered by this whole business. Since writing the above, I haven't been able to stop thinking... and my needs? Is no one thinking of me in all of this?
Actually, everyone involved in this strike is thinking about me. This strike is about who gets my money, and the money of people just like me. See, I don't watch during the regular season, when my viewing experience would be cheapened by tawdry (and bill-paying) commercials. If I really love a show, it is worth waiting for the whole season to come out on DVD so I can enjoy it over the course of several long, lazy, popcorn-filled days. Under the current system, this means that the writers see none of the benefits of my love. They will never be warmed by the dollars of my admiration. The irony is, of course, that people with discerning tastes only love a show if it is well written - so it is the writers who we most want to support.
Right now, the writers who I'd like to support are Mindy Kaling, BJ Novak, and Paul Lieberstein; for much of the wit of my current favorite show, The Office, can be traced back to their scribblings (I might have mentioned my admiration for, and occasional frustration with, NBC's The Office before - like here, here, and here). Yet these three writers find themselves in a particularly difficult position, since they are not just writers, but also actors and 'showrunners,' As Variety explains it:
The vast majority of TV shows are run by producers who double as scribes. The networks are counting on these writer-producers -- aka showrunners -- to keep things humming on set as work continues on scripts already in the can.Uh-oh. Since none of The Office's writers have crossed picket lines, the situation looks a bit bleaker for viewers than we initially thought based on reports like that from Paste, which assured us that "...shows will continue more or less apace for sometime, just somewhat worse because of lack of rewrites." And as actors Steve Carell and Rainn Wilson show their support of the writers by not showing for work either, it looks like The Office is close to shutting down all together.
Depressing, right? But, on the up side, Mindy Kaling will have time for the highly entertaining shopping blog. And she's more likely to recommend shoes we can afford.