Monday, February 04, 2008

Hollywood Idol

So I'm trying something radical this week and in lieu of vanity-Googling four hours a day I've cut it back to damn near three and am using the savings to read a book. It's Marc Norman's "What Happens Next: A History of American Screenwriting." I know that's not much of a stretch but even in the best of times I'm a pretty self-absorbed motherfucker so you can only guess what I'm like when I've got nothing else to do but contemplate my own navel.

The book's well-written, well-researched, and just about all the other wells you could want out of something like this. It starts back in the silent era and paints a pretty good picture of the screenwriter through time. And by pretty good I mean colorful and informative but not always complimentary. To wit:

"...writers (in the 1930s) lived in a caste system of their own construct, along financial lines. At commissaries at lunchtime the $2,000-a-week writers like the Parker-Campbells sat with others at the same salary, the $500-a-weeks with their own, the junior writers--$50 a week, if they were lucky--off in a corner. These distinctions transferred to their social lives; a screenwriter approaching a house one night with a writer friend said he could not enter it and the party inside, they would not want him there, he was not making enough."

Reading this I flashed back ten years ago to a screenwriter dinner I was invited to where I was absolutely the youngest and least accomplished of the fifty screenwriters present. Everyone was nice to me but every conversation was some version of:

ME: Hi, I'm Josh Friedman (But that means nothing to you, does it?)
OTHER GUY: I'm ACADEMY AWARD WINNER (But you already knew that didn't you?)
ME: Great to meet you! (Of course I did.)
OTHER GUY: Likewise! (I've already forgotten your name. Oh Thank God there's Bass.) Excuse me, would you?

And I was left for the seventh time that evening holding a glass of white wine, a paper plate of pasta salad, and my rapidly shrinking dick.

Still, those monthly gatherings were always a thrill for me. People were generally polite and I would mostly shut up, get drunk, and fantasize about one day having a house big enough to host a gathering. Or at least a movie credit better than Shared Story on the Keanu Reeves Extravaganza Chain Reaction. At the time I thought it was going to be The Black Dahlia Directed by David Fincher. Huh.

Those were the glory days when we knew we'd been fucked on the DVD deal but no one really knew HOW fucked and if you were a tv writer you probably didn't think you'd been fucked at all. Those were the glory days when I was being paid less for a feature script than I currently am for a television pilot and yet felt wealthier than I could've ever imagined. In those days I knew a little of what I know a lot of now--it's not about making money, it's about making movies.

Because any jackass can get rich writing scripts; most of them won't, but any of them can. And a few of them do. Bad comedies and Bruckheimer action movies have kept any number of my friends in the business for quite a while and had I been a little looser with my special writing place I think Joel Silver would've bought me a beach house by now.

This is neither to suggest nor deny that writers are rich: a few are but almost all are not. I would never insult anyone and deny I've made more than most everybody else in the American work force, but for every writer I know that lives high on the hog I know twenty who buy their bacon at Costco.

Says Dorothy Parker in the Norman book: "I want nothing from Hollywood but money and anyone who tells you that he came here for anything else or tries to make beautiful words out of it lies in the teeth."

So let me lie in my teeth. While there is much pride in supporting my family there is little pride attached to the amassing of wealth. It was never wealth that I envied when I met my writing idols; it was those credits attached to their invisible name tag: Nice to meet you, CallieKhouriThelmaandLouise. How you doing ChrisMcQuarrieUsualSuspects? More wine SteveZaillianSearchingforBobbyFischerSchindler'sList? Lemme just get out of your way RobertTowneSeriouslyDon'tGetMeFuckingStarted.

There is no greater compliment a writer can pay another write than: "Damn. I wish I'd written that."

So I am at my core a star fucker and I only hope I've got my stars aligned correctly. I practically drooled on Ron Moore's shoes when I met him and it will probably not surprise you to know that impressing Matt Weiner has taken on a higher priority these days than making my father proud. (Probably easier, BTW.) Props from your peers are the crack hits on David Simon's Writer's Corner and I'm no better than Bubs when it comes to that.

And of course it's much more desirable to become friends with successful people than it is to have friends who suddenly BECOME successful.

God knows that sucks.

Because spreading out in front of Writer's Corner is Schadenfreude Circle, a bloody, bullet-strewn part of the city where lawless envy takes headshots at every homejew who dares try to pull himself up by his Final Draft bootstraps, jump straight to the A-list and get the fuck out of the Guild Minimum Ghetto.

Your friends in your writing group, people from your film school class, that ex-partner you wrote that one comedy with when you were just "experimenting" at USC Film School...They will try to drag you back down faster than Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips flipped on Mike Vick.

As you would them.

Because you can rise up my friend, just do not for a second think that it's cool to rise up above ME.

Hollywood is a fetish store for lists and labels and screenwriters are nothing if not for sale. Autistics obsess less than a D-girl does over a writer list for her empty assignment. There are good lists (A) and bad lists (black) and you don't have to be Dalton Trumbo to fall from the former and end up on some version of the latter. The lists are fluid like mercury and that shit flows up down and sideways without signalling first.

We've all been away from the game for three months now and you'd think the strike would be a chance to shirk the labels and the lists we've been yoked to and forge a more perfect writer union. No one should give a shit whose credit is what when you're all standing in the rain at Paramount and it's still dark. (Not my shift, by the way. John August's.)

And to some extent I think this is true, I've seen a mix-and-match on the strike lines which one could easily read as encouraging and I've heard a lot of sweet anecdotes about younger (read: less successful) writers picking the brains of more established (read: those who live in Malibu) writers.

And it warms my grinchy motherfucking heart.

And then my heart is flash frozen when I return home to this:



Or any version of a rumor involving A-List writers, influential members, powerful showrunners, fi-core, petitions, trade ads, chain e-mails, back-channel grumbling, etc.

And I'm a big believer in rumors because I know many of them are true and for a second I get all crazy poppins and then I remember something:

Who the fuck cares?

Why do I care what a bunch of "A-listers" think? Not that their opinion is any less valid, but why should it be more? Of course fifty rich successful writers are pissed. So are fifty poor ones, and probably a group of semi-successful fifty, and also a few subsets of any Ven diagram you want to find for me. We're not ten thousand clones...dissent is to be expected...democracy's a messy business...blah blah blah and fuck kumbayah...

But we cannot ascribe to someone a worthier opinion just because his credits are impressive. Some dude writes a couple movies that made the studios a billion dollars? Good for him. He should be commended and given a chance to do that again. Doesn't mean he knows jack shit about internet streaming just because he's got studio presidents on his speed dial. Big showrunner's got a hit show on a major network? Give him another show. Doesn't make him the go to guy on ESTs just because he hires and fires other writers.

But there are those who will argue thusly: "Those of us who actually WORK in this business should have a weighted voice here. We have the most to lose, we employ the most people, we've lost more than we'll ever make back with those fucking residuals anyway so we've made more sacrifice..."


Because when you have a strike for the middle class it's that upper class that feels left out. And they're not used to being left out. Or remembering what it was like not be who they are now--preferring to believe they were dropped fully-formed into their current position like a perfect angel made man.

Which is why its usually good to wait until you're dead to meet your gods.

Our negotiating committee is packed with A-listers and there seems to be two reasons why this happened. First, the belief (probably incorrect) that the AMPTP would be less likely to stare down our captains of industry and screw with writers they actually KNOW, and secondly (probably true), that we would feel more confident knowing that we have an all-star team working for us and not some WGA Committee lifer who may know every issue backwards and forwards but doesn't have a career we envy.

The first idea was a nice try if a little pollyanna, the second a little more cynical and thus probably more effective.

Of course, by now even the most dilettantish of the negcomm members is functioning at a higher level than all but the most wonky of us, so they've graduated from celebrity chess set to actual role playing characters with their own AI.

A few weeks ago Paul Haggis wrote an essay ostensibly debunking the "thirty A-list screenwriter cabal" theory which I found more hopeful than accurate. I know there are groups of prominent writers who are pissed about the strike. Have been since before we struck. Again, I'm not at all surprised by it and couldn't care less if there are. Like gathers like and as Britney would say about the voices in her head: it's a rainbow coalition, y'all.

At one point in his essay Haggis lists a number of writers as examples of A-list--amongst them the oh so fresh to the scene Diablo Cody, writer of Juno (this was before her Oscar nomination). I was listening as a few writers discussed the Haggis essay--mainly disagreeing with him--and a few focusing in on the inclusion of first-timer Diablo on the A-list as reason enough to discount everything Haggis said. She hadn't put in her time, her movie was overrated, she's got a fake name...could this fresh-faced little cherub from the Heartland fleshfarms truly be considered A-list after one screenplay?

Exactly the fuck yes.

Because whatever else the A-list is, it's written with disappearing ink. And all that matters at any given moment is: when they make today's list (and remember, THEY make the list, we DO NOT)...are you on it? It is nothing more than a snapshot--today's Dow Jones number--reflecting THEIR want of YOU.

Like Heidi Klum says: one week you're in, the next week you are out so verflucht schnell it'll make your pencil skirt spin.

So Diablo, (Babbling Brooke as I like to call her) is in. I may not like the way she's used the strike time as her own personal publicity pole dance (I guess old habits die hard), I won't fill out a WGA ballot for her because of it, but she's paid the one script minimum and no amount of hating the playa is gonna keep her out of the player's club.

Which is all it takes, people. One script. One feature. One pilot. One credit. No one in or out of this Guild is more than 120 pages away from the A-list.

If rumors are true (and aren't they always), we may soon have a contract to vote on. When that happens there will most likely be a) people who will absolutely approve it b) people who will absolutely NOT approve it and c) people who don't know what to think about it.

And category C is what will drive categories A and B to apoplexy. I've got ten writers in my writers' room and there are those that will stab their staff brethren in the HEART if Tuesday is healthy wrap day and not Thai food day. That's writers and God bless us every wild-eyed one.

There will be lists, petitions, appeals, threats. And I don't think I have to tell you who will be on those lists, my friends.

Your gods. Your idols.

The celebrity writer culture descending from Mt. Olympus (or a couple miles further up Laurel Canyon) to convert the unwashed masses while basking in each other's reflected glow.

Ignore them. Or better yet, get your ass into the temple and smash them into clay shards.

And if I'm lucky enough to get onto one of those lists, ignore my ass, too.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

But sshhh, don't tell. They all think that that fresh burst of fame will last forever.

Remember Last Action Hero?
Thelma and Louise was Khouri's first script (produced anyway) and nothing was as good again.

2/04/2008 6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's clear that the AMPTP expected the WGA members to eventually peel away, go Fi-Core, and, if not break the WGA, drastically weaken it.
(Here, I lean more towards Olson than Mazin.)
Hopefully, those rumors you mention are false, and that the A-listers care more about the WGA, then personal concerns. Fifty A-listers break from the union, the union itself may break.

2/04/2008 9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, Paul Attanasio didn't write either Searching For Bobby Fischer or Schindler's List. You're thinking of Steven Zaillian.

Excellent post, anyway.

2/05/2008 5:50 AM  
Blogger josh said...

My bad re Zaillian. Cut wrong line while proofing.

2/05/2008 7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn, this might be your longest post so far (I'm too lazy to verify that though). And it took you just 2 months!

Oh, I absolutely LOVE "Chain Reaction". Especially the machine with the bubbles.

2/05/2008 2:37 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


Great post. I've been lurking here for awhile and this is the first time I felt compelled to respond.

I'm one of the newer WGA members who feels completely out of place at the meetings and on the lines.

I feel like the fat kid at the dance standing at the refreshment table double fisting the punch watching all the cool kids boogie.

That's probably because I actually was the fat kid at the dance double fisting the punch. If I only knew about the dangers of high fructose corn syrup way back when.

Anyway, I do have moments when I feel like I don't belong in the room or on the line with these people since my movie is only in development.

I get embarrassed when people ask me on the lines, "what have your written?"

"Uh, well, it hasn't gone into production yet".

They quickly drift off after the "Uh".

It took me 9 years to sell a script to a big studio and join the guild.

Shortly thereafter, I'm on strike with people who I wished and crossed my fingers that I'd someday be next to.

However, I'm not going to be all puppy dog and sell out if one my screenwriting Gods stand up and decrees that we must take this deal or else Hollywood will burn.

I'm going to do what's right for me and listen to the little fat guy in my head and vote my conscience.

Now that I'm in the door, I'm in this for the long haul.

If it's a good deal, I'll vote yes,. If it's crap, I'll vote no, regardless of what this rumored cabal of Billy Zabka-esque screenwriters of the world compel me to do.

2/05/2008 4:55 PM  
Blogger Kidsis said...

Wow, I'm going to have to read this twice.

Glad you're back.

2/05/2008 6:09 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

You're one crazy mofo, and I love you! That was one funny/crazy/scary stream of consciousness there.

2/05/2008 6:43 PM  
Blogger adamdoesit said...

Thanks, Josh. That's encouraging, in a disquieting way.

2/05/2008 7:49 PM  
Blogger aggiebrett said...

I wish I could tape this post to the monitors of 97% of the aspiring writers I know.

Great stuff, as always.

2/05/2008 9:45 PM  
Blogger Tim W. said...


2/05/2008 10:07 PM  
Blogger Tim W. said...

"Which is all it takes, people. One script. One feature. One pilot. One credit. No one in or out of this Guild is more than 120 pages away from the A-list. "

This is what keeps me inspired, and drives me to insanity all at the same time.

2/05/2008 10:10 PM  
Blogger Author X said...

A Dexter reference and now The Wire, proof TV doesn't have to suck. Good luck on getting a deal soon.

2/06/2008 2:42 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

outstanding take josh. i'm a musician who made my pact with the devil long ago. i traded any hopes of stardom and shit for the prize (and it's a big ass fucking prize) of working steadily for a living wage churning out jingles and soundtracks and demos and whatever the guy on the other end of the phone wanted me to play. nobody usually is interested in my opinion on issues. i'm content with the number of folks who want my hands on an instrument when the money's on the table.

here's my favorite thing to do at industry house parties. it's something i still do even though i've been clean and sober for fifteen years. it's great fun.

at some point in the party, find a way to get to the host's medicine chest. find a likely bottle of pills (it really doesn't matter what kind of pills they are but if they are ones with street value there's more impact), walk up to the host, wave the pills and say Dude, did you know you can fix these?

i promise that complications ensue.

p.s. thanks for the wonderful stuff coming through the Sarah Connor Chronicles. i am your fan for a whole long time for this one. that's good stuff, with pancakes.

2/06/2008 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe wrote:

"...regardless of what this rumored cabal of Billy Zabka-esque screenwriters of the world compel me to do."

Nice! Sweep the leg, Joe!

2/06/2008 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not an insider. Not even an outsider. Just a yokel who found your blog years ago and was smitten with not only the way that you were capable of turning a phrase but also with the ease in which you made the clever barbs, the small pieces of your own personal truth wrapped in a cocoon of acerbic wit, MEAN something more. Thank you for each of them. Til now.

With this, your most current blog, I say kudos sir. It is tops, sans pareil. Write to write and to hell with the rest.

2/06/2008 10:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Great words, bubba. And while I can't entirely disagree on the subject of meeting one's gods, many of 'em are actually out there on the side of the angels. From Carl Gottlieb to Harlan Ellison, the heavens are full with good men and women who have not lost sight of what it means to be part of a union, and are out there fighting not for their own interests, but for all of ours. Because that, of course, is what it's all about.

2/07/2008 12:48 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

It's me -- the Attanasio nit-picker. Just re-reading your post, and it's even better on closer examination. You're absolutely right about the fact that more attention is being paid to the "biggest" writers -- I don't know if that's necessarily their fault, but it's annoying and inappropriate during an industry-wide strike to only heed the advice of those with the most to lose and the most to gain.

Then again, Hollywood is not really a sensible or fair place anyway. Any "revolution" can't help but be influenced by the injustice it claims to be aimed against, because society (with all its benefits and especially its evils) is everywhere and everyone.

2/07/2008 7:01 AM  
Blogger josh said...

Josh O--
No doubt there are big names all over the opinion spectrum but for the sake of intellectual consistency I'm bound to say that the cult of celebrity writer is dangerous across the board, although (and this would also be true across the spectrum), I would also agree that just because you're an A-lister or a legend, it doesn't mean your opinion is automatically invalid.

Everyone on their own argument's merit.

2/07/2008 7:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Josh... the reason why people SHOULD listen to you, is because you speak honestly. We're all one script away from stardom and one false move from ruin. I appreciate that you haven't forgotten this and it saddens me that you are in the minority where this is concerned.

2/07/2008 7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the strike line, there was this guy. He created this show. His writing staff was out on the line, and I was talking to one of them. I mentioned how much I loved this guy. She pointed him out to me and tried to get me to go over to him so she could introduce me. I politely declined, fearing drool and/or other bodily fluids involuntarily letting loose. She insisted. I declined. She gave up. I was thankful.

Weeks wore on and I kept seeing this guy. Fear-filled of said bodily fluids, I kept my distance.

Months wore on, and I found myself in a conversation about something really important (Toast? Sisyphus? Cats?), and this guy came up. Everyone knew him, he ended up standing right next to me. But, being in such an important discussion, I couldn't gracefully extract myself. So, I just kind of avoided talking with him. Avoided eye contact. And when I could, I got out.

A couple of days ago this guy came to an event I helped coordinate. Even though he wasn't feeling all that well. And I really got to speak to him for the first time. My heart was thumping the whole time. He was all kinds of awesome. I don't think I drooled. Much.

Embarrassingly, the member of his writing staff was there and mentioned that in the first weeks she tried to introduce me. This guy seemed intrigued by this notion. I didn't mention that it was actually months. Because that's really embarrassing.

But yeah. I know exactly what you're talking about.

In case I didn't say it enough, thank you. I'm glad I got a chance to meet you. I wish it hadn't been under these circumstances. And I hope we don't meet again next week. But if we do, I'll try not to drool. Much.

2/07/2008 8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn. I wish I'd written that.

2/09/2008 7:17 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Josh --

Do not let them touch your special writing place in the bathing suit area. That is all.

2/10/2008 5:03 PM  
Blogger James Henry said...

Curse you for writing all that in white on black. My head feels like it just turned inside out. Also my cat (who is black on white) appears to have vanished.

Other than that, some good points well made.

2/12/2008 9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good stuff, but I'm pretty sure you could've made your point about Cody without taking that gratuitously nasty swipe, y'know, the "old habits" line. What's that Chinese proverb about how people who tell stories about killer robots from the future shouldn't judge others' lifestyle choices?

Hey, that gives me an idea...

(scribble scribble scribble)

Okay, check it out. Cameron infiltrates a strip club that figures somehow into the Skynet storyline, right? But the ways of man are alien to her, as has been previously established, so she figures hey, if taking off my CLOTHES turns everybody on, imagine how excited they'd be if peeled off my skin!

Grinding, gyrating endoskeleton, Josh. Tell me that ain't gold.

2/12/2008 5:09 PM  
Blogger Emily Blake said...

While we're on the subject of not this at all, thanks for casting Brian Austin Green.

He makes me feel funny in my pants.

2/16/2008 8:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So your response would seem to be that no, it is not gold.

Pearls before swine. Big gold pearls.

Glad you're back at work. I'm tellin' ya though, if I see a terminator interpret the phrase "take it off" too literally, Harlan Ellison'll be holding me back and telling me to calm down.

2/17/2008 7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Always enjoy your posts however infrequent. Wish you'd post more often if only to entertain and uh, dare I say inspire (doh, yes a bit of gooey admiration) the off-listers like me though I suppose you do have a day job. Thanks for posting whenever.

2/19/2008 9:45 AM  
Blogger Jules said...

Hope you don't stop blogging now that the strike is over.

BTW- I'm watching the show and am impressed with your handling of the Terminator franchise. Good stories!

2/20/2008 10:59 AM  
Blogger BTL said...

I've had one close friend who's "made it," although she would -- and perhaps will, because she sometimes stops by here too -- deny that. Because in Hollywood terms, she's not even close enough to breathe on the A-list. But by my pathetic New York terms, she's bigtime, because she actually gets paid to do what she loves, and I possibly never will, and her current existence has afforded her personal use of the terms "my agent" and "bidding war."

So that was rough for a while, but we hashed it out, sometimes with tears and shouting as chicks do (whereas guys generally just bottle it up or release it in a pissing contest, either literal or figurative) and now we can actually talk about our work. She can tell me about what a bitch it is to keep working to get your project made out there when you're not an A-lister and I can talk about what a bitch it is to be toiling away in obscurity while still having to have a day job which takes me to other people's sets, sometimes to work all night freezing my ass off on a football field on a spot for Gatorade that will never even get fucking shown during the Superbowl but will still have the skin peeling off my fingers for days.

Such is the life we have chosen.

Plus, it's all material.

Oh, and what Jules said. Don't stop.

2/23/2008 10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watched Diablo more closely on the Oscar night because you mentioned her in your blog (first time I heard something about her). I have to say even apart from her winning the Oscar she, as we say in Germany, "bekam ganz schön Zucker in den Arsch geblasen".

2/25/2008 12:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your high praise for the book made me take it out of the library. (I already own too many books about screenwriting to buy anymore.) Wow. Loved the post, but I really love the book. Thanks.

2/28/2008 10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Autistics and mercury in the same paragraph. You know!

2/29/2008 11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was wondering, is Cameron's charater named for James Cameron?

3/03/2008 3:59 PM  
Blogger Ian said...

Mr. Friedman, you've created a very great television show. I just thought you needed to know.

3/03/2008 11:18 PM  
Blogger Lubab No More said...

I've really enjoyed The Terminator. I hope they bring you guys back next season. Keep up the great work.

3/04/2008 9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just finished watching the season finale. That quiet scene in the park was some of the best TV in ages. Episode could have ended right then and there. Here's to Season Two.

3/17/2008 7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the Sarah Connor Chronicles so much (I bought the first season from Amazon's Unbox) that I did a search for you on the internet and found your blog. I don't really understand all of the writer's strike stuff or the inner workings of Hollywood, other than the basics, which is you guys are somehow not getting the money you deserve, so it was nice to hear your perspective on some of it. I hope you guys get things worked out and start making great shows and movies again. I'm a big supporter of artists (broad term for everyone involved in making shows, including writers) getting their due, especially over some fat cat in a suit, which is why I don't support pirating and gladly pay for your work. I only wish you guys got a better percentage of the money. It's actually crossed my mind to send you guys a thank you card with a $20 bill in it, which is more than you'd get from a single DVD sale.

Anyways, that's just me rambling and showing my thanks and support for making my life interesting after a day of work and giving me things to think about throughout the week. Cameron is my favorite character and I've always been fascinated with science fiction stories of artificial intelligence since I was very young, starting with Asimov's robot stories. I loved the ballerina episode and I hope you guys continue to explore the possibility of Cameron developing her own personality, independence, and (possibly) limited emotion. Some of that was alluded to in T2 and in the discussions about the Turk.

Thanks again and keep up the good work.

3/26/2008 1:51 PM  
Blogger Andi Blonde said...

Tight post. It's so freakin' big and right out there!

3/31/2008 2:41 AM  
Blogger Mead said...

Man, you're such a good writer. I wish you could post more often. Selfishly, I do.

4/07/2008 6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phew! That is a lot to process ... but good stuff.

A lot of independent writers I know have been submitting their screenplays to film festivals such as the Nashville Film Festival. Click on the link below for more details.

4/14/2008 4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Friedman, kudos for the rants, but Chronicles is way overrated. Don't mean to piss on your parade, but seriously dude, the eps I watched had zero narrative. Just a bunch of random scenes ending with arbitrary quotes from T1+2. Might I add, Ali Larter was genetically engineered from Linda Hamilton's DNA, so why oh why did y'all cast that dark curly haired braut from 300? And the geek from 90201?? Shame to see a great mythology go to shits. But hey, nice night for a walk, huh?

4/17/2008 12:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats on the season two pickup! Great show. Keep it coming.

4/21/2008 2:42 PM  
Blogger media sucks said...

glad to see you turned comments back on.

5/11/2008 11:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Josh,

2 questions for you.

1. Who originally jumped the shark?

2. Is The Ghost of Tom Joad a better album than Nebraska?

6/04/2008 6:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read this writing from your blog, and I think to myself that it would be a greater compliment to you for me to say that I'm glad that I read it and didn't write it. Had I written it, then when I read it I would have been annoyed and perhaps bored because for me the thoughts would have been unoriginal. Instead, I am glad that I didn't write it, and I really enjoyed reading it. You are a fantastic writer! Hopefully we'll meet one of these days at one of those awards shows as we both accept our trophies. Although we would have to refrain from ignoring each other. - Josh Friedman

6/09/2008 1:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rumors about you writing Iron Man 2 true?

6/11/2008 9:08 PM  
Blogger Eleanora said...

Josh, I don't know how to quit you. You always get me so mad but you make me cry and laugh and feel dirty afterwards. You're such a great writer but don't ever think it. Just keep writing.

7/09/2008 5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The timeline of the Terminator movies would seem to indicate that Sarah Connor would be a total bad ass in your show and this is not the case.

When you change a character that has already been portrayed a certain way and with great effect, do you risk alienating intelligent viewers that will wonder why a character is so different in what is essentially the same story?

If the network insisted on softening the character and not you, please ignore this and you have my sympathies.

9/04/2008 11:14 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

just wanted to drop a line that says the new season of "sarah connor" rocks out loud!

9/09/2008 8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Season 2 premiere, or Episode 10 whatever you are calling it, is good.

Dekker can't act though, he's a piece of shit manchild. The whole show stands and falls on Summer Glau. Very convincing she is. I couldn't give a fuck about John and Sarah connor, I'd rather see well acted terminators, and the mortals they fucking terrify.

It's always fucking shit scary when they are powered down for two minutes. Fuck yeah!

You should kill of Johan and Sarah and have Brian Austin Green save the day with Summer Glau.

No one gives a shit about that little emo fuck, you can cut his hair all you like, he's not a convincing character, at all. Shitty actor. Summer Glau knows where its at.

Why couldn't they have made Brian Austin Green play John Connor, I just don't give a fuck about the little emo fuckstick Dekker.

He's such a shitty actor. And his mom can fuck off too. She's hot and nothing else, she's not even tough like Linda Hamilton's.

I only watch this show for the terminators, and the FBI story last season was very very good.

God I fucking hate Dekker's acting. He is so shit.

9/09/2008 1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hek eleh...

9/10/2008 6:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thomas Dekker is fine, but Lena Heady was just terribly miscast. She basically has one note: demure. And if you're going to cast a one-note actress, you better make sure that that one note doesn't directly contradict the character established in previous films!

9/23/2008 10:42 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Josh...
My name is Jairo, from Brazil and a big fun of Terminator movies...
Well, i see some episodes of "The Sarah Connor Chronicles"..
Its a cool serie..

In Terminator 3 movie, does not show how skynet appears.
And "The Sarah Connor Chronicles" too.

But i have a really have one big idea how skynet restared all researchs...
Can be a movie called "The Rise of Skynet"...

Well, if you want to talk about, please contact-me...


9/28/2008 11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a goner...but predictable the from the get go, an act of mercy letting it go on this long...

The story became 'what robot or mission' will trouble them this time...the long arc of 'saving the world' was weakly vague, with all the acting being quite one dimensional.

Prison Break is getting spaced-out mission-impossibleified conspiracy theory de jour, but they will want to save that over this. Sorry, I did like the high concept, but the execution was just so pedestrian.

9/30/2008 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if fox cancels terminator, would it be possible to go on cw?

10/05/2008 8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if fox cancels terminator, would it be possible to go on cw?

10/05/2008 8:40 AM  
Blogger Scoopy said...

Is there a Garret Dillahunt fan club, and if so how may I join?

Also, does anyone have a copy of BEAST WIZARD VII??

11/07/2008 6:39 PM  
Blogger Scoopy said...

Oh, and thank you for your time.

11/07/2008 6:42 PM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why the fuck you casted bitch who even didnt saw terminator films ?! You fucking moron why terminator didnt killed sarah but just THROW HER ?!?!?

11/24/2008 9:22 AM  
Blogger Jules said...

You gotta admit that last flame post was hilarious. Makes having a blog worth it, especially for fat retards!

11/24/2008 10:16 AM  
Blogger Hawise Gadarn said...

Sigh- come back soon you big lug.

11/26/2008 11:24 AM  
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That's some Grade-A bilious, incoherent sputtering.

11/26/2008 12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know you're a cancer survivor with depressive tendencies and all, not to mention busy with real-world concerns, but you still ought to throw a post up once in a while just so there's a place for us to stroke your big fat Hollywood ego. The show's fun as hell and it's been getting wonderfully complicated as of late. Well done, sir.

But don't take my word for it! Anything that bothers a pretentious ass like the guy at 9/30/2008 4:47 PM just has to be good.

Oh, wait, I just remembered that you know Summer Glau personally and prefessionally, which means I hate you. Never mind all that complimentary stuff.

12/06/2008 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Josh...I wish you'd come back. I know you're busy, but I wanted you to know I have really enjoyed your posts.

12/13/2008 12:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Bill True, we "know how reliable bloggers are..."

12/16/2008 5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude -- It's the one year anniversary of your last post. For the love of Mike, just throw us a bone!

2/04/2009 7:53 AM  
Blogger Author X said...

For christs sake write something already, its been a fucking year man.

4/01/2009 4:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Josh,
I am a fan of SCC, and I love John/Thomas, but I'm sorry, if Derek/Brian is gone forever, I'll boycott the show. I am seriously upset right now, Derek was an amazing character, and I am not happy about this.

4/03/2009 5:31 PM  
Anonymous Dan Verssen said...

Great season finale!

Hopefully not a series finale.

Here's hoping.

4/11/2009 12:43 AM  
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There's a new writer on the scene who's worth looking at. The blog is

4/17/2009 8:52 PM  
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5/07/2009 1:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude! Heard your show got cancelled! WTF? Start making calls to the Sci-Fi channel to keep this thing going.

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5/20/2009 1:46 PM  
Blogger Georgiana said...

Just dropping by to say we miss your posts and am deeply saddened by the show's cancellation. If there's anything we can do just say the word. Have a signed a couple of petitions but that doesn't feel terribly useful.

Hope all is well with you and yours.

5/20/2009 6:07 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Dear Josh Friedman

I’m from the philippines, and i’m a fan of terminator the sarah connor chronicles. First of all, i want to give you a huge thank you for your part in making TSCC. Over the past year, i’ve watched the series on AXN and it has become one of my favorite TV shows. Thank you for making the connors, cameron and derek reese some of the most memorable TV characters in a long time. And thank you for making the most insane (in a good way) season finale ever with “born to run”.

I see on the forums that you’re getting a lot of flak from some fans who think you ruined the series in the 2nd season. I can’t judge. I think the 2nd season has good stories but is less focused. In the end i think you did more good than bad, and I hope you do not become discouraged.

For me, the heart of TSCC was the story of how john connor grew up from being a boy to being a man and a leader. What’s the difference? John as a boy is trying to avoid the pain of responsibility, while John as a man is willing to fight to the finish to defeat skynet and save humanity. Leaving this epic series incomplete is a shame, like John abandoning his mission, like Sarah abandoning her child. Right now many people think of you as the person who created the series and then left it hanging. I want them to remember you as the man who created the series and helped guide it to a satisfying finish.

I can understand if you’re burnt out and want to move on to other projects. I know you have your own health and career to worry about. But the millions of fans deserve better. The characters, the stories deserve better. If you really are finished with TSCC, please give your blessing and vision to someone who is willing and able to complete your work, preferably one of the other writers/producers of the show. Please allow the awesome stories you helped create to be completed with a third season or a TV miniseries/movie.

Once again, thank you Josh Friedman. I hope you will do the right thing. May your life be blessed, and may you succeed in all your struggles.


5/24/2009 3:12 PM  
Anonymous Desiree said...

Do you think that maybe you could make a straight-to-video last season for the Sarah Connor Chronicles to give the show a proper ending? That would be wonderful for all the fans that were screwed over by Fox and their stupid way of getting a show's ratings.

5/27/2009 11:50 AM  
Blogger Lapin said...


I'm a Johnny recent to your oh-so-sporadic-bleeding-blog and I've only dipped my toes into this entry but I see one glaring...error, assumption, something...whatever, it was still likely not readily apparent at the time...? (...elipses happy much, heh)

Ron Moore said he had a plan. It was apparently the sort of plan any of us come up with while drunkenly throwing darts over our shoulders and hoping they land anywhere but in the middle of a random bar patron's forehead? At least to my viewing.

I think you had a better plan. I think you were also actually looking at the dart board, most of the time. Just sayin'


6/05/2009 9:00 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

You really write good stuff!

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Blogger Andres N. Kievsky said...

Some of us can still tell what's good and what's a steaming piece of dong served in a golden plate by the TV networks. Sad, sad stuff.

Money over quality? That brings us shit like Lost, which basically played hardball with ratings with no regards for content. I'm sure most people love it, but hey -- Burger King and McDonald's are also loved by most people. That doesn't make the food good, or the TV any less horrendous and boring.

Some of us are happy we don't watch ads, and download things off the internet instead of giving people like you money. And we will continue to do so, and teach others to do it, until you and your companies are poor enough that you all need to start creating better stuff, or at least get a real job.

There are things more important than money. Things like creating a product you are happy about and being honest with yourself. And it seems like Hollywood would rather self-destroy than learn this lesson.

Who are we? We are your viewers. We are slowly waking up from years of being fed gooey, greasy fast-food shit, and we are angry. And we demand more "Eraserhead" and less "Transformers." If you can't provide this, we will grab our ubiquitous cameras and do it ourselves.

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Hi. David Brin here, Hugo winning best-seller and all that, author of The Postman. Congrats on the Asimov Project! I look forward to watching.

Just in case: you might know I'm probably the best living expert on the story arcs of Isaac Asimov's universe, having written the ultimate sequel FOUNDATION'S TRIUMPH, that tied together all of Isaac's loose ends. (Isaac's widow and daughter were very happy and wanted my novel to be the Last Word.)

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Perhaps a chat might be called for. Fans of Isaac sharing cool notions.

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