Death of a TV Writer

The TV writer lay on her death bed.

Clustered around her were the writing team, many of whom she had taught and mentored over the years.

She was moved to see them all gathered around her, keeping vigil. She waited expectantly for them to tell her how much she meant to all of them. She was very much looking forward to some moving speeches, they were writers after all.

She expected to hear how she had inspired them throughout the years, how they owed their careers to her – especially the one who had never handed his scripts in on time, she had covered for that little f*cker way too often.

She waited…but they were oddly silent.

Ahhhhh…she thought…they are all too grief stricken to speak. Too overwhelmed that they would never be receiving her notes again.

She got the warm, fuzzies at the thought of how much they all loved her, how they would miss her.

Finally, just as she was about to slip into a coma, the latest intern brought his face close to hers and the TV Writer said (with some difficulty), ‘I love you, Mo’.

“I love you too,” said Mo.

There was a long, awkward beat.

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The TV Writer realised Mo was struggling with his grief and postponed her coma for a few moments more.

Mo looked around the room, obviously to gather strength for what he was about to say. There were ‘get on with it’ gestures from the rest of the team.

Eventually, Mo spoke.

  • “We have something to ask you,”
  • “Of course, ask away.”
  •  “We just wanted to check, you know before you leave us forever (Mo had a flair for the dramatic and if truth be told was only on the writing team as a way of breaking into acting) We wanted to know if you could please tell us whether Thabo’s brain tumour in season 4 was a glioblastoma or an astrocytoma?

After that the floodgates opened.

  • Writer 1: And did Sami study in the UK or Russia? Did she get an MBA or a PhD?
  • Writer 2: And how did Andile come back from the dead again and why?

It went on and on.

Reader, the TV Writer died to get away from the questions.

But they got the last larf because they got hold of her brain after she died and plugged it into a computer so they could access all her knowledge about the 25 seasons of the show.

Those f*ckers would not let her rest even in death.

You think I’m joking, dear reader, I am not. This is a true story.

You could be in the middle of your wedding.

Giving birth.

At your mother’s funeral.

At your own funeral.

And someone would be pursuing you with a continuity question. Or perhaps wanting to ask you to quickly rewrite a scene. Or hop on to a quick meeting.

This is the life (and death) of a TV writer.

Of course, the metaphorical death of the TV Writer will probs be caused by AI which will eventually write all our scripts and remember exactly how and why Andile managed to come back from the dead. But that is a sad story for another day.

In other news, it was the third anniversary of the first time we went into lockdown. We stopped by our local, the Blind Tiger and happened to run into an old theatre friend who spent three weeks on a ventilator during Covid. We agreed that we do not recommend pandemics as a fun life experience.

I did confess on a podcast recently that I was experiencing a touch of survivor’s guilt at having not popped off after my bout of the roro. What prompted this – don’t larf – was a Tiktok I watched about a plane crash and the guy talking about his guilt at having walked away from the crash when so many didn’t make it.

I had an aha moment of ‘yes, that is exactly how I feel’ (so please don’t tell me my four hours a day on Tiktok is wasted.) I have felt the need of late to remember everyone we did lose, and the businesses that didn’t make it and the people that are still suffering the physical after-effects of it.

We see you.

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Film/TV recommendations:

I watched the Selena Gomez doccie on Apple TVMy Mind and Me. Quite eye-opening what that kid’s been through, and yes, I was only interested in watching it because of all the Hailey/Justin/Selena drama. But in spite of Tiktok making me watch it, I have to say I really enjoyed it.

Book TV 31 Mar

Book Recommendations:

Viola Davis’s memoir Finding Me. This came out last year but I’m only reading it now. It won a Grammy for best audio book so I’m kinda sorry I’m reading it and not listening to it. What a life she’s had. From a childhood of physical and sexual abuse, extreme poverty and racism, to an *EGOT winner today. So inspiring. I highly recommend it.

Some good news to end on is that apparently the Sh*tfaced book was on the Non-Fiction Bestseller List. I got emails and messages from my publisher so I’m presuming that’s a pretty good thing.

Also, the Husband and I got engaged 30 years ago at the FIL’s 50th birthday and as you read this, we will be winging our way down to KZN to celebrate the Old Bullet’s 80th birthday. Have a great weekend, everyone and Happy Reading! Xxx

*EGOT – those who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award.

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