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The other night my friend Laura called, for those who don’t know her, she’s a random person, as much so as me. Naturally, our choice of topics was random (as it always is). We began talking about TV and Laura asked me about the show LOST and I mentioned (yet again) about the bad ending. At which point she told me that she had undertaken watching it. I told her to turn around and run because once the ending came she would be extremely…disheartened, as I was. There were no answers to key questions that were built throughout the series, but I’ll digress now, because I could go on about it for an hour. I quickly revised my statement, because truth be told I think LOST is one of the best and most unique shows I’ve ever watched; and I don’t throw that around lightly. Though some of my favorites are amazing shows, I would never categorize them as best, at least not as a whole. Season 1 of 24 was groundbreaking but by Season 8 had become almost a joke. LOST was different, no matter how disappointed I was in the ending, I can’t look back and call it a bad show. It was unique, well balanced, amusing, entertaining, and ALWAYS left you wanting more. That’s something hard to find in TV or movies today. (I will note that I haven’t watched some of the well-loved series such as Mad Men, Dexter, or The Closer).
Naturally, this whole topic launched us into good endings for TV shows, or really, the lack thereof. Honestly, I couldn’t remember the last great ending for a TV show I had seen. Hell, I couldn’t think of a good one. It so often seems that the people behind the shows forget who their characters and audience are by the end, whether its the last episode or a bad final season. We then recognized that many shows had fitting endings, Boy Meets World (a favorite of ours) and many other sitcoms. Laura mentioned that Buffy and Angel also had good endings. While I enjoyed the ending episode of Gilmore Girls, the entire 7th season was a let down for me. Don’t get me started on why 24 shouldn’t have killed off half their cast/should have ended after season 5. Prison Break, well my friend Sam and I made up our own ending, set after the 4th or 5th episode of season 2, because boy did it get stupid from there. Even amongst finding fitting or good show endings, we had a tough time figuring out an amazing one. In fact, we didn’t.
Later that night, my husband and I were watching TV and we stopped channel flipping at an episode of Seinfeld. He looked at me and said “Seinfeld.” I looked at him confused, after which he elaborated that Seinfeld had a truly unique ending. And they did. So in the category of awesome endings and a damn fine TV show, I put Seinfeld. I mean, hell, how do you beat sending them all to prison for basically being the a-holes they were for 9 seasons. It was great.
Up until this morning this topic was still leaving something to be desired. I think my brain was searching for something even better. And finally a show randomly popped into my head (for an entirely different reason). It’s a show that I honestly think was one of the best on TV, if not the best show in TV history. It made a giant impact, has a huge following (even today), was long-running, and was one of the most well received shows ever. It also had a great ending. It had an understated epicness. It was simple. It wrapped up the show in a beautiful and honest way. It made sense and it fit. And it was the first series ever to say bastard on TV. That’s right, I’m talking about M*A*S*H. And I don’t think I need to explain to anyone why it was truly awesome. But I will mention a few reasons why I think so. It dealt with real world problems. It was honest. It tackled difficult subjects and times with humor and grace. Alan Alda. A truly amazing show. And I mean it when I say, they don’t make ’em like that anymore…
I’m watching One Tree Hill right now. And regardless of whether you love or hate the show or the borderline soap opera story lines, in my opinion the show is worth it just for the music. Right at this moment My Hometown by Bruce Springsteen is playing, but beyond that some of my favorite bands/songs were originally heard on this show. Yellowcard, my favorite band ever, I first heard on One Tree Hill and Laguna Beach. Always Love by Nada Surf and Far More by the Honorary Title are two of my favorite songs ever. One Tree Hill is where I’ve heard them. I think that’s because the show’s creator, Mark Schwahn, has a love for music and a true understanding of the power it has. It can change the simplest scene in a show into something beautiful or heart wrenching. Or as they’ve mentioned on the show, one song can change an entire day.
That’s true for me. Music has an incredible power for many people. If I’m feeling exasperated or I’m having a truly awful day, I know if I listen to City of Devils I can let some of it go. I know that I will smile the second I hear Always Love. I know I will feel at peace when I hear Your Wildest Dreams. I know that when I’m feeling melancholy, I can listen to Coffee and Cigarettes. I know when I am beyond pissed, listening to War Sweater will make me feel better. And when I need to ball my eyes out I can listen to Broken, Love Song, Best of my Love, A House is not a Home, or The Way we Were. I know that when I hear I Know You’re Out There Somewhere, I’ll get this feeling of a beautiful song, that I see as a reconnection between two people. When I’m road tripping, Billy Joel or Yellowcard will be playing in the car. When I’m in a fun and relaxed mood, Keeping the Faith or Only the Good Die Young will be blaring from my speakers. If I’m in my car, you know there’s music playing.
Music speaks to me. It helps me feel less alone. It’s a stress reliever. It’s a celebration. It’s happiness. It’s fun. I’ve never had a power to write beautiful music but I feel so connected to it. It tells it’s own story. When you combine it with the writing of someone else, it tells an entirely different story, and there’s something I find incredibly beautiful about that.
Often when I get an idea for a scene, it comes from a song. I think of how I can use it in the story lines I have in my head, and some of my best scenes have come from that process. Music is a big part of why I write. Just as music makes me feel comforted and less alone for 5 minutes, so does a good scene or episode of a TV show, especially one that uses music effectively. If I could do that, make someone feel less alone, then I’ve accomplished something.
In my opinion, music can say things the heart can’t even dream of.
I’m gonna jump right in here and just say it: job hunting sucks. The feeling you get when you get a call for and interview, well there’s nothing like it. And the feeling you get when they tell you that you didn’t get the job, well there’s nothing like that either. I went on my third and fourth job interviews today and left one feeling utterly confused because they only asked me two questions, and the other feeling nervous because I desperately want that job. Now here I am, sick of this transitional phase of my life and ready to move on and be settled. Hell, I wouldn’t have gotten marred at 20 if I wasn’t a little accelerated in adult life. Yeah, I know that sentence sounded weird. I keep telling myself Que Sera Sera but it’s so not working.
Of course my dream job is actually to be a writer. A script writer. I have written scripts for three TV shows (one which has many episodes written out thus far), but I am horrified at the idea of sending them to an agency for two main reasons. 1.) I don’t want my dream to die. Sometimes it’s easier to imagine it then to go for it and lose. 2). I want to do more than just write, I created these characters and these stories and I am committed to them. I love them. I don’t want to see someone else take them on their journey. That in itself is scary. So I suppose you could say my real dream job is to be part of a production company.
Dream job= scary. Job hunting=sucks. But you won’t get 100% of the things you don’t try for. With that, perhaps the next cover letter I send will be to an agency rather than a hospital…