Everybody Loves Raymond and Laura Lippman

With the end of Everybody Loves Raymond last night, I’ve been thinking about the state of television comedy. I love sitcoms. I even love the crappy ones. I enjoyed “Union Square”, “Working”, “Suddenly Susan”, and even “Saved by the Bell: The College Years.” There were plenty of crappy sitcoms they dumped between Freinds and Seinfeld on Thursday night and I liked most of them too. One of my favorite sitcoms that was eventually pulled was Boston Common which starred Anthony Clark and was created by David Kohan and Max Mutchnick of Will and Grace fame. Seeing Clark in “Yes, Dear” confuses me because it’s been on for five years now while “Boston Common,” which was much funnier only lasted two seasons. I’ve given up trying to understand television.

There was a time I wanted to write sitcoms and I even wrote a few spec scripts for “Friends” and “Fraiser” but I never pursued it much beyond entering the Walt Disney Writer’s Fellowship. Now there are so few outlets for sitcom writing that I probably couldn’t pursue it if I wanted. The only two sitcoms on right now worth mentioning are “Two and a Half Men” and “Scrubs.” While I enjoy “Two and a Half Men” because I love Charlie Sheen, “Scrubs” is the only sitcom with the potential to be a major cultural hit. This is probably one of the best sitcoms ever. On the other hand you have “George Lopez” and “My Wife and Kids” and “According to Jim.” All of these shows have been on for a few years but none of them are any good. They aren’t bad, but I never get anything more than a smile from any of them.

I know people say the sitcom was almost dead before “The Cosby Show” came along in the 80s but I don’t think it was as close to dead as it is now. I think the next generation of sitcom will be something like “Sex and the City” or even “Sports Night” with the drama/comedy line blurred, but I don’t really think any major changes need to be made other than dramatically increasing the quality of the writing. And of course eliminating the laugh track.

But I digress…actually is it possible to digress without actually having had a point in the first place?

Today was a decent writing day. I had a feeling that I’d get around to working on “Lunchbox Hero” today as I know pretty much what’s going to happen in the pages leading up to the end but with me you never know. And I was dangerously close to frittering the day away until about 4:30pm when I turned off the TV and unplugged my internet cord and finally got to work. I ended up doing a little more than 1,000 words which is good for me and more than I really expected to do since I haven’t worked on it in a while. And I even thought I might go back and do a bit more work on it, but I think I’ll curl up with the galley of Laura Lippman’s new book instead.

This book is amazing and even though I loved “Every Secret Thing” I think I might like this book even more because I feel like it was written specifically for me. Outside of the myriad theater and theater geek references she even manages to work in a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game reference. My life goal now is to link Fatty Arbuckle to Kevin Bacon in six links or less. I’ve been able to do it in eight so far but that’s not good enough. I love you Laura!

23 thoughts on “Everybody Loves Raymond and Laura Lippman

  1. Well, Bryon, it’s pretty gosh-darn mutual after a post like that.(P.S. I cheated, just like Dannon in the book, googled Arbuckle and Keaton. Thing is, I’m not sure how many people know that Keaton was in ‘How to Stuff a Wild Bikini.’ I wish I didn’t, come to think of it.)

  2. i am not much for sitcoms anymore, to be honest. the comedy feels so forced and it rarely makes me laugh out loud. Will & Grace does, and Friends always did. I have never watched Scrubs but I think I would like it. and I got spoiled by watching SATC, Gilmore Girls, and Alias, so normal shows w/mediocre writing just don’t do it for me anymore.

  3. I can link myself to Kevin Bacon in four. BOOYAH!And Bryon’s right, Everybody DOES Love Raymond. But Raymond only got love for his missus, you dig?

  4. My mom especially does. She watches like 2-3 in a row every night now, which I find utterly hilarious. OTOH, it makes her next birthday present incredibly easy…

  5. I love Scrubs and was disappointed to hear that they won’t be starting the new season until mid-year (or something like that – check out Lee Goldberg’s blog for details).I’m with Christin when it comes to Gilmore Girls. They did seem like they were losing their way a bit. But they are definitely back on course now. And what a season finale.And when they start showing reruns of Veronica Mars you need to check it out if you haven’t seen it.

  6. Ahem-hem-hem. I was mates with a fella called Rufus Wright, did a few acting type things (plays I think they’re called) back the uni days. Rufus was in SPY GAME with Brad Pitt, who I believe was in SLEEPERS with Kevin Bacon.

  7. Like Ray, counting acting from our youths, universities, office pantos, whatever, it’s all good. Starting from me we go to my dad, who used to work with a woman called Julie Peters. Julie played Willow’s wife Kaiya in Willow, which starred Val Kilmer. Kilmer was in Heat with Robert De Niro, who was in Sleepers with Kevin Bacon.

  8. I love Scrubs. I believe the second series is starting over here soon. I also love Everybody Loves Raymond and Two and A Half Man. I’m a big sitcom fan. Except Last of The Summer Whine.I can do the Kevin Bacon thing in 4 too. I was once kissed by Tony Curtis, who was in Some Like It Hot with Jack Lemmon, who was in JFK with Kevin Bacon.Donna

  9. Dominic West (The Wire) to Julia Roberts (Mona Lisa Smile) to Kevin Bacon (Flatliners).It’s really not fair. I’m over-exposed to actors, through no fault of my own.

  10. Actually, I’ve already been exposed to Mr Bloom.At least, I’ve already exposed myself to Mr Bloom.Before those nice policemen took me away.

  11. here we go, ready for this?Jerry Falwell – who’s been interviewed by Bill Mahr – who’s interviewed Susan Sarandon, who is married to Tim Robbins, who starred in Mystic River with – K.Bacon. booya!

  12. Alright, you all asked for this. I can do it in three. Ahem…I worked for Random House who published ASH WEDNESDAY written by Ethan Hawke who starred in HAMLET with Bill Murray who was in WILD THINGS with Kevin Bacon

  13. If one can go through Random House, then I have to think that having bacon in Good Enough to Eat at the same time Bacon was having breakfast counts.Then again — I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before — Lehane-Bacon, Mystic River. (Lehane has a cameo).

  14. If we’re getting so tenuous as to go through Random House (clearly blatant envy of the rest of us showbiz types on Mr Q’s part) then we could go the whole hog and say that since all molecules disperse and eventually spread around the world through diffusion and natural drift, chances are I’ve drunk at least one molecule that was originally pissed out by Mr Bacon at some point, getting me there without any moves at all.

  15. Hrmm. I haven’t done me yet. Let’s see…Spike Lee ran past me in a Knicks game once and knocked popcorn out of my hand. To Denzel Washington in X to Ethan Hawke in Training Day to Bill Murray in Hamlet to Kevin Bacon in Wild Things.The sub one? Stan Ziff went to high school with Bill Parcells who coached Lawrence Taylor who was in Any Given Sunday with Al Pacino who was in Carlito’s Way with Sean Penn who was in Mystic River with Kevin Bacon.

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