I get sucked into the crime/thriller show marathons that stations like TNT run (Law & Order, anyone?). Bones is one I watch, although I don’t love that show as much as L&O or SVU. But I do have a bone to pick with the writers of Bones: it always irritates me when a character is a writer, but she NEVER writes.
Dr. Temperance Brennan, or “Bones,” is a forensic anthropologist and is wicked smaht as we say back here in Beantown, but a wicked smaht person does not a writer make. I know she’s in the exceptional category and she can compartmentalize and hyper-focus and such, but that still doesn’t take away the fact that writers need to write. A lot. Especially when they’re cranking out bestsellers in their “spare time,” as this show seems to suggest. I think I’ve only seen her character actually writing once (and I’ve seen a lot of the shows, though not all), and that was a hospital bedside scene where Bones was waiting out Booth’s coma.
This sort of portrayal does a disservice to new-ish writers or people who “want to write a novel” because it suggests that it’s easy.
It ain’t easy. It takes work and practice and commitment and daily effort (or full weekend effort or full night-time effort…keyword is effort).
One of the reasons I appreciate Sex and the City (also now in marathon runs on E!, gawd help me. I’m dreaming about Mr. Big again), is because it shows Carrie writing in every episode. And not just sitting there tapping away on her keyboard and making it look easy. It shows her stopping and thinking and getting up and procrastinating and late nights and deadlines (remember when Aidan was stripping her floors and she was on deadline and had to go to a hotel to get some quiet?).
What other shows — past or present — get it write (ha!). I mean get it “right” in terms of how it portrays writers? What other shows get it wrong? I’ve been trying to think of other shows where the main character is a writer, but beyond the ones mentioned and maybe Dave’s World (based loosely on Dave Barry), I’m coming up empty.
Weigh in. Can you think of others? Do you get annoyed, too?