The big advantage of telling a story that way is, obviously, to get inside the head of one person, and get their insight into everything that's going on. Unfiltered, in real time. Scrubs plays with the point of view all the time, but when you stick with one long enough, it changes the feel of the story. In the first episode of season five, "My Intern's Eyes," Scrubs used the point of view of an intern, Keith, to show how awkward and frightening Sacred Heart could be. That was a great transition as J.D became an attending. We got to see J.D.'s new role, plus get a reminder of how the show began. The best of both worlds.
One of our writers, Bob Sassone, introduced me to Ken Levine's blog a couple of years ago. Within a couple of weeks I had his RSS feed in my "Must Always Read" category, and there it remains.
If you don't know who Ken Levine is, if you're any sort of fan of television, it's likely you've seen something he's written: His credits include 36 episodes of Cheers, 16 episodes of M*A*S*H, seven episodes of Frasier, seven episodes of Becker, four episodes of Wings, two episodes of The Simpsons ... and a partridge in a pear tree. In short, the man knows how to write; he's won an Emmy for his writing and even sometimes offers a highly-regarded course on comedy writing, called The Sitcom Room.
Levine's blog is filled with stories from his days with the aforementioned shows, and they're sometimes hilarious, always fascinating. As a friend of TV Squad, and to celebrate the all-things Cheers week of Retro Squad, he's taken the time out to share a new story below. Enjoy!
I guess I should just go over to Ken Levine's blog and ask him, since he wrote for the show for many years. But if I did that, I wouldn't get paid for it. So, after the jump are the biggest Cheers mysteries, starting with the biggest and most obvious one:
I guess if you're trying to revive the dying sitcom, a good way to start is by assembling a top-notch team. And Fox's new Wednesday night comedy, Back to You, does just that.
- Do you remember the show Big Wave Dave's?
- Best Week Ever gives us The Reverse Savage.
- A lot of people want Tucker Carlson to be fired.
- More nasty news about Andy Dick.
- Singer Chris Brown takes his jacket off at The Today Show, causes a riot.
- Did you know Hugh Laurie was almost picked to host the Emmys?
- BuddyTV has some interesting info about the Jericho season one DVD set.
If you read this blog on a frequent basis, you know a few of us are fans of TV writer and blogger Ken Levine. The man has written for The Simpsons, MASH, Cheers, Everybody Loves Raymond, Wings, Dharma and Greg and many other popular and enduring series.
In a recent post, Levine explains how to write for a medical series that uses a lot of jargon: ask a doctor.
The Sitcom Room, an exhausting, yet exhilarating two-day event, was the brainchild of veteran TV sitcom writer Ken Levine. To me, the event was the ultimate summer camp for aspiring writers and/or TV geeks.
But what if Sam Kinison had hosted a game show? After the jump, Ken's very NSFW scene from a Kinison-hosted show.
On his blog, Ken, a veteran sitcom writer, hilariously reminds us just how annoying The Sopranos finale would have been on network television. For starters, a countdown clock would have run across the bottom of our television screens for at least a month leading up to the finale. The two-hour finale would have been preceded by a one-hour clip show hosted by Bob Costas. Janice would have gotten her own spin-off called Widow With Children.
- Best Week Ever interviews Michael Emerson (Ben from Lost).
- Do all those "Save [Show Name Here]" campaigns really work?
- Another celeb interview: BuddyTV interviews James Kyson Lee (Ando from Heroes).
- Yes, Trump did indeed have something to say about Rosie leaving The View early.
- How many lawsuits have been filed against Brandy anyway?
- TV Guide's Matt Roush calls Hidden Palms "The O.C. meets Hitchcock."
- Here are the May sweeps ratings for the evening news (hint: Katie is still in third place).
- Cracked lists the 15 Painfully Unforgettable Cartoon Theme Songs.
- Ken Levine has some thoughts on American Idol.
- Betty Hutton passed away earlier this week.
- Jim Gaffigan talks about muffins and cakes.
- Best Week Ever isn't too happy that Zarf wasn't nominated for a Daytime Emmy.
- Some people in Hollywood use drugs.
- Will the phrase "Fair & Balanced" make it to the Hall of Fame?
- Maxim picks the 10 best infomercial products. Wait, isn't the Chia Pet ad just a commercial and not an infomercial?
- OK, how about one last wrap up of the Oscars? This one is from Ken Levine, and very funny.
- Wait a sec...the Geico caveman went to The Oscars?
- Mary-Kate Olsen writes for The New York Times.
- Kristin over at E! Online has a video interview with Heroes braineater Syler (Zachary Quinto) and has news about the (possible) future of Studio 60.
- TV Guide's Michelle Heller goes behind the scenes at The Late Show With David Letterman.
- Wolf Blizer likes the Situation Room satire they did on Saturday Night Live this past weekend.
- And, here's video of CBS News veteran Bob Schieffer singing a country and western song.
- Hiccup girl goes on The Today Show, so Good Morning America calls her 57 times for an interview.
- I can't tell if Time's James Poniewozik likes Heroes or not.
- Ken Levine was once on The Dating Game?!
- Irwin Handleman gives his opinion on the whole Joe Rogan/Carlos Mencia controversy.
- The original Jill Abbott on The Young and the Restless is in an Hawaiian jail.
- In case you missed it, here's George Takei's answer to Tim Hardaway's rant against gays, from Jimmy Kimmel Live.
- BuddyTV is having an Oscars contest.
- I think Tom Shales is on a wild goose chase here.
- How can you tell if an actor is funny? Ken Levine has the answer.
- If case you haven't heard, Peter Jennings died and Tom Brokaw retired.
- Screech stills wants to do things with his penis, this time on Celebrity Fit Club.
- Aaron Barnhart doesn't think Isaiah Washington is leaving Grey's Anatomy anytime soon.
- Yahoo plans to launch 100 entertainment sites by the end of the year.
- Sienna Miller swore on the Today Show this morning.
- Here's a cool toy for all you Doctor Who fans.
- Do you want to start watching 24 but you're not sure who's who? Ken Levine has a quick guide.
- Aaron Barnhart says Apple TV will change everything.
- Jennifer Aniston: are those real or not-so-real?
- More Friends news: is Courteney Cox not wank-worthy?
- MSNBC and Fox News are having a battle of the clocks.
- Now it's Oprah vs. Barbara.
- Oh, and here's video of a local NBC anchoring falling on her ass because she's so bored with Brian Williams.
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