This post is another testament to how much spare time I have on my hands now that I've met my minor deadline and have yet to start working for 2008. I keep telling myself I'm just wasting time, indulging in more television viewing than I'd normally allow for, yet there's that little but incredibly significant thing called 'The Well'.
Generally speaking, everyone has one, and everyone needs to keep it filled, otherwise things start to spin out of control. And that could mean anything from being cranky and yelling at the kids to nervous breakdowns and divorce. I truly believe it's that important.
But for writers, 'The Well' is more than a way to keep sane, it's an essential work tool. One that cannot be dispensed with. Sure, I've done plenty of writing on an empty well, but it was writing that I just didn't feel in my gut. Or my heart.
Watching my latest favourite TV show, 'Entourage', is filling my well to the brim. It helps enormously that my current WIP is about a rock star, so I can quite legitimately justify the time it keeps me glued to the box. In the beginning, I viewed it as purely a 'details' tool. Since the closest I ever came to a rock star was when Ian Moss walked past me on his way to the men's during a break in Cold Chisel's gig at the Cross Keys Hotel in the 80's, I thought I needed a bit of help making it sound real on the page. What I needed were details of the lifestyle of that other breed - the rich and famous, and 'Entourage' is certainly good for that. But it's not just about setting and wardrobe, oh no. This show is rich in everything. The writing sings, and makes the viewing experience absolutely riveting.
I love everything about the show. Everything. Even the unbearable hip hop music, which provides a perfect soundtrack for the show. Nothing else would be as appropriate.
And the list doesn't end there. The characters are spectacular, complex, finely drawn. And though at first more than one of them appears unbearably self-centred and even loathsome, in a few short episodes, I've grown to love each and every one of them. Every one. Why? Because they're real, and flawed, and entertaining, and the actors playing these characters are putting in such fine performances that I feel like I'm in the same room with them. But the superlative writing has to get top billing here. Hopefully the current writers' strike in the US will soon be resolved; the writers receiving adequate remuneration for their invaluable work. 'Entourage' is one of the many TV programs that have been left hanging while the industrial dispute drags on.
A final question. Why isn't this amazing show on free-to-air TV? The language might have something to do with it. Anybody who finds bad language offensive wouldn't be able to watch 'Entourage' for longer than a few minutes. Yet, just like the hip-hop, the bad language used is well-placed, adding power to the pacy dialogue, accentuating the underlying stress in many of its scenes, and heightening tension. Indeed, some scenes are so tense, so fast paced, that every word, every gesture speaks volumes; so un-missable that I often find myself hitting the rewind button to make sure I got it all.
I've included a clip of one of the show's diamonds, Ari. I read somewhere that he's being hailed as the greatest TV character. Ever. Not sure about that, but he's definitely in the top running. Don't check this out if you're bothered by bad language.