Please tell me you're watching "Love"...
My newest Netflix obsession (major to Netflix!) is Love. It’s Judd Apatow’s big return to TV (apparently exec. producing Girls doesn’t count) and it’s delightful.
While watching episode 3 (brace yourself: spoilers ahead) I got some major creative chills… In it, Mickey (the adorbs Gillian Jacobs) finds herself in that ol’ proverbial workplace pickle: her boss, Dr. Greg, likes her and she doesn’t like him back. Afraid she’ll get fired, like the bossman had done to two other women, she decides to sleep with him so that she’ll be protected under “sexual harassment law” and he can’t fire her … not a super wise but very neener-neener move.
Now that you know the sitch, let’s talk about the deets: their place of work is a radio station (satellite radio to be exact), Dr. Greg is a radio call-in show host, and Mickey is his program manager/producer. Frasier fans…are your ears perking? Good! Cause their work roles are a hell of a lot similar to that of Dr. Frasier Crane, radio psychiatrist, and Roz Doyle, his producer, on the 90’s tv show Frasier. However, the personal stuff is where the similarity between Love and Frasier differs… In all 11 seasons of Frasier, Frasier and Roz were friends, and, even after sleeping together one night, neither of them lusted after the other, no one was rejected, and they remained total besties.
This whole thing got me thinking… What if the writers of Love (Judd Apatow, Paul Rust, and Lesley Arfin, et al) were sitting around talking about Frasier in the writer’s room one day… And then something started to click… They wondered: what if Frasier and Roz didn’t have such an awesome friendship..? What if Frasier had the hots for Roz, she didn’t feel the same, and it got all awkward? And that’s how the episode was born! It’s possible! Whether that’s actually how it went down is a mute point because…
This idea is a whole untapped treasure trove of inspiration! Taking works (stories, styles, etc.) and putting our own spin on it…it’s a whole new level of creative role playing—in the most subtle way. Think: almost an improvisation of the “what-ifs”. By identifying roles and relationships in these existing works and re-telling it with our unique point of view, we can deliver a commentary of what our feelings and viewpoints are so much clearly.
Think big…it’s not limited to being about writing. You could see a pattern and wonder what it would be like if one element was pixelated and rendered in blue ombre. You could hear a bell coming from a church on a Sunday and be inspired to turn its ceremonial nature on its head by using in a fresh new rap beat. Or it could be that you’ve always wondered what the story of My Girl would be like reimagined today.
Now I’m not talking about copycatting or stealing/infringing on anyone else’s idea. This is about having the ultimate jumping off point to dive deeper into what story you want to tell the with your creativity. The story told in Love was much different than Frasier, the former being sloppy and real, full of fears and impulsiveness.
So tell me in the comments below, what can you use as your Frasier? What relationships or styles can you be inspired by tell a whole new story from?