Skip to main content

The Daily Beast: "Why Comedy Writers Love HBO's Game of Thrones"

Game of Thrones is beloved by viewers and critics alike. But the Emmy-nominated HBO fantasy drama is also a surprising favorite in the writers’ rooms of TV comedies around Hollywood. I talk to sitcom writers about why they’re obsessed with the sex-and-magic-laden drama, and how the show informs their own narratives.

At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Why Comedy Writers Love HBO's Game of Thrones," in which I talk to writers from Parks and Recreation, Modern Family, and Community about why they love HBO's Game of Thrones, nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Drama.

Fox’s upcoming sitcom The Mindy Project, created by and starring Mindy Kaling, deconstructs the romantic comedy fantasies of its lead character, an ob-gyn whose disappointment in the dating world stems from her obsessive viewing of Nora Ephron films.

At the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour in July, Kaling was candid about the role that When Harry Met Sally and other rom-coms would play on the show, but also revealed the show might feature shoutouts to HBO’s Game of Thrones, which is nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Drama.

“My writing staff, they are just obsessed with Game of Thrones,” Kaling said. “The show could just have Game of Thrones references: dragons, stealing eggs of dragon babies… You might see a lot—more than your average show—of Game of Thrones references.”

Yet the writers of The Mindy Project are not the only scribes who have fallen under the spell of the ferocious Game of Thrones, which depicts the struggle for control of the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.

“It’s a violent, strange show with lots of sex in it,” Kaling went on to say.

Writers’ rooms—where the plots of television shows are “broken,” in industry parlance—often revolve around discussions of other shows, particularly ones that have a significant hold on the cultural conversation, whether it be Breaking Bad, Mad Men, or Homeland.

“A comedy writers’ room is like a really great dinner party with the smartest and funniest people you’ve ever met,” Parks and Recreation co-executive producer Alexandra Rushfield wrote in an email. Their typical conversations? “The presidential campaign. Whatever articles or books people are reading. Taking wagers on crazy statistics, like how much all the casts in the world combined might weigh. General heckling of co-workers.”

And TV shows such as Game of Thrones that viewers can debate endlessly. Modern Family executive producer Danny Zuker likened Game of Thrones to Lost in terms of the volume of discussion and passionate debate that the show engenders. It’s certainly immersive: five massive novels, two seasons of television, maps, online forums, family trees. Game of Thrones is a show that provokes—or even forces—viewer evaluation, deconstruction, and discussion.

“Many writers that I know are into it,” said Zuker over lunch on the Fox lot. “The setting of the world probably appeals to that nerd that is in most writers… I never played Dungeons & Dragons, but I get why the most disaffected kids who are intelligent and creative did, because in that world you could be powerful…. I basically just described comedy writers.”

Continue reading at The Daily Beast...

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

BuzzFeed: "The Good Wife Is The Best Show On Television Right Now"

The CBS legal drama, now in its sixth season, continually shakes up its narrative foundations and proves itself fearless in the process. Spoilers ahead, if you’re not up to date on the show. At BuzzFeed, you can read my latest feature, " The Good Wife Is The Best Show On Television Right Now," in which I praise CBS' The Good Wife and, well, hail it as the best show currently on television. (Yes, you read that right.) There is no need to be delicate here: If you’re not watching The Good Wife, you are missing out on the best show on television. I won’t qualify that statement in the least — I’m not talking about the best show currently airing on broadcast television or outside of cable or on premium or however you want to sandbox this remarkable show. No, the legal drama is the best thing currently airing on any channel on television. That The Good Wife is this perfect in its sixth season is reason to truly celebrate. Few shows embrace complexity and risk-taking in t

BuzzFeed: Meet The TV Successor To "Serial"

HBO's stranger-than-fiction true crime documentary The Jinx   — about real estate heir Robert Durst — brings the chills and thrills missing since Serial   wrapped up its first season. Serial   obsessives: HBO's latest documentary series is exactly what you've been waiting for.   The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst , like Sarah Koenig's beloved podcast, sifts through old documents, finds new leads from fresh interviews, and seeks to determine just what happened on a fateful day in which the most foul murder was committed. And, also like  Serial  before it,  The Jinx may also hold no ultimate answer to innocence or guilt. But that seems almost beside the point; such investigations often remain murky and unclear, and guilt is not so easy a thing to be judged. Instead, this upcoming six-part tantalizing murder mystery, from director Andrew Jarecki ( Capturing the Friedmans ), is a gripping true crime story that unfolds with all of the speed of a page-turner; it