Kathryn Graham Sees Netflix’s ‘Everything Sucks’ (And Loves It)

All I knew about Netflix’s Everything Sucks going in was that it contained a hefty dose of 90’s nostalgia. And boy does Everything Sucks love the 90’s. Especially its music.

Anything after that was a surprise for me, and I love that, as it’s increasingly harder to walk into a show and not have a good idea of what’s going on. So let me give you the vague review first.

If you love: the 90’s, heart-warming content, sincere storytelling, humor, (mostly) realistic characters with good hearts, adorable actors, and queer stories, then put Everything Sucks at the top of your queue.

Want a little more? Here’s the basic start:

It takes place in Boring, Oregon, which is, this is true, a sister city to Dull, Scotland. World’s cutest high school freshman, Luke O’Neill, develops a crush on the principal’s daughter: Kate Messner, and he pursues her with the help of his mad A/V skills.

Now let’s get into **spoilers!**


Turns out that Kate’s a lesbian, and navigating this, and her friendship with Luke forms the backbone of the first season. Both Luke and Kate are a breath of fresh air in the high school dramedy scene in just how realistic they both are, as well as the fact that Luke is a nerdy black boy and Kate is unapologetically gay.

Luke, Kate, and Luke’s friends Tyler and McQuad team up with drama king and queen Oliver and Emaline to produce Romeo and Juliet in space. Which is exactly as amazing as it sounds. Kate’s dweeby sweetheart of a father, Mr. Messner, gets closer to Luke’s mother, Ms. O’Neill, and Luke, aspiring director, deals with the fact that his father abandoned him so many years ago to chase a Hollywood dream.

When it comes to the supporting cast, there’s so much to love. Like the fact that Tyler is a nerd who has trouble in school. Yes, that’s right, not all nerds are super smart! Leslie, Kate’s sort-of-friend, is an especially realistic kind of awkward and judgemental. McQuaid’s confusion about social cues is played with greater depth than is most often seen. Kate’s crush, Emaline, is at first a ‘psycho drama chick’, but by the end, I’ll bet you love her almost as much as Kate does.

At first, I wasn’t sure how to feel about the nostalgia. It hits you pretty hard up front. But very quickly I found myself singing along to every song. So if you remember jamming out to artists like Oasis, Tori Amos, and Ace of Base, or if you still do, then I’ll meet you at the living room karaoke bar.

And that finale? It made me so happy I was smiling all damn day.

This show is like a glamorized version of my high school years. I had a Luke and an Emaline. I knew a McQuaid and a Leslie. I wore the flannel. I had the dumb posters of guys up in my room until I realized I didn’t give a damn about any of it and tore them down. And yes, my name is Kate. (Though I went by Kat most often back then). It makes it so much more personal than any high school show I’ve ever seen, and so it holds a place in my heart like very little else.

Thank you, Everything Sucks. You’re my wonderwall.

If we get a second season, here’s my wishlist/predictions.

**Bonus Mega Spoilers!**


Even if Kate’s dad is okay with who she is (if he isn’t at first for some reason, he will be), Emaline’s might not be. I get the sense that Emaline’s family is not particularly supportive or kind given the way that she so desperately needs attention and love.

In season two (should we be so lucky), I want to see them address the fact that Emaline feels the need to tailor herself to her partner. Kate-Emaline is infinitely sweeter than Oliver-Emaline, but she’s still making herself into the person she’s dating. She’s still trying on an identity that she thinks will appeal to a person she needs to love her. Frickin’ cute as that is with Kate, because Kate actually adores her, it’s definitely something that she needs to work through. If that leads us back to Emaline’s home life, I will personally be riveted.

I’m sure Leeroy’s return will be a major storyline. Although it doesn’t grab me initially as a concept, especially since Luke seems to have already dealt with his father issues/rejected his father’s philosophy, I trust that they can do something interesting with it. Perhaps it’ll be much more about Leeroy growing as a person than his son.

They’ve thrown out threads for Leslie’s utter isolation. A potential return of Oliver (hopefully he’ll get his for being such a jerk). Tyler still can’t read. There’s plenty to explore, and if there’s a second season, above all, I hope that they don’t fall into the trap of a lot of second seasons: please introduce new storylines instead of re-treading old ones, let the characters grow and deal with new issues. Past that, give me the same sincerity, lots more lesbian romance, compassionate characters, and an f-ton of 90’s songs, and I’ll stand by you.

And I’ll never desert you. I’ll stand by yoooooouuuuu…

Kathryn Graham is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor and a Fine Writer Of All Things. Learn more about Kate HERE

How To Replace Your Cable, From A Network Executive Who Cut The Cord

Ooh, genuine information from a genuine TV pro. We here at TVWriter™ love being able to bring you this look into how to get more for your money when it comes to indulging in what we assume is your second favorite pastime, watching TV.

We’re assuming, of course, that your fave is actually writing TV. Anyway:

by Michael Schneider

Garth Ancier is one of the few TV execs to have run three different networks, having headed up entertainment at Fox, The WB and NBC. He also spent time at Turner and BBC America, and was behind one of the biggest syndicated hits of the 1990s, “The Ricki Lake Show.” Traditional TV was once Ancier’s livelihood — but he’s not nostalgic when it comes to the changing ways we watch TV.

Recently, Ancier decided, like many consumers, that it was time to cut the cord — using social media to crowd source his choices. After plenty of research, he came up with a mix of over-the-top subscriptions to replace his old school setup: YouTube TV (with unlimited Cloud DVR), Netflix, Hulu (no commercials option) with Live TV, Amazon Prime, CBS All-Access (no commercials option), HBO Now, and Showtime.

Prior to the switch, Ancier was paying $142.97 a month for cable service, including HBO and Showtime (but not including equipment charges). The new total is $92.95, but includes Netflix 4k and Hulu with no commercials. (“I’m not including Amazon Prime in that because I’m an Amazon addict, and I’d get it for the free shipping alone.”)

The exec chronicled what he learned, and the pros and cons of how he did it, on Facebook. Most notably: He found that the video quality on video over IP was far superior to switched digital video via cable — another troublesome point for legacy multichannel video programming distributors as they lose customers to the Internet.

Ancier agreed to share some of those thoughts with IndieWire, as a bit of a primer for others who might also be considering a change.

“Honestly, I love that I can watch all of this anywhere on any device,” Ancier wrote. “The legacy MVPDs never understand the value that creates for a customer like me.”

Every consumer is different, and Ancier’s needs were very specific. He had previously been subscribed to Spectrum Cable in Los Angeles for his home’s 10 screens, in addition to Netflix and Amazon Prime service. But Ancier frequently travels and watches TV on the road via an iPad, and he found that Spectrum’s “out of home” offerings were lacking.

Add in Spectrum’s “crazy equipment costs” and he realized the only reason why he hadn’t canceled the service earlier was because of its live TV options (including HBO and Showtime).

Still, “I’m paying for the same networks on multiple services for just me,” he wrote, explaining why it was time to say goodbye to the old system.

In cutting the cord and switching to so many streams, Ancier said he depended on a “rock solid Cisco Meraki IP network powered by a Fixed IP Spectrum broadband modem.”

That was important, because Ancier noted he’s very picky when it comes to picture quality. Here was one early surprise: The video quality is better on over-the-top services, because they can use better compression schemes and present a better picture….

Read it all at IndieWire

LB: Untold Tales of the Animated SILVER SURFER TV Series Ep. 16 Script

by Larry Brody

Over the past two weeks I’ve posted the scripts for Season 2 Episode 1 and Episode 2 of the FoxKids Network The Silver Surfer animated series for those who wondered what all of us involved in the show back in 1998 intended to come if we hadn’t been cancelled.

Today it’s the turn of Season 2 Episode 3, Soul Hunter: Part Two.  This one’s a “Rev. Final Draft,” which means that everyone involved in the prep for Season 2 was satisfied that it was ready to shoot.




NOTE: If you’re new to TVWriter™ and/or to the original animated SS series, you have some backstory to catch up on. Fortunately, TVWriter™ just happens to have a section dedicated to The Silver Surfer. To reach it, CLICK HERE!

And now it’s time for:







MARCH 24, 1998






Outlined against the blackness of space.

I am the Watcher…

As we HEAR the name, the Watcher RIPPLES out of existence,
and in his place we SEE the SILVER SURFER and his board
WARPING INTO space above the planet Zenn-La.

Since his creation, often has the
destiny of the Silver Surfer
seemed inextricably linked to my


As the Surfer soars joyfully toward Zenn-La — and is sent
in space before it.

At no time has that conjunction
been more evident than when the
former Norrin Radd finally located
his long-sought homeworld…

The Surfer FIRES A SERIES OF COSMIC BOLTS at the barrier —
and they EXPLODE against it and then CAROM backward at him,
sending the Surfer CRASHING into an asteroid belt.

And found that it had been placed
in another dimension of time and
space, inaccessible to him…


SEEING the various VIRALS oozing along their way.


Only with the aid of the Virals,
devolved remnants of my own once
noble race, could the Silver
Surfer pierce the barrier that
kept him from Zenn-La…

Suddenly, MORG and his SARQ troops come hurtling down,
destroying the landscape with their FIREBALLS AND WHIRLING

They, however, were under
attack — by the Sarq, space-
faring barbarians dedicated to the
destruction of all knowledge…!


Where the Surfer is trapped in the Sarq ENERGY NET, its LINES
OF FORCE STRETCHING DOWN to the Library Planet, while THIRAN
leads them in a ceremony of destruction.

Entrapped, the Silver Surfer
seemed helpless to prevent the
Sarq from using his own power to
annihilate the Universal Library…


Where the planet is being BLASTED BY THE LINES OF FORCE. The
Virals — united as one — SEND OUT A FORCE OF THEIR OWN.

Until he and the Virals joined


the Sarq and forcing them to flee!

Their combined energies scattering
the Sarq to the universe’s very


Gerry Conway Sees ‘A Wrinkle in Time’

by Gerry Conway

“A Wrinkle In Time” is a disappointing movie.

I went in with high hopes and left deeply annoyed and saddened.

Tonally, it’s a mess. Every single actor seems to be performing in a different movie.

Poor Storm Reid, who seems to have considerable potential, has been misguided into giving a one-note, sullen performance, charmless and flat.

But she isn’t alone– every actor’s performance works against the film. Perfect illustration? Zach Galifianakis as “The Happy Medium.” As his name implies, the character of “Happy Medium” is clearly meant to represent the happiness that comes with a balanced temperament – but Galifianakas plays “The Happy Medium” with restrained snark: mildly impatient, vaguely misanthropic, a fussy introvert whose exterior dismissiveness supposedly conceals a warm heart.

His costume is somber browns; his “cave of balance” looks like a threatening maze of treacherous balance beams out of a dark “American Gladiator.” How does this represent “The Happy Medium?” It’s completely wrong-headed, massively tone-deaf to the underlying material.

There’s only one person to blame for this misfire: the director, Ava DuVernay.

Early word on the film indicated there were tonal issues, and at the time I discounted them – I think it’s quite possible to tread a line between serious and sweet, realistic and fantastic, but it requires a deft touch and a deep sympathy with the ultimate story you’re trying to tell.

In order to tell a serious story set in a fantasy world, you need to love fantasy first, love it so much its common tropes are second nature to your storytelling. Ava DuVernay displays no such sympathy or love for fantasy. Her heart is clearly on the side of “serious” and “realistic” storytelling.

I’m not sure why Disney imagined the woman who directed the brilliant “Selma” and episodes of “Scandal” would be the perfect choice to direct a film that should have embraced the light (but still serious) tone of a “Mary Poppins,” but it was a bad move.

I was rooting for DuVernay because I’m someone who believes we need more diversity among the people empowered to tell stories in film. I still think so. But that doesn’t mean every person is equipped temperamentally to tell every kind of story.

From the evidence of “A Wrinkle In Time,” no matter how fine a director she may be of other kinds of films, DuVernay is a terrible director of fantasy.

Gerry Conway is one of the Kings of TV and film and comic book writing and also one of our Beloved Leader Larry Brody’s longest-lasting and closest friends. Everybody who comes to TVWriter™ should be reading his insightful blog, where this article first appeared. Learn more about Gerry HERE.

Peggy Bechko: The Writer’s Life – And the need for Focus

by PeggyBechko

It’s astonishing how many distractions there are in the world these days – throw into that procrastination (a writer’s biggest nemesis) and it can be a cruel world for the writer. But we’re going to ignore that old side-kick procrastination and think about focus despite the fact the two of them do go hand in hand.

Focus can lead to great things. Lack of it can truly disrupt the creative flow. Once you’re focused and can maintain that focus the work will flow smoothly and swiftly. It’s almost intangible and yet when we’re ‘in the zone’ we all know it. I mean…

[oops, got to go open a window…on the other side of the house…it’s stuffy as I write this]

…what writer hasn’t felt that ‘locked in’ feeling. The one when one sentence follows another in perfect synergy. When the flow is perfect and we imagine nothing could possibly derail the creative force.

[hmm, gotta change my ink cartridge, even though I’m not printing – be right back]

So, ahem, focus is key. That ability to continue working – mind fixed like a laser on the work at hand; creating a story any studio or publisher will be mad to get…

[uh oh, just look at that wall – the plant was overwatered and the stain is a streak on the wall. Wonder if I need to paint that]

Oh, sorry, where was I? Ah, yes, focus. There are writers who need total silence to focus – others who like music – or, like me, enjoy birds tweeting in the background. Whatever it takes in order to focus and block out the rest of the world while writing – do it. Don’t give in to what takes your attention off the script or manuscript at hand.

[uh, oh, my night to cook, day has just burned away – husband won’t mind cooking instead – oh, wait, he did last night and he’s going to mind…a lot… if I don’t have a legit deadline; which I don’t, sigh]

Every time focus is broken it’s like booting up all over again. It isn’t just the time lost from the distraction – it’s the time needed to realign thoughts, to get back into the flow. If you need to take a break, take a break. But, don’t let everyday distractions take away from your focus. Here are just a few ways to keep yourself focused.

First block out any time you intend to write. Be reasonable – you aren’t going to write for twelve hours straight. Focus on two or three. A little longer is okay but let’s not press it past six hours. You’ll get unproductive fast. And give yourself some breaks. See that two or three hours I mentioned above? Yeah, that’s about right. Then take a break of at least fifteen minutes. Go for a walk, do something, get away from your computer. No, you can’t surf or check email. Really get away.

Next, and I’ve said this before, turn off things you’re likely to find distracting like your social media. Ban distractions. Unless you’re expecting an email with a great writing gig offer shut it down.

We’re all guilty of it – editing while we write. Don’t do it. You’ll have plenty of time to edit later. It’s yet another distraction, thinking you can fix all those little mistakes as you go.

Goals are good. Keep everything turned off and your area distraction free until you meet your goal. Pages. Number of words. Time at the keyboard. Whatever. If you have a goal distractions are less likely to take you. And your will-power gets stronger the more you apply the distraction-less environment to your writing.

You really don’t want to come to the end of the day thinking “well, rats, have to work into evening or late night cuz I didn’t get done what I needed to.”

Do you really think you’ll remain focused and be productive then?

Just asking.

Peggy Bechko is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor. Learn more about her sensational career HERE. Peggy’s new comic series, Planet of the Eggs, written and illustrated with Charlene Brash-Sorensen is available on Kindle. And, while you’re at it, visit the Planet of the Eggs Facebook page and her terrific blog.

TVWriter™ Don’t-Miss Posts of the Week – March 19, 2018

Good morning!

Time for TVWriter™’s  Monday look at our most popular blog posts of the week ending yesterday. They are, in order:

Empty Promises: My experience submitting scripts to Amazon Studios

‘The Following’ Season 4 was Cancelled by Fox Because the TV Series Became a Victim of Lazy Writing!

Looking for TV Pilot Scripts?

LB: Untold Tales of the Animated SILVER SURFER TV Series Ep. 15

LB: Where Did THE FALL GUY Live?

And our most visited permanent resource pages are, also in order:

Writing the Dreaded Outline

The Logline

PEOPLE’S PILOT Writing Contest


The Outline/Story

Major thanks to everyone for making this another great week at TVWriter™. Don’t forget to click above and read what you missed and re-read what you loved!

Michael Caine Teaches Acting In Film

NOTE FROM LB: Many years ago, when I was an “Executive Story Consultant” on an NBC TV series called Medical Story (like the better known Police Story except about doctors and not nearly as well known), I had the good fortune to spend an afternoon with Michael Caine, who was between shots on a film he was shooting at Burbank Studios, where Medical Story was filmed.

The film was called Harry and Walter Go To New York, and Caine’s partners in crime in a film that was itself a crime against filmmaking were James Caan and Elliott Gould. I don’t remember how I ended up in the trailer, but there I was being regaled with story after story about Caine’s career. As fine an actor as he is – and he’s very fine indeed – Caine’s stories are even better.

Whether you’re an actor, a writer, a director, or “just” a fan, this is your chance to see a master storyteller at the top of his fame. Watch and learn! (I know I did.)

This video is brought to us by the FilmKunst Channel, a film fan friendly YouTube site definitely worth checking out.