…Instead of staying where he was, which, it turns out, was as a reality TV episode re-capper. Listen closely, future showrunners:
by Michelle Lanz & Elizabeth Nonemaker
Writer and producer Stephen Falk has probably never wanted for inspirational material. His career has run the gamut of Hollywood experiences, from writing episode recaps of reality TV shows, to working on a successful show like “Weeds,” to having the rug pulled under him midway through filming his debut series, “Next Caller.”
His next show had a happier fate. “You’re The Worst,” a comedy about two dysfunctional people that attempt a stable relationship, slides into its anticipated second-season finale tonight.
Falk says his experiences, and the cancellation of “Next Caller” in particular, taught him that “everything ends in Hollywood.” The takeaway? If that’s the case, then you should make exactly what you want to.
Falk spoke with The Frame to explain that what he wants to create are flawed but sympathetic characters. Although he thinks that a lot of what “You’re The Worst” characters Jimmy and Gretchen do is “terrible,” writing stories about people who behave badly is fun. Falk also wants to tackle the challenge of addressing serious themes within a comedy, which the freedom of a secured second season allowed him to do. And good news for him: the show just got renewed for a third season.
I recapped a bunch of really bad reality programming. I would tape [MTV’s]”Real World,” and then write 4,000-6,000-word deconstructions. The producers themselves did not watch the show as closely as I did, and I got paid about $75 for it.
Wasn’t there a moment where something you wrote about Jessica Simpson actually elicited a response?
I surmised, after watching “Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica,” that Jessica Simpson doesn’t know how to read. This was after numerous episodes where she would hand something to Nick or Joe or her dad to read something. So I posited that perhaps she doesn’t know how to read. And the dumb little item from a non-journalist like myself got picked up and was so big to the point that the Simpson camp had to issue a statement that Jessica Simpson can, in fact, read.
But she did not read the statement, so it was never proven….