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  • Paul Davidson

Double-Baked Potatoes

They said, “We loved your script. Really, exceptional.”

I said, “Awesome. That’s great!”

They said, “Yeah. But we never read it.”

I paused. Confused.

They whispered, “Well, we legally can’t say that we read it. But unofficially, it was great.”

Aaah the legal mumbo jumbo of the world of Television. When you get a script to someone through unofficial channels (and not your agency) no one can ever officially say they’ve read it. You know, to cover themselves. Because if your idea magically appears on a TV show weeks after you unofficially let someone read YOUR script — there’s a problem.

Nevertheless, that piece of good news could mean even more good news unless you are one of those people who believe that good things don’t happen to people who talk about them before they happen, in which case I’ve just screwed myself by posting it here.

Went to the Joan of Arcadia event at the Museum of TV & Radio last night. A week long event called The Paley Festival, last night included the entire main cast of the show, and the writers/producers who discussed the origins of the show and how it is to work together.

I got some time to hang out with the cast in the green room, before the event — they’re all really genuine people (hell, it’s only been on TV for one season)…although now that the show has been picked up for a second season it will be interesting to see which (if any) cast members end up turning into “attitudey stars”.

The most interesting thing I took away from last night’s panel was something that the Executive Producer Barbara Hall (My So Called Life, Judging Amy, Northern Exposure, Chicago Hope) said. It was that in creating Joan of Arcadia her goal (for the writers) was for God to never ever answer questions that we didn’t already know the answers to.

For example, it’s pretty obvious that God would want people to be nice to each other and not want people to hurt eachother (basic tenants of good will to all), but they also created the God in the series to be more like Socrates. Answering questions with more questions. Because when it comes down to it, in life, you never really get the answers to the real issues that plague your life. You don’t. You have to live with answering those questions with more questions and just muddling through as best you can.

It was probably the only way this show could have been written, without making it a smarmy version of Highway to Heaven or Touched by an Angel.

I have nothing to say about double-baked potatoes. FYI.

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