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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Writing Prompt: 1/27/2010

Classes are filling up like my tummy on an all you can eat pizza night! There are only a few spots left in the yummy classes below. Call 323-333-2954 before they are all gone.

Chad Gervich's class is next Saturday morning. He is a very successful TV writer/producer AND a great teacher. So I thought I'd have some TV fun with our writing prompt. Check it out below.

Writing Prompt: What was your favorite TV show when you were a kid? Make a list of five. Pick one and write whatever comes to mind for ten minutes. Then post it in the comments of this blog. You could win a free class, peeps!


Writing Pad said...

Here's an excerpt from my memoir in progress that relates to this prompt:
I am watching TV in our basement rec room with the ugly tiki brown and orange curtains. My mother is calling me from upstairs, “Marilyn—Mar-i-lyn!” Why should I leave the couch and pull myself away from my pal on the boob tube, Henry Winkler? I LOVE the Fonz! If I stay down here long enough, maybe he’ll agree to be my boyfriend or at least my handsome, older friend.


Unknown said...

Picking a list of 5 or 10 shows just isn't possible for me. I've always loved television almost to the point of obsession. Throughout my childhood my mother and father would try and curtail this by limiting the amount of time I could watch to an hour, or earning TV privileges with good grades, sometimes my Father would come in and shut the TV off and gruffly say, "Find something else to do."
I wouldn't argue, it would be pointless, plus I was good at finding other "stuff" to do. I had an active live away from the boob tube; I played sports, enrolled in years of dance classes, acted in community theatre, and sometimes played with other kids; but I always came back to TV. Inspector Gadget, GI Joe, Jem and the Holograms, The Facts Of Life, Guiding Light, Quantum Leap, Star Trek, The Muppet Show, after-school specials, japanime, I ate it all up. I still do. Last year I finally admitted that I like TV more than movies. It's true. In fact as much as I would like to earn a movie stars salary, I think I would rather work in television. Most shows nowadays have better scripts than movies anyway. Plus the roles for women are soooooo much better.

So I don't have a favorite TV show, cause I watched almost all of them. I loved my TV, that's what I loved.

Beard #1 said...

My aunt Alice is tremendously fat and she has a pronounced smell to her, the sulfuric combination of sweat, neglect and time. And yet I go to her apartment, a cramped, one bedroom filled with a house worth of stuff, because she has something we don't, a TV.

It is still two years before my parents break down and buy the second-hand black and white set that they keep in the unused shower in the second bathroom when not in use. It is still seven years before I am allowed to have a toy that has a gun involved with it. It is still twelve years before we had our first box of sugar cereal in the house (a box of corn pops I bought at Safeway when I was high).

So every Sunday night, in order to watch the Muppet Show, a must in my four year old world, I have to inhale only through my mouth, drag myself into the dark, choked apartment and settle into the farthest edge of the one threadbare couch in the room. My parents go to dinner. They can't get away fast enough. They don't come upstairs. Alice takes the cushion and a half next to me. She is already a cautionary tale in my house about neglecting oneself. I know I am supposed to love her but I am not sure how. Strange food smells swirl in with the stink already hanging in the air until they mix into a smell I can taste. I watch the show until I can't anymore.

Eventually they got the black and white and we brought in food and watched the Muppet Show as a family. Then they got the color set and watched Hill Street Blues when they thought I was asleep. LA Law was another family show. Peopel said my dad looked like Michael Tucker.

Now they each have cable at their respective houses, as do I, and Sunday night is just the night before we all have to go back to work.

Team said...

I was a strange little kid who always had her head in a book. Yet I had a vivid fantasy life that focused itself around my favorite television show "The Bugaloos," a Sid and Marty Krofft extravaganza about a British bubblegum pop band who happened to be The Beatles. Get it? Well, it was 1970 and I loved the idea of anthropomorphized bugs singing and gamboling through Tranquility Forest. There was I.Q. the grasshopper; Courage the ladybug; Joy the butterfly and Harmony the bee.
And they all spoke with British accents which blew my mind because the guy who played Harmony was black guy who spoke in cockney slang. This show blew away all my previously preconceived notions about identity.

Unknown said...

In 1986 we lived in an olive green house in the northern New Jersey suburbs. The rec room had wood paneling in lieu of wall paper, indicating that this house was built in the late 60s/early 70s. I was at home, sick with the flu on this chilly, October morning and my mom, who was normally very restrictive about her kids' tv viewing, allowed me to watch tv all day.

In the early 80s, MTV still played music videos and in honor of Halloween, was showing Michael Jackson's Thriller. The video started off innocently enough with MJ and his high school girlfriend taking a ride together on a Friday night date. Then something changed...zombies surrounded the couple and transformed sweet, innocent Michael (remember, this was still the early 80s) into a zombie too. I started screaming for my mom to turn off the tv as I was too terrified to get too close to such a frightening image.

Sadly this only served to strenghtened my mom's resolve that tv wasn't healthy for kids and being sick was no longer a reason for watching the tube all day.

Writing Pad said...


I'm SO excited that so many of you responded to this prompt right away. I will give you likes and remembers by sometime on Friday.

Thanks for playing the comment game. :)


Anonymous said...

whoa! when I was a kid....I was a nerd. I liked Dusty's Treehouse (call me a nerd, but I tried to comment on your blog and ....couldn't get to it ...duh) Oh, and Fright Night with Seymour - loved to scare the bajeeezus out of myself.


Brandy Colbert said...

I absolutely adore TV. I don't care that people say it rots your brain and I don't feel bad when intellectuals brag about not owning one. Even when I was unemployed, I scrounged up enough cash for my exorbitant DirecTV bill. That's just the way it is.

Growing up, my favorite shows were The Brady Bunch and The Flintstones. Both debuted way before my time and both came on TBS after school. I loved the 70s fashions, the wholesome storylines and the predictable plots. I loved Fred's unreasonable outbursts, Wilma's scheming, and the jokes that I am just NOW understanding today as a 30-year-old. I still watch those shows as if I'm seeing them for the first time and they still take me back to a place in my life that I never want to forget.

Shira Gill said...

My parents gave me hippie food and didn't let me watch much I off the hook for this one?

Julie said...

Like any other self respecting kid, I loved my Saturday morning cartoons, Schoolhouse Rock and Scooby Doo, but there was one show that turned me from a TV watcher to a TV lover.

This show introduced me to that horrible feeling you get when and episode of your favorite show has ended and you have to wait a whole week to see another one. This show introduced me to characters I still thought about hours and even days later. This was not kid TV, this was drama. This show was "Little House on the Prairie." My favorite series of books, brought to life on the small screen.

To watch Laura Ingalls, Ma and Pa, sister Mary and all the other characters from the books grapple with life on the Prairie, right there in my living room, was magical. My whole family gathered around the TV on Monday nights, my sister and I sprawled out on the orange, gold and olive green plaid couch, our hair still wet from our showers. We got to stay up late, and sometimes have popcorn. I loved to watch Laura learn her life lessons, duke it out with Nellie Olsen, and find true love with the ever so manly Manly.

"Little House" is long gone now, but my love for relatable characters and an engaging story still remains. Which is why, these days, my DVR is almost always 99% full.

Writing Pad said...

OK dudes and dudettes--these are fabulous stories!

Kelly--I love the narrator's inability to choose 5-10 shows. She is a passionate TV watcher. I can sympathize! I love "Find something else to do," and the fantastic, specific list of TV shows and other activities the narrator did as a child.

Jordan--Jordan Gill in da house, one of our teachers who moved to SF! I loved the aunt and her wonderfully detailed smells, the contraband corn pops, and that she is a "cautionary tale." My narrator loved the Muppet Show too. Wow!

Team--Nice to meet you! I loved the British bubblegum pop band who are insects, the anthropomorphized bugs, and the cockney slang guy. Sounds like a couple of great shows!


Writing Pad said...

Kristina--I love the wood paneling in lieu of wall paper, the wonderful description of Michael Jackson's Thriller on MTV, and that the narrator started screaming because it scared her. It was charming and hilarious!

Marta--what great names for TV shows: Dusty's Treehouse and Fright Night with Seymour. I love that the narrator loved to scare the "bajeezus" out of herself.

Beedeecee--Nice to meet you too! I love the dismissal of non-TV watchers (that it rots your brain and the intellectuals that brag about not having one). I love the mention of "The Brady Bunch" and "The Flintstones" (also some of my narrator's faves) and the terrific description/summary of The Flintstones. Fab!

Shira--Shira Gill in da house (a Writing Pad student and volunteer that moved to SF)! I love the hippie food and that the narrator's parents wouldn't let her watch much TV.

Julie--Wow. I love that enthusiastic description of Little House On The Prarie and the sadness that sets in when the narrator realizes she has to wait a whole week to see another episode of her favorite show. I also love the details of the wet hair and the popcorn.

Fantastic stories!


Can I Be U? said...

I as always trying to be a little big for my britches with my television choices. Maybe it's because I was tall. I actually did call it "Television"(instead of TV, which my friends thought was weird and teased me for it) and I loved adult shows like Murder She Wrote and Quantum Leap. I loved watching Jessica Fletcher solve crimes while also having tea and staying at a quaint Bed and Breakfast. I also desperately wanted to be like Sam in Quantum Leap and get to jump into other people's bodies and have no one be any the wiser. Maybe that's why I ended up a theater major... sigh.

Writing Pad said...


I LOVE this piece. I love how the narrator called TV by its full name, I love that she wanted to be like Jessica Fletcher and Sam from Quantum Leap. I love the mention of Jessica Fletcher solving crimes while drinking tea at a B&B. Fabulous!


Erin said...

I am commenting late, but I had a crush on one of the Thundercats when I was little. Yikes, 'nuff said!:) I loooove TV

Writing Pad said...


I almost didn't see your comment! It made me chuckle. I LOVE the crush on a Thundercat. How fabulous!


Benny Blanch said...

As a small child growing up in the late 80's/early 90's I was on the brink of animated brilliance. Saturday morning was my mecca, the couch and television, a refuge. I'd wake with maximum energy anticipating the weekly cartoons like youngsters waiting for Christmas. I got so much enjoyment from that four hour block of entertainment and my parents enjoyed it because it hypnotized me, allowing them to be free from parenting for a little while. Although there were many shows that I enjoyed as a kid, my favorite had to be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The show had such an impact on my young life that I had to get anything TMNT. This meant a vast collection of action figures, comic books, costumes and eventually movies. I loved the bad guys as much as the mutated ninjas. Shredder, Brain, The Rat King, BeBop and Rock Steady--I loved the battles between good and evil, always with the underlying inclination that good prevails.

It's funny that it has been almost 20 years since I've seen an episode, but can still remember with vivid detail who April O'neil was and what she looked like. If only my attention to anything meaningful was as substantive as my memory for Saturday morning cartoons, I think I'd be in a better place. But, I would never, ever want to replace those hours long hours on Saturday mornings with anything else.