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Writer, raconteur. PICARD, CARNIVAL ROW, CASTLE ROCK, MOTU, CRITICAL ROLE. Comix: ADORA AND THE DISTANCE, GENIUS. Pod: FATMAN BEYOND. Lightweight famous. He/Him
Oct 5, 2021 12 tweets 3 min read
Well, I'll tell you Jason, the answer is no. And it has nothing to do with you, specifically. I'm sure you're lovely. It has more to do with me and exposure. I suppose it's been a while since we did this, but here's why no professional writer wants to hear a pitch from Twitter... A) Because no one knows where ideas come from and B) No one wants to be sued. A writer's job is to be a receptor, right? To walk through the world looking at the same things as everyone else, but drawing inspiration from them that no one else can.
Sep 11, 2021 17 tweets 3 min read
I wrote this 15 years ago, for the fifth anniversary of 9/11, on a now-dormant blog. It still holds true and I won't write anything better, so here you go. As the kids say, thread incoming:

I'm a native New Yorker. I'm pretty sure I've established that fact before. I was born in the Bronx, went through puberty on Long Island, started working at EW while I was living in Queens. Sure, now I live in California*, but I'm a New Yorker, always will be.
Aug 11, 2021 20 tweets 4 min read
Two things happened to me last week that are very much what it's like to be a professional Hollywood writer person. They are both what I call "RejectionsPlus." The first was a TV pilot I was hired to develop. The first meeting on this project was my last in-person meeting last year before the pandemic shut everything down. (I remember us all talking about whether we were going to shake hands or not.)
Jul 19, 2021 11 tweets 2 min read
You're never too old to learn some shit. In the 18th and 19th centuries, especially in the Southern states, it was common—standard—to call a Black man of any age "boy." Part of an ongoing campaign of intellectual terrorism. The enslaved Black folks who worked on plantations were often referred to by the task they were assigned, followed by "boy." (Unless the n-word was used). House boy. Coach boy. Water boy. And so on.
Jul 3, 2021 12 tweets 3 min read
DC’s #New52 is trending, eh? I have very mixed feelings about the New 52. On the one hand, it was the only time I was ever invited to write a mainline, monthly DC comic book. On the other, writing Static Shock was the single worst experience I’ve ever had in comics. I got the call from then-group editor Eddie Berganza asking if I wanted to take over Static because the launch writer, John Rozum, was stepping away. (I didn’t, and still don’t know the reasons for that. Maybe I should’ve asked.)
Mar 12, 2021 128 tweets 17 min read
In advance of #ZackSnydersJusticeLeague dropping next week, I decided it was time to revisit the Snyderverse. Today, starting at the beginning. Just fired up #ManOfSteel... I'm 30 minutes in. So far, I like it more than I remembered. Storytelling is all about choices and Snyder and his team have made some very interesting, smart ones. Jor and Lara El having to defend the launch explains why they didn't go with their baby.
Oct 7, 2020 8 tweets 3 min read
Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, there was a movie called The Bodyguard. You remember it, right? 1992 romance, starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston. It made some $410m internationally. Which, in 2020 dollars is about $760m. thehill.com/changing-ameri… Three quarters of a billion for a romantic drama. Now, when Hollywood makes that kind of money on anything, it triggers a copy cycle. "Get me a Bodyguard, stat!" should've been coming from every executive suite in Hollywood. But how many Bodyguard ripoffs were there? And why?
Oct 7, 2020 5 tweets 1 min read
One of my showrunners used to say, “You get two good hours in the morning and three good hours in the afternoon. Anything after that is likely gonna be shit you fix in the morning. So go have a life.” There’s truth there. Because I’ve been in those writers rooms that occasionally brought out the dinner menus. And pushing that deep never yielded anyone’s best work.
Sep 8, 2020 21 tweets 6 min read
So, for #StarTrekDay and #StarTrekUnitedGives, here's the story of my first encounter with the Captain's chair of the U.S.S. Enterprise... In the summer between my junior and senior years of college, I won a writing for TV competition. (It was only open to college kids, so it's not like I beat Robert Towne or something.) The grand prize was eight weeks in LA, interning on the Paramount lot.
Aug 12, 2020 11 tweets 2 min read
In my almost 30 years of working in entertainment, as both a journalist and a writer, here's what I've learned about adaptation: It is almost always a better outcome when someone other than the creator does the adapting. Why? Adaptation requires reinterpretation. It demands reinvention. Going from one medium to another is a brutal transition. It can't be the thing it was in order for it to become something new. And, too often, creators don't have the distance to make those hard decisions.
Jul 21, 2020 9 tweets 3 min read
Let me say this about #TheLastofUsPartII: It's a masterpiece. A singular narrative achievement that can only be expressed as a video game. No movie, television show, novel, or album can do what TLOU2 does and I'll tell you why: complicity. That is, I think, the same reason why some don't like it. Because, like in the first game, @Neil_Druckmann and the @Naughty_Dog crew make you confront the emotional and physical atrocities the game brings up because you have to commit them.
Jul 7, 2020 5 tweets 13 min read
Over the weekend, theplaguenerdalogues.com crossed the $50,000 mark in donations for #BlackLivesMatter. Which just about made me cry. With that milestone reached, I'm dropping donation paywall and the making all the nerd monologues free for everyone to see. We've done what we set out to do: Use our love for nerd storytelling to raise money to benefit those who need it. First, @nokidhungry (for whom we raised $16,000), and now #BlackLivesMatter. The plan was always to make 'em free, so now they are. theplaguenerdalogues.com
Jun 23, 2020 12 tweets 3 min read
I was listening to the Wind of Change podcast today—I know I'm late, but it's awesome—and there was a quote from Nina Simone that unlocked something for me. She said, "freedom is no fear." And I understood instantly what's behind the resistance to wearing masks. Because I've been wondering: How could so many people, some dumb as stumps, sure, but many sharp as tacks be pushing for something as insane as going back to "normal" when, clearly, the #COVID19 world is fundamentally abnormal?
May 28, 2020 31 tweets 6 min read
I just found this essay I wrote for a BirthMoviesDeath Star Wars special magazine some five years ago. I wish I'd found it a week ago, when Empire celebrated its 40th. But here it is. It never made it online, so here you go: "What does Han mean when he says, 'I know.'" It’s the moment that every nerd with a beating heart and a scoundrel’s soul turns to for inspiration. The moment that somehow manages to be both incredibly romantic and totally bad-ass at the same time.
Jul 14, 2019 10 tweets 2 min read
Also Known As: The Blackout That Gave Birth to Hip Hop. Okay. A little history: Disco was king in the early-to-mid 1970s. It was all the rage, especially in NYC, especially in dance clubs, and ESPECIALLY in gay clubs. While it might've been illegal to have a public gay relationship, it wasn't illegal to dance with a same-sex partner.
Jul 13, 2019 9 tweets 2 min read
One of our greatest actors all but vanished from the screen and I feel like people don’t feel his absence the way they should. Why hast thou forsaken us, Kevin Kline? He was so vital in the ‘80s and ‘90s. He could do musicals and westerns, like the Pirates of Penzance and Silverado...
Mar 9, 2019 6 tweets 1 min read
The thing about Hollywood is that it has its own pace, which is never what you want it to be. I pitched and sold my first TV show a year ago today. And it is still so far from being a thing—if it ever gets to be a thing. The only way to stay sane is to realise that most things in Hollywood don’t happen, but to make sure that that nothing isn’t your fault. Do everything in your power to make it great. Find collaborators that share your vision and are willing to amplify it.
Dec 27, 2018 14 tweets 4 min read
If you’re looking for my brief thoughts on #Aquaman, they’re in this thread. Kevin and I didn’t get a chance to record a review episode before the holidays set in and we won’t be together again until January. But to the thread below, I’ll add just a little... In most heroic dramas (hell, in most dramas), the story you're watching answers some need within the protagonist. Ripley lost her first crew—and her daughter— and so what she goes through in Aliens answers her need to be a mother. Luke Skywalker...