Wednesday, September 20, 2017

An awful Inktip "success story" - how one writer's script got ruined

Weirdly, one of the older posts that is most prolific in generating new comments or emails is something I wrote ages ago about InkTip. InkTip is a site where users can post loglines for their scripts - and even complete scripts - in the hopes that some of their producer and manager members take a liking to it.

I'm gonna be blunt. In all my years out here, I've not heard of any significant deals made from this site and I don't think any of the companies I worked for ever used InkTip. (And one of two of those DID go to Pitchfests, which I also advise against.) I don't foresee a situation where my answer to any question about Inktip is gonna be, "Spend your money HERE to jump-start your screenwriting career.")

The story I'm about to link to doesn't have TOO much to do with Inktip, aside from the chain of events starting there. I'm just aware that putting "InkTip" into a post will increase the odds of people finding it via Google, so maybe the above paragraph will save them an email or comment.

Almost 20 years ago, A.J. Via put one of his first scripts on InkTip. There it sat for 15 years until it was discovered by Chad Ridgely, who'd scraped together money to produce a film. It took another year and a half, but finally the project started to come together... just as that professional relationship fell apart.

As the AV Club notes:

By the time of the premiere, almost two years later in November 2015, at the Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival (where it somehow ended up winning Best Comedy Feature against other no-budget competitors that had names like Frankenstein’s Patchwork Monster and Valley Of The Sasquatch), contact between Via and Ridgely was essentially nil, to the point where Via felt uncomfortable even attending the premiere. (Via describes that email exchange thusly: “I’d write, ‘Where and when would I go if I was actually coming to see this movie?’ And he would reply back, like, ‘Yeah, maybe we’ll see you. That’s great!’ And that would be the end of it.”) Thus, it wasn’t until months later, when the film finally came out via digital platforms like iTunes, that Via had the opportunity to see it. His wife alerted him to the fact that his movie was coming out after she saw a notice online saying Massacre On Aisle 12 was now available for purchase.

That night, Via plugged in his Amazon Fire stick, sat down on the couch with his wife, and finally got to see the results of a script he had written roughly 15 years earlier. To hear him describe it is an experience roughly akin to having a next-door neighbor recall in intimate detail an eyewitness account of their own child being slapped around. He says his wife fell asleep after about 20 minutes and he didn’t wake her, so happy he was for her to miss the film. “The first 10, 15 minutes of it, she turned to me five or seven times and said, ‘Did you write that?’ And I said, ‘No, no, no. I didn’t write that. I didn’t write that.’ To the point where as jokes were happening, I was turning to her saying, ‘I didn’t write that. I didn’t write that.’” He watched it in silence, blank-faced, until it ended. Then he put it aside, the way a shell-shocked mugging victim will often have a delayed response to their encounter. Via couldn’t even process what he had seen.

After several weeks, he felt ready to watch it again, and actually engage with the material. It was almost as bad as the first time. “I don’t want to come out sounding like I’m on a high horse. There are things that can be offensive that I’ll laugh at,” he stresses, before singling out the bombardment of gay panic humor that is laced throughout the film as his biggest issue with it. “And I don’t mean to make it sound like I wrote Casablanca. It was a horror comedy that was really designed to be dark, you know, kind of in poor taste. But I looked at it and was like, ‘This is such schlock. This is stuff a 10-year-old would think was funny.’” It really depressed Via to see his name on something he so profoundly disliked. He warned friends to stay away—the same friends he had proudly boasted to a couple of years earlier about the movie he wrote that was getting made.

In retrospect, Via wonders how he could’ve been so naive about what the results would be. He had really gotten along with Ridgely at first, had considered him someone who understood what Via wanted to do, who loved the same jokes, the same beats in the script, and the two had appeared creatively simpatico. But as the partnership eroded in tandem with the original screenplay, Via started to investigate Ridgely’s output further, and kicked himself for not looking more closely at the outset. “He’s a very sex-obsessed—I mean, you can see for yourself [on Ridgely’s site]. His biggest things on there are songs about boobies and movies he’s made that are—he does a whole fake game show, Gay Or Not Gay? And it’s supposed to be this hilarious thing of trying to guess if an actor is queer or not.” 

The whole article is worth a read. Check it all out here.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Bad Pitch: Alicia and Liv in "Still CRAZY After All These Years"

If you follow me on Twitter, you've likely seen a version of this pitch before. Every now and then I like to forecast the most unlikely piece of existing intellectual property to be revived like The X-Files, Will & Grace and Roseanne all have been or will be. (To say nothing of Rocky's resurrection via Creed, Star Wars's resurgence, Blair Witch, Tron, Terminator... the list goes on and on.)

Is it really so impossible that 90s nostalgia would eventually lead to the rebooting of music videos? I'm honestly shocked we haven't already seem SOME kind of re-visitation with the two women who were - for a time at least - synonymous with Aerosmith: Alicia Silverstone and Liv Tyler.

Okay, listen up everyone. An old man's talking. Back in my day, we didn't have YouTube, where every music video was on-demand the instant we had the urge to see it. No, the only way we saw a music video would be to happen to be watching MTV or VH1 when it played. And if you were a teenage boy in the mid-90s, chances are one of the clips you were willing to wait all day to see was Aerosmith's "Crazy," starring the future Clueless and Lord of the Rings icons.

Silverstone's entire career was launched from the three Aerosmith videos she did. There was about two years there where she was known as "the Aerosmith chick." I don't think I totally realized until reflecting on this that my generation didn't really have many "teen idols." The ages before me had Tiffany and Debbie Gibson. Britney, Christina, and their ilk - despite being about my age - were mostly idols for the teens slightly younger. When I was in high school, if you were looking for the female teenage sex symbols, they'd probably be Alicia and Liv.

Both of these women just turned 40, which I found unbelievable before I saw recent pics of them and now I find it even more inexplicable. 40 really IS the new 30.

And who could pass up the perfect title? "Still Crazy After All These Years." Hell, half of you can probably already picture the trailer just off of this information and that name.

The pitch: Now 40, both girls are married with teenage children. They've remained close and outgrew their wild ways long ago. However fate sends them on a cross-country roadtrip when Liv's daughter (Bella Thorne) runs away from home with Alicia's son (Dylan Minnette.) The specifics of the trip? This ain't rocket science. Just replicate the music video beat-for-beat.

I'm putting this here mostly so that when this project is announced within the next few years, I can say "TOLDJA!"

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

"How Do You Talk To An Angel?" turns 25 today!

Today is the 25th anniversary of one of my favorite one-hit wonders of the 90s, "How Do You Talk to An Angel?" It's not one of the big hits of the 90s, but left enough of a footprint that the lyrics are instantly memorable upon mention.

For me, I have a very clear memory of that song's hook being used in every one of the ubiquitous promos for the TV show it belonged to, The Heights. As I recall, it was an NBC show about a struggling band. The show itself barely lasted longer than the song's run on the charts and is all but forgotten today. The show premiered on August 27, 1992, but Wikipedia says the song itself was released on September 5, 1992 so that's the date we're going with here. It climbed the charts through November, when it hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song was the show's theme, but also seems to have played a part in the premiere episode. This scene below showcases one of my favorite tropes of a band movie or TV show - the initial jam session where every one meshes PERFECTLY and turns out an impossibly perfect first run of a song where all band members magically know their places and when to come in.

I remember seeing an interview a number of years ago where Jamie Walters, who sang lead vocals on the single, indicated that the single's popularity caused a little tension between him and the cast because he was the one getting all the recognition from it. Walters would have a solo hit of his own a few years later, called "Hold On."

The song comes up pretty frequently on my iTunes shuffle and when I've mentioned it on Twitter, I'm always surprised to find there are a few fans. So on its birthday, let's pay tribute to a song whose shelf life well surpassed that of the show that birthed it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Broken Projector tries to answer every screenwriting question ever

It's been a while since I plugged the Broken Projector podcast, but last week Scott Beggs and Geoff LaTulippe decided to take on the challenge of answering every screenwriting question you could hope to know.

More accurately, they created an archive of the questions they get asked EVERY TIME they open up for listener questions about screenwriting. It feels like they were had the same sorts of thoughts that led me to write this post last week about how to ask a useful question. Below is a breakdown of the episode question-by-question, with timecodes. It's worth a listen not just for the answers, but understanding the kinds of questions that get asked again and again, and why some of those questions will never have a satisfactory answer.

An intro note on methodology and where to learn formatting [0:00 – 4:15]
A way to rethink the questions you’re asking [4:15 – 9:10]
“Do I have to move to LA?” [9:10 – 11:28]
“How do I get an agent/manager?” [11:28 – 18:10]
“Where do I find scripts?” [18:10 – 20:45]
“What screenwriting books are the ‘right’ ones?” [20:45 – 24:00]
“How do I pitch?” [24:00 – 25:50]
“Should I go to film school?” [25:50 – 31:05]
“I just finished my first script. What do I do now?” [31:05 – 37:45]
“How do I get an actor/actress to read my script?” [37:45 – 44:35]
“How do I get a job as a TV writer’s assistant?” [44:35 – 50:05]
“How did you get your start?” [50:05 – 54:55]
“How do you come up with your ideas?” [54:55 – 59:10]
“What are agents/managers/producers looking for?” [59:10 – 61:05]
“What genre should I write?” [61:05 – 61:10]
“How do you impress a reader?” [61:10 – 63:15]
“How do you expose yourself personally in your writing?” [63:15 – 68:45]
Closing thoughts [68:45 – 73:30]

The podcast is embedded at this link, but you can also subscribe to One Perfect Pod wherever you get your podcasts.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Crossing the stream(ing service)s

This is probably gonna come off as one of those old man "get off my lawn" rants, but I've been thinking a lot about the cost of streaming services. I've had Netflix since before it WAS a streaming service. I've been an Amazon Prime subscriber for about three years now, but that was mostly for the free shipping and until recently they've never had any original programming that enticed me.

Hulu's been a thing, but until this year I never felt any pressing need to subscribe. As I'd never purchased a service JUST for the original programming, there wasn't motivation to start now. The fact that no real Hulu show had broken into the zeitgeist also lessened any urgency I might have felt.

This year felt like a real sea change, brought about by two factors: The Handmaid's Tale and the explosion of other streaming services. I want to be clear here - I think Netflix did the heavy lifting of legitimizing original content on streaming services, but when you already have that service for unrelated reasons, you don't really feel the shift as much. It still felt like the game was: Netflix - and then everyone else.

Let's take stock of the major players in that "everyone else," and their subscription fees:

Here are the monthly fees for the more notable streaming services:

Netflix - $7.99 (no HD), $9.99 HD, $11.99 HDX
Amazon - $8.99
Hulu - $7.99
YouTube Red - $9.99
HBO Now - $15
Showtime - $10.99
Starz - $8.99
CBS All Access - $5.99, $9.99 no ads
FX - $5.99
AMC Premiere - $4.99

The days of Netflix being a good one-stop shop for a deep library of content are numbered. As each of these networks and more launch their own services, they'll likely be taking back their content from other sites. It's the only way to add value to their product. Are you prepared to pay all of this and more a month?

Let's put the library aside for a while and focus on the value of original content. This is a list of all the Netflix shows which I watched in the past 12 months that I can expect another season of within the next 12 months or so:

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Master of None
13 Reasons Why
Stranger Things
Grace & Frankie
House of Cards
One Day at a Time

That's nine shows right there. You can also add the next season of Arrested Development to that for AT LEAST 10 originals that I'll watch. Marvel also typically has 2 shows in a 12 month cycle. This past year I skipped Iron Fist, didn't finish Luke Cage and plan on watching The Defenders. Odds are I'll watch at least one of whatever they offer, so let's bump the total to 11. My wife watched Fuller House, so adding that gives us an even dozen original shows in the next year.

Or we could use last year as a baseline. These are the one-off seasons that I watched in addition to the shows in the last list:

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life
MST3K: The Return
The Seekers

So that supports the notion of about a dozen original series a year. At $9.99/month I feel pretty good about that value even before you account for binge-watching any of the licensed library, or the many Netflix documentaries and acquired features, of which there are a lot. Even with some of the licenses rotating out now and then, overall I feel really good about paying ten bucks a month for access.

CBS All-Access has two tiers. $5.99 a month for limited commercial interruption and $9.99 a month for no ads. They also don't follow the Netflix model of dropping all the new episodes in a season at once. This is important because if you want to see each new episode in a 13 episode season as it comes out, you MUST subscribe for four months. If you're paying for no ads, that means that new season is costing you $40, assuming that's the only thing drawing you to the service during those months.

By next year, they will have TWO original shows: The Good Fight and Star Trek: Discovery.

I've been a Star Trek fan since I was ten. I own most of TOS on blu, all of TNG on blu and all of DS9 on DVD, along with at least half of the films on blu, DVD or both. I've watched every new season as it's come out since 1991. Hell, I even own a ton of the novels and behind the scenes books. I'm laying all this out to make it clear that I am fairly representative of the audience that CBS is chasing when they used the Star Trek IP to launch this service.

I will not be subscribing to CBS All-Access. There are 15 episodes in the season, so we're talking about four months of subscription. At the cheap rate, that's $24 for one show. The economics of that don't work out for me, as that's how much the bluray will probably be. I'd rather just wait for the physical copy and buy something I'd actually own.

When a service's exclusive originals are so sparse, it falls to the library to be even more valuable. I can see the case being made, "We're the home for ALL the Star Trek archive!" You might see the problem brewing though - long-time Trek fans are collectors. Like me, they probably already OWN most of those hours of television in some kind of physical format, so there's no incentive there to subscribe for that. The service also includes all of CBS's current programming (99% of which I don't watch), and older CBS/Paramount shows like Cheers, CSI, MacGyver, and so on. For some people, maybe that's enough to get their fee. (I doubt it, but I want to put the possibility out.)

I'll also allow that for new fans who come into the Trek tent with Discovery, it's not a bad idea to have the entire rest of the franchise at their fingertips to binge. Having said that, with only two new shows, the odds of total TREK virgins buying CBS All Access and sampling Discovery seems pretty low.

And this is just the beginning. FX announced this week they're starting their own streaming service, featuring their catalog at $5.99/month and there's AMC Premiere for $4.99/month. Of course, for now they don't have any original programming that will be exclusive to those services, so the incentive to buy that to watch, say, Better Call Saul is rather low. (At least until that's the only streaming service where the entire series is available.) As cable declines the cost of these a la carte services will become more important. I don't know how keen I am to pay $6/month per basic cable channel, essentially. There's a certain point where that cost would easily exceed the cable bill total for all those bundled channels and more.

But it's inevitable.

I'm curious how some of you feel about this. Which streaming channels are essential and what is your calculus for the value of a monthly fee?

Monday, August 7, 2017

Reader emails and the art of writing a good question

I haven't done many "reader email" posts in the recent past and there's are reasons for that. Some of the questions I've gotten have been on topics that I've already covered a lot on the blog, so they're answered quickly with a link to an existing post.

What's left after weeding out those are emails that often fall into one of two categories:

1) An email that asks a question too broad or abstract to yield a useful answer. This would be something like "Tell me how to break into the business" or "what are all the things I can be doing to make my script attractive to an agent?"

Those are questions without any concrete answers, and if they DID have answers, they would require a great deal of effort on my part to answer them. Entire books have been written about each of those subjects. Any effort on my part to answer them in the confines of the blog would likely result in even larger broad and sweeping generalizations than you usually find.

In both cases, the knowledge you want is out there - but it will take some effort on your part to seek out and absorb. When I sought answers to these questions, I researched the lives and careers of people I admired. I went looking for the story of how they broke in. Everyone has a different story of how they attracted an agent or how they got their first job. That diversity speaks to how there's no single way in other than persistence and building up your portfolio to the point where your work will stand out.

2) Long rambling emails that tell me your life story and take many detours that might include the origins of your latest script, the depths of your anxieties, the many disappointments and setbacks you've suffered in your career, and so on.

I know I run the risk of coming of like a dick when I get glib about this, but I assume that if this is how you're composing emails to me, it's also how you're writing to other people who are FAR more important than me. If your email has more than three paragraphs (BRIEF paragraphs), you're doing it wrong. I've been known to open an email, see a wall of text and say, "I'll get to it later" without reading it and I'm much less busy than anyone who can actually do something for your career.

Introduce yourself in two or three sentences. Use another two or three to establish you're familiar with the person you're reaching out to and that you understand their time is valuable, then quickly get to the point of what they can do for you. Obviously if there's a connection you share, like a common friend or the fact you went to the same school, obviously mention that. The point is to be brief, and yet still establish a connection in a few lines.

If you're a good writer, you can do that.

In the meantime, if you've got what you think is a good question, hit me up in the comments or at

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

16 Great TV Shows, Part 16: 13 Reasons Why

Part 1: The Wonder Years
Part 2: The Simpsons
Part 3: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Part 4: Seinfeld
Part 5: The John Larroquette Show
Part 6: ER
Part 7: Newsradio
Part 8: The X-Files
Part 9: Law & Order
Part 10: Homicide: Life on the Street
Part 11: Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Part 12: Gilmore Girls
Part 13: Everwood
Part 14: The Office
Part 15: Breaking Bad

And at last we arrive at the final show on the list, which is appropriately the series that got me thinking about making this list in the first place. I wouldn't blame you if you wondered what else I could possibly have to say about 13 Reasons Why, considering I already devoted 13 posts to the series. As I indicated, this one burrowed into my gut. I was thinking about it for weeks after I saw it and it still is living rent-free right between my ears.

I can't help but be disappointed that Katherine Langford's incredible performance was overlooked by the Emmys last week. I freely admit that one of the problems of Peak TV is that I haven't seen everything, thus, I can't say which of the nominees should have been left off to make room for her, but considering Katherine started off in the first episode having to create two wildly disparate versions of Hannah, and then spend the next 12 episodes gradually bridging that gap, I'd be stunned if all six nominees beat that degree of difficulty. (And that's without bringing in the fact that this was Langford's first serious role.) She'll have a long career, for sure, but I wish her amazing work here was recognized. Dylan Minnette also gave what I consider an Emmy-worthy performance, particularly in the episode showcasing his tape, but I can accept his work was less singular in an equally crowded category.

Ignoring Kate Walsh's devastating turn as Hannah's grieving mother is another instance of insanity, but that's the way the Emmys go sometimes.

During my earlier series of posts on the show, I didn't cover the topic of how the adaptation compares to the original novel. Unexpectedly, when I read the novel, it gave me a deeper appreciation for the series. In every measurable way, the changes made for the show are superior to what they replace or add to. I've almost never seen that, where every divergence results in improvement.

I'm not going to list every difference, but a key change is that the "present" of the book all takes place on the night Clay receives and listens to the tapes. That means nearly all of the post-suicide scenes in the series are unique to the show. In the book, we never meet Hannah's parents, there's no lawsuit involving the school, and Clay never confronts any of the other people on the tapes. This makes a big difference in his arc, because he's generally passive. Also, book-Clay is a lot blander, kind of a generic nice guy. He lacks the rougher, more interesting edges the character has in the show.

But perhaps the most impactful change is that in the book, Clay barely knew Hannah. He crushed on her from afar, but they barely interacted. We're told they worked together at the movie theater, but the book lacks most of the cute interactions between the two at lunches and particularly at the school dance. The tragedy of the Clay/Hannah love story is the heart of the series and it's not present at all in the book. The two DO still make out at the party, and Hannah still freaks out, but so much around their characters is different that this event is recontextualized in a way that makes it less emotional.

In the book, it definitely feels more like Hannah made these tapes as a revenge plot. (As you know, I've argued that on the show, Hannah's motivation to make the tapes appears to be so that she can reclaim her own story.) Without the sweeter scenes between her and Clay, all we really know of Hannah is this person who was constantly wronged by her friends and has every reason to be bitter about it. Two other encounters also take on a different feel due to the changes. In the book, Hannah's rape is much more ambiguous in nature. She seems to put herself in that position know that Bryce will do to her and when he starts having sex with her, she doesn't resist. In fact, there's an inference that she's using him as a way of surrendering to her reputation. On the page, we're left with the impression she's trying to make her life horrible enough to motivate her suicide.

Yeah, it's pretty dark. And it speaks to a less likable (to use a word I know I just derided in the last post) version of Hannah. With this change also comes the feeling that she's really setting Mr. Porter up to fail when she sees him on the day she takes her own life. In the book, it plays almost like a challenge she throws down, like "C'mon, I've already decided to kill myself. Let's see if he can stop me." On the show, the motivation is similar, but more tragic. Hannah seems to be reaching for a life preserver that's never tossed.

So many of the elements that 13 Reasons Why a show I just can't shake either originated with the series or play completely different in the series. All of this speaks to the choices that showrunner Brian Yorkey and his staff had to make when writing the show. The book provides a great hook and a framework to hang the story on, but the TV writers really reached for the depth and emotion of the concept, and every change is geared towards achieving that end.

You come away from the book feeling like Hannah's story is shortchanged so that the focus can be on Clay's man-pain as he learns about this poor girl he barely knew. The book is more committed to making Hannah a real person rather than just an object of pity. The writers knew that Clay shouldn't be a stranger to Hannah. This has to be the story of their near-romance, with their dynamic ultimately making us aware of everything that was lost when Hannah took her life.

The other significant changes are more aimed at making it clear Hannah is broken, but not vindictive in her final days. Her depression and PTSD consume her until she can no longer fight. When the events that break her arrive, there's no sense that she surrenders to them. She merely has the will to go on beaten out of her. It sounds like a subtle distinction as I explain it, but when you compare the two, you'll understand just how vastly different they are.

The show understands Hannah's depression and suicidal choice in a way that I don't feel that the book ever communicates. Some of that is the advantage of being able to see an actress depict that transformation, but if I had to boil that down into a succinct writing lesson it would be this: Write from emotion, not plot. Write to make people feel.

After I put aside the novel, I couldn't help but ponder if I'd have been smart enough to make the choices that the TV writers made. I feel like I probably would have realized the Clay/Hannah connection needed to be more substantial, but I don't know if I'd have woven their flirtation through the series so perfectly and still found a way to be true to Hannah's breakdown that sends her spiraling.

When I tried to convince my wife to watch the show, I noticed all the ways this source material could have been less deftly mined. I told her the show dealt with a lot of real issues teens face, like cyber-bullying, rape, slut-shaming. Her reaction was to say, "Oh, like how Switched at Birth has been doing?"

Look, I've seen plenty of Switched at Birth due to my wife's appreciation for the show. I'll even give them credit for tackling issues like date-rape on their show. But nothing on Switched at Birth has the depth or the emotion of 13 Reasons Why. Ditto for the other show that my wife drew comparisons to as I explained the premise: Pretty Little Liars.

I'm not here to bash those two shows or the genre they represent. They're just a very different kind of product. Whatever darkness they have, it's contrasted by the aspirational artifice you find in most teen dramas. Teens in those shows often feel too much like mini-adults and visually, they aren't dressed and made up the way normal teens are.

When my wife watched, I was glad to see her pick up on some of these points without prompting. When Hannah goes to the dance, my wife's reaction was the same as mine - "They have her wearing a dress a girl that age would actually wear. It's not a sexy designer dress. It looks like she had to go to TJ Maxx and buy within a budget." She was 100% right about that. On PLL, that dress would have been three times as expensive, have a much lower cut to the top and a much higher hem on the skirt.

In general, 13 Reasons Why doesn't do much male gazing at Hannah. She's not overly sexualized in the way that teen protagonists often are. It's funny because at one point, Tony says that Hannah liked hanging with him because she could complain about the guys who stared at her boobs and her ass. Having watched the show, I feel pretty confidant in stating that Hannah's never dressed in a way that invites that sort of leering from the viewer. In fact, I'm reasonably sure there's not so much as a cleavage shot.

Even in a sequence where we know Hannah has stripped to her underwear and gotten into a hot tub, the action is staged with angles that don't show off her body at all. A couple other characters are put on display, but not Hannah. A running theme of the show is how her peers objectify and degrade her, and the show seems to take great pains not to make the viewer complicit in that. It's a restraint rarely seen in this genre.

What all of this adds up to is that the show creates a world that feels more grounded and believable than most of its contemporaries. It's very easy to imagine a version of the show that lives in that Freeform space. It might even be a compelling show with all the thrills and twists of Pretty Little Liars. But PLL never shook me to my core the way this series did. It lacked the rawness and the verisimilitude that made 13 Reasons Why such a potent tragedy.

Brian Yorkey and his team of writers, directors and actors worked hard to elevate their show above its source material. They found every possible emotional touchstone in the novel, and when that wasn't enough they invented more of their own. No short cuts were made just because this was a "teen drama" or a "YA adaptation." When I write something, be it an original or an adaptation, I will always think of the example this show sets, and how much power it draws from raw emotion.

Other posts on the series:
Side 1: The Setting
Side 2: An overly contrived premise can present a challenge
Side 3: Hannah Baker, from joy to despair
Side 4: Clay, an outsider who isn't an outcast
Side 5: Clay's tape leads to one of this year's most heartbreaking episodes
Side 6: Mr. Porter - Terrible Counselor or Worst Counselor?
Side 7: Do depictions of suicide provoke imitation?
Side 8: Generating tension that stokes viewer intensity
Side 9: Keeping storytelling clarity in non-linear structure
Side 10: Alex's storyline hides parallels in plain sight
Side 11: Fleshed out parents help deepen the other characters
Side 12: Episodic structure makes a comeback
Side 13: Thoughts on Season 2