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November 16 2006

What is Uranus? Jane Espenson joins Bob Harris in an interview about his book, Prisoner of Trebekistan, for Television Without Pity.

!Kittens! And JaneEsp!! Plus, of course, Bob Harris.

Thanks for the link, swanjun. I enjoyed the interview. I've got to get this book!

And JaneEsp!! She is so very funny and is such a great writer--and seems quite nice, too.

Kittens, y'all. . . . And . . . did I mention JaneEsp?!! Was that too fangurl? Sophomoric? Sorry, but I adore Jane!
Funny. And Harris's book lives up to the good reviews. I laughed, I cried.
I want to get this book, too. Thanks for the interview.
The book is fantastic. I can't recommend it highly enough.
I have not had the chance to read the entire interview yet, but am enjoying what I have read so far.

This does sound like such an interesting book. I really want to read it. Depending on what our Secret Santa limit is this year, maybe I will put this on my list...

Somewhat off topic: My friend who is watching BtVS for the first time is almost up to Band Candy and I suddenly realized that Band Candy was Jane Esp's first episode of BtVS. Quite an accomplishment. I also realized that IMO JE helped to make the stand alone episodes on BtVS memorable and worth watching for the first time. Up until that time, they were creature features that often are in people's bottom 20 episodes. In season 3 they became extra bonuses...I mean Joss is the mover and shaker in that department, but it seems like JE was definitely part of the change.

For some reason that also made me wonder what kind of spec script JE submitted to BtVS. I know she has talked about the unusual spec scripts that other writers submitted, the ones that broke the rules but got the job, but I don't remember her saying what hers was. Anybody remember what she said, if anything?
I must get around to buying this book. And I agree about Jane's eps making the MOTWs more enjoyable.

[ edited by Jackal on 2006-11-17 20:27 ]
I recall from an interview with Jane on some DVD, she said she submitted her produced Ellen, and an NYPD Blue spec. She figured that would equal a Buffy. She mentioned that Joss commented on a joke in the NYPD spec, which surprised her.
If, like me, you're a Jane fan, read this book. It's fun, funny, insightful, and confirms that Jane is a fabulous person. I admire her even more now after reading this book. It has some Buffy inside scoop - including, who introduced her and Bob to each other. Talk about six degrees of separation.

Bob Harris has a very readable writing style. You feel like he's telling you these stories while you're sitting together over a drink in the neighborhood pub.
"Squeema". Bob goes through hoops to avoid saying "Jane Espenson". It's worth it alone just to hear him describe "Storyteller" featuring Danny Strong.
I bought the book the last time Jane was on here. It's fantastic! I recommend it as well. The interview is really fun to read (I'm only halfway through it). They're so witty with each other. And Jane, if you're reading this, I love your blog! That and Whedonesque are my daily stops on the Internet. And we're all happy you're healthy again!
Jane always seems nice in every interview I've seen or read. One time, I had a dream featuring a montage of us as best friends and it was totally realistic! I almost wrote her a letter about it, but thought it would probably seem very creepy, so refrained.
Funny, funny. Some 'serious' riffing going on from all parties (as if Joss and Jane's recommendation wasn't enough I reckon that interview's bumped the book a few places up the old wish list). They seemed to have a great time doing it too.
I'm thinking of getting this book for my father for Christmas, since he's a jeapordy fan. One question for those who have read it: is there any profane or offensive humor in it? My dad's a pretty conservative old guy, but I've noticed that he does seem to enjoy his children's sarcastic sense of humor. I don't want to get this for him if it's too crass or there are too many pop-culture references that would go over his head.
Electric, I think it's nice and tame. I would get it for my Jeopardy-loving, conservative dad.

It was such a hoot while reading the book to have this gradual dawning of awareness . . . "oh, he's talking about that Jane!" Never mind that I got the book based on JE's recommendation at her blog. Sheesh.
Took me a while to get around to reading the whole thing, but have to report that I loved this interview. Loved it. Hy-sterical. And it prompted me to do what I've been putting off for no good reason -- buy the book.

Bob: "Jane is always writing and filming little scenes in her brain."

See, I do this too. The problem is that afterwards I'm not completely sure they didn't happen. My writing and fake-film-shooting brain gets mixed up with my memory brain and chaos ensues.

Bob: "For now, let's just say I'm doing a humorous reference book about petty hatreds."

Well, damn. *puts own Humorous-Petty-Hatred-Reference-Book manuscript away in a drawer.* Damn!

Props to the interviewer for using soigné in an IM interview.

And Jane used the best-IM-sound-effect ever: "Mrphll"! She also nobly refrained from Bob Barkering, even though it came up legitimately! Who among us could do as much? Who, I ask you? Not I!

Best of all, she used our Kittens! sign-off! She did! How sweet was that!

(Honestly, I'm using more exclamation points in this post than I've used in my whole life, but it was just that good. Can't wait to get the book.)
Where did this "Kittens!" sign off originate? Here on Whedonesque? I don't recall anything other than Jane using it here.
The book is great. I got a copy for myself and one for my "Jeopardy loving" Dad and I am giving my copy to my "Interested in how the brain works" sister. I highly recommend it as a seasonal gift because, once again, Joss is right. You don't need to watch Jeopardy to enjoy the book.
Well, Jane used it in a sentence in her first post here, writing that the Wall Street Journal had kittens about how much they liked Prisoner of Trebekistan. Then as she was signing off in that comment, she reiterated with "Seriously. Kittens."

And then I made a joke that now the hot new internet sign-off would be Kittens. People jumped on it and it went on from there...
I really liked this interview, too, and now I have a stupid uninformed question (or maybe it's a smart question for a stupid uninformed person like myself!) -- are Jane and Bob a couple? (Not that I'm trying to gossip, either, but at this point it seems like everyone knows the truth but me.) Somehow all this time I thought he was just a good friend of Jane's whose writing she liked.
I sincerely doubt that everyone knows the truth but you, billz, but it is my understanding that they are a couple. I haven't read the book yet, so I don't know if Jane is the partner he found after he lost a previous girlfriend during the course of his (ongoing) Jeopardy obsession. However, I did read an article by Bob (on or somewhere like that) where the bio info mentioned "his partner Jane Espenson" and the proverbial penny dropped. (But they sure sound like good friends, too.)

Here's a Bob Harris sad thing, a funny thing, and a video:

• Bob has cancelled his appearance tomorrow night at Book Soup, a much-beloved (by me) independent book store a stone's throw away (if I was able to throw stones uphill.) *gently wipes away salty tears*

• On his website,, he mentions some Buffy trivia that hadn't heard; I'll give you his own words:

"I once did a voiceover on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, telling Buffy how wonderful the Doublemeat Palace is on the training video ("Let's take a look now at the process of harvesting these two special meats"...). People seem to enjoy anything involving appalling foodstuffs."

Here's an an amusing 2-minute video promo for P of T on google video (and there are others there, too) that I found through the book's myspace profile.

Oh, !Kittens! to all y'all.
Hey, thanks for the links, QG! I think I'm in love! ;^} He is so funny! Lucky Jane. Come to that, lucky Bob.

So now it's officially on my To Do list for next payday: "Get P of T!"
Oh, I know, Hot-Blooded, I know. If I thought I had a prayer of snagging him away from Ms. Jane, and if I thought my partner wouldn't object, I'd be so after him.

He's just my partner's age, and looks a little bit like 'em, but it's the funny that gets me, every time. And now that I think of it, Jane's a very caring and understanding individual, and he seems like an adventurous chap, so let's not despair...
Hey, now, don't go busting up such a lovely pair! People as smart and funny as they deserve to be together. :)
Thanks, QG, for the 411! And, although I know you're just being kittenish, keep your paws off that Bobcat, 'cause it's just catty to pounce on another kitty's catnip. /channeling jlv (where is that guy, anyway?) ;-)
You're everso welcome for this info... and, of course, all talk about getting in between Ms. Jane & Mr. Bob is just simply phantasmagorical.

Here's a bit of gossip that's not fantasy, but absolute gospel, and hot off the presses: my partner just got back from seeing the new Bond movie at the Chinese theatre in Hollywood. He was late going in and was runnning for the theatre complex when he saw Nathan and a woman also hightailing it for a movie.

And even though my partner was late, and the trailers had started on his film, he stopped and took a good look at Nathan just for me; he reports that he looked both happy and handsome.

*sigh* And I turned down going to the movie so I could stay home and do some computer-y things. What the hell was I thinking?

(And he reports that he liked the new Bond movie very much indeed... And billz, for JLV sightings, check out
Hmm, I'm starting to think that Nathan lives in or near Hollywood. That's not the first fansighting I've read about at Hollywood and Highland, and while it's nice to see movies at the Chinese just to be in the theater, and the rest of the multiplex is nice as they go, they don't usually show exclusives or limited releases so if you lived farther west there'd be a more convenient theater. Not that I'm stalking him or anything.
QuoterGal, I totally knew you were kidding about the Bobcrush, but it was such a great chance for me to commit a serial punning! ;-)

That Nathan spotting is just unbelievable. I mean, how ginormous is Los Angeles, and your partner ran into him? So sorry you weren't there, QG, but it sounds like your partner did an excellent job reporting all details, and so did you! Well, except for the what-movie-did-NF-and-his-date-go-see? part. Were they going to Casino Royale too? I haven't seen it yet, even though everyone I know and everyone I don't know, including your partner, is saying it so *rocks*. Good times. ;-)
billz, I thought your riff (PointyTM) was adorable and positively JLV-esque, but I actually creeped myself out a little with my talk of Bob-crushing.

L.A. is ginormous, but you are likely to spot the entertainment folks you like at Hollywood & Highland (a "mall" that contains the Kodak - Oscars - Theatre and much else), The Grove (new mall extension of the old Farmer's Market) and other such Angeleno movie hot spots.

I always see celebs at my WeHo grocery store, as they come down out of the Hills at night and forage for food... I've never bothered any of 'em (but once or twice, and those are stories for another day), but the area I live in is awash in actors and entertainers, and at the place we like to brunch, we frequently see Steve Martin at the next table. *grin* He's my kinda older man...

Nathan wasn't going to Casino Royale, (his 11/17/06 myspace blog mentions that he's already seen it) but my guy couldn't tell where he was going, and since we are really neither of us the S-word (which I've been forbidden to mention on whedonesque), he didn't stay to see where he was going. :>
Jeez, QuoterGal, you make Los Angeles sound even more, well, entertaining to live in than I already thought, at least compared to my little village. My friends and I aren't nearly as glamorous as you'd think we are, although we can be quite hi-larious at times. ;-)

I didn't get to read that blog you mention because it is locked to nonfriends, which I am at the moment (still waiting by the inbox), so I didn't know the Captain had already seen CR. (I mean, can you hook a brother up as a friend already, yo -- you know, drop everything else you have to do in your life to do me a solid?) But no, we're none of us S-words here. Saxophones? Saltines? Salmon? Swords? No, no, no and no (even though we are somewhat PointyTM, lol). Salty -- oh, wait, we are that, yeah. Sexy -- oh, we're that, too. Silly -- OK, we're a lot of S-words, just not the one you're saying. ;-)

[ edited by billz on 2006-11-20 02:59 ]

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