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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Because it's WRONG."
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February 21 2005

The Shield on DVD Tuesday. (R1) Let's not forget that this show is created and driven by Angel staff writer Shawn Ryan.

This season also features an episode by former Whedon assistant and Buffy writer Diego ("Normal Again") Guttierez. Not uberspoilery, but just in case...

and Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain join the writing team for season 4 which starts in..March?
I may have to give this show a try if EC & SF are writing for it. They were some of the better writers for Angel, only behind Whedon, Minear, & DeKnight.
sketchy connection.
sketchy connection.

Not any more sketchy than all the threads about Seth Green's new animated show and other threads about what all the actors are up to next.
Well as a one-off it's fine but I wouldn't want to see 'The Shield' posts popping up all the time.
I talked to Shawn Ryan at a Museum of Television and Radio-hosted tribute to The Shield and asked him when the last time he spoke to Joss was. He said when he was shooting the pilot.
Hearing anything connected with the writers is a damn sight more interesting to me personally than yet another collectible announcement (nothing against anybody who is a collector), so thanks for the post.

The only thing I would request is that folks mention which region DVD releases are, as us folks in the great grey beyond that is not the US otherwise get all exited for nothing.

And why do we usually have to wait for releases? And why are our DVDs more expensive? I read today that Britain is the worldís single biggest market for downloading pirated television. With the high broadband penetration we have in this country, two words: Not. Surprised.
I'll have to agree with Miranda here. Links to former writers (even if they are on shows not related to the buffy genre) are more interesting than yet another post about a collectable figurine...
Well toy figures do seem to interest a fair number of people and there does seem to be a lot of posts about them of late (I'm putting that down to the major toy fair event). But I understand the desire to read more about the writers. News has been a bit thin recently regarding that (apart from Marti obviously) but hopefully in the next month we'll see a couple of Drew Goddard and David Fury interviews being posted *touch wood*.

And of course when The Inside gets a confirmed premiere date, there should be some Jane Espenson and Tim Minear related interviews as well.
I appreciate the reminder about The Shield. I follow it exclusively on DVD. Short of getting FX by satellite (I assume that's possible) or buying bootleg tapes or DVDs off of someone from the States, there's no way of staying current with this series. Canada's a year behind (only who knows when/if Global TV will finally air Season 3, as the States get to head into the new Season 4).

In the same way that Firefly could be the sci-fi series for people who aren't into sci-fi, I feel pretty comfortable giving The Shield the same sort of label--a cop show for people who hate the cop genre. The cast, writing, and directing are worthy of any Joss or quality HBO series. Especially the cast, aw man, excellent cast. The Shield is one of my favorite TV shows.
I may have to give this show a try if EC & SF are writing for it. They were some of the better writers for Angel, only behind Whedon, Minear, & DeKnight.

^^That's interesting. I never would have thought of those two as some of the best Angel writers. I mean, I think EC and SF are pretty good, but I don't necessarily agree that they are any better than the amazing David Fury, Drew Goddard, and Jeff Bell. Just my opinion though :)
What's up with EC and SF? Are writing 'teams' common in television? And how do you get jobs? "I'll only accept this job if you take my friend too?" I don't know, it just always struck me as strange that they NEVER wrote alone for Buffy or Angel.
There was an interview with Craft & Fain in a recent Angel Magazine, where they mentioned that they got the Angel writing gig via luck and a "pushy agent", so it appears that they apply for jobs as a package deal.

Anyway, of all the shows that have been created by former Mutant Enemy writers (Miracles, Jake 2.0, Wonderfalls, Point Pleasant), The Shield is (unless I'm missing one) by far the most successful one. It's kind of odd that the show hardly ever seems to come up among ME fans the way other shows do (yeah, I know, different genre and it's on cable). But The Shield is great and I'm really looking forward to the new season with Glenn Close.
I thought the second season of The Shield was great and I'm really looking forward to seeing this third one.

There are a few writing teams out there who do all their work together. Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah, who worked on Freaks and Geeks, and who ran Life as We Know It this year, always work together, too. From what they've said, I guess you're stuck sharing a single salary for an episode, but hopefully you can work twice as fast or write twice as many episodes or whatever.
MySerenity- The reason I'm such a big EC & SF fan is because I LOVE the episode Souless. Great character moments, and Angelus was just plain funny yet sadistic. ?
I linked to this because I thought the Shield was getting ignored here and I would like to see more coverage of it here, especially considering Ryan, Guttierez, Craft and Fain. I think seeing only this one-time reminder as Simon suggested would show a distinct bias on this site. After numerous posts about Wonderfalls in which Minear is barely mentioned, posts about Lost which have nothing to do with Fury or Goddard and posts about actors who only appeared on the show maybe three times, I don't see why The Shield should be excluded just because it doesn't have science fiction or supernatural elements. Ryan has said in interviews and commentaries that he owes Whedon a great debt and learned a great deal from working with him and continues to work with Whedonverse expatriates. If Wonderfalls can have it's own category, I don't see why Lost, Point Pleasant, and The Shield can't also (because I am sure The Inside will get one).
Isn't Wonderfalls the only non-whedon ran show with its own category. Its the exception, not the rule. If we posted every single news item for PP, Lost, and now The Shield it would knock off actually Whedon-ran topics. Yeah he's not doing TV anymore but he's still got projects in comics and movies, it may not interest Buffy fans as much as a TV movie but it interests others. And how did I get on that tangent? I'm done.
42 (or anyone else) if you have any problems with what I said, feel free to email me with them and I will quite happily reply to you. I'm not going discuss or debate our policies on site.
"What's up with EC and SF? Are writing 'teams' common in television? And how do you get jobs? "I'll only accept this job if you take my friend too?" I don't know, it just always struck me as strange that they NEVER wrote alone for Buffy or Angel."

The're a legal writing team. Legally the WGA treat the two of them as one person, they NEVER wrote alone because even if they had, both would have to recieve the credit, or the partnership be disolved. This means that in a case where DeKnight, Craft and Fain were all assigned to the same episode (Release) DeKnight would be expected to write the same as Craft and Fain put together, and he would recieve the same episode bonus as Craft and Fain did together, whilst the initial compensation and residuals (episode bonus) would be split 50% DeKnight, 25% craft, 25% Fain (with the % being of their negotaed base for a bonus). The Minimum bonus base is currently just over $27,000 plus a percentage of the revenue for every re airing of the episode.

Obviously then there is less of a financial incentive. so why do it. For one you're never gonna have to write more than half an episode at a time, this means their is more time to get it right. Secondly different writers have different strengths, writing together can help make a script better. Finally closely working with some one can make it easier to come up with ideas (two heads are better than one). Essentially the end result is that you have a better script than you would have had alone (provided you have the right partner), this increases employment possibilities, and thus the ability to negotate higher wages.

There are many other writing partners, though it is not the norm, heres some examples you may have heard of. (David) Fury and Hampton (till 1998), (Howard) Gordon and Gansa (Beauty and the Beasts, the X-Files), Morgan and Wong (X-Files, Space above and beyond).

"Anyway, of all the shows that have been created by former Mutant Enemy writers (Miracles, Jake 2.0, Wonderfalls, Point Pleasant), The Shield is (unless I'm missing one) by far the most successful one. It's kind of odd that the show hardly ever seems to come up among ME fans the way other shows do (yeah, I know, different genre and it's on cable). But The Shield is great and I'm really looking forward to the new season with Glenn Close. "

Actually of all those shows The Shield and Point Pleasant are the only two created by former Mutant Enemy writers (as in after they left Mutant Enemy), depending on how WGA interperate the rules, Minear will get the third with The Inside. In Addition there are only four other shows that were created by ME writers before they became ME writers (the two forms of the tick, Strange World and Profit), only the animated series of the Tick survived more than a handful of episodes.

But to answer your question Shawn Ryan was only on Angel a year, he didn't post on the Bronze, and didnt do any Angel specific interviews. He isnt as established in the ME fan community as say Tim Minear and David Greenwalt, and thus stuff he does is less likely to be paid attention to. Makes sense to me.
Personally, I'm fine with basic announcements that a certain Buffy/Angel/FF writer creates/joins or leaves a show, but no, I don't really need to see every tidbit about that show discussed here. And that includes Wonderfalls or Point Pleasant or Lost.

"6 degrees from Joss Whedon"....could be fun I suppose;-)
Check the flickR, Ed! There's a six degrees of Buffy game on as we speak.
Well, despite the slight to-ing and fro-ing, as always this has turned into an interesting and thoughtful discussion and I have learned some new information (thanks eddy and ocipital).

The Wonderfalls category does stick out a bit, but I would guess this has mostly to do with the previous valiant effort to save at least one quality show and who could argue with that.

Phew, I am glad Iím not running this board, trying to keep everybody happy must be just about the equivalent of running the UN. Only I guess we donít tend to move on to armed conflict if we canít agree. :)

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