Jerry Stahl is a great writer who once upon a time had a very rough time of it while trying to write TV scripts in Hollywood. He became addicted to heroin and watched his career and life quickly spin out of his control. He mapped out these experiences in a grimly humorous tell-all called “Permanent Midnight,” which was later made into a rather tepid movie starring Ben Stiller. One of the shows Stahl worked on during his days and nights of near oblivion was thirtysomething. Here are a couple paragraphs from the book detailing his thoughts on the show:
“By the time I hit thirtysomething, I had this bad habit of spraying a bloody jumbo Z on the tiles of whatever TV show toilet I happened to be shooting up in. Kind of like an intravenous Zorro. It was my way of saying ‘Just because I happen to be here, writing an episode of thirtysomething, that doesn’t make me ONE OF YOU REEBOK PEOPLE!’
Maybe I did overreact, tweaked by that nasty, subconscious realization I just couldn’t shake: I was perfect for the show. The horror! Because I had the wife, the home, and there was probably a baby on the way. And some part of me wanted all that. I hated admitting the extent to which I could relate to the very things I considered most despicable.”
Now, I’ve never succumbed to heroin addiction, but I’ve been around a few blocks a time or two, and after watching three full seasons of thirtysomething, I can relate to Stahl. The kinds of lives these people lead aren’t what most people in my circle envisioned when they were young, and yet these are the sorts of lives that most of us inevitably end up living. Maybe we dream of climbing the mountain, but few of us ever actually get around to doing it. I should stop myself before I slip and fall into a full-on, Harry Knowles-esque recount of the first 30 years of my life, and just get on with the fucking review.
Read the fucking DVD review for the third season of thirtysomething by clicking here and visiting Bullz-Eye. (P.S. I really do like this show.)