‘I Love Dick,’ ‘Insecure’ Scribes Talk Inspiration at Variety’s Night in the Writers’ Room – Variety
Comedy showrunners Sarah Gubbins, Jonathan Krisel, Joshua Michael Stern, Prentice Penny, Mike Royce, and Justin Spitzer sat down together forÂ Varietyâ€™sÂ Night in the Writers Room event Tuesday night at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills.
For Gubbins, writer for Amazonâ€™s â€œI Love Dick,â€ it started with a character. That character specifically, is Chris Kraus, from the novel of the same name.
â€œThe idea that what she was doing was just so bombastically, kind of letting her sexuality and her desire run out, I thought that would be something that we might want to see,â€ she said. â€œIt really was an emotional both admiration and repulsion that brought me to want to think about how to possibly maybe some day make this into a television show.â€
FXâ€™s â€œBaskets,â€ which follows follows an unsuccessful aspiring professional clown working at a local rodeo in Bakersfield, California, formed around showcasing the showâ€™s star ZachÂ Galifianakis.
â€œIt really came from actors and trying to put people together into a pot and stir it around and see what you get, okay bring in Louie Anderson as the mother, then we start writing and figuring out what is this show,â€ Krisel said, adding, â€œIt was a messy process.â€
Penny, however, chased the script of Issa Raeâ€™s HBO comedy â€œInsecure.â€ He went as far as to write Rae a letter explaining why he would be a good showrunner.
â€œThat was another thing, of being humble enough to recognize, this is special,â€ he said. â€œBeing like, this is awesome, and I want to help make it even more awesome. I just gotta go after something that speaks to me.â€
Spitzer, creator of NBCâ€™s â€œSuperstore,â€ said his show started with the idea that a big box retail store would be a good setting for a lot of colorful characters. Stern, creator of Epixâ€™s â€œGraves,â€ wrote the lead character specifically for star Nick Nolte.
Mike Royce, whose long resume includes â€œEverybody Loves Raymondâ€ and â€œMen of a Certain Age,â€ jumped at the chance to work on the remake of Netflixâ€™s â€œOne Day at a Timeâ€ with co-creator Gloria Calderon Kellett and the sitcomâ€™s legendary original producer Norman Lear.
The writers also referenced their shows an an escape from the modern world.
â€œThe world got really scary,â€ Krisel said. â€œThereâ€™s some moments in your life where youâ€™re just like, â€˜I need something just funny.â€™ Thatâ€™s the noble thing you can do. Make someone forget about their life for 22 minutes.â€
Gubbins agreed, adding â€œforget about their Twitter, forget about checking their tweets for 27 minutes at any given day would be great.â€
The panel was moderated by Cynthia Littleton,Â Varietyâ€˜s managing editor of TV.
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