So the postman left me a note to say my shipment from Amazon.com was awaiting me at the local sorting office, because I owed ten quid to customs for importing DVDs. sometimes they'll sting you for importing DVDs, sometimes they don't - seems entirely random. So I trooped down the road and collected my care package from across the Atlantic. Inside was a copy of Alex Epstein's CRAFTY TV WRITING: Thinking Inside the Box [not Thinging Inside the Box, as my Freudian-slip laden fingers just tried to type - that would be a very different kind of book, I suspect]. Already torn through the first 30 pages and the book's as intelligent, witty and droll as Alex's blog about screenwriting, Complications Ensue.
Obviously, some of the advice won't translate to Britain. In America it's commonplace to write a spec script of an existing show to get yourself noticed. In the UK that's not done. Instead, if you want to get a job on a show writing other people's characters, you're expected to write an utterly original script. That hopefully shows you've got talent and you're own voice. Then you might get to write somebody else's characters on somebody else's show, subsuming your voice to the show's voice. Strange but true, it seems. Still, looking forward to reading the rest of the book.
Also in the box was the Region 1 DVD release of Deadwood Season 2. Now, these episodes were already available as Region 2 release, but without the extras on the Region 1 release, so I've been patiently waiting for the US version. Now it's here at last. All the mother****ing swearing and people calling each other ****suckers you could possibly want, along with some of the best TV drama being created today. Classy stuff, once you get past Calamity Jane calling everybody ****s. Doris Day would never talk like that, would she?