Well, after several weeks of talking about it, we finally sat down and did it – the writers set aside their other work (editing, outlines, autobiographies) and their differences (the Binder-Gero feud is legendary) to gather and break Episode #19. And, in under two and a half hours, we were done. Not only did we have a terrific story with not three, not four, but five FULL acts, but Robert Cooper had come up with an episode title none of us hated (which, trust me, is a major achievement). Can’t reveal the name yet but, as Carl noted, if you switched out a single letter, it would have the same title as an episode of Atlantis.
Now if all goes according to plan, we’ll break Episode #20 on Wednesday, discuss Brad’s story, and ensure everyone is poised to go to script before our lengthy hiatus.
So Jamil Walker Smith dropped by the office the other day to kick back, chat, and regale us with tales of his latest cycling escapades. I recall, in those first few weeks of production, being struck by the contrast between the actor and the character he played. Onscreen, Sgt. Ronald Greer is a smoldering powder keg, tough, threatening, incessantly ominous. Off screen, however, Jamil is one of the happiest, most gregarious individuals one could ever hope to meet. On the surface, the two seem to be polar opposites but, getting to know Jamil over these past few months, I can’t help but note he shares one major attribute with his character: a quiet intensity that drives everything from personal philosophy to performance. He’s hilarious, a hell of a lot of fun, but when it’s time to get down to business, I’ve rarely seen anyone so inwardly focused. I told him he was doing a terrific job and that his character was really popping. Ever gracious, he likened our working relationship to a tennis match, his performance an inspired response to the material we were serving. “Keep smashing it our way,”he said, “and we’ll keep hitting it back.” And, so far, eleven episodes in, they all have.
Anyway, while Jamil was in the office, I had him sign off on some pics for the blog. As he was looking through my vast collection, he zeroed in on one in particular and announced: “That’s it! That’s the one for the blog!” I studied the photo and considered, not entirely convinced. Oh, it was certainly a handsome pic. Perhaps too handsome. I told him I feared that putting it up on the blog would win him the attention of female fans, potentially distracting him from the work ahead. No, no. Better to post an alternate pic. Maybe the one with his eyes half-closed and rolled up like some fearsome zombie? While he appreciated the logic of my argument, he nevertheless preferred the less-crazed photo. Fine.
Oh, thanks to everyone who weighed in with their disquieting, occasionally revolting accounts of the countless unpleasant surprises found in your meals. Keep ’em coming!
Today’s entry is dedicated to Deni. Condolences on your loss.