Please lock me away; but not with a mini-bar

Stricken with writer’s block, an aspiring scribe downs the last alcohol from the mini-bar while his muse yawns.

One of my guilty pleasures is the television sitcom Frasier. When it first aired in the 1990s, I didn’t have time to watch television. I was working full time and taking care of children. I had no spare time.  If I did, I watched reruns of silly British comedies, such as Are you Being Served and As Time Goes By.  In those days I needed as much silly as I could get and no one does silly better than the Brits!

One of the great silly British shows – Are You Being Saved?

But lately I’ve found a channel that plays re-runs of Frasier in the morning when I’m having breakfast, reading the newspaper and getting caught up on email.  It always starts my day off with a giggle or two. The other day they played an episode called “Author, Author” that hit close to home.

Many movies and television shows in which a writer is a main character make one, or all, of the following assumptions:

Writers always get freaked out by dogs…

1) It’s easy to get published and after you hit it big, you will become an asshole. Examples: She Devil, As Good as It Gets.

2) If your first novel is a huge success but the publisher says your second is shit, steal a brilliant plot from an unknown writer and pass it off as yours.  Of course, you’ll be obliged to kill the real author before publication but that’s okay because everyone knows, writers make great murderers.  Example: Death Trap

A typical writer selfie

3) You hit it big but you’re an out-of-control, drunken misogynist. Life will only get worse and worse for you until the maid finds your naked, bloated body face down in your own vomit in some seedy hotel room. Frankly, there are too many examples of this type of movie to list.

Famous writers only appeal to Hollywood if they’re primarily famous for something other than writing, like Truman Capote or Ernest Hemingway. Even when they’ve tried to make movies about writers like Jane Austen, they’ve had to add scintillating “possibilities.” Perhaps she had a secret romance. Perhaps, perhaps. There are a couple of movies that try to depict a famous writer warts and all. One is Saving Mr. Banks which is about the author of Mary Poppins. Apparently in real life she was no Mary Poppins.

In the episode of Frasier I watched the other day, the brothers Crane decide to test out another myth about writing: 

 4) A case of writer’s block can be cured by locking yourself away, preferably far from civilization.

Writer’s blog leads to fratricide!

In their case, a hotel room with a mini-bar. If I were locked in a hotel room for a weekend under the mandate to produce a couple of chapters, that minibar would be emptied the first day and the paddy wagon on its way to get me.

15 thoughts on “Please lock me away; but not with a mini-bar

  1. Frasier is one of my favorite shows as well. I catch morning re-runs on occasion and am still surprised by how many episodes I haven’t seen or don’t remember. The Brothers Crane (and Dad) are such great characters. Such a clever show 🙂

  2. I’ve missed more great movies and televisions programs than I’ve had hot dinners. For many of the same reasons you’ve described above, and now simply because nearly every spare moment is spent writing. I want some time to lollygagging around and catch up on pop culture.
    I vote we petition for a movie about Erma Bombeck. She truly was a fascinating woman.
    Lovely post, Jan!

  3. Right on about the social media bit. I mean, here I am, beautiful day, gardening to catch up with, book to finish, sick relatives to call, dust bunnies to eradicate and — oh wait, I’m here! This is why! Very funny. I loved the brothers Crane, too. Cheers.

  4. I found my way here by way of Austin. Lotta fun Jan. Like you I love the writing on Fraiser, and Brit comedies are a staple in our house. Shows like the Blackadder, Mr Bean, To the Manor Born, and Good Neighbors. Quality writing of the silly sort.

  5. I loved this! I got a huge chuckle out of your remarks regarding the assumptions made about writers.

    I also came to the show ‘Frasier’ late. I’m terrible with television. I generally watch a show years after it’s gone off the air – and then I’m raving about it after everyone else has moved on. I started watching ‘Frasier’ last year and agree that it is a very funny show. The Crane brothers never fail to make me laugh – and then there is Eddie… 😀

  6. Haha! Yes, Austin, Seattle is a wonderful place, it can have that effect on you.
    I enjoyed Frasier too. It was so stupid-silly, and yet clever too, that it made us laugh at their shenanigans. Although sometimes they would catch us by surprise and have a poignant and tear-evoking moment.
    I agree with the other one you mentioned: As Time Goes By. An all time favorite.

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