Personally, I regard New Year's resolutions with a touch of suspicion. Perhaps it comes from all the time I spent in the service industry, observing what waiters and mixologists refer to as the December 31st Phenomenon: emptying nightclubs juxtaposed against suddenly overflowing gyms; restaurants depopulated while formerly exuberant diners demonstrate an all consuming appetite for diet books and wheat grass juice. Oh, how very quickly all the dancing stops! Longtime bartenders know to save the tips they earn ringing in the New Year to accommodate the staggering loss of income between January 1st and Valentines Day, by which time business generally returns to normal. This is not cynicism, Dear Reader, but only an acknowledgement that — no matter how genuine the desire to improve ourselves might be — old habits die hard.
No one understands the fragile nature of rehabilitation better than Lt. Andy Flynn...
Five years ago, when Mike Robin and I were still doing The Closer, I was contacted by the Emmy Academy asking if someone from their intern program could join the writer's room. I said yes, because we can always use an extra pair of hands, and I thought it might be useful for a student to observe (and maybe participate in) the active life of a television series. Very shortly after that positive response, I was inundated with potential candidates. Instead of culling through all their resumes and "on-camera introductions" myself, I handed off the bulging box of applicants to Carson Moore and Ralph Gifford — at that time, the youngest and newest writers on the show - and asked them to find me the top five likely candidates; in their submitted mix was a young woman named Kendall Sherwood.
From the day she first appeared...
First, an apology! I left you last week promoting the wrong episode. This Monday night is NOT the Santa flash mob; it is, I'm afraid, a much darker story, as one would expect when the narrative revolves around the theme of unfulfilled hopes.
"Trial By Fire," (it's first few moments excepted) begins in a courtroom and objectively explores the finite limits of our justice system. Those of you who follow this blog know how fascinated I am by our civilization's orderly attempt to deal with injury and conflict resolution....
Girl meets boy; girl loses boy; girl gets boy back again: it's a simple, easily extrapolated formula for great story telling. For example, boy has superpowers; boy loses superpowers; boy gets superpowers back again. Or, lightly summarizing one of the latest and more enjoyable iterations of this concept, Chef has restaurant; Chef loses restaurant; Chef gets restaurant back again. Actually, in its many various guises, the dramatization of the second chance is the underlying premise of more plays, films and novels than I could shake my pen at, and it's continuing popularity indicates that a desire for one more (better-informed) swing at the ball is fairly universal. Let he who is without regret throw the next cliché!
So this Monday's episode of Major Crimes, "Acting Out," begins with a recovering addict (boy has sobriety; boy loses sobriety; boy gets sobriety back again) confessing to murder during a meeting of his support group.
Or does he?
In short order, Lt. Provenza & Company find a former child star
It can be incredibly hard to find a place in this world where one feels happy, valued and safe. Worse, any search for refuge from the vicissitudes of everyday life requires some awareness that even the very best sanctuaries are only temporary. We're born into a perfect childhood, we marry the ideal mate, the best job with the greatest people: none of these states of grace can last forever. Our best hope, then, is to appreciate what we have while we have it, and work to keep what is good in our lives as long as it is possible or right. But change is the only constant in this world, and we forget that at our peril.
Perhaps nothing illustrates the danger in hoping temporary asylums will last (exactly the way they are, please, forever-and-a-day) so much as young love. A strong, romantic relationship between two teenagers can form a bond so passionate that attempts to break it end in tragedy. Romeo and Juliet speaks from the ages, reminding us that the adolescent heart — once given — can be biologically impossible to return...