It was just what the proverbial doctor ordered: a feel-good comedy/drama series to ease my pandemic angst.
My g/f and I found ourselves binge-watching 800 Words, an Australian-New Zealand production that ran for three seasons, some 40 episodes. It was a deadline thing, not therapy: the show is only available on Acorn TV, and we’re not renewing our subscription after it expires this weekend.
I’ve been looking to lightweight TV shows (and sappy Christmas movies, as previously described) and books these days. No shame: I’ve been watching the first two seasons of Two and a Half Men on Amazon Prime, and I laugh during every show. And can you believe I’m also reading a Nancy Drew mystery set in 2004, which I came across in the community library.
My interest in the latter is really about style. I wanted to see how they updated the old Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy books we grew up with. I loved those mysteries when I was a kid: I would read them with a flashlight under the blanket at night. True confession: I still have some of those old books stored away in a cupboard. It will be for someone else to dispose of them when I am dead and gone.
While I can’t rate the mystery itself yet, I can say the writing is refreshing and fun — and, yes, lightweight, perhaps more so than the versions of my youth.
But the byline is the same: the pseudonym Carolyn Keene, for various anonymous authors. I was sorry to see the publishers are still not giving the credit where it is due all these decades later.
The scriptwriters of 800 Words and Two and Half Men and most other shows are given short shrift, too. They are the true stars, the ones whose words bring smiles to our faces, yet all they get is a brief closing credit.
It appears that TV producers are still very much stuck in the 1950s and ’60s in that regard, and it’s not fair to scriptwriters and the viewers who are touched by their words. Why not let them take a bow on camera right after the closing scene?
In the meantime, I applaud the writers of 800 Words and Two and a Half Men for their scripts — and all the Carolyn Keenes, too.
And so many other scriptwriters who have entertained me.
Nice job, folks. Thank you.
I grew up reading the Hardy Boys series, though I didn’t know that “Franklin W. Dixon” was not a real person until I was an adult. I agree that it would be nice if the true writers were to be given the proper credit. Likewise for Nancy Drew, the Bobbsey Twins, Tom Swift and whatever other books the committee wrote.
One thing that has occurred to me in recent years is that it took two Hardy Boys to solve a mystery, but only one Nancy Drew. Is this a subtle message that girls are smarter than boys? 🙂