Clawing to escape the belly of the beast here in Hollywood. To commiserate, email my name assistantatlas at yahoo.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Whee! New Rolodex! We Likee?

So I got my blogroll did. Do you like it? It took me way longer than it should have to do that. Anyway, if any good blogs seem to have gotten lost in the shuffle, comment or email. Thanks, lovely readers. More soon.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

You Aren't Hardcore Enough to Get a Haircut Here

As many longer-term readers know, I live in Venice, California, home of official Abbot-Kinney celebrity mascot Mena Suvari. Mena probably already knows about the most hardcore haircuttery in the neighborhood, but for the rest of you, allow me to clue you in.

Located at 1716 Main Street, just off the main circle of downtown Venice, is Old Glory Barbershop. But this isn't just any barbershop, this is the most hardcore barbershop I've ever known. Why?

Well, let's start with the fact that it's also a tattoo parlor. That's right, now you can get a mohawk and a Hell's Angel tattoo in one place! Definitely hardcore.

And there's the soundtrack. When I got my haircut today, I heard Siouxsie & the Banshees, The Ramones, and even an illicut cut from DJ Danger Mouse's Grey Album. Yeah, that's right. My barbershop is so hardcore they play dubiously-legal, underground music.

Let's not forget the staff. Today my hair was cut a hot punk chick who managed to rock a near-mullet that was actually really attractive. Let me repeat this for emphasis. She had a mullet and it was friggin' hot! Anyone who can rock a mildly-ironic mullet-- and I mean really rock it-- deserves some serious props. The other people who work there are similarly awesome.

Great hair.

On the walls, you'll find classic, vintage-looking, framed posters. My favorite is the topless sailor wench. Plus, this being Venice, the neighboring shops are a kickboxing/yoga studio (which is odd even by California standards) and a "tobacco-smoking accessories" shop called Chronic Creations. So you get a body high or a regular high after you get your mohawk and tattoo. Hard. Core.

But if you want more than just my word, check out these reviews.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Googling Yourself Is Passe, Image Yourself: 4.09

By now, we all have grown to love ourselves, our friends, family, song lyrics, random things we heard a homeless guy mutter. And if Googling sounds a little dirty to you, well frankly, it does to me, too. But in a good, Xtina-in-that-Drrrty-video-skirt way. But I've gotten over it and I digress.

The hot new fun, free thing to do with technology is "Image-ing", or "Image Googling" or "Google Imaging" or I dunno. There might be room for better terminology in this arena. Anyway, just plug in your name, your family name, your state, your favorite word, whatever the heck you want to see. It's more fun You'll find obscure pictures of yourself, perhaps. But mostly it's just fun to see what Google links together for certain searches. So I Google Imaged myself.

Now, I know most of you probably stay awake at night wondering "Who is Assistant Atlas? I wonder what looks like? Does he look like Chad Michael Murray at all?" According to Google Image Search, 202 pictures match the search Assistant Atlas-- actually, I take that back. There were on my first pass at this post two days ago. Now that I'm posting it there are 224. Interesting. Some pictures in this search are ones I've hotlinked on these pages, but many of them aren't. And most of the ones that aren't are simply hilarious.

Here are just some my faves:

Could Atlas be this guy?

Hott with the infamous double-t for these ladies. But could one of them be Atlas?
Definitely Stoner Atlas.

This chick is from Atlas Television. I really didn't know there was such a thing until just now.

She looks fun...
...for a biochemistry major at the University of Colorado.

Could this be here because of my recent horse tranquilizer experience?

There's also this pretty sweet-looking picture from a page with Atlas listings:

Worst. Play. Ever.

And finally, could Atlas actually be Russian President Vladimir Putin?

Monday, December 26, 2005

My Apologies

My apologies for not informing you of my brief absence. I'll be posting new stuff all this week, [read: clearing out the backlog of half-completed posts] so be sure to check back often. Like every hour, on the hour.

Also, I would totally, totally watch this show if it happens. Seriously, I would watch Amy Acker do her nails. But the fact that Sark and Sloane are there just makes it more fun.

Technorati Tag:

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Shannen Doherty Lives At The Sherman Oaks Galleria: 4.08

Have you heard about Celebrity Google Maps? It's a fun little application that purports to show you the homes of the stars.

Yes, that's right. Celebrity Maps makes absolutely no sense. Occasionally, for C or D-Listers, it'll get it right: or at least, something that looks like it might be right, if I actually cared where Markie Post lived.

STOP. Don't go to IMDB. Do you remember who Markie Post is? Think, think. It'll come to you. Her character's name was Christine Sullivan.

Okay. Give up? She was the perky blonde on "Night Court"!

Here's the link to her on IMDB. Apparently, she still gets work. Good for you, .

But I digress. Celebrity Maps does seem to offer accurate past addresses occasionally. But for the most part, it's just bizarro.

For example, some of your favorite actors apparently live at CAA. This includes: Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Dustin Hoffman. And of course, . Way more people seem to live in Toluca Lake than probably should. And everyone lives in New York or LA. Well, everyone on the list it seems. Even .

No folks, according to the map, she doesn't live at that magical place known as Dollywood. As much as I love Dolly, I must admit that her picture on that page is a little scary.

But guess what? It's getting better. Which is actually a little scary. But that's open-source for you. By the way, that's a double-entendre link- get it? Cuz it's a link about open source to , which IS open source? You got it, right?

Monday, December 19, 2005

Harold & Mauding on The Golden Girls: 4.07

First off, if the title of this post made you go "Huh?" then, here's the reference. Second, we all know how much I enjoy Harold & Mauding. Third, if you grew up in the 1980s like I did, perhaps one of your favorite pastimes was watching "" with your grandmother. And finally, development execs take note: in syndication, "The Golden Girls" has been drawing a surprisingly young demographic-- especially compared to other 80s staples like "The Cosby Show". It's proof that you don't necessarily need young characters to draw young audiences.

Surprisingly, The Golden Girls was an influential television show: from inspiring to helping launch Desperate Housewives impresario Marc Cherry's career. While I'm on the subject, Sex and the City's characters are essentially The Golden Girls. There's the slutty one (Rue McClanahan & Kim Cattrall), the sweet one (Betty White & Kristin Davis), the world-weary strong-willed one (Estelle Getty & Cynthia Nixon) and the appropriately-sympathetic leader (Bea Arthur & Sarah Jessica Parker). Ultimately, the G Girls worked, just as Sex and the City later would, because it had interesting, well-drawn characters with strong relationships. Each Golden Girl made me love her in an unique way. Allow me to share...

Dorothy (Bea Arthur): I don't care what anyone says, Bea Arthur is regal.
Rose (Betty White): My favorite part of any GG episode? The part where Rose shares a story about St. Olaf. Every. Single. Time.
Blanche (Rue McClanahan): Was my favorite part about Blanche's character her honeyed accent, her super-sluttiness, or her propensity to wear vibrantly-colored muu-muus? Answer: all of the above.
Sophia (Estelle Getty): The only one who could take Bea Arthur down a peg, Sophia always got the funniest, snarkiest jokes. Which were made extra funny by the diminutive old woman saying them.

Need more reasons to like the G Girls? Some obscure trivia perhaps? How about the fact that Don Cheadle was in the spinoff? Did you even know it had a spinoff? Yep, it was called "The Golden Palace" and had Cheadle and Cheech Marin(!)-- with Marc Cherry as the supervising producer. Now, I know Marc and I have had our differences but the man can write groups of white women well.

The Golden Girls runs in syndication on Lifetime, Television for Barren Women.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

I Just Did Some of the Best Writing of My Life

Holy crap. It was like I was after a benzedrine break. Crazy, man. Seriously. I think I might actually be a really good writer.

No, no, I'm not talking about that last missive, which was unnecessarily dismissive of Siegenthaler's contributions to journalism. And Tennessee. And stuff. Still, the sentiment stands and that's all I'm saying on that for now.

I want everyone to know that despite my 60-70-hour workweeks, and my 10-20 hours of weekly blogging(looking up this stuff on IMDB takes awhile), that I am spending a little energy working to make Hollywood have better available material. Yes, that's a noble assessment of my writing, but it sure felt like I was making that happen tonight.

Look, I usually know when I write crap and when I don't. That's not too hard to know. What I can't seem to figure out is if you, my readers, will enjoy any particular post. For example, I thought you'd get a kick of the roomie, but you didn't.
Please be gentle. Please.
I know that Siegenthaler's fans include hackers. Please don't spoil my assistant superhero powers for this barely-read and hardly-linked post. Please. I'm not ready and I think we can all tell it was, yes, quite harsh. Still, I think the harshness conveyed a certain passion and is forgiveable considering that I have never, at any time, told people to take me seriously. Except maybe for during the Poop on Ryan Seacrest's Star Contest.

Friday, December 16, 2005

An Open Letter to John Siegenthaler

Dear Mr. Siegenthaler,

I read your recent Op-Ed piece in USA Today attacking Wikipedia. I know you worked at USA Today for a long time and frankly, it shows. If you weren't a former bigwig there, they never would have allowed such an overly-emotional, unresearched, wildly accusatory piece of drivel onto the pages of such a serious newspaper. Oh, wait, USA Today? Nevermind.

Also, to be even more frank, you are a whiny little baby and a gigantic jerk. Yeah, I know, someone linked you to the Kennedy assassination on Wikipedia and that made you upset. It probably would've made me upset, too, frankly. But you don't take to the pages of USA Today to make a big stink about a website THAT YOU OBVIOUSLY DON'T UNDERSTAND! Why? Because it's not responsible journalism. Not that USA Today was ever been accused of that.
How do I know you don't understand it? Because instead of simply changing the information yourself, like most other Wikipedia readers would do if they read obviously false information, you tried to track down the guy who did it. Guess what? He was doing it as a joke on a co-worker who, like you, was obviously gullible enough to believe things they read on the Internet. If he'd known that someone who's as intelligent as you are supposed to be would've been hurt by it, he never would've written it. But he just assumed you wouldn't be stupid enough to do that. Oopsie. And he had to resign from his job because of you. Have you apologized to him?

Of course you haven't. Because you're a jerk. AGH, this makes me so angry, if you can't tell. I see this over and over. The big cheese gets offended over something stupid, and raises all sorts of hell about it, while everyone around them rolls their eyes and is forced to patronize their anger. Your anger is not justified, . Not justified at all.

And have you apologized to the Wikipedia people? The poor Wikipedia guy had to submit to interviews to defend one of the most amazing innovations of the 21st century. If you weren't old and foolish, you would realize that Wikipedia is the Human Language Genome Project.

Also, the Tennessean newspaper, of which you are apparently chairman emeritus, says that Wikipedia is "used as a serious reference tool". By people from Tennessee, maybe. But seriously, after all the controversy, your reporter has the nerve to write this, and it's left, unchallenged by any editors-- after this whole controversy. Dude, seriously.

Wanna know what really ticks me off? The quote that ends the article in the Tennessean. Allow me: " doesn't lessen my frustration that anybody can put anything on Wikipedia." Apparently, someone missed the whole open source wave. Hey, Wikipedia has a great article on it.

By the way, since you founded The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University, I think that makes it pretty effing ironic that you might kill free speech on the Internet.

Here's the point, John. If I, a 24-year-old quasi-journalist, know better than to source anything from Wikipedia, especially to friggin' quote it, then you, a chairman emeritus of a newspaper, should know better, too. So either get with the program, or shut up and go die already.


Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Suicidal Squirrels of Mulholland: 4.06

On nights when I stay over at Famke's (read: as often as possible), my commute becomes a wonderful Shangri-La of open roads and little traffic, mostly thanks to Mulholland Blvd. But this week, something went wrong. This week, the squirrels who live near Mulholland became suicidal.

I'd seen them before, these squirrels of Mulholland. Previously, they'd been just like every other squirrel, dashing out of the way of oncoming cars. But this week, the squirrels have decided to run back and forth in my lane, to my great consternation and tire squealage.


Can't you see I'm commuting here? I mean, really, aren't there easier ways for the squirrels to kill themselves? Couldn't they just jump off a really high tree or something? Heck, there are even friggin' cliffs nearby. Big, romantic, hurl-yourself-to-your-death type of cliffs.

Maybe if I was more evil, I'd just run the stupid things over. I know that's what SUV People do, and there have been a few squirrel carcasses. So perhaps the death wish of these squirrels.

But what could've set them off? A shortage of nuts? I guess death by tire is preferable to death by starvation. Really, what kind of problems could squirrels have that could cause them to be suicidal?

Or, I guess they could just be really dumb.

In completely unrelated news, check out The Artful Writer. Craig Mazin has written a post that makes me go "Hell Yeah!" Seriously, it's about whether it's harder to write or to re-write a script. And as someone who has done both, I absolutely love his conclusion. Also, his comments section on this is a novel unto itself. Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Who Smokes In This Room?: 4.05

Who smokes in this room? That's the question of the day, kids.

When it's asked at you, it can be a discomforting question. The boss lady did this to me the other day, wrinkling her nose when I hung my head and copped to it. Fortunately, I had just saved everyone's collective a$$ with my amazing assistant superpowers, so she didn't complain further. I have a feeling I probably might've caught more flack had this not been the case.

When you're wondering who smokes in this room, who you might share a quick smoke break with, it can be aggravating.
You? No, too clean-cut.
You? Naw, too old.
You? You're pretty hot and, oh, you're pregnant. Dammit.

Look, I'm not exactly proud of the fact that I smoke cigarettes. But I'm still resting on my pride from the fact that I don't blow an eightball every weekend. So put that in your proverbial crack pipe.

But sometimes, especially during big meetings, all I can think about is having a smoke. Frankly, I blame the Beat Generation. I mean, when you're 18 and angry and someone tells you that society sucks and that drug experimentation and smoking are cool-- you listen. Even if that someone is a book.

So next time you're thinking about reading, take my advice-- stick to Jane Austen novels.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Brandon Routh Gay Resume Update

Wanted to make these updates official and not shove them in at the end of the post. Enjoy.

Special thanks to All The Pretty Pictures for the helpfully instructional pictures that now illuminate the previous post. If you're ticked off by that hotlink, I'm sorry, just lemme know. If you're ticked off because you're a Publicity Front lawyerflacksuit, then I have one thing to say to you.


**SECOND UPDATE: Way to go, aforementioned PR front, you've managed to get the world talking about Brandon Routh's package in a totally non-gay way. Well played.

**ADDENDUM: But seriously, , don't mess with me. Not after I found out what that other Superman has been up to. Yes, there might be pictures. I stress- might. Let's talk, WB. Comment lines are open.

Brandon Routh Has A Gay Resume: 4.04

The new Superman has the unfortunate/telling nickname, "BJ". It's unfortunate because the rumors of his skill in this area having landed him a part are all hot on newsstands. Sorry, BJ. Here's the backstory:

First, Gawker reported a Singer-and-Routh-together-at-crazy-gay-coke-party sighting. There have been rumors since Routh was chosen as , actually. Radar magazine is just the most recent (and most explicit) to surmise that Brandon Routh may have gotten his role in openly-gay director Bryan Singer's "Superman Returns" thanks to his Gay Mafia connections. SHOCKER!

Does it sometimes seem like every entertainment journalist in the country is unaware of IMDB? Because sometimes it sure does. Look, if you wanted to offer some support to the "Routh-Gets-Jobs-Thanks-to-The-Gay-Mafia" theory, check out the kid's resume. Also, Radar, while we're on the subject, I thought that caption under Routh's picture ("Thuperman?") was pretty bigoted.

Now, Routh's IMDB page is right here.

His publicist, naturally, has issued a denial on the gay issue, going so far as to mention a girlfriend to whom Routh is supposedly happily committed. No word on whether she lives in Canada. So let's go to those credits on IMDB now for some truth. Most of Routh's work is TV, which is fine. People can become famous thanks to TV. Just look at Mischa Barton. But that's not the question, is it? The question is if he's deeply entwined by nostril and nipplering to the Gay Mafia. Because some people apparently care. Routh started with guest spots on TV, shall we?

TV Guest Spots:
(60% Gay, 20% Inconclusive, 20% Straight Or Talent-Related)
Oliver Beene-- Because even IMDB Pro doesn't list who directed each episode of Oliver Beene and I'm too lazy to go anywhere else, this one is a toss-up because there are too many one-degree-of-gay and rose-up-from-near-porn-beginnings producers for it to be conclusively non-Gay Mafia. Someone with a few more resources/time than I could figure it out. For the Kevin Bacon game people, Brandon Routh was in an episode of this show with Maggie Grace, who was actually in seven eps.
Will & Grace-- Obvious Gay Mafia.
Cold Case-- Jan Oxenberg directed Routh's episode. She played herself in gay doc "The Celluloid Closet". Gay Mafia.
Gilmore Girls-- Not a hugely gay show, but not particularly straight, either. Oddly, the director of Routh's episode was Bruce Seth Green, who Buffy/Angel fans will remember as a frequent director. It's hard to tell from his orientation from his previous work. I guess I'm giving this one to the perhaps-actual-talent category unless the Buffy crowd corrects me.
Odd Man Out-- Again, correct me if I'm wrong, but director David Kendall (who did Routh's ep of this series) has as his most recent work the film "Dirty Deeds", which was produced by gay-run Green Diamond Entertainment. I'm chalking up this one for the Gay Mafia-oriented.
A Capo of the Gay Mafia?

(Inconclusive- Sample Too Small)
Aside from Superman, there's just one--"Karla". The writer/director of this indie "starring" Laura Prepon (Donna from That 70s Show) is Joel Bender. Mr. Bender's filmography is fascinating, as it swings between horror and exploitation films like "Gas Pump Girls" and "The Returning" and kids/teen fare like "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" and "Sweet Valley High". Wait, "Sweet Valley High"? Gay.

TV Series:
(100% Pretty Gay)
MTV's Undressed-- I'm not saying it's a gay show, I'm just saying that 90% of the gay actors I knew at USC had done at least one guest spot on it. Brandon got a full season (3).
One Life to Live-- Soap opera. 'Nuf said.

The point is, if you really wanted evidence that Routh is gay, it's right at your fingertips. Heck, a few Google searches and you can find out if anybody is anything. Really. But really, can you be sure? Can you be sure beyond a reasonable doubt? Are you willing to think differently of him even if you're not sure he's actually different? Are you a jerkface who actually cares if people are gay or not if they're actors? And if Routh did get his part from being Bryan Singer's party boy, should you think less or him or more? After all, I'd think it can't be easy to be that alleged guy.

Mr. Routh, I apologize for the serious invasion into your personal life. Quite frankly, if Superman fails because you are gay (not that I know you are), then that is a barbaric tragedy. But Brandon, your resume is so gay, Wentworth Miller looks straighter on paper.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Sponsorship Results In Better Xmas Gifts For Mildly Underprivileged Child

I just wanted to take a moment to thank my wonderful sponsors who've enabled me to purchase better gifts for Xmas thanks to my expected revenue.

So let's issue a round of applause to them.

Seriously trashy and seriously fun.

AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE on Cartoon Network's most excellent Adult Swim
(Volume 4 is now available!)

Why am I loving these advertisers so? I love White Trash Palace because the very sweet woman behind the site, Michelle Lamar, was instrumental in bringing me into the loving folds of Blogads. My favorite item? That would be this. Feel free to order it for me.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force is a landmark show in adult stoner television. Not only is it the first hip-hop cartoon I ever loved, (sorry, Boondocks) it has some of the most indelible characters in television. If your friends watch the show, you can tell a lot about them by which characters they sympathize with. Seriously. Know someone who is annoyed by Frylock? Anti-intellectual. Does your pal like Master Shake a little too much? He probably pulled the wings off flies as a child. Too much sympathy for Meat Wad? Maybe a really nice person, more likely a scarily nice one hiding bodies in his basement. Dude, it's happened, I swear.*

The point is, if you support my sponsors, my little brother will get better Xmas gifts. And I know at least one person who really wants that. So if you care about lil kids freezing their tushies off in the Midwest, then please, check out the Blogads.


*this has never happened- yet

Friday, December 09, 2005


I don't know if anyone else had problems today with Fedex like my office had problems. But today, boy did we, and did I.

Today, Fedex took a rusty old broom and violated me repeatedly with the handle.
So very painful.
It was not pretty.

Apparently, bad weather combined with delays at cargo-friendly Midway caused by the Southwest crash caused all sorts of foul-ups. Among the highlights: boss lady's luggage wasn't quite where it was supposed to be-- in fact, it was stuck in Memphis. Which, if I remember my Fedex correctly, means it could've been picked up by one of their planes that roam the skies. Every night, Fedex sends out like five planes from Memphis to roam the skies to plug any holes in their network that should emerge.

Normally, I love because they're so reliable. They've saved my butt before, but today, karma made his man-on-man rounds and used me until the cows came home, went to bed, and were counting sheep.

And frankly, I--WE, most of my office--really needed Fedex to not totally screw up today. But they did. And our Fedex guy, who I'll call Eddie, was on the defensive. Peppering him with questions the moment he set foot in our office probably wasn't nice, smart or diplomatic considering the day he'd probably had, but still, I was one of the people most disappointed by the turn of events. And also, I'm allowed to protest a little if his company ravages me. And I don't care if he methinks protesteth too much. Or whatever.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

How To Tell If An Assistant Is An Idiot: 4.02

Just because I got promoted doesn't mean that I'm not an assistant b*tch anymore. My workload lately is a testament to that. If you're thinking I'm going to stop writing/thinking/acting/living like I'm not an assistant, rest assured that that is still very much my viewpoint. Because as great as my new job title is, I still know my position on the Hollywood ladder. Let's just say I know there are a lot more people who would be kicking down at me than who could possibly be yanking from below.

So, assistants, pay attention. Here are some easy ways to tell if the assistant you're dealing with is an idiot. Note that the helped with this post. Thanks, roomie. For once.

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, it's quite possible that the assistant you're dealing with is an idiot. Now the average assistant is extremely overqualified for his/her position, but there are those out there who, for whatever reason, are, quite simply, idiots. So let's get to those questions and remember that idiot assistants can be of either gender.

Does he speak slowly? Dead giveaway. The proper assistant speaking speed is approximately 8000 mph.

Does she misunderstand your easy pop culture references? Worse, does she not get that they're references at all?

Does your assistant spider sense of "not being sure someone has done their job"-- does it tingle? (this may just be one of my assistant superhero powers)

Do you find yourself repeating a lot of what you say? Note that there's a difference between confirming/double-checking and straight-up repetition.

Are easy, common film terms (recent example: b-roll) misunderstood or not understood at all?

Do the questions the assistant asks tend to involve him needing explanations as to how to do things that he should know? Or more generally, does he ask stupid questions?

Does the creeping dread of ignominy and the crushing exhaustion of the job seep into his voice? Because he's paid to ignore that. Alternately, is his voice seething with thinly-veiled hatred for his boss? Because that could be problematic, too. . .

How to counteract the Idiot-Assistant Effect:

Call a third party that's involved to ensure (as much as you can) that the job that needs to be done is being done. This includes restaurants, hotels, airlines, postproduction houses, production houses, other assistants, etc. Whatever it takes is what you're gonna have to do. You're an assistant, and like it or not, that's part of the job-- taking care of everything.

If your boss/office environment is cool, warn your fellow employees after doing the above step.

If necessary, walk the other assistant through the steps he would otherwise screw up. That'll probably be easier than having him make a mess and then having you clean it up.

Whatever you do, AND NO MATTER HOW MUCH FUN IT MIGHT BE, do not f8ck with the other assistant. Inevitably, it will blow up in your face. And frankly, I don't even like blow and face to be in the same sentence. Unless it's the other kind of blow-- in which case, yes please.

If you can think of more Idiot Assistant giveaways, hey, there's this whole comment section thing.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Quick Question, Kids

Does anyone know the email address of anyone with any relevance in the Writer's Guild? Looking for someone who can tell me which occupations fall under the Guild's purview because I found some website info, but I can't get a response from leaving a comment on the Guild's webpage. I'm actually trying to help some kids out with union activity, so please, help me do some good in Hollywood! If you think you might be able to help (even suggestions for getting the right person are appreciated) please email me at Thanks.

I'm trying to get a post done for you right now. Pending my writing speed, it will be up tonight. (And actually as we speak Famke is nibbling my ear and trying to get me to eat these cucumbers, crackers and foie gras -- which means exactly one thing-- something will be up tonight, and I can't promise it'll be blog-related) So tomorrow then. In the meantime, Guild me.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Chasing the Zeitgeist: The TV Specs: 4.01

To kick off the fourth season, I thought I'd send one out to one of my core audiences-- underemployed, young writers. So as advice to you and on behalf of TV Lit assistants and development types everywhere, may I now present my recommendations for not boring them to death. So here's what Assistant/Atlas recommends for television spec scripts for the upcoming season. Notice it's all youngish shows, as these are perfect for younger writers to spend a few years on cutting their teeth.

Now, keep in mind that because of my relative inexperience, I still don't know for certain that all networks are essentially the same, full of the same empty words and shiny objects. I still kinda think if I got a job at CBS it'd be like all old people, or like all black people at UPN, or like all teenage girls at the WB or something. But I would point out that not long ago, I read scripts for a living. And seeing as I just made the jump to staff I know you're a little curious. (for more on the "What To Spec" debate, I recommend Complications Ensue or The Artful Writer or any number of scribosphere sites)

IF YOU DON'T CARE WHAT THE HOT SPECS ARE: I tried to make it reasonably funny to keep you entertained. The results? Meh.

-Rome & Entourage- The top two for "Not-TV" since Six Feet Under is resting in peace and The Sopranos is on its last legs.

- & - Get it? Zing!

- CSI/NCIS (all medical/forensic/cop procedurals) & How I Met Your Mother- Ratings are up as the characters get stronger and more well-drawn on NCIS. I actually caught a few ends of some episodes and it seemed pretty decent. Plus, Mark Harmon. So there ya go. As for How I Met Your Mother, frankly, the continuing popularity of Neil Patrick Harris astounds me. That said, this sitcom isn't a bad one now that Arrested Development is swirling the drain. Also, there's Alyson Hannigan, who makes me purr. Yes, purr.

- Grey's Anatomy & Lost - Long on the hour-long choices, but short on the half-hours at ABC. Lost would be an intense show and perhaps a tough spec, but it's going to run for awhile. Also, it would be great to pull random stuff out of your a$$ and have boatloads of people scrutinize it for millions of man-hours. If only that power could be harnessed for good... Still, you'd be working for a JJ Abrams exec-produced show, so that's awesomeness enough. And Grey's would be a fun alternative to and remember-- ER is still on a dozen years later. It might not have THAT big of legs, but it'll make five seasons easy, with or without Ellen "I Have a Serious Heroin Addiction, Seriously" Pompeo.

- Why would anyone want to work for Zucker? Zing! Also, please note that immediately following "The Amazing Race" was "The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show". This, Jeff Zucker, this is why you are Les Moonves' bitchmonkey.

- Eat it, Murdoch, I still have my dignity. (Prison Break & Arrested Development if there's a God)

The - Supernatural (& Related if you're masochistic- the Frog seems hellbent on seeing that POS succeed) - Dude, all I gotta say is: McG. Rock some McG 'tude and you'll get a job at The WB. Also, I saw Jared Padalecki when I was hitting up Panera Bread-- which, as all true KC homies know, was originally called "Saint Louis Bread Company"--over on Ventura near Laurel Canyon. I can report with some certainty that Mr. Padalecki is approximately 7 feet, 9 inches tall. And why spec Related? Because they could probably use at least one actual writer for the show. Zing! Wow, that never gets old.

- Veronica Mars & Everybody Hates Chris- See, UPN, this is what happens when you get good shows, you get treated like a big boy net like everyone else. Now just be sure to keep Veronica around next year and it's all good.
Promise you won't leave me, Veronica. You can totally take pictures of us. Yes to costumes, no to props, right?

But I will confess this, and I hope it doesn't collapse my whole network-centric theory: I didn't have a single spec for a show on the network at which I have a job. How totally crazy is this business, right?

Feel free to disagree with my spec choices or to give a shout out to the Saint Louis Bread Company days of yore. That's what comments are for.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Odds and Ends

In "Bloggers Also Tell Me I'm a B*tch News":
I made the early round of nominations for nominations for Gridskipper's Urbs Awards. I was initially nominated to be nominated for World's Hottest Urban Blogger, Best LA Blog, and World's Best Urban Blog. I ended in up with nominations in nothing. Jack squat. Despite marshaling my limited forces, I was totally shut out. However, since great bloggers like Tiffany, Peggy and John didn't get noms, I don't feel too left out. So consider this my official concession speech:

Screw off, jerks, I didn't like you anyway.

In related news, I would like to make an official endorsement in the aforementioned, poopyfaced awards.


Dude.Man.Phat for Most Inane Blog Post. Sorry, Megan, but he needs it more. Just click on VOTE THE PHAT to read how excited he got.

Read his official entry, "Gangs of Souplantation (a true story)" by clicking here.

In other news, Heidi Fleiss ensure that I'll be able to get work even if my current job dries up.
Potential hooker material?

makes a desperate gamble! No, it's not to avoid Desperate Housewives, it's to avoid being blamed for Zucker's problems, and switches "My Name Is Earl" and its lower-rated companion "The Office" to Thursday, simultaneously avoiding Fox's American Idol juggernaut and (cross-fingers-and-pray-and-sacrifice-a-goat) re-invigorating NBC's "Must See" Thursdays. Here's to hoping Kevin Reilly restores some NBC lustre with the move, just cuz I don't want you to go down for Zucker's mistakes, man.

As any good tv exec would do, (in the guise of ) has initiated a move against NBC's most valuable remaining assets, swooping in like a media-raiding vulture to pilfer what fat assets might still be worthy of his attention. If you want to know all about the latest foul plot that has been hatched against NBC-- this time by none other than the wickedly-awesome-devious Les Moonves of CBS--check out this NewsDrunk post I wrote by clicking here.

In a final note, I've made a hot blogger connection with the Industry Whore. Really, it was only a matter of time, wasn't it?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Hollywood Tells Me I Am A B*tch--Again

Yes, Hollywood has again this week told me that I am a stupid, stupid child-- this time for thinking that I might get the chance to write what I want to write. But why is it such a crime to pitch what you really want to pitch?

What happened to taking a chance on a young kid with a vision? Hollywood is full of success stories of producers doing precisely that. Plus, I've got a truly original piece with lovely, hilarious and friggin' demographically-utopian characters, a good dose of action and a solid and rich, yet flexible, concept that meshes well with the coming 4G revolution while still being a good show and nobody will bite. I've even got good people in my corner and...sigh...

I know, I know. Pay dues. Work way up. Gain respect the old-fashioned way.

But that means I have to write stuff I don't want to be writing . . . for awhile. At least at this point in my career, I'm looking at maybe two full years before I can do something in that realm. The realm of writing what I want to write for life-sustaining pay. Yes, folks, that's right. I now state unequivocally-- I am not an assistant anymore. I have the staff writer title.

I'll repeat that for emphasis. After three seasons as Assistant/Atlas, I am no longer an assistant. Granted, I was an assistant long before I was Assistant/Atlas, but the job title that spawned this blog is no longer officially my own and I don't know what that means.

For the blog or for me. More for the blog, I guess, because I'm pretty much smiling about the staff writer part. You can see, perhaps, why I don't want to get fired? It means I really won't be saying anything about my job beyond what I just did, for now at least. Because really, I am grateful for the opportunity to be a staff writer. It's been a great couple of months (yes, I've had it since about the time I left Sloane) and I've learned a lot, written a lot, and gotten credit for very, very little of it.

Really, though, as I look back at it, being fired was among the best things that's ever happened to me.

Looking back.

So Sloane, if you're still reading and you still care--suck it, old man. I'm happy, I'm on the rise, and you can't derail me now. Only I can derail me now. Which is why I've gotta be careful.

As for the reason for the sudden honesty, I just felt I needed to explain why I've been kinda lame with the posts lately as far as not talking about my gig and I know that's what you kids like. Well, episode 3.49 notwithstanding, anyway.

But I'm going to keep giving you guys what I can. Mostly, though, you'll have to look hard for the subtext and hidden meanings and sometimes, the ruses I uses to keep the Nosy Suessies away.

Assistant/Atlas will continue, that I promise. I'm in this for the long haul, Ho'wood, and I'm ready to rumble.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Atlas Likely To Hit Syndication

In today's top story, the blog you are reading will likely continue into the future. Assistant/Atlas will be back with a fourth season- since the last episode of the third season was officially 3.50. Of course, the whole episode structure is completely artificial (in both my blog and tv itself) so whatevs. Also, sorry about the non-postage lately, but I should be clear of my major deadlines very, very soon. Then I can become as regular as a Colon Blow eater.

Apparently, you guys like me, you really like me. Check out (the Gawker-owned travel blog) where yours truly is currently in the running in that site's "Urbs Awards" to be at least nominated for several awards. And wait til you hear what they are.

I'm in the running in the following categories:
Best Los Angeles Blog
Best Urban Blog
and...this is the kicker...
"World's Hottest Urban Blogger"
FULL DISCLOSURE: I am not now, nor have I ever been, Chad Michael Murray.

No seriously, guys, WTF? I'm anonymous-- doesn't "Hottest" refer to physical attractiveness? Or is hottest a synonym for trendiest? In which case, oh.

So if you're new to Assistant/Atlas and want to learn what I'm all about, or doubt that I've suffered enough for my blogging art to be nominated for an Urb, please read these posts in order to find out the bare bones version of my story.

Pilot Blog 1.01
Characters of the Blogworld 1.14
The Poop on Ryan Seacrest's Star Contest
Collected Sloane Comments 1.49
What's the New Age Limit? 2.14
Confessions of a Disloyal Assistant 2.28
How Blogging Saved My Career 2.39
Suck It, Sloane, I Have Testimonials! 2.40 (Wherein other people comment on how much they like me, they really like me, too.)
My Mom and Alias News
How Not to Screw Up "Entourage" 2.49
Desperate Housewives Vs. My Budding Alcoholism
The Assistant Paths 3.11
New Mission Statement 3.20
How To: Make PR People Your B*tch 3.28
Note to Bob Iger: Chillax, Man 3.38
Why No, Whoreface, I'm Not An Actor 3.44

Yes, I am willing to take off Chad Michael Murray's clothes to win. In all seriousness, I just wanted to be NOMINATED for Best Los Angeles Blog. And I do think it would be hilarious if I got a nod for Hottest Blogger, too. Just for kicks. But we all know I'm not the Best Urban blog overall. At least, I wouldn't vote for me in that category.
(or just send email to about the Urbs to vote for me)