Category Archives: About Disability Issues

TV: Raising Hope, Sabrina, and Mad Pride

On television, there’s really only a couple of stories available for themes of mental disorder or mental illness. There’s the crazy psycho, who has schizophrenia (or just an ‘unknown mental disorder’, a la Tyler Barrol of Revenge), and is a danger to anyone and everyone they come across. They are serial killers, rapists, kidnappers… you name it. There’s the tragic guest star, who just wants to have a life but can’t because her disorder (and these characters are typically women) gets in the way. Those… are pretty much it. And a ‘crazy’ character is invariably defined by their mental issue, with few details beyond that.

Which is why Raising Hope‘s “Sheer Madness” (2.15) episode pleased me.

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Derivative Works II: Fanfiction vs. Original Works

Did you know that the pieces of writing most aspiring TV scriptwriters use to secure jobs are close cousins to fanfiction?

The TV spec script is a script of a currently-running (or very recently cancelled) show, written by a writer unattached to the show to use as a calling card. This script is offered to literary agents and showrunners as proof that the writer can handle a certain tone, genre and structure. It’s conceived, outlined and written by (typically) a fan of the show, using characters and plots from the official show, typically written so as to slot effortlessly into the series.

In other words, it’s a very specific brand of fanfiction. While not open to public scrutiny, it’s considered a respectable kind of work, which industry professionals read on a regular basis. I’d like to explore a little what divides fanfiction from other ancillary works as well as original pieces, and get to the bottom of why it receives such wide criticism as an area of writing.

What is fanfiction?

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