television

50 Years of ‘Star Trek:’ Our Top 5 Favorite Episodes From the Original Series

By Sean Tuohy

“Star Trek,” the long-running and much beloved sci-fi series, has been exploring the far reaches of the cosmos and filling our imaginations for 50 years.

To honor its golden anniversary, we decided to look back at the original television series that started it all and list our five favorite episodes. Feel free to share your own favorites in the comments section or tweet us @WritersBone.

Let’s boldly go where so many others have gone before!

Season 1: “Space Seed”

This is one of the most beloved episodes in the history of “Star Trek.” It introduced Khan, the biggest villain in the Enterprise’s history. A relic of the 20th century, Khan is a genetic superhuman who became a warlord. He’s deadly and cunning, and in this episode he takes advantage of the crew in order to take over the ship. Kirk stops him, of course. Simple, thrilling, and filled with great characters and plot lines, “Space Speed” features the best of the "Star Trek" universe.

This episode was also the lead-in for the 1982 film "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." Perhaps you've heard of it. 

Season 2: “Obsession”

An evil creature attacks an Enterprise landing crew and Kirk discovers that the past is haunting him. Eleven years before, the same beast attacked the USS Farragut while Kirk was aboard. Kirk hesitated firing at the creature, which ended up killing his role model. Guilty for his past actions, Kirk becomes obsessed with finding and killing the beast. “Obsession” stands out for its dark storyline and allows the viewers a glimpse into Kirk’s flaws.

Season 3: “And the Children Shall Lead”

Dark and spooky, “And the Children Shall Lead” finds the crew saving children…who are not alone. They have a special friend with deadly powers. Despite the dark tone of the episode, there is a great moment at the end where Kirk is seen comforting the kids. It’s a great showcase for the brash captain’s fatherly side.

Season 3: “The Savage Curtain”

The crew of the enterprise must team up with Abraham Lincoln to fight an evil villain.

No more needs to be said.

Season 1: “The City on the Edge of Forever”

Penned by the legendary Harlan Ellison, this episode is considered one of the best ever and with good reason. The crew finds a time portal, and Kirk falls in love with a woman he must watch to die to save the future.

How great is that?

The Boneyard Archives

12 Screenwriting Lessons From Our Favorite Screenwriters

By Sean Tuohy and Daniel Ford

Screenwriting is the redheaded stepchild of the creative world that makes millions of dollars. The literary elite has always looked down on the craft of screenwriting. Hemingway was known to hate screenwriters, and F. Scott Fitzgerald truly hated writing screenplays toward the end of his life.

This hatred, and the simple-minded image of the screenwriter that has emerged over the years, makes it is easy to believe that screenwriting is a simple task. However, fist fighting a bear after pouring honey over your head is easier than completing a screenplay and then selling it.

Screenwriting is all about images and keeping the story short but powerful. A good screenwriter has to figure out how to write an epic but do it on the head of a pin. It’s easy to lose your voice as a screenwriter because you try to please so many people. The best screenwriters can throw a heavyweight punch with a baby-sized fist and keep their voice despite everything going on around them.

Editor-in-Chief Daniel Ford recently picked out the best screenwriting advice Writer’s Bone has heard. Share the best advice you’ve received in the comments section or tweet us @WritersBone.

Always hire better writers than yourself.
— Mike Royce
The craft will always be the most important thing, but this is a business; you need to stay on top of it because it changes constantly and can eat you up and spit you out if you don’t know it.
— Shane Weisfeld
More than anything it was, ‘Let’s just tell a damn good story.’
— Doug Jung
You develop your voice through rewriting.
— James Vanderbilt
If you are passionate about television, and you watch much more television, than try writing for television because the jobs are there.
— Amy Holden Jones
You have to keep the hustle going even after you sell a script.
— Katrin Benedikt
Tropes are shorthand for emotional strings you can pluck.
— Nicole Perlman
It’s going to feel wrong until it feels right. You can’t give up.
— Scott Frank
Write! Read screenplays to get a feel what they are supposed to read like, then just keep writing screenplays.
— William C. Martell
Make sure Michael Mann knows who you are when you meet with him.
— Ken Nolan (we’re paraphrasing…)
Feed your brain with a bunch of ideas. Read as many scripts as you can.
— Eric Heisserer
Outline your favorite movies as you watch them so you can teach yourself structure.
— Kirsten Smith

The Boneyard: Creative Comforts

Photo courtesy of  Joe

Photo courtesy of Joe

Daniel Ford: During our last Friday Morning Coffee, we voiced our frustrations about substandard fiction (but also how it helped us learn about the craft).

We do a lot of reading based on books we get in from publishers, as well as fiction and nonfiction we have on our "must-read" lists. But what books or movies do you go back to when you need a comfort read? Something that restores your love of reading and primes you to read the next chunk of your list?

For me, during the last year or two, it's been Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire series. Sure, I have a soft spot for him because he was one of our first interviews, but his lugubrious, warm writing style and earthy characters are more like old friends than literary devices. There's also enough of a plot that satisfies the thriller-genre lover in me. He's really taken the place of Clive Cussler and Nelson DeMille in my reading life.  

Sean Tuohy: Normally I would spit out five titles that I return to, but right now I’m in this weird output mood. At the moment, I can’t take anything in or focus on anything new, even stuff I really like. I usually would go back to a Stephen King novel or a movie like “Bullitt” or “Die Hard.” Something I enjoy, something simple.

The other night, however, I felt like I needed to take a break from writing but the idea of reading didn’t seem to work. So I blew the dust off my copy of “The Punisher” from 2004 and popped it in. There is an amazing audio commentary from the film's writer and director, the great Jonathan Hensleigh. I have listened to it a dozen times before, but at that moment it felt perfect because I needed something familiar. Someone talking about the craft of screenwriting accompanied by flashy images.

Daniel: Oh, that's cool. I can totally see how that would be helpful and entertaining at the same time. It's not draining you like reading a screenplay or novel either; you're engaged with whatever movie you're watching. I dig it.

You worked in a video store, so you'll remember when DVDs first came out. Remember how cool it was having all of those "special features?" It blew my mind as a teenager. I think I may have enjoyed “The Lord of the Rings” special features more than the actual films. I would buy DVDs just for the extra stuff (which is why I think I ended up buying "15 Minutes").  

I need my output mode to kick on. That's the other reason I've needed a comfort read. Great fiction can inspire for sure, but there's something about tapping into the genre and authors that made you a writer in the first place that gives you a creative boost.

Sean: Don't you wish there were book commentaries? After you read something you can play it, and it’s just the author talking about how he or she came up with scenes, characters, plot.

The special features on DVDs are the best things in the world. I’ve bought movies twice because one copy had more features than the other.

I like a good creative boost. You need it, but don't you also need downtime? As a writer, our minds are always racing from plot to character to research to the small details of a scene. Don't you need a little rest?

Daniel: Exactly. You hit the nail on the head. Reading a worn copy of one of your favorite novels or watching a movie you've seen hundreds of times gives you a mental break while at the same time still sharpening your creative katana (yeah, I stole your idea!). You don't have to worry about assessing the characters or keeping track of the plot. You know what happens already! You can just enjoy whatever it is about the novel you loved—whether it's the language, characters, or setting.

I try to read a portion of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera every year. That book is just too beautifully written not to go back to it often. And I don't have to read it in order. I can just concentrate on all my favorite scenes without feeling like I'm missing anything. And the end of that book...man...that's how you do it. I don't think I've read a better ending. I envision that Taylor Brown's Fallen Land is going to be one of those novels for me as well. That hit me right in my sweet spot. Other books on my comfort read list: To Kill A Mockingbird (of course), The Cider House Rules by John Irving (anything by him really), Richard Russo's Nobody's Fool, Alice Walker's The Color Purple, and John Steinbeck's East of Eden.

Book commentary...I love it.

Emili Vesilind: Fabulous Nobodies by Lee Tulloch is my go-to read when I'm stressed out—I also read it every five years or so because it makes me laugh. It's a rather formulaic story told in incredible detail about a fashion-obsessed girl named Reality who lives on the Lower East Side and talks to her clothes (example: she can hear her frocks quivering in anticipation as she's about to put them on). Tulloch was a writer for fashion magazines, and she encapsulates a really specific, magical moment in New York City pop culture with this one. It never fails to make me happy.

Gary Almeter: On days when I am feeling "not so fresh" I typically revisit college anthologies and read some poems and/or a short story or two. They are familiar and provide comfort; and each subsequent reading is different from those before it. They also serve as a sort of benchmark for how I have grown as both a reader and a writer.

Sean: My ultimate comfort read is called “The Hemingway.” It’s just me drinking too much whiskey in a boat while trying to wrestle a marlin.

Dave Pezza: Take me, Sean. Anytime, anywhere.

Danny DeGennaro: I once saw Sean punch a grouper so hard that they had to call in the Coast Guard.

Gary: Once Sean and I were on a raft heading down the Mississippi River when a big ugly catfish the size of a horse jumped onto the raft. Sean dropkicked that fish so hard and so far. I've never seen anything like it.

Sean: That was an awesome summer trip, Gary. We learned two things:

  1. I don't care for catfish.
  2. Gary can build a raft out a few planks of wood and a lot of heart.

Stephanie Schaefer: Does a comfort television show count? If so, “Friends” all the way. It never gets old!

Daniel: Bradley Cooper would disagree with you, Sean:

I'd be remiss if I didn't say that "The West Wing" remains my ultimate comfort television. I could start anywhere in the seven seasons and be happy as a clam. The acting and writing is superb, of course, but each show has a different memory attached to it. Watching "Two Cathedrals" with my three best friends/roommates in New York City when none of us had much more than the clothes we wore and cheering as Jed Barlet denounces God in Latin. Bingewatching with my younger brother when I came home for holidays and cramming 22 episodes into three days. Watching with my parents during the four months I stayed with them while transitioning to Boston and telling my mother she had to watch what happened next instead of asking me questions. I recently watched the series finale, which means I get to start over (and listen to Joshua Malina's new podcast while I’m at it)!

Stephanie, that was a long-winded "yes" to your question!

Rachel Tyner: Comfort TV would be “Friends,” “New Girl,” “The Office.” Comfort books include Harry Potter (obviously!) and A Wrinkle in Time.

Lindsey Wojcik: Comfort TV is easy. “Arrested Development,” “How I Met Your Mother” (sans the series finale), “30 Rock.” Comfort read would have to be Here Is New York by E.B. White. A constant reminder of why I love living in the city even when things get rough and an illustration that the city never really changes with time. 

Join the conversation! Reply in the comments section below, tweet us @WritersBone, or drop us a line on our Facebook page!

The Bonyard Archives

Writing Nirvana: What's Your Dream Writing Gig?

By Daniel Ford and Sean Tuohy

Sean: What is your dream project? Given the chance and funding, what would you love to work on?

Daniel: My go-to answer usually has something to do writing a novel as my job instead of something I do as a side gig. I don't want to write on buses or trains, at bars or college campuses anymore. I want my daily work routine to include sitting down at a computer and typing up some rich hell to make my characters walk through.

However, I have this other dream. And it scares the hell out of me. I'd love to write for a television show. I have zero experience writing screenplays (as you're painfully aware of), and have no clue about writers’ room dynamics. But it would be thrilling to have an idea that's good enough for a character to say on television. Just one line of dialogue in a drama or sitcom that gets a reaction from an audience would make me the happiest writer on Earth.

How about you? Major feature film? Small indie? Television show? Detective novel?

Sean: Making writing a full-time gig would be the best. I know that it will happen at some point, so I’m comfortable waiting for it to happen. Just have to pay the dues first. I remember reading that during his high point screenwriter/novelist William Goldman would leave his New York City apartment in the morning and make his way to an office where he wrote for hours until the late afternoon and then went out and walked around the city. One day... 

The dream project would oddly be a novel. I love screenplays but there is no dream screenplay that I want to see as a film. Sadly with screenplays you have to accept that there is a huge chance it will never be made. Ever. 

I've outlined chunks of a story, done the research, conducted more research, but I need the time to focus on it. I also think it needs more time to simmer...like a few years. The novel would focus on Peru in the 1960s and follow three men with a shared goal. It’s based on my family, but with a good chunk made up.

Television is more open nowadays because everyone needs content. Doug Richardson told us that.

Daniel: It's fascinating that we essentially want to switch roles. Do you think that's because I've written a novel and you've written a screenplay? Do you think it's just us wanting to test our storytelling ability and seek out new challenges?

Judging from what I know about your family's history, those men's shared goal might not be altruistic. That's a novel I'd want to read.

Sean: I'm not too sure where it comes from. Maybe just the need to change it up. I think it may come from the fact that as writers you need to find the right match for a story.

The one I want to tell really fits well with a novel. A screenplay would limit the story, and I can’t force it into another format. If you try to force a story to be something it isn’t, it won’t work. The back of your mind knows what works, but it needs to connect with the front of brain and that can be hard.

The story you want to tell may work best for television and your brain knows it and is letting you know that.

Daniel: Could also be that I binge watch television on a regular basis.

I gravitate toward shows with singular visions. Like "Mad Men," "Rectify," "Deadwood," "The Sopranos." Hearing those writers/directors talk about writing scripts late into the night and molding a show to fit what's in their head sounds exhilarating. I don't have an idea for anything (yet), but those are the types of shows I'd like to work on. Something that maybe lasts for a season or two, but maybe influences other shows.

I essentially wrote my novel as a series of short stories. Each chapter doesn't advance the plot so much as take a snapshot of my character at that specific point in his life. You could say each chapter is an episode.

Damn you, Tuohy, now I'm writing a television series in my head. How dare you!

Sean: You write that television show, damn it!

If you look at “The Wire,” it's just one giant book. That is all it is.

As much as I love television, the question going forward is when do people become overwhelmed by everything that’s out there and stop watching?

Daniel: I think that question exists for everything. Think about how many crime novels there are. How many of them are truly original? But people love the genre, so books keep getting published. The great material will always rise to the top. People thought television was going to be a fad when it first came out, but it's still with us. I think showrunners are treating these shows very much like a short story collection right now. It’s chance to tell a story over time that's not as limiting (or financial crippling) as a major feature film. There's just so many ways you can explore characters and plots.

Take "Fargo" for example. Great movie that you wouldn't think would make for a good series. Yet, it's great. Writers are always going to come up with good stories. I think the form is constantly being reinvented and that's a good thing. The landscape should encourage future screenwriters (and writers in general), not discourage them.

Sean: Wow. That sums up the writing landscape perfectly.

Daniel: That's why I believe in what we do. There are roughly a gazillion blogs, bazillion literary websites, and a plethora of other content publishers online. But how many actually stand out for good reasons, not salacious ones? Sure, every market is saturated in some way, but there are so many niche readerships, audiences, and communities that can support fledging operations. If we had unlimited resources, we'd maybe have a sleeker website design, we'd have a sound studio to record pods, and we'd serve Blanton's in our water coolers. But would we really do anything all that differently? Probably not. We'd just be able to do more of it with greater frequency and depth. At least before our cocaine addictions.

Sean: ...The blow always gets me...always...

But you are correct. If we had the resources we would be able to make the website sleeker and make this better and that better, but it would not make the content better. You could have a million dollars invested into a website or television show, but if the content is poor the show is going to be poor.

Unless it’s "NCIS."

THE BONEYARD ARCHIVES

The Boneyard: To Critique or Not To Critique?

From the desk of Sean Tuohy: "Has being a writer/photographer/designer affected the way you enjoy books, movies, art, photography, or television shows? Are you able to unplug long enough to enjoy the experience, or are you constantly on the lookout for things to critique?"

Alex Tzelnic: I am constantly being critiqued for how critical I am. Nary a pop cultural experience passes by without my friends expecting me to expectorate all over it. The truth is, not only do I love so many things, but I also love to hate so many other things for failing to achieve the standards of the things I love. Why devote hours to an experience only to passively move on to the next? I'd rather parse the minutiae, debate the details, and become fully immersed in the consumption of culture. I critique because I care.

Sean Tuohy: I can unplug and enjoy myself when reading a book. I'm a reader and not a writer at that moment. However, when it comes to television and movies, the screenwriter in me is very critical of the pacing, the dialog, everything.

Yet, I still watch “Empire.”

Daniel Ford: I've discovered I'm way more critical of written communication than I ever was in my twenties. Once you learn the rules, and know how to bend and break them effectively, it's tough to read something that is written poorly. Typos in articles, lists, and emails now stand out like me in a hot yoga studio. It doesn't necessarily make me devalue the content, but it makes me question why this person didn't have a more competent editor. 

Then again, I once went on a diatribe about being a stickler for the rules entitled "F U Grammar Po Po," so I could just be full of shit.

Reading a novel is different. I think I give authors more leeway than say a blogger or journalist. A book has to be really bad for me to start tearing it apart midway through. But I do notice and appreciate when authors do things that surprise or impress me in regards to sentence structure, characterization, or word choice. It all fits into the writer's toolbox I cart around.

Lisa Carroll: Being an English teacher certainly puts me on high alert when it comes to reading just about anything, especially personal and professional communications. I spend a great deal of time crafting emails and letters and I expect others to do the same. Blogs, editorials, opinion pieces, and some “news” articles (especially in our local paper) make me want to cringe and I have, on occasion, sent an article in after brandishing my red pen and marking it up. Apparently everyone knows I'm a little judgy because a friend of mine recently sent me a shirt that says, "I am silently correcting your grammar." (Like I do anything silently!)

However, as a theater educator, I am never able to unplug at a show. I am constantly hyper-aware of the technical elements. “Where is that light coming from?” “How did that set piece move that way?” “How did she change so quickly?” “Is that a wig?” I'm also aware of directorial decisions: “Why did she cross there?” “Was he really the best person for this part?” “I love the relationship they've built between the father and the daughter."

No matter the level—local, educational, professional, or location—from Bristol to Broadway, I cannot just watch a show. And my daughter has been blessed/cursed with the same critical eye so when we go to a show together we deconstruct every moment. And she is also a grammar Nazi who will probably have a few comments on this piece. It's pretty awesome that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

To add to the discussion, comment below, weigh in on our Facebook page, or tweet us @WritersBone.

For more posts from The Boneyard, check out our full archive.

Digging Coal Together: 20 'Justified' GIFs to Help You Mourn the End of the Series

By Daniel Ford

I have plenty of thoughts about the series finale of "Justified," but I want to save them for an upcoming podcast with Sean Tuohy and Dave Pezza (who I dig literary coal with on a daily basis). I’ll just say that Raylan’s final television nod (come on, they can make Pronto into a movie, right? Right???) was one of the most satisfying conclusions to a show I have ever seen. The writers did Elmore Leonard very, very proud.

So now that we all escaped Harlan alive, let’s ease our transition out of the holler with these 20 "Justified" GIFs. Godspeed, Raylan.

For posts from The Boneyard, check out our full archive.

Sunday Brunch: ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ Revisited and the Week’s Top Posts

Picture by Daniel Ford

Picture by Daniel Ford

Writer’s Bone’s Sunday Brunch features fresh commentary or interviews, jazz recommendations, and a roundup of the week’s top posts. We encourage you to enjoy this post on a weekly basis with a mouthful of omelet and home fries, as well as an unhealthy amount of the aforementioned mimosas, Bloody Marys, or bellinis. Also, send us your brunch pictures and we'll feature them in upcoming posts! You can email them to admin@writersbone.com or tweet us at @WritersBone.

By Daniel Ford

Starters

Sean and I recently noticed that our discussion about the award-winning television series "Batman: The Animated Series," while watching the episode "Over the Edge," has generated nearly 4,000 views. We decided we would revisit the episodes ourselves by having it lead off our Sunday brunch post. For those of you who haven’t seen it, enjoy!

First Round of Mimosas

Musician Mark Whitaker, armed with a banjo and a voice as smooth as a single malt, talks to me about his early influences, the inspiration behind “Nowhere to Land,” and the art of songwriting.

Finding A Place to Land With Singer-Songwriter Mark Whitaker

Musical Interlude

It’s only fair that we let Mark Whitaker provide the soundtrack to our brunch.

Badass Writers of the Week Eggs Benedict

“Fury” writer/director David Ayer has made his stamp in Hollywood for writing gritty, character-driven movies that audiences can’t get enough of. His backstory earned him this past Friday’s Badass Writer of the Week.

Badass Writer of the Week: David Ayer

The One With the Second Round of Mimosas

“Friends” is one of those shows that simply never goes out of style. In preparation for the show’s Netflix debut, Stephanie Schaefer rounded up her favorite moments.

The One With My 10 Favorite ‘Friends’ Moments

Bonus Music Round

There were a lot of movies with great music released during the 1990s…or at least Sean Tuohy thinks there were. Out of all those film soundtracks that debuted during the post-heavy metal, pre-Justin Bieber days, three stand out for their use of original and compiled music. Get your week moving by listening to The Wonders (as well as those real artists on the soundtracks from “Reservoir Dogs” and “Mallrats!”

The Top 3 Movie Soundtracks of the 1990s

Podcasts for Dessert

An oldie, but a goodie. This is one of my favorite podcasts. Sean and I talk about how we go about building our worlds when we write. Hearing Sean passionately talk about his craft never fails to inspire me. Who inspires you to write?

Writers On Fire: How We Use Emotion To Build Our Worlds

Next Week’s Menu

Our podcast live from the Boston Book Festival, the next installment of The Newspapermen, and more!

The One With My 10 Favorite ‘Friends’ Moments

By Stephanie Schaefer

“Friends” is one of those shows that simply never goes out of style. Daniel Ford and I recently finished rewatching the entire series, during which I laughed at jokes I’ve heard many times before and got misty-eyed during the finale yet again. Netflix will soon make it easy to follow our binge-watching lead as the company recently announced that all 236 episodes will be available for your streaming pleasure starting January 2015 (say goodbye to your social lives).

Choosing my favorite “Friends” moments was as difficult as Joey deciding if he’d rather give up food or sex, but I finally narrowed down my list. Take a look at my top picks and share your favorites in the comments section!

1. When Rachel and Ross visit the laundromat in “The One With the East German Laundry Detergent”

Why I Love It: This scene sets the stage for the Ross and Rachel romance, long before the on-again, off-again lovebirds actually get together (and before Ross gets weird in the later seasons). The two go on a pseudo-date when Ross accompanies Rachel and takes her “laundry virginity.” He's there to comfort her when she accidentally mixes a red sock within her whites, making her wardrobe look like a marshmallow Peep. More importantly, he’s there when she stands up to the laundry bully and is rewarded with a friendly kiss for his support.

Memorable Quote: “I know this is gonna sound really stupid, but I feel that if I can do this, you know, if I can actually do my own laundry, there isn't anything I can't do.”—Rachel

2. When Monica and Rachel pretend to be each other in “The One With Two Parts”

Why I Love It: Before George Clooney made an honest women out of Amal Alamuddin—aka that lady whose name no one can pronounce—he guest starred on “Friends" as his “ER” character. When Rachel hurts her ankle, she pretends to be Monica in order to use her insurance. The girls land dates with the two cute doctors while swapping their identities, making for some hilarious backstabbing.

Memorable Quote: “And by the way, have I mentioned that back in high school, I was a cow?”—Rachel (pretending to be Monica)

3. Ross and Rachel’s first real kiss in “The One Where Ross Finds Out”

Why I Love It: This is 1990s romance at its finest. Rachel learns that Ross is buying a cat with his new girlfriend, prompting her to have a little too much wine and reveal her feelings about him. The star-crossed duo then argues dramatically in Central Perk. Ross rushes out in anger, while Rachel bolts the coffee shop’s doors shut and cries on the couch. Cue the rain, music, Ross’s return, and a passionate first kiss.

Memorable Quote: “I didn’t get a cat.”—Ross

4. When Phoebe and Chandler sing together in “The One With the Giant Poking Device”

Why I Love It: Not many television shows are good all the way through the closing credits, but “Friends” proved it could keep you watching right until the end. In this episode, Janice goes back to her first husband, but not before she compares her love for Chandler to a Lionel Richie song. Here, Phoebe shows that true friends are always be there for each other when she joins in with heartbroken Chandler as he sings Ritchie’s “Endless Love” off-key.

Memorable quote: “The way I feel about you, it’s like, I finally understand what Lionel Richie’s been singing about.”—Janice

5. When the girls drink beer on the couch in “The One With All the Wedding Dresses”

Why I Love It: Best friends, wedding dresses, and liquor can truly remedy a broken heart. When Monica picks up Ross’s bride-to-be’s dress, she can’t help but try it on herself. At the end Rachel, who’s upset over Ross’s engagement, joins Phoebe and Monica as they play dress up, leading to a memorable scene between our favorite ladies.

Memorable quotes: “I gotta tell ya, this really does put me in a better mood.”–Rachel

6. When Monica and Rachel compete against Joey and Chandler in “The One With all the Embryos”

Why I Love It: The girls and guys take part in a game show-like competition to prove who knows each other better and hilarity follows. Monica and Rachel’s large, rent-controlled, and completely unrealistic New York City apartment is on the line when the stakes are raised. We learn some pretty funny stuff about our favorite friends in this classic scene, which proves just how great the chemistry is between them.

Memorable quotes: Ross: “I’m afraid the TV Guide comes to Chanandler Bong.” Chandler: “Actually, it’s Miss Chanandler Bong.”

7. When Ross says Rachel’s name in “The One With Ross’s Wedding: Part 2”

Why I Love It: Plain and simple, no one liked uptight Emily. We were all rooting for Ross to break up with her. An iconic moment in sitcom history is born when he says Rachel’s name at the altar.

Memorable quote: “This is worse than when he married the lesbian.”—Judy Geller

8. When Chandler admits he’s in love with Monica in “The One Where Everybody Finds out”

Why I Love It: Even though everyone was obsessed with the Ross and Rachel storyline, the true heart and soul of “Friends” was Chandler and Monica’s relationship. There didn’t need to be any of that “We were on a break” drama for this romance to work. It just two friends who fell in love and never looked back.

Memorable quote: “I thought you guys were doing it, I didn’t know you were in love.”—Phoebe

9. When Monica Proposes to Chandler (& vice versa) in “The One with the Proposal”

Why I Love It: Everyone loves a happy ending, especially when candles are involved.

Memorable quote: “There’s a reason why girls don’t do this.”—Monica

10. When Rachel runs without inhibitions in “The One where Phoebe Runs”

Why I Love It: The great thing about “Friends” is that it can always put you in a better mood no matter how rough of day you had. This episode, where Phoebe runs like a toddler/crazy person, is definitely a feel-gooder, especially when uptight Rachel joins in on the free-spirited jog at the end.

Memorable quote: “I swear when she runs it’s like a mix between Kermit the Frog and the Six Million Dollar Man.”—Rachel

For more interviews, check out our full archive

Sunday Brunch: A Conversation With Essayist Dave Pezza and the Week’s Top Posts

Photo by Stephanie Schaefer

Photo by Stephanie Schaefer

By Daniel Ford

Isn’t brunch fantastic?

Whenever I travel somewhere that doesn’t understand the tipsy, delicious magic that is brunch, I develop a deep sadness for the people that actually have to live there. Life isn’t worth living without unlimited mimosas, overpriced and pretentiously made Eggs Benedict, and, god willing, a live jazz band that would be right at home in The Newspapermen.

It’s in that spirit that I present to you Writer’s Bone version of brunch. This post will feature fresh commentary or interviews, jazz recommendations, and a roundup of the week’s top posts. We encourage you to enjoy this post on a weekly basis with a mouthful of omelet and home fries, as well as an unhealthy amount of the aforementioned mimosas, Bloody Marys, or Bellinis.

Photo by    Cristina Cianci

Photo by Cristina Cianci

Starters

Dave Pezza has been hard at work crafting his next essay. How do I know? I get texts like, “This blows” and “writing is hard.” In the meantime, he sat down to talk with me about his first essay, “In Defense of Analogue,” his writing process, and his favorite vinyl albums.

First Round of Mimosas

This is the jazz before the jazz.

I found out that Writer’s Bone contributor Hailey Reissman is actually friends with author Marie-Helene Bertino, who we interviewed this past Tuesday. Hailey also recommends checking out Bertino’s short story collection, Safe as Houses, in addition to her novel 2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas.

The Cat’s Meow: 13 Questions With Author Marie-Helene Bertino

Jazz Interlude

Take five. You deserve it.

The Newspapermen Eggs Benedict 

Sean Tuohy brought The Newspapermen to another level this week with his script introducing us to Hal, a lowlife journalist who is at the edge of his rope. Sean knows noir like the back of his hand, so it was no surprise his entry enhanced the world we’ve created. He’s likely to write a future scene involving Shirley, which I’m hoping will involve our heroine engaging in more gunplay.

Chapter Five: Scum and Villainy

Second Round of Mimosas

Now that you’re feeling the champagne a little bit, maybe you’re in the mood to write a little bit. You can, we’ll save some dessert for you. Before you run off, check out these tips from some of our favorite authors.

Author Inspired: How Our Favorite Writers Combat Creative Lulls

Podcasts for Dessert

I guess popcorn is an odd choice for dessert, but when Sean Tuohy gets angry enough to denounce the popular movie treat, you can’t help but go with the flow. Sean and I also talk about books that deserve their own television shows, poorly written novels, and the glut of young adult novels and movies.

Next Week’s Menu

Podcasts with Comic Book Men’s Bryan Johnson and Broken Lizard’s Steve Lemme and Kevin Heffernan, more author interviews, Bob (or Bruce), Bourbon, and Books, and more writing inspiration.

Keep writing (and Sunday drinking)!

Tunes and Loons: The Top 5 Musical Numbers From 'The Simpsons'

By Sean Tuohy

"The Simpsons" is filled with knee slapping and heartwarming moments, but the best moments for the yellow skinned family are the moments when they break into song and dance. In classic, over-the-top musical fashion, the show created toe tapping tunes that would get stuck in your head for days or years to come.

With an assist from my friend Michael Foley, I created a list of the top five musical numbers from "The Simpsons."

Please note: It is really hard to good quality video and audio for these songs, so I posted just the song with no video.

"See My Vest"

Oh, we see you there  Mr. Burns! Yes, the evil madman who runs the power planet is also a wannabe Broadway singer and dancer.

The Stonecutters

Who loves this song???! We do! When Homer joins secret group of power brokers they do what any power hungry song would do: break out in to song and dance.

"Monorail"

I don't have to explain.

"The Garbage Man Can"

He can do so much and there is no stopping him! When family man Homer runs for office, he soon bites off more than he can chew, which he explains to us in this triumphant number.

"We Put the Spring In Springfield"

Ah, you put the "ha" in my "hahaha" Springfield. This number explains how a new brothel is a good thing for the small all-American town.

For posts from The Boneyard, check out our full archive.

The Boneyard: Our Favorite Canceled Television Shows (and the Shows We Can’t Believe Are Still on the Air)

"Life As We Know It"

"Life As We Know It"

Sean Tuohy’s “Enlisted” post earlier this week prompted Rachel Tyner to ask the Writer’s Bone crew what television show they loved, but was canceled before it had a chance to catch on. She also asked what show should have been short-lived, but is somehow still television.

Stephanie Schaefer: There was a show called “Life as We Know It.” I think it was your typical teen-drama and I forget the exact plot of the show (probably why it was cancelled), but I do remember Rachel and I had a crush on the main character (Sean Faris). I guess Rachel has a thing for guys named Sean ;)

Daniel Ford: I need a ruling. "Life" was technically on for two seasons, but it should have gotten way more praise and episodes than it did. Not only did it showcase the great Damian Lewis and Donal Logue, but had a cool premise and made me briefly consider becoming a Buddhist. Can I still use the show as my answer?

Stephanie: No.

Rachel Tyner: “Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23!” Two seasons, wish it was 75.

Sean Tuohy: Yeah, I agree with Daniel about “Life.” It had two seasons, but during the second season they reset the clock and it went back to season one. It was weird. That was a good show.

And I agree with Rob about “2 Broke Girls.” That show is awful. The cast is good, which is what is sad about it. They are really good.

I never saw “Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23,” but I have heard good things (from Rob and Rachel).

Daniel: “2 Broke Girls” is so awful. On so many levels. And it's still a popular television show. Come on America.

Matt DiVenere: Well, other than my failed attempt to help “Surviving Jack” stay on television, this one is easy. “Cavemen” on ABC. Yes, the one that was made based on the Geico commercial cavemen.

I actually paid for one of the only copies of the entire series from some dude who lives in Florida. It was cancelled after just four episodes but the rest of the season was played in Australia. Don't ask how I know any of this information.

The humor is perfect. It involves Nick Kroll from “The League” as one of the cavemen. I randomly found the entire series on YouTube my junior year of college and everyone at my school watched it religiously because of how funny it is. If you don't laugh hysterically when you watch the Geico cavemen commercial where the caveman is using a metal detector on the beach, finds a key chain that has a Geico keychain on it and then throws it angrily away, then you have no sense of humor whatsoever.

What show can I not believe is still on television? “American Idol.” The entire show is rigged. It was a way to save the music industry created by some big wig at a record company that also owns stock in FOX. They created the show, have an artist already picked out that will "win" before any of the other people tryout. It's an easy way to market a new artist in a time where music was being stolen online and not being paid for.

If you don't believe me, check out the timeline compared to the decline of hard copy CD sales. Then look at post-"American Idol" numbers. If you need more proof, I dare you to name any of the winners from the past five seasons.

Lindsey Wojcik: I fell madly in love with “Up All Night” when it premiered in 2011. Christina Applegate, Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph, and creator Emily Spivey made magic that first season with the relatable storyline of a hardworking and incredibly-still-in-love married couple navigating parenthood for the first time. Applegate, Arnett, and Rudolph were the recipe to comedic success during the first 24 episodes, and Spivey led the way. Applegate and Arnett's characters mirrored what I imagined my boyfriend and I would be like as parents someday. Plus, it was just really funny. NBC saw potential in the series and picked it up for a second season. While the show had modest ratings and great reviews, the fourth-ranked network was not satisfied. NBC's executive branch wanted to change the format from single-camera to multi-camera, and that's where the show’s demise began. Applegate left. Spivey left. And the show ended during its second 11-episode season.

Tell me: Why must networks mess with a good thing again? If the network hadn't messed with UAN, maybe we wouldn't have the “Maya Rudolph Show” and “The Millers.” I'd be ok with that.

I'm with everyone on “2 Broke Girls” as a show that's been on way past its shelf life. And I'll add the now-cancelled "Whitney" to it. How that series got a second season is beyond me. It was just awful. I truly believe multi-camera shows "taped in front of a live audience" are a dying art. If you don't get them right now, it's never going to work. Whitney didn't work and “2 Broke Girls” still does not. But CBS is number one, so what do I know?

Daniel: Matt's Writer's Bone membership is on probation.

Dave Pezza: One word to trump all: "Firefly." Boom.

And “2 Broke Girls” is the biggest pile of shit currently on television.

Stephanie: I agree with Lindsey! I thought “Up All Night” was cute.

Rachel: “2 Broke Girls” sucks and Sean Faris was so hot in "Life As We Know It." But so true that I have no idea what the show is about...

Matt: I will gladly go on probation to defend “Cavemen.”

Yes, “2 Broke Girls” sucks. “Yes, Up All Night” was good thanks to Maya.

By the way, “Dads” on FOX was really good too. A bit too adult for the network, but could have been great on FX.

Daniel: “Cavemen” and “Dads?” Matt, you've set us back years here.

Matt: What can I say, I enjoy thoughtless comedies. I don't always want to think.

Robert Hilferty: I've got to say that going back all the way to 2007 there was this show, "The Black Donnellys" which 2007-me thought was just the coolest thing ever. Irish and Italian crime drama with a sensitive artist kid being pushed into the role of criminal mastermind? Loved it. Seven episodes later it was cancelled. I thought my DVR broke.

As for shows that should have been put out early can I say “The Simpsons?” I love the first 11.5 seasons but now it's just a shambling corpse of something I used to love. Can I specifically say new episodes of “The Simpsons?” Is that a thing?

And as a lover of "Commando" I can't argue with thoughtless fun. Comedies though...

Dave: Nailed it! I found the "The Black Donnellys" on DVD a few years back, and everyone I knew borrowed it at some point. Another spectacular show NBC dropped the ball on.

Stephanie: I remember thinking a show called "Maybe It’s Me" from a former writer from Frasier was funny in middle school or high school.

Hassel Velasco Torres: Has anyone mentioned the Stephan Merchant created "Hello Ladies" yet?

If not, please watch the one season on HBO, it's one of the most painfully awkward shows but it's pretty amazing. They got bumped after one season to make room for “Silicon Valley,” also a good show, rumors of them coming back for Christmas special are flying but nothing is certain.

Stephanie: “How to Make it In America” was also good, but only aired 16 episodes on HBO. Technically it was two seasons, but it was cut too short.

Daniel: "Freaks and Geeks" also in the pantheon. But maybe perfect the amount of episodes it lasted. More of that show might have messed with the magic. Ditto for "Undeclared."

I’m also going to go out on a limb and say Lisa Carroll dislikes "Parks and Recreation" because of its satire of libraries.

Lisa: I am ashamed to say that I only recently started watching "Parks and Recreation" last month.  I went to college with Amy Poehler and I felt guilty for never watching it. I'm through two whole episodes so I have yet to encounter any library satire. They are currently building a park on an abandoned lot.  When I catch up I'll certainly let you (and Amy) know of my disdain.

And, as an aside, I appreciate all the suggestions for shows I should watch.  I'm looking forward to summer vacay so I can catch up on reading and television.

P.S. “American Idol” is crap.  

Daniel: Wait. You went to school with Amy Poehler? 

Lisa: There's probably a whole chapter in her upcoming about how I beat her out for the role of Meg Brockie in “Brigadoon" in 1991, which is why she steered clear of musical theater.  

Or it's just a bigger deal in my head given her mild success in the performing arts industry.

Look for the full story on that on Monday!

Let us know your answers to this Boneyard question in the comments section or tweet us @WritersBone.

For posts from The Boneyard, check out our full archive.

Laughter Now Boarding: Why ‘Wings’ Will Always Be One of My Favorite Television Shows

The cast of "Wings"

The cast of "Wings"

By Daniel Ford

As a kid, summers meant Wiffle ball games in the backyard, homemade Caesar salads for lunch, and watching reruns of “Wings” on USA from 11 a.m. to noon with my younger brother.

I loved the show so much in fact that I neglected “Cheers” up until about a year ago—when I powered through 11 seasons of brilliance in just a couple of months. I’ve heard my father belly laugh during plenty of movies and television shows, but never quite as much as when we watched “Wings.” Tony Shalhoub’s down-on-his-luck cabbie Antonio Scarpacci remains one of his favorite characters of all time.

What’s weird is that this show appears more dated than its predecessor “Cheers” and its companion/successor “Frasier.” Setting aside the 1990s attire and haircuts, “Wings” features gags that involve phonebooks, $65 portable cassette players, and mail order catalog brides. Not to mention, it also depicts a version of air travel that doesn’t exist today thanks to post-9/11 security concerns. Unlike the workplace comedies that came before and after it, “Wings” can’t be mistaken for being set in any other era than the 1990s.

Despite that, the show’s brotherly bonding, workplace shenanigans, witticisms of bumpkin Lowell Mather, and a strong ensemble made up of actors and actresses that seem to actually like each other keep it funny and fresh.

With Stephanie Schaefer traveling abroad in Spain, I’ve devoted much my spare time to re-watching the show and picking out some of my favorite moments. I quickly found out that video clips of “Wings” are hard to come by. I wasn’t able to find my true favorite scenes—Lowell standing on top of a bell tower yelling at his promiscuous wife Bunny, Antonio’s priest making the sign of the cross at a picture of the world’s ugliest baby, the gang discussing the smelliest days in history after being duped by Roy to dig a hole in his backyard for his Jacuzzi, Kasey (Helen’s sister) and Brian burning down Joe and Helen’s house, Antonio’s first appearance as the head waiter of an Italian restaurant during a star-crossed Valentine’s Day episode, the old guy in the strip joint who yelled, "He screwed me blue," the Hackett brothers destroying their childhood home right before it was saved from being condemned, and Antonio yelling, “Talk to me pizza man!”—but here are some of the funny ones I did unearth:

Bring Me Some Heat

I constantly debate which is more awesomely bad throughout the series: Brian’s shirts or his ties.

This is also what some of my catches with my brothers look like. Getting old blows.

Ugliest Dance Partners Ever

A classic sitcom premise, but I can’t remember a more mismatched pair of dance partners.

Italian Design

Brian: “This is a game? I thought I’d died and gone to the boring part of hell.”

Gets me every time.

Something, Something, Something

Such a great guy moment. Tim Daly nails being an awkward, yet confident, guy trying to ask a woman out.

Stupid Men

“I like my men stupid.”

Who’s Hoo-Hah?

Hoo-hahs are always funny.

Welcome to Nantucket

One of the truly great intros the show only used for the first couple seasons. Wings Intro Theme

For posts from The Boneyard, check out our full archive.

Jack Attack: 5 Moments From Jack Donaghy On '30 Rock'

 By Sean Tuohy

The world knows perfection.

The world knows Jack Donaghy.

For seven wonderful seasons, the NBC executive with the steely blue eyes and the voice of a god allowed us to look upon him and rejoice. To pick only five moments that sum of Alec Baldwin's Jack Donaghy is nearly impossible, so I chose the top five moments that allow us to best understand who Jack is. If you haven't watched Tina Fey's "30 Rock" stop reading this because I hate you.

I kid! I kid!

But you should go watch this show!

Therapy! 

If all therapy could be like this we would all be better people.

What Am I?

It's after six.....

It's Winning Time

You ready for this?!?! Oooh yeah! You ready! WOOHOO!!!

The Land Down Under

Don't ya wish you spoke a second language like this man.

Oh, Mother!

No son ever wants to learn this about their mother. Ever!

For posts from The Boneyard, check out our full archive.

Prickly Pear: 10 Great Moments From Richard Schiff’s Toby Ziegler On ‘The West Wing’

Richard Schiff as Toby Ziegler

Richard Schiff as Toby Ziegler

By Daniel Ford

I once had a conversation with Richard Schiff on Twitter that still brings a smile to my face whenever I think about it.

Yes, I also proved what a huge nerd I am for “The West Wing.”

I always want to be like Bradley Whitford’s character Josh Lyman—cool, brash, desired by Janel Moloney’s Donna Moss—but my personality matches better with Schiff’s Toby Ziegler. He plays the tortured, cranky, and self-doubting writer and political operative pitch perfectly and makes you root for the character even when he’s driving you crazy.

Choosing my favorite scenes from the show is tough, but choosing my favorite Toby Ziegler scenes proved damn near impossible. But I finally settled on these 10 to share with the Writer’s Bone audience. Feel free to share your own favorites in the comment section or tweet us @WritersBone.

Don’t Bring Me Half A Thing

“Get one. Have an idea.”

I’m inspired every time I hear it. This clip should be in any editor’s holster where it can be quickly pulled and fired at a writer struggling to come up with ideas. Joshua Molina’s line at the end provides perfect comic relief and reveals why Toby is crankier than usual. As with most writers, it’s about a woman.

Hater-Aide 

#nailedit

Pool Side Manner

I know it’s coming and I laugh every time.

Drunk West Wing Writers

Drunk Toby singing the “M*A*S*H” theme song while trying to wrestle his scotch glass away from Dulé Hill’s Charlie Young…I mean…I can’t.

Panda Power

Toby’s good mood—which he’s not even enjoying—is ruined by Panda bears. Panda bears. (Starts at the 1:30 mark)

Suck It Vegans!

“It’s a bowl of weeds.”

Eating a salad is fine if it’s covered in barbeque sauce and falls off the bone. As in, it’s actually a rib and not a salad. That’s the only way it’s tasty and filling. No one needs to know the names.

Walk It Off

I need a whole show of Richard Schiff hitting things with a big stick.

Defining A President

Not much better than two estranged friends getting together to bicker. I’d say this will be Sean Tuohy and I one day, but we’d both be Toby, so it wouldn’t work. We’d silently brood at each other at a Starbucks before wetting ourselves.

Suck It FAA!

Toby started the push to have stupid, inane, and clueless FAA regulations changed. Atta boy!

he Art of Delegating

Josh goes for the joke and Toby burns him!

For posts from The Boneyard, check out our full archive.

D'oh! 5 Jokes From 'The Simpsons' That Shaped My Humor Part 1

The Simpsons

The Simpsons

By Sean Tuohy

Author's note: Major thanks to Michael Foley, who jogged my memory while writing this piece and gave me a couple great laughs.

On Sunday nights, the boob tube in my house was normally turned to Fox and, like any decent American child of the 1990s, I was rolling on the floor laughing at "The Simpsons." The yellow skinned four-fingered family, made up of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and little Maggie, have in one way or another shaped the humor of all of us who love animation, television, and snappy writing. "The Simpsons" was one of the few things I shared with my father growing up, I have built lifelong friendships watching it, and the foundation of my humor was built upon it.

Much like Daniel Ford's ode to "Parks and Recreation," I wanted to come up with five jokes that best sum up the show's 20-plus years of humor. Let's get started before I have to moonwalk out of the band room playing my saxophone Lisa Simpson-style.

Zap!

Filmmaker John Waters guest starred in this romp of an episode as Homer's new best friend John, who happens to be gay. This episode is so un-PC  and over the top and is a great showcase for makes "The Simpsons" so awesome.

Remember Which Lot We Parked In

Whenever I am in a parking lot of any kind I have to say this line. Have to!

Hello Everybody! Hi, Doctor Nick!

Why wouldn't you want the whacky Doctor Nick to take care of you? You would mostly likely die.

Gun!

I learned more about gun safety and gun control laws from this episode of television than I ever did watching CNN

Frogurt

Every Halloween you wanted two things: candy from strangers and to see the new Treehouse of Horrors.

So yeah, I have more than this. Stay tuned for Part 2, which I'll have finished as soon as I stop saying "excellent" and tenting my fingers à la Mr. Burns.

For posts from The Boneyard, check out our full archive.

10 Reasons Why Everyone Should Love ‘Parks and Recreation’

Benslie? Lesen? Whatever, best television couple ever!

Benslie? Lesen? Whatever, best television couple ever!

By Daniel Ford

"Parks and Recreation" aired its Season 6 finale April 24 and is (supposedly) headed into its final season next fall. The show certainly has suffered from every symptom known to older sitcoms (recycled plots, babies, will they?/won't they?, Ron Swanson being Ron Effing Swanson). The laughs are harder earned and the emotional moments don't hit you quite as hard.

However, I'm long past the point of being objective about this show. It's the "Cheers" of my generation (after watching and adoring all 11 seasons of that classic television show, this is not praise I dish out lightly). I'm emotionally invested in every character and I find myself tearing up more often than not (I get chills every time "5,000 Candles in the Wind” plays).

I don't know how much time I have left to enjoy Pawnee and its wacky inhabitants, but I know I'll be crying and laughing through every moment. Here are 10 of my favorites (so far):

Model UN Battle

Chris Pratt’s face in this scene seals this moment as one of my all-time favorites. Ben Wyatt’s “Good Lord” is the perfect denouement.

Stop. Pooping.

Rob Lowe’s best moment on television. Nothing else comes close.

London Calling

This probably won’t be the last Ron Swanson moment, but it’s probably his best. The Season 6 premiere of “Parks and Recreation” was brilliant television for a show that’s winding down its run. It could have easily served as the series’ final episode ever. His reaction to seeing the whiskey distillery at the end of Leslie’s scavenger hunt is as good as any brown liquor.

Ron Swanson v. Dinner

I love breakfast food. The only thing keeping me from saying this every time Stephanie Schaefer and I go out to brunch is the fear that she will break up with me immediately.

Punk Ass Book Jockeys

As a reader and a writer, I shouldn’t enjoy Leslie Knope’s hatred of the library so much. But I do.

Fine Leather Goods

Treat. Yo. Self.

He's A Mini-Horse!

The fact I don’t own a Li’l Sebastian shirt is a crime. Every reaction to the mini-horse is a great one, including non-believer Ben Wyatt.

People Are Idiots

Yup, more breakfast food. #treatyoself

Small Park, Big Love

Ben and Leslie might be my favorite television couple of all time. Their moment of throwing caution to the wind at “The World’s Smallest Park” was a homerun (starts at 1:43 mark). Getting dusty in here all over again…dammit.

Dammit Jerry

This scene will never not be funny. I just played it 500 times.

Hillbillies, Whiskey, and Raylan: 15 Great Moments From ‘Justified’

"You've got two minutes to read this blog before we shoot you..."

"You've got two minutes to read this blog before we shoot you..."

By Sean Tuohy, Daniel Ford, and Dave Pezza

On Wednesday, Sean and I posted a video podcast of us watching the pilot episode of “Justified,” which was based on Elmore Leonard’s short story “Fire in the Hole.” That got us thinking about our favorite moments from the entire series and scouring the Internet for clips. We even convinced Writer’s Bone contributor David Pezza to tear himself away from his opus on vinyl to join in the fun.

Pour yourself a glass of apple pie (after you confirm Mags Bennett didn’t poison it), and spend some time in Harlan, Ky. Feel free to share your favorite moments in the comments section or tweet us @WritersBone.

Raylan Givens Makes an Entrance 

Sean Tuohy: Ah, first impressions are the most important and we meet Raylan as he guns down a mafia member on the run.

Daniel Ford: As Sean and I discussed on our video chat, there’s nothing more entertaining than a conversation between two guys who are about to shoot at each other.

“You’re the Asshole”/”Do You Know Where I’m From Asshole?"

Dave Pezza: Raylan has an obsession with calling people “asshole,” particularly outlaws. I love it. In fact, it has started to come out in my everyday vernacular. It’s music to my ears when we get to hear Olyphant say ‘asshole’ in his southern drawl and through Raylan’s badass persona, turning one word into a perfect description for criminals who have a flare for the idiotic.

“I Didn’t Order Assholes With My Whiskey”

DF: Ditto.

Showdown With Quarrels 

DF: Speaking of conversations between guys who want to want to shoot each other. Season 3 is highly underrated and this scene between Raylan, Wynn Duffy, and Robert Quarles is one of the tensest of the series.

Hillbilly Dance Off

ST: Boyd Crowder is smooth-talking and dancing crime lord. We got to see the fun side of the gun-toting preacher. Boyd Crowder.

Dewey Crowe Loses His Kidneys

DF: Dewey Crowe might be the ultimate showcase of an Elmore Leonard incompetent henchman. He’s a loveable loser much like Robert De Niro’s character was in “Jackie Brown” (based on Elmore Leonard’s novel Rum Punch). You root for Dewey even though you know his intentions are suspect and he’s dumber than the keyboard this paragraph was typed on. Crowe being convinced his kidneys were cut out…was…hehe…I mean…ha, ha, ha…I can’t…

Wynn Duffy

DF: I love everything about Wynn Duffy. His hair, his reactions to all the insanity that occurs around him, and his incompetent badassery.

Mags Bennett Apple Pie Exit

ST: One of the greatest villains in the show's history this scene is haunting and proves a point: No one leaves Harlan alive.

DF: The second season of “Justified” was perfect television. It had everything you want in a series finding its stride: villain progression, tortured hero, and an ending that defies cliché. Never has apple pie been so depressing.

"You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive"

Also listen to Sean Tuohy and Daniel Ford watch "Fire in the Hole:"

For posts from The Boneyard, check out our full archive.

Sean and Daniel Watch Television: “Fire in the Hole”

By Daniel Ford 

Sometimes it’s better to relive the beginning than focus on the end.

The finale of the sixth season of “Justified” aired last night and it sets up an epic final season sure to include Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder’s last stands. As Sean says, “they both need to die and have their blood be soaked up by the soft Kentucky soil.”

Those thoughts are for another day.

Recently, Sean and I sat down to watch the pilot episode of the series, titled “Fire in the Hole,” and discussed how perfectly it depicted Elmore Leonard’s short story. This video podcast also features us drinking cans of Miller High Life, my awesome hat, and plenty of Raylan Givens gunplay.

For posts from The Boneyard, check out our full archive.