I have so much to talk about this week; I hardly know where to start. Well, that’s not true, exactly; I do know where to start. Let’s start by saying that the timeslot for Notes from the Underbelly has moved AGAIN. Apparently, it’s got something to do with October Road performing well after Gray’s Anatomy, let’s not rock the boat, blah, blah, blah. So now the show will still be premiering this Thursday night at 10:00, as planned, but after that it will be on Wednesdays at 8:30. Because that’s not confusing to viewers or anything. But hey, what do I know.
Anyway, what’s been interesting this past week (for me, anyway) was keeping track of the reviews and speculations about the show. It’s been a mixed bag – everything from this is really smart and funny to this is a piece of crap with no depth to it. One review I read said that the lead couple, Lauren and Andrew (played by Jennifer Westfeldt and Peter Cambor) have a sweet, believable chemistry, while another said that they have no chemistry whatsoever. One said it was laugh out loud funny, while another said that it was a trite cliché and wondered whether any of the people involved actually have children of their own. (Answer: yes. Every single one of them). The one thing that everyone does seem to agree on, however, is that Rachel Harris steals the show as Cooper, the baby-hating divorce lawyer who is Lauren’s best friend. Which I agree with, by the way. In fact, the minute we saw her audition, we knew that she was going to be the breakout star if this thing ever made it on the air.
But anyway, back to the reviews and my point, which is, I’m not sure how I, as the writer of the book, am supposed to take the criticism. On the one hand, I didn’t have anything to do with the writing of the show. Sure, I saw the scripts, and I gave my two cents, and I even had a line or two that made it into the pilot. But I didn’t write it, and so when people criticize the story, I can’t get that offended. On the other hand, though, the characters are people who I created, and I did take part in casting the actors who play them, so when people criticize their chemistry, or the entire premise of the show, for that matter, I have to say, it kind of stings. When one of my books gets a bad review, I obsess over it for weeks. I’ve literally had to sit on my hands to keep from responding to some of the comments that people post on Amazon. For example, one person wrote, of Tales from the Crib, that is was “not the author’s real experience.” And I was like; how the hell do you know what my real experience was? And besides, it’s fiction. It’s not supposed to be my real experience. Moron.
But when it comes to the show, it’s not that simple. It’s not my work, but yet it kind of is, and so how am I supposed to take a really critical review? What I’ve decided is that it’s like overhearing someone talk about your niece or nephew. You can’t get that upset because it’s not your kid, but you’re close enough that it still makes you angry. And I suppose that’s how I feel about the show in general. It’s not really mine, but I’m still a blood relative.
On a totally separate note, I’d just like to take a minute to say that my husband is completely adorable. I think that he is more excited about all of this than I am – he’s like my own personal PR firm, the way he tells everyone in the universe that my book has been made into a show – and he’s throwing me a premiere party Thursday night with an invitation list of seventy-five people. He’s spent the last three weeks trying to find a place to have it, which wasn’t easy given all of the timeslot switching, and yesterday he finally found a bar that was willing to let us take it over on a Thursday night at ten o’clock. The only problem is, most of our friends have kids, and I can’t imagine who is going to manage to make it out to Hollywood on a Thursday night at ten o’clock. I have a feeling that it’s going to be us, our three single guy friends, my brother and the two couples we know who have live-in nannies. But I don’t care, it’s still cute. Our anniversary happens to also be this week – eight years – and although I tease him endlessly about how he mixes his metaphors and about how anal and eccentric he is (he’s by far my best material, though he will deny that Andrew is based on him until the day he dies), there really isn’t anyone else with whom I’d rather share this time in my life. If it was just the two of us watching the show together, in bed, it would be totally fine with me. So happy anniversary, Mikey. I love you.