And you think you’re busy

Assuming you’re not actually overloaded at this very moment, take an hour or so to look at people who are. These are showrunners: American TV producers who have to run their dramas like businesses.

It is truly a phenomenal job in terms of having to be productive – and productive all the time. I remember one showrunner mentioning in an interview that the shock of the job was just how many decisions you had to make in the moments walking back from the toilet to your office.

Decisions that affect the employment of at least dozens, typically hundreds. Decisions that affect the enjoyment of millions and thereby the income, sometimes counted in the billions of dollars, that your studio or network will get.

Aaron Sorkin’s The Foodroom

Even when I loved Aaron Sorkin for Sports Night and the first years of The West Wing, I was aware that he could be parodied. Then Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip had some problems I thought were peculiarly obvious from the start. And now The Newsroom has a central character I cannot see for how there’s a line of previous Sorkin male characters standing in front of him. So while I still wish I could write like him, I found this new parody alarmingly spot-on.

I’m going to stretch a point here and say that I’m showing you this because it speaks to how we can all fall into traps in our work. But really I’m just showing it to you because I enjoyed it so much.