New Guy Weekly wrapped up this weekend! I am blogging thoughts and feelings about the show every day this week. Come back to this blog or tag-search “New Guy Weekly Blog” for more posts.
Post #2: that is a gif of me with sorenbowie in this episode. It’s here to say that through repetition, shows change into what they’re supposed to be. I got to experience that shift firsthand with this. It was a thrill. Until now I’ve only ever seen it happen: The West Wing realized it’s not a show about Sam Seaborn, Parks and Rec realized it’s about the platonic “parents” and their “kids”, Cheers swapped great characters for new great characters and then new life as Frasier.
I made the first ten episodes of this show by myself. With no crew and no equipment and no money and no time, you’re already on your own. Why not be the “star”? I also felt the medium dictated this being a single-character series. Someone who spends all their time talking to their phone, late at night and on weekends, at an empty office building, isn’t a character with a ton of friends.
Once I’d repeated that show ten times, I realized I needed to invent a new show within the old show. I felt ready for one. I also felt I was able to get away with it. Archer can start selling cocaine and a bald guy can replace your hero if a show and its audience both know it’s time for a change, at least in their guts if not in their heads.
adamtodbrown might have saved the series by being the first guest and crushing it. That was essentially a second pilot and it worked so well it showed the way forward. From there, the tough part was drumming up premises I loved enough to bug people about. The easy part was lining up friendly, willing, hilarious co-workers to join in on something tailored to them.
A lot of guests improvised great jokes that made whole episodes work. Almost all of them improvised jokes I just couldn’t stuff into the episode and no one will ever see. In terms of writing whole episodes, seriousswaim pitched a premise I looked forward to making for months. And Soren’s episode stands alone as the only episode pitched and written entirely by somebody else. It’s also weirdly true to Soren’s life…we exaggerated, but we also didn’t have to put prop rocks in the ceiling. No one believes me when I tell them that.
I’d like to think the New Guy figured out how to build actual relationships along the way. I’d like to think he got better at being a friend. He probably didn’t. Somebody else did.