If you’re an Aaron Sorkin fan, you know he has favorite phrases and plot lines. He especially recycled a bunch between Sports Night and The West Wing which, for one year, he was writing at the same time. In fact, both of the last episodes of their first seasons were titled What Kind of Day Has it Been?
Writers are mere mortals after all, so stuff like this isn’t surprising, and in fact it’s kind of a signature they leave in their work. In the seven minute video below, some of Sorkin’s signatures taken from A Few Good Men, Malice, Bulworth, Sports Night, The West Wing, Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip, Charlie Wilson’s War, The Social Network, and Tom Hanks’ 1993 Oscar Speech “for some reason”:
Peniscola from the beach (1985)
Watchers on the Wall has had a lot of blog posts lately about Game of Thrones being interested in Peniscola, Spain. For example, they report that there was a casting call for babies there, because Peniscola is a perfectly valid place name. And in October, the town — whose name supposedly and inexplicably evolved from the word ‘peninsula’ — is due to host some 600 extras without tattoos, also for the Emmy record-slaying series. They will be shooting in the historic entrance to Peniscola, and two plazas, one at the foot of the famous Castle of the Moon Pope, pictured above.
Additionally, the Khaleesi will be shooting some scenes in the small town of 8,000 people, which is also called “The Gibraltar of Valencia” — though that’s not its official name for unknown reasons, as its official name is Peniscola. Again, it means “peninsula”… why, what were you thinking of? OMG, grow up! You are SO immature. I can’t believe this.
Also, Jon Snow is for sure still alive. The Daily Mail got a picture of him on set, all costumed up. He’s in Northern Ireland, not Peniscola.
via Watchers on the Wall and The Daily Mail
Season 2 of True Detective isn’t exactly terrible, but it’s definitely a big step down from the near-perfection of season 1. Largely, this is due to the writing: the plot is horribly complex, some of the characters are not written for the actor playing them — most notably, Vince Vaughn’s, who just doesn’t work as the gangster philosopher — and generally, a lot of the dialog is just stilted. Below, some of the most accidentally funny, cringe-worthy examples of 7th grade writing:
This is dialog from a 2009 Family Guy episode (season 7, episode 14) called “We Love You, Conrad“:
Brian: Bruce Jenner is a man
Stewie: No, Brian. That’s what the press would have you believe, but he’s not. Bruce Jenner is a woman: an elegant, beautiful, Dutch woman.
And a decade before that, in 1996, Married… With Children showed the Bundys’ boyish-looking next door neighbor, Marcy, being mistaken for Bruce Jenner. This is from the 25th episode of season 10, “Torch Song Duet”:
via Uproxx and Happy Place
Keep in mind that the U.S. didn’t normalize relations with Cuba until December 2014.
The quote is by BJ Novak, best known for his role as Ryan in The Office (US), and appears in his 2014 book, One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories.
Three years before A Game of Thrones was published, a 44 year-old George R. R. Martin sent in the first 13 chapters of it to his agent, Ralph Vicinanza. With it, he included a three-page letter that laid out his vision for the series, which he had already named A Song of Fire and Ice. Pictures of the letter’s pages are below, but here are the salient points:
- As is well-known, the series was originally supposed to be a trilogy — it since became (at least) a heptalogy:
- The three books were to be named A Game of Thrones, A Dance with Dragons, and The Winds of Winter. The latter two names were eventually given to the 5th and 6th books, instead.
- GRRM made it a point to say he had a strong notion of the plot and the fate of the main characters, but that he purposely didn’t want to know where the story was going, so he wouldn’t lose interest in writing it.
- The overall plot was supposed to be comprised of three successively more serious conflicts, each being the focus of one of the books:
- The fight for the Iron Throne in A Game of Thrones
- The invasion of the Seven Kingdoms by Daenerys and her Dothraki horde in A Dance with Dragons
- The invasion of the Seven Kingdoms by The Others in The Winds of Winter
- “I want the reader to feel that no one is ever completely safe, not even the characters who seem to be the heroes. The suspense always ratchets up a notch when you know that any character can die at any time.”
- “Five central characters will make it through all three volumes”: Tyrion, Daenerys, Arya, Bran and Jon Snow
- “Sansa Stark, wed to Joffrey Baratheon, will bear him a son, the heir to the throne, and when the time comes, she will choose her husband and child over her parents and siblings, a choice she will later bitterly rue.”
- Robb Stark was supposed to maim Joffrey in battle, but then be killed himself — also in battle; no mention of the Red Wedding. Tyrion was then supposed to besiege and burn Winterfell instead of Theon
- Before there was a Red Wedding, Catelyn was supposed to “die at the hands of the others”
- Bringing a touch of incest to the “good” characters, Arya and Jon were to fall in love, but not do anything about it and instead remain tormented by passion “until the secret of Jon’s true parentage is revealed in the last book.” So, clearly Ned really is not Jon’s father, giving even more credence to R+L=J
- Daenerys was supposed to kill Khal Drogo as revenge for him killing her brother, then run off into the Dothraki Sea, find the dragon eggs, hatch them, and use them to subdue the Dothraki and prepare to invade the Seven Kingdoms as their leader
- After Tyrion “removed” Joffrey, Jaimie Lannister was supposed to kill his way to the Iron Throne and then blame Tyrion for all the murders. Tyrion would side with the Starks and fall in love with Arya, leading to a “deadly rivalry between Tyrion and Jon Snow”.
And now, without further ado, the actual photographs of the letter’s pages:
The pictures were apparently taken at the London headquarters of HarperCollins, which publishes the A Song of Ice and Fire series in the UK and has the letter up on a wall, behind acrylic, in a “George R R Martin Room”. That paragraph that’s blacked out has piqued the interest of Reddit, where an effort to decode the text using methods that would make a spy jealous has made this much progress so far:
From reddit, via HappyPlace
The Katering Show is a hilarious, absurd, deadpan parody of a cooking show, built on the premise that one of the hosts can cook well and the other is intolerant of a lot of foods. On its third episode, Kate and Kate quit sugar — one of the few foods that Kate can eat — because Australian author Sarah Wilson did it.
From YouTube, via Laughing Squid