If a withering joke in BoJack Horseman is anything to go by, it’s a bit of a cliché that at some point young writers try to make a web series/sitcom based on their lives. A lot of these actually do get made and generally speaking they’re pretty awful. The problem with these kind of ‘personal’ stories is that your life is always going to be more interesting to you than anyone else, unless you have a mega unique life which, let’s face it, most of us don’t. I can’t tell you how many shitty trailers I’ve seen for shitty webseries all about being a struggling artist in Melbourne, getting by with a little help from your kooky friends. These shows are generally parodies of themselves which is why I’m half ashamed (but obviously not enough to disguise the fact) to say that last year I wrote my own.
The reason for the lack of shame here is that I actually thought We Are Adults was pretty good, and still do. The other night, after a few beers in Scotland, I had a read over the six episodes and was surprised by how much I liked them. I think some of my best writing is in there, and they actually have something to say that’s more than just ‘look at how funny/self deprecating I am’.
Obviously my take on it comes with a hefty dose of bias, but as I don’t really have any designs of pursuing the series any further, I think I can be reasonably clearheaded about it. At the time of writing my agent felt that it wasn’t unique enough the make it stand out on the Australian market, and I’m inclined to agree. But the realities of its non-existent place in the industry doesn’t take away from the merits of it as a piece of writing.
At its heart, We Are Adults is about the stark divide between who we are and who we believe we should be. This is something that I think is relatable to everyone, but it tends to be an especially strong feeling in your early twenties, when you’re trying to figure yourself out. Specifically, it’s based on a series of events from when I was about 21, the time I was single, working at Draculas, and just starting to dip my toe into writing theatre. It was a messy, sometimes ugly, transformative period in my life and I feel like We Are Adults does a pretty good (if exaggerated) job of capturing it. It’s an intensely personal piece of writing, that I think is also pretty funny.
Because it’s going nowhere and because I want to share it, I’ve decided to chuck the episodes up on my Patreon account for $5+ subscribers. And, to best emulate the feeling of watching a show, I’ll be releasing the scripts weekly. They’re not too long, and I think they’re probably worth a read. So check out the first two episodes if you want and let me know your thoughts.
Writing words about writing words.