I’ve seen you sneak into your Notes app during Zoom calls with your parents and write, “Funny when boomers can’t figure out technology, something there.” I was in your brain when you rolled over to scribble incoherently during one of your “inspiration naps,” those seven-hour-long, whiskey-soda-fueled fugues you “accidentally” drink yourself into two to three days a week now. I’m so sorry to tell you this, but “Friends but social distancing, no one will Zoom with Ross character, funny but sad and REAL” means nothing. It’s nonsense.
I see it in your eyes. You’re almost there. You’re about to dust off Final Draft, crack your knuckles, and start writing me. But I’m here, literally on my knees, begging you to just… not. Please don’t do it. No one needs me. No one wants me. And no one is going to want me at any point in the future. I’m big enough to admit that I am wholly unnecessary. It’s time you understand this, too.
I know you think that “comedy is what we need to heal.” You’ve said it several times. Out loud. To Mandy. Your cat. But the show that you’re imagining, which according to your notes, has an episode in which “someone farts on Zoom but no one takes the blame but then it happens again” is not it, babe.
You believe that people want art that reflects their reality. But the current reality is so bizarre and unbelievable that I swear to you, no one will want to revisit this when it’s over. Have you ever once looked at those pictures of yourself from your 8th-grade dance? The one where all you threw up penne alla vodka all over the dance floor during Usher’s “Yeah!”? No, you have not. Because no matter how much time has passed, you have no desire to relive the night your whole grade gathered around you and chanted, “Pasta puker! Pasta puker!” while Usher was in the background, singing, “Yeah, yeah.”
This pandemic is the your 8th-grade dance of global history. When this is over, people are going to want zero — count ‘em, zero — reminders of how many showers they didn’t take, how many bras they didn’t wear, or how many bread loaves they fucked up. People will simply never want a sitcom set during quarantine, especially a sitcom whose main character is “depressed but like cool about it,” which is a thing that you used up actual pen ink to write down.
So, please. I’m just an ill-conceived sitcom idea standing in front of a desperate TV writer who recently sat down to write and ended up spending three hours trying to learn a 45-second-long TikTok dance meant for teens, asking her to give up. Because “maybe it would be funny if Cheers but they can’t actually ‘cheers’ because they’re all in their own houses” is not anything anyone will ever want to watch. I promise.