No one at NBC knew what to do about The Seinfeld Chronicles after it ran to tepid reviews and okay ratings. And for months afterward, they chose not to do a thing. Ludwin got nervous as the network’s rights to The Seinfeld Chronicles neared expiration at the end of 1989. He and several of his colleagues liked the show and were disappointed when the testing went so poorly. He and Littlefield hatched a plan: (…) one axed two-hour Bob Hope special could mean four new episodes of Seinfeld’s show. (…) Seinfeld, however, knew this wasn’t the greatest news. He greeted Littlefield’s “four episodes” offer with a few seconds of silence, followed by: “Has any show, in the history of television, ever succeeded with a four episode order?”
He took the deal anyway, and the minuscule episode order suited Larry David just fine. “That’s all I got in me anyway.”
Nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me – that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you’re making stuff, it’s just not that great. It’s trying to be good, it has potential to be good, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, that’s still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do, is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions.
George: Well, you got no place to go. I’ll tell you what your problem is, you brought your queen out too fast. What do you think? She’s one of these feminists looking to get out of the house? No, the queen is old fashioned. Likes to stay home. Cook. Take care of her man. Make sure he feels good.
George: I don’t think we should see each other any more.
Rob: You could have a costume drama here, couldn’t you?
Steve: I would just love to do a costume drama in these hills, leaping, vaulting over dry stone walls with a scabbard, with that dead look in my eyes, ‘cause I’ve seen so many horrors that I’m sort of immune to them, and they always say something like, “Gentlemen, to bed! For we leave at first light. Tomorrow we battle, and we may lose our lives. But remember: death is but a moment. Cowardice is a lifetime of affliction.”
Steve: To bed, for we rise at daybreak!
Rob: Very good. Very impressive.
Steve: But they always leave at daybreak. They never leave at, you know, nine-thirty. “Gentlemen to bed, for we leave at nine-thirty!”
Steve: Ish. “Gentlemen to bed, for we rise at… What time is the battle? About, oh, twelve o’clock? Twelve o’clock. How is it on horseback, about three hours? So we leave about eight, eight-thirty?”
Rob: Eight-thirty for nine.
Steve: “Gentlemen, to bed! For we leave at eight-thirty for nine. And we rise at just after day- seven-thirty, so just after daybreak. Gentlemen to bed, for we leave at nine-thirty on the dot. On the dot.”
“I will,” I say. I stand there wanting to say something else. But I don’t know what. We keep looking at each other, trying to smile and reassure each other. Then something comes into her eyes, and I believe she is thinking about the highway and how far she is going to have to drive that day. She takes her eyes off me and looks down the road. Then she rolls her window up, puts the car into gear, and drives to the intersection, where she has to wait for the light to change. When I see she’s made it into traffic and headed towards the highway, I go back in the house and drink some coffee. I feel sad for a while, and then the sadness goes away and I start thinking about other things.
Gedurende die maanden ontdekte ik de grote kracht van de routine en de herhaling. Ik deed elke dag exact hetzelfde zodat ik daar verder geen energie aan hoefde te besteden en me puur op het schrijven kon concentreren. En ook dat haalde zijn kracht uit diezelfde bron, want wat drie pagina’s op een dag waren, werden driehonderd pagina’s in honderd dagen en meer dan duizend in een jaar. De letters op het toetsenbord raakten langzamerhand versleten volgens een voor mij verborgen systeem, sommige straalden na een half jaar nog helder en onberoerd terwijl andere al bijna helemaal verdwenen waren. Maar de routine had nog een functie, ze beschermde me er namelijk tegen wat ik schreef van buitenaf te zien. Dankzij de routine bevond ik me elke dag weer in hetzelfde.
This great evil, where’s it come from? How’d it steal into the world? What seed, what root did it grow from? Who’s doing this? Who’s killing us, robbing us of life and light, mocking us with the sight of what we might’ve known? Does our ruin benefit the earth? Does it help the grass to grow, the sun to shine? Is this darkness in you, too?
Have you passed through this night?
Ultimately, when it comes down to it, in my life, I like to think that I’ll do more good than I’ll do bad. That’s essentially what I’d like to leave the planet. Whether I’m hit by a truck, or a plane crash, or lying on my death bed as an old man, I’d like to know that I imparted a little bit of positivity. ‘Cause we do take up space, and we do consume. We sin against the earth by being alive.