Recently I was asked who I was inspired by currently in the TV writing world and when would I start another spec script or original script… (anxiety rising). When I replied with -series executive producer, Aaron Korsh of TV show Suits, I was met with perplexed expressions by the group. They were met with me mirroring their confused expressions. I opened my mouth and said “…for me he hits the bliss point. He is almost kaleidoscopic in his approach to writing”.
More blank expressions and dull eyes, my panic rising.
“Oh shit – can you even use that to describe someone? I sound stupid right? ” A quick iPhone fumble and google to check that I used the word in a correct manner…did I? Did I? Panic stations are go…refresh, refresh.
Kaleidoscopic: Definition: continually shifting or rapidly changing.
Phew! That’s EXACTLY what I meant. Not that I feel I should justify it but look, if nothing else, it will get me writing for today and it’s always nice to share and express admiration.
I immediately started to back away. My mind was racing with thoughts of “..um these people don’t watch Suits? We work in TV fuck me?! They don’t know who Aaron Korsh is? They asked me a question and weren’t expecting an informed answer? They didn’t even want to know what the bliss point was…”
The Bliss point – a really cool food theory that applies to many topics: bliss point (food) In the formulation of food products, the bliss point is the amount of an ingredient such as salt, sugar, or fat which optimises palatability.
It’s the perfect amount that leaves you wanting more. For me thats what Korsh does – he gets that balance of characters and story just right consistently.
The truth is I love so many of the varied and talented pool of individuals out there at the moment .I love great writing and the teams at The Leftovers and The Affair but the reason I like Aaron Korsh is multifaceted.
Firstly, his pop culture references really tickle me. I love how they are sprinkled throughout the seasons. If you have elements of geek in you then this really will float your boat. It’s the personal elements that you include in your writing that give it an authentic voice and presence. I can only hope my future scripts can find this distinctive voice that is my own. I have fought to keep those little nuances in there for originality – maybe when I am a more established writer they will get to stay in there!
The Dead Poets Society reference is probably my most favourite to date – and you know what, it really works within the legal context:
Louis: So I would like to leave you with the immortal sentiment of Robin Williams. There have been other associates before you. They believed they were destined for great things, just like you. If you just listen, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. “Carpe diem.” Seize the day, people. Make your legal lives extraordinary.
Mike: O Captain, my Captain
I also appreciate Korsh’s adaptability. I read that when he was working on this idea he envisioned it as more of the Entourage of Wall Street and then once started the project significantly changed and resulted in what we currently see on screen. There’s something to be said about flexibility and trusting where the writing takes you. He doesn’t strike me as the sort of writer to back away from a challenge or someone who shies away from constantly having to rework a script until it gets the tone right. Some episodes have to be a bombardment of chaos. Everything has to go upside down – it generates the unpacking and set up of the season. That’s why the dramatic tension of Suits in season 5 is going to be fantastic to watch unfold.
Another point – you can always tell when a writer and team are invested in their characters too by the relationship they have off screen… you can’t fake this stuff people.
That type of chemistry and trust between actors and the writing team is hard to perfect but when it happens, the result is a TV show like Suits in its 5th season and still maintaining its audience with super amounts of momentum.
So yeah, Aaron Korsh is still my answer – he takes risks with his writing/characters and gives me the courage to keep taking them in my writing.
I leave you with this quote from him on the recent story line…
“You have to do episodes like this once in a while to give more meaning, more depth, more everything to your characters. It was just time to do this. The episode Mike gets caught and the episode where Harvey leaves — that’s gotta be a massive episode. [The flashbacks] just felt like a good way to make it feel massive.”