Keep reading past Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Being John Malkovich, and buried in the back end of Charlie Kaufman‘s resume are writing gigs on a number of TV shows, from The Dana Carvey Show to Chris Elliott vehicle, Get A Life.
These aren’t amongst the most cherished of his output – though, really, his loopy, experimental time travel episode of Get A Life was everything I hoped it would be, and if you haven’t seen it, I think it’s well worth checking out on DVD.
Overall, though, I wouldn’t suppose these were the most productive years of Kaufman’s career. Perhaps his return to TV, now that he’s in a more powerful position and not just a lonely voice in the writer’s room, will see him make more of the medium. Compare Joss Whedon’s contributions to Roseanne with those he made to, say, Firefly.
According to Deadline, FX have given a green light to a new “half-hour comedy pilot,” created by Kaufman and called How and Why.
The lead character, they say:
can explain how and why a nuclear reactor works, but is clueless about life.
And so the stage is set for some analysis of “how and why” life goes the way it does. Observational comedy, Kaufman style.
Nobody is calling this show a “sitcom” but I should imagine the label will fit. I guess it’s a dirty word, though. Not something you’d attach to such a “hip” proposition. Don’t know why.