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  • Benita Garvin

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If there was ever a time to be locked up in a pandemic it's now. The Golden Age of Television is what's keeping out of a psych ward. I've watched more television this year than in my entire life combined. And what joy I'm deriving from it. Not only does it give me the "in the moment" pleasure when I'm watching it, it also inspires me and helps sharpen my own storytelling. I marvel that my young screenwriting students at USC barely watch anything! Can you imagine if your homework was watching television and movies?!! What better education??


Stories are our life's blood! I get so absorbed, I can't sleep nights thinking about The Queen's Gambit or The Wire, which I finally watched thanked to Covid. I resisted watching The Wire for YEARS. I knew it was "supposed" to be good, but I'd get through an episode and give up. I said, if I was ever locked in my house, I'd watch it. Then isolation hit. I became so obsessed with The Wire I could barely talk or think about anything else. I can honestly say it changed the way I looked at the world and also changed the way I approach my writing. I was blown away by the unflinching honesty of the storytelling.


This horrific period has taught me how much stories mean to me. They're my life line. Not just film and television, books, podcasts and music. Painting is also part of my storytelling. The other positive elements of Covid on a personal level has been teaching my storytelling classes.


I derive enormous satisfaction being a conduit through which people learn to access their own stories. We live in world of strangers. If we don't understand our own story how can we possibly understand anybody else?


The Wire. The ultimate series. It took me years before I'd commit to watching it, but once I did...!!!! The writing and the storytelling were superb.


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