Posted by: Phil Anderson | February 10, 2013

Influences – TV

In an earlier post I wrote about books I read when I was young that still influence my writing today. Lately I’ve been thinking about other influences, and I’m realizing that there are more books, movies, and TV shows rolling around in my head than I can even categorize. So I’ve decided instead to write about some television series creators who inspire me.

For example, I’ve really been enjoying Once Upon a Time Sunday nights on ABC. In case you’re not familiar, it’s a TV series about fairy tale characters living in an isolated town in the real world. I won’t say its the best-written show ever (my daughter can anticipate dialog in episodes she’s never seen before), but it’s a fun concept and fascinating to watch. And after each episode I look forward to downloading the official podcast where series creators Eddie Kitsis and Adam Horowitz talk about the characters and events in each episode. I’m amazed and inspired by how much detail and planning they do, introducing characters and situations several episodes (and sometimes a whole season) in advance of when they’ll be needed.

Another creator who inspires me is Greg Weisman. He first came to my attention almost twenty years ago when he co-created and produced Gargoyles, an animated Disney series. It’s a show about a clan of noble but monstrous-looking creatures from medieval times who find themselves living in modern-day Manhattan. The program lasted two seasons, and when it was over I found a website where Greg Weisman answered questions from fans. He revealed a lot of his plans for the future had the series continued (including the possibility of six different spin-offs) and the endless creativity and ideas for character development and plot advancement are still inspiring. Every major and minor character seems to have a rich, detailed back story that extends from past to future. Since that show ended Greg Weisman has worked on several subsequent shows, but Gargoyles has always been my favorite.

There are many other television programs I enjoy. Some are fun and silly while others are deep and thought provoking. If you watch something that inspires you, leave a comment below and share what’s special about it.


  1. Very good blog! Do you have any recommendations for aspiring
    writers? I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost
    on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option?
    There are so many choices out there that I’m totally overwhelmed .. Any suggestions? Kudos!

    • My advice for blogging is to have patience and perseverence. There’s no fast and easy way to build an audience unless you’re already famous.
      Whether you use a paid or free service depends on your budget and your level of committment. If you have the funds and are committed to blogging then a paid service is great. I opted for WordPress because its free, though if and when my situation improves I may upgrade. And if you’re just trying blogging to see if you like it, don’t invest a lot of money right away; I read somewhere that the average blog doesn’t last longer than three months.

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