While watching Desperate Housewives last night Rome Girl and I realized that Terri Hatcher's character and Meridith Grey's character on Grey's Anatomy are in a lot of ways the same person.
Yet, we like Hatcher's character and want to kill Meridith.
We decided that it's not that Meridith is written to be an annoying twat, it's just that the actress who plays her has no idea how to make her the least bit likable, while Hatcher knows how to make you have sympathy for her.
Reading the new John Irving books makes me realize how much it must suck to do your best work when you are young.
Afterwards everything you do is going to be judged against what you accomplished in your 20s.
Think about Orson Wells who had the misfortune to make Citizen Kane when he was a wee lad and then had to have everything he ever did afterwards judged against that.
Or Tarantino where people will always say after every new film, "Well, it wasn't as good as Pulp Fiction."
And John Irving, who will have to wrestle with the Garp/Hotel New Hampshire legacy forever strapped on his shoulders. I don't know how he "bears" it. (Yes, I'm a nerd.)
This is why I'm so glad I was a journalist for the first 10 years of my professional career. It taught me how to write, but nothing anyone does for a big journalism organization like Gannett is ever going to be great writing. The nature of the corporate beast holds it down, edits it and rewards stuff that doesn't stand out from the crowd.
That's a good thing, because now, as I write, I can do my own stuff, have my failures and embrace my successes without always looking over my shoulder at what I'd done before.
I'm always amused by people who hit their 30s or 40s and suddenly start worrying that they haven't accomplished enough.
I want to scream "That's great! You can climb mountains now without anything weighing you down! Don't you get that because you had the time to fail when you were young, that you can succeed now and embrace it without worrying about anything? Your failures have set you free!"