Monday, April 09, 2012

GQ BLOG: Kurt Sutter's Anarchy Diaries: 502 - Please Don't Say That...

So as I was working on my draft of episode 502, I flew out to NYC for the network "upfronts." These are traditionally a big dog and pony show where a network parades the talent in front of advertisers and affiliates. FX does a much hipper, scaled-down version at a bowling alley. As much as I struggle with crowds, it's always a fun night. I've been in this family for over ten years now and it's really cool watching the network grow and flourish. I'm really happy for Landgraf and his team. And that's not just me sucking up to my boss. I actually mean this. Hey, I don't like many people wearing suits, so let me enjoy this one.

It's also at this event where I begin the process of talking to TV reporters about the upcoming season. I have such a love-hate relationship with the TV media. I'm the dick who desperately wants to be noticed and interviewed while at the same time bemoaning the inconvenience and intrusiveness. (The only thing worse than false humility is false humanity.) I'm very aware of the value of the media and how they help keep the show alive, but I also hate the invasiveness of spoilers and the gossip component. The season doesn't premier for another six months and already I'm answering questions about how Season 5 will end. It always turns me around a bit.

It's in this process that I'm also reminded of my responsibility as the voice of the show. Meaning, that the things I say and do, because of my "created by" association with Sons, directly impact the show. I can no longer just "vent" with impunity.

Twitter is one thing. If some cunt wants to spin a story on a single, absurd 140 character tweet, that's their desperate prerogative.

But the blog, where I'm able to formulate ideas and present an argument—I now need to think twice before I vomit my bombastic subjectivism in this forum. As a result, I continue to struggle with topics and ideas for this blog and my own personal blog. That problem in itself suggests who I am as a person—clearly, I feel most alive and creatively stimulated when I'm in the state of self-righteous agitation.

I constantly self-edit these days. Just this week alone I kyboshed three ideas for this post. I started writing about my disdain of episodic reviews by cunt bloggers, but killed it because I realized it would look like sour grapes and ultimately create reviewer vengeance that could hurt the show. I started one about Charlie Collier's fluffy THR interview, but killed that because it made me look like an envious bitch (which is probably true). I started one about the flawed broadcast network development process, but killed that one because the truth is—I've never developed a show on a broadcast network, so it was all second-hand fact and bitter speculation.

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, things I say about TV these days carries weight. Me qualifying with, "This is just my opinion," doesn't allow me the freedom from scrutinized feedback. People don't give a shit if it's just opinion, they'll spit it back at me and the rest of the entertainment community, as ungrateful fact. So for self-preservation, self-editing has become necessary. In the big picture, I'm not whining about any of this. I'm a guy in need of a little self-editing and clearly I still say and do shit that gets me in trouble. So, I'm not complaining about the scrutiny, I guess I'm just adjusting out loud.

I had a funny conversation with Glenn Howerton of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia at the upfronts. We were bemoaning the lack of the balls in our business. And he was complimenting me on my ability to generally not give a fuck about whom I piss off. He said he expects all my blogs and tweets to be signed off with, "Goodbye, Hollywood..."

Anyway. 502. I finished it. I get notes today. I don't think it sucks. But I guess I'll have to wait until September for the thickly-bullshit-detrimental-invasive-episodic-cunt-bloggers to tell me if it's any good.
Goodbye Hollywood...

Kurt barely graduated high school, had the lowest SAT's in his class and went to the only state college that would take him. A fucked-up home, childhood obesity, food/drug addiction, and relentless television watching all contributed to his absurd, insular world of violent fantasies and sexual dreams. He hardly reads books, he plays a fuckload of games, and his only marketable skill is his imagination. If he respects you, he'd gladly take a bullet for you. If he doesn't, he may very well be holding the gun.

Professionally, this shit is happening: He signed a three-year deal with FX and 20th Century to continue running Sons of Anarchy and develop new projects. He ventures into reality programming this year with a new documentary series set up at the Discovery Channel, called Kurt Sutter's Outlaw Empires. Along with his TV work, he has feature projects in development at MGM, Sony, and Warner Bros. His script, Southpaw, written as a starring vehicle for Eminem, has Antoine Fuqua attached to direct and will probably never get made.

The thing that makes Sutter remotely human and considerably happy is his family—his wife, Katey and their three kids, Sarah, Jackson and Esme'.

Kurt's latest passion is birds. No one has the courage to ask why.

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