"You Get To Basically Be An Ass On Paper And Channel Your Twelve-Year-Old Self"
Many moons ago, I got an email from Garrett Lerner, who was very pleased that I gave an episode he wrote a good grade. I as well was very pleased, since I had no idea anyone associated with the show actually read my recaps. I immediately asked him for an interview, and he agreed! That was very nice of him, both because he is a very busy being the Co-Executive Producer of House, and because I have never actually interviewed someone before, and my nervousness and coherence were inversely proportionate. (Nervousness = lots. Coherence = nots.) Seriously, playing this thing back on my little recorder has made me consider never speaking again. Luckily, Mr. Lerner was very patient and had a lot of cool things to say, including how you can go bowling with Lisa Edelstein and Omar Epps and get your very own autographed Ball Of Unknown Origin! Read on:
Sara M: So, who are you and what do you do?
Garrett Lerner: I'm the co-executive producer on House along with -- I work with a partner -- Russel Friend. We've worked together since film school, and part of that job is writing the scripts. Another part of the job entails actually producing the episodes where you go on location scouts, casting, sitting on the set, and just basking in the glow that is a gigantic hit television series.
SM: How'd you get started in the business?
GL: I went to film school at USC, which is where I met Russ, and we broke in on a fantastic show called Martial Law.
SM: Oooo, Martial Law! With Sammo Hung!
GL: Sammo Hung, Arsenio Hall, the very one. That was our first gig, and then we went through sort of a sci-fi phase. We worked on Roswell, which is actually where I first heard of Television Without Pity. I remember the recaps were very funny, and most of the writers did not appreciate them.
SM: Oh, I'll tell Djb you said that. The first part, anyway.
GL: Yeah, I really enjoyed his recaps, but I enjoyed them so much I thought everybody could appreciate getting slaughtered.
SM: And they didn't.
GL: I did it only twice before I learned my lesson, but I would take the recap and read it to the other writers and they would basically just get angry. I stopped that pattern of behavior pretty quickly and realized I should enjoy them in private.
SM: Well, at least you liked it. So what did you do besides Martial Law and Roswell?