by Mike MacLean
In 1999, Freaks and Geeks was one of the best shows on television. It was a heartwarming coming of age story full of wit, intelligence, and sincerity. So of course, NBC cancelled Freaks in its first season.
It was sad news. But watching the episodes, witnessing the raw talent and charisma on screen, I just knew I’d see more of these kids.
Yet still, I wonder how James Franco took it when the show was cancelled. Did he feel like his big chance had slipped through his fingers, that he’d never get another opportunity to live his dream? Or did he know something better would roll his way-something like the Spiderman movies, some of the biggest grossing blockbusters of all time.
Or Seth Rogen? Before stealing scenes from Steve Carell in the 40 Year Old Virgin, did he picture himself waiting tables? Did he think his opportunities would shrivel on the vine, or did he know he’d someday be a leading man in upcoming movies like Knocked Up?
The hope is that good writers put everything they have into their work, just as the young actors of Freaks and Geeks had. So what happens when you try your best and come up short? What happens when your "big chance" doesn’t pan out?
Giving up would be the easiest option, and possibly the sanest. After all, there are thousands of aspiring writers out there, and only so many book deals to go around. So why not throw in the towel?
For me, the answer is simple. Throw in the towel and you’ll never know what the next round has in store for you. Just ask the cast of Freaks and Geeks.
So how about it, Murderati readers–has a writing failure ever led you someplace unexpected? Has a lost opportunity ever turned out to be a blessing in disguise?