Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Book review: Truth is a Total Defense by Steven Bochco
A TV fan will find a lot of good stories here. Bochco recounts his career and it's fascinating to read about the degrees of separation between "MacMillan and Wife" and "NYPD Blue," and all the backstage fighting to get there.
And, he names names. Who showed up drunk everyday, who was an hour late for shooting everyday because he couldn't poop anywhere but home, and who had her hair cut and permed in the middle of filming an episode (spoiler, Sharon Stone), and who was a total dick (David Caruso).
There's also some great stories about network executives, some good, some bad, and some elderly and confused (William Paley in a very funny cameo.)
The other star of the book is the tons of money a TV creator/producer can make.
Brandon Tartikoff plays prominently, and I saw some overlap with his book "The Last Great Ride."
Both books discuss TV in the 80s, and the authors' cancer battles.
Well worth reading if you're a fan of anything Bochco has done, and who isn't?
On the negative side, this is a vanity press product. You can tell because there's no publisher listed, and the book is rife with typos, grammatical errors and factual errors.
It's hard to believe one of TV's greatest writers doesn't know the difference between there, they're and their. Or its and it's, or Dianne Warwick and Dionne Warwick. He calls ABC president Bob Iger 'Bog' twice on the same page! And there's lots of repetition. He lists the actors he lined up for "Hill Street Blues," then three paragraphs later he lists them again. He constantly refers to Barbara Bosson as his ex-wife, yes we know. And he makes fun of Rock Hudson for not reading his scripts, but he mistakenly describes Hudson's character as a police detective where in "MacMillan and Wife" he was the police commissioner.
Crazy errors spell checker probably pointed out to him are all over the place.
I'm guessing he just dictated his memoir and an assistant with not a lot of background in TV history, or grammar just typed it in.
He keeps talking about the millions he's made. Steven, we love you, give an intern $500 to proofread your book.