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Get in The Car Jane! Adventures in the TV Wasteland Reviewed By Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com
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Norm Goldman --  bookpleasures.com Norm Goldman -- bookpleasures.com
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Montreal , QC
Wednesday, September 09, 2020

 

Title: Get in The CarJane! Adventures in the TV Wasteland

Author: Billy Van Zandt

Publisher: VanZandt/Milmore Productions

ISBN: 978-1-7344017-1-4

In Get in The Car Jane!Adventures in the TV Wasteland, Billy Van Zandt holds very little back as he recounts the funny behind-the-scenes tales of his writingand producing TV sit-coms.

These are based on the journals he kept on all of his productions, which, as he expressed tome in a recent interview, are part textbook, part gossip, though, alltruth.

Van Zandt is the co-authorand star of the Off-Broadway plays You've Got Hate Mail, SilentLaughter, Drop Dead!, and 21 other theatrical plays written with Jane Milmore, including A Night at the Nutcracker, Wrong Window,and summer stock perennial Love, Sex, and the I.R.S.

He also wrote The Property Known as Garland starring Adrienne Barbeau that broke house records at Off-Broadway’s Actors Playhouse. He is an EmmyAward for his television special I Love Lucy: The Very First Show,and won People's Choice and NAACP Image Awards for his work onthe Martin Lawrence comedy Martin and a Prism Multi-Cultural.

Each chapter in the volume dedicates itself to a different TV show, including I Love Lucy:The Very First Show, Newhart, Anything But Love, Nurses, Martin,Daddy Dearest, The Wayans Bros, Staten Island 10309, Bless ThisHouse, The Hughleys, Yes Dear, and Janet Saves the Planet.

Van Zandt indicates in his introduction that the stories are not an autobiography but a synopsis of some television programs he was associated with. He even tells us that his writing partner, Jane Milmore, confirmed the stories and the quotes. He also ran each chapter past people who were with him at thetime of each story.

The format of the book is informal and makes the writing easy to follow. Van Zandt shares dozens of anecdotes, perceptions, and the many obstacles he ran intowith performers such as Martin Lawrence. Nonetheless, he does consider Lawrence a comedic genius. However, he may have been out of control, demanding, and a pain in the derriere.

Often the picture he assembles is one of disarray and nastiness, especially where scripts are written and re-written several times to satisfy the lead actors or the network's executives. In the closing paragraph of his adventures with Nurses, Van Zandt confesses that his time there taught him how not to run a show. “In addition to being psychotically organized and appreciative of people who work for me,in all the years since, I've never made established stars audition,I've never kept a writer in the room for lunch, never made a staffwork at Saturday, and always made sure there were enough shares onthe set.” All of this was absent in the Nurses.

Readers interested in appreciating the “nitty gritty” of sitcom writing will find the read fascinating. As Van Zandt states: “You'll learn the businessas I learned it. Naïve at times, stupidly arrogant at other times,but always honored and thrilled to be part of it all.”

Follow Here To Read Norm's Interview With
Billy Van Zandt

Reviewed By Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com

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Name: Norm Goldman
Group: bookpleasures.com
Dateline: Montreal, QC Canada
Direct Phone: 5144868018
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