Sunday, April 10, 2016

TV’s quiet 12-step revolution: Prestige comedies are changing the way we see addiction, sobriety and AA -

Sarah Hepola is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, "Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget." writes this "Article" (Its more like a novel!) about TV and our view of 12 Step programs. One of my biggest bitches with using AA members in TV and movie plots is the writer's need to get everyone drunk, especially their characters who have been sober for many years--so and so's sponsor who had 15 to 30 years. I hate it. In the name of "plot tension" they always get the sober guys drunk--its like Hollywood can't figure out that the 12 Step program actually WORKS for many people--in Hollywood members of AA always fail in recovery--ostensibly to give the plot more spice.

Sarah writes about drama and comedy and AA--gives some great examples and complains that Hollywood makes sobriety look easy, "Stories about addicts follow a familiar arc: the exhilaration of alcohol or drugs, followed by the train wreck, and then — tah-dah! — a shiny new life in recovery." Maybe, but they also make it look basically unattainable and everyone at some time has to get drunk again! Since there are many of us DON'T get drunk again--I find it insulting to show audiences only one side of AA--get in trouble, get in treatment, change your life, relapse at some point!

I'm grateful that recovery is part of life portrayed on TV today. Now lets get real and cut the easy way out of writing "tension" into a plot--try reality--and start with those of us that don't slip for the shock value. Read Sarah's piece here:

TV’s quiet 12-step revolution: Prestige comedies are changing the way we see addiction, sobriety and AA - "People often complain that recovery stories are all the same, because they follow the same trajectory, which is sort of like saying that human lives are all the same, because we all wind up dead. The drama is entirely in how we get there. What I think people are saying is that we keep telling recovery stories in the same way, and it’s boring. Fair enough. I think we need more stories, better stories, different stories. "

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