– Mark E. Smith

Thirtysomething, though unfairly derided, was a formative experience for the intelligent viewer with an interest in design. (It also provided a stunning example of Jewish American manhood, in Ken Olin’s performance as Michael Steadman, that has never been rivalled on television.) I watched every episode on first run, cursing the shitty NCI captioning every single week. Then, in 1997 and 1998, Showcase reran the whole series from start to finish. I programmed one of my expensive Sony VHS decks to record the show.

And after about the second episode, I decided to handwrite my own episode guide. It runs 330 pages and takes ages just to flip through.

Double-page spread of handwritten notes – in two pen colours, on lined paper – in a binder

Things were a bit tricky that one time I tried out to be a comedy writer for TSN and missed an episode. That hole took a while to fill in. But I did it, and now I have the only Thirtysomething episode guide in existence.

These loose-leaf and scrap-paper pages would be an astronomical amount of work to scan, what with different stocks, pre-punched and post-facto-punched binder holes, and varying recto and verso usage. I’d be more than willing to do it if I had reliable equipment.

As you can see, then, in fact I have been a perfectionist and a completionist for a very long time.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2011.10.11 13:37. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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