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Apr 14, 2014


“My So-called Life.”

“Tales of the City.”

“Once and Again.”

I feel confident saying that I have seen the complete runs of two television series with which writer, director and producer Richard Kramer has been associated — “Thirtysomething” and “Once and Again.”

RICHARD KRAMER podcast excerpt: "It's a coming-of-age story but it's not about teenagers. And it's a coming out story that is not about gayness."

And that I may have never seen a single episode of the other two, “My So-called Life” and “Tales of the City.”

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

RICHARD KRAMER: "We can't believe how Claire Danes grew up. We think of her at 14, when she was this little girl who just came in to audition for 'My So-called Life,' having done one TV show, and we went, 'Oh, my God, who is this?' She was completely focused and adult at 14."

“Thirtysomething” and “Once and Again” were two shows that spoke to me at times when I matched up with their demographic: young, married, and, um, still married, I guess. (Have I ever been not married? It’s so hard to remember.)

As for “My So-called Life,” I was long past high school when it enjoyed its short but spirited run. And I’ve never been gay – happy, sure – so Armistead Maupin’s “Tales of the City” was not a show I was drawn to for any reason.

But now that Richard Kramer has added the word “novelist” to his resume, his first book, These Things Happen, has almost incidentally rolled together elements of all four of the aforementioned TV series — straight marriage, remarriage, gay marriage, straight teens, gay teens, and lots of delicious sounding food — into one uniquely organized tale.

RICHARD KRAMER: "At the beginning, 'Thirtysomething' was about a moment in your life when you could still drop in on your friends, unannounced. And when you could walk through the door and it was not about anything other than fun. But then as you get on a bit, you have to call ahead. You have to book the time."

These Things Happen came out in paperback this week and HBO recently committed to a half-hour comedy pilot based on the book and produced by Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions.

Not bad, Richard. Not bad.