A Former TV Writer Is Lifting The Lid On What It Was Like To Work On A Heap Of Famous Shows, And None Of Them Sound That Great, To Be Honest

Patty Lin also said that Desperate Housewives' creator, Marc Cherry, had to be isolated in an "undisclosed location" to get work done because of his "short attention span."

Former television writer Patty Lin has lifted the lid on what it was really like to work on some of TV's biggest series in her new memoir, End Credits: How I Broke Up With Hollywood, which was released earlier this week.

Patty reflects on her time on hugely popular shows in the book, and while she credits her "positive experience" on Freaks & Geeks with helping to stave off her early disillusion with the industry, the same can sadly not be said for several other popular projects that she worked on over the years.

The cast of Freaks and Geeks sitting on school indoor bleachers

Discussing her time writing for Desperate Housewives, Patty admits that she was already close to leaving Hollywood when she read creator Marc Cherry's script for the show in 2004.

Marc smiling with a suburban street backdrop

This ended up winning Patty over, and when she joined the writers room for Season 1, she enjoyed a brief "honeymoon period" in a "surprisingly democratic" work environment.

But this wasn't to last, and according to Entertainment Weekly, Patty goes on to reveal that working for Marc was the first time she "encountered overt racism."

A close-up of Marc Cherry at a media event

Patty's parents are Taiwanese, and she quickly discovered that she was the only person of color on the show's 10-person staff of "big personalities."

Cast members of Desperate Housewives sitting and standing together

"The biggest was Marc's," she writes. "I had never encountered overt racism until I worked for him."

Close-up of Marc smiling

Patty details a time when the writers were talking about Margaret Cho's sitcom, All-American Girl, which is about a Korean American family. "Marc turned to me and said, 'Patty, you should write a show like that,'" she shares. "I love Margaret Cho, but please don't lump us together just because we're both Asian women in show business."

Patty describes Marc as a showrunner "who was impossible to please," and says that it felt "obvious" to her that Marc "didn't have a vision" for Desperate Housewives beyond the pilot.

The women of Desperate Housewives sitting around a kitchen table

She accuses him of having "obsessive tendencies" and a "maniacal drive," which left him "incapable of articulating what he wanted."

Close-up of Desperate Housewives cast members in a scene

In her memoir, Patty recalls the way Marc had to retreat to his own "writing bungalow" that was in an "undisclosed location because he had a short attention span." She adds, "Keeping him in solitary was the only way to get this goose to lay any eggs."

The cast and Marc, holding an award, on the red carpet

She also compares the Desperate Housewives writers room to Lord of the Flies as she criticized the "wildly inefficient system."

Close-up of Marc at a media event

"It's a miracle that any episodes of Desperate Housewives ever got made," Patty writes. "The quality that had attracted me to the pilot — the dark humor — was lost in the slapdash, assembly-line approach to what was supposed to be a creative process. We were putting out schlock. The fact that it became the hottest show on TV, won multiple awards, ran for eight years, and earned more revenue than god still boggles my mind."

The cast smiling and hugging in front of a "Desperate Housewives 100th" cake

Patty also recalls feeling unwelcome during table reads with the cast or while on set: "Usually we'd see the cast only at table reads, where we'd sit quietly in the back and try not to make eye contact with Teri Hatcher."

Close-up of Teri smiling at a media event

According to Entertainment Weekly, Patty was let go by ABC partway through the first season of Desperate Housewives, which ended up running between 2004 and 2012.

BuzzFeed has contacted Marc's rep and ABC for comment.

Close-up of Marc at a media event

And Desperate Housewives isn't the only huge show that Patty calls out in her memoir, with her experience on Friends also being an unenjoyable one.

The six leads of Friends sitting or standing together at several tables

The sitcom ran from 1994 to 2004, and in 2000 — just two years into her career — Patty was told that the team wanted to meet with her ahead of Season 7.

The six leads at a birthday party on the show

While the writer was excited for the opportunity, she was also hyper-aware that NBC had "just launched a diversity program" with the goal of hiring "more writers of color."

Similarly to Desperate Housewives, Patty was "the only minority" in the Friends writers room, which consisted of 14 people, nine of whom were white men.

The Friends cast and writers standing together

The writers endured grueling 12-hour days working on the episodes, and Patty also opens up about the time she spent with the A-list cast in her book.

The six leads sitting together

She says that the "novelty" of seeing Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, and Matthew Perry in real life quickly wore off, and claimed that the actors would "deliberately tank" the lines they didn't like during table reads in order to get a rewrite.

The cast sitting together and holding champagne in a scene from the show

"The actors seemed unhappy to be chained to a tired old show when they could be branching out," Patty writes. "I felt like they were constantly wondering how every given script would specifically serve them."

She also calls out the cast for the "dire, aggressive" approach that they apparently had when airing their grievances with the script, explaining, "Everyone would sit around Monica and Chandler’s apartment and discuss the script. This was the actors’ first opportunity to voice their opinions, which they did vociferously. They rarely had anything positive to say, and when they brought up problems, they didn’t suggest feasible solutions."

The cast sitting around a table opening Christmas gifts in a scene from the show

Patty goes on: "Seeing themselves as guardians of their characters, they often argued that they would never do or say such-and-such. That was occasionally helpful, but overall, these sessions had a dire, aggressive quality that lacked all the levity you’d expect from the making of a sitcom."

A scene being filmed

Patty was not asked to return for Season 8 of Friends when Season 7 wrapped, and while she admits that she felt "mortified" by the decision, she also recalls being "a little bit relieved." She ended up retiring from TV writing entirely in 2008.

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