Written By September/October 2011 : Page 13

lan (co-writer, Analyze This, The Larry Sanders Show ), the bulk of the series was written by these two men alone (along with co-producer Evan Reilly). The two writers share a distinct sensibility and collaborative partnership, informed by a closely connected background. Leary and Tolan spoke with Written By on a conference call (Leary lives on the East Coast, Tolan the West) and from the moment they are on the line together, it feels like being in the show’s firehouse kitchen. It’s a peek at their evident cama-raderie, their weirdly symbiotic natures. the Last Sunset of construction and the lack of a finished memorial. But really they’re trying to cover a wound that’s never going to go away. We were more interested in that.” Tolan agrees, with a caveat: “It doesn’t solve anything. It doesn’t bring anybody back and doesn’t put an end to terrorism. If we had done anything, we would’ve played it for comedy.” “Totally,” Leary says. “Seven pages of Bin Laden jokes.” The two men laugh before any more words can be exchanged. It’s a glimpse into the private world of their collabo-It’s only a few weeks after President Obama’s historic announcement about the Navy SEAL mission that killed Osama bin Laden. The finale of the series takes place the week be-fore the 10th anniversary of Septem-ber 11, which is when it’s scheduled to air. However, these final episodes were filmed in 2010. As part of the larger 9/11 narrative, did they feel a need to address this development in the storyline of those final shows? “No,” Leary says emphatically. “Be-cause the issue is eye for an eye and revenge, which the guys, specifically Tommy, have talked about, whether there’s a value to that or, for lack of a better word—I don’t think it’s a word Tommy likes—closure. It doesn’t fill the hole they need filled. “I had a cousin who was a fire-fighter who died,” continues Leary. “The people who started the fire, one was sent to jail, the other went to rehab. Neither thing provided ‘closure’ to me or my family, or I’m sure to the other families. Nothing was going to bring the people back. That’s the problem for Tommy and the guys. They put their blame on the site, on Ground Zero, the lack SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 WGA W Written By • 13

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