End Credits by Patty Lin
A TV Book Review
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
You might not recognize her name, but Patty Lin had a hand in many popular TV shows of the 90s and 2000s, including Friends, Desperate Housewives, and Breaking Bad, before she quit show business for good. End Credits is the story of her life and career, including growing up with Taiwanese immigrant parents, struggling as a staff writer, agonizing over pilots that never got picked up, languishing in a 10-year relationship with a commitment-phobic fellow writer she calls "Carl," and ultimately choosing to prioritize her own happiness and leave her career.
Patty’s writing is personal and conversational, like she's telling a story to a friend at a dinner party, and in fact, it was questions from friends at dinner parties that inspired her to write her memoir (she got tired of having to explain why she quit). She candidly expresses the emotional rollercoaster of working in the "broken" business of television, calling out a few well-known people in the industry by name while using aliases for others. She lays out the toxic culture of showbiz, where people act like your best friend and then never speak to you again; and where you can be totally ignored and demoralized one day and invited to a swanky party the next. While other memoirs I've read alluded to this screwed up culture, none of them described its devastating effect on people’s emotions wellbeing quite like Patty’s. Hers is a real, down-to-earth voice that doesn't beat around the bush.
Fortunately, the story had a happy ending with Patty finally walking away from the mounting stress and anxiety free to embrace her creativity in a way that brings her fulfillment and joy. It's a cautionary tale for any career-minded young people who might let their ambitions take precedence over their mental and physical health. Our society praises "hustle culture" and diminishes the importance of self care. We're not supposed to "play hard" unless we also "work hard," but this attitude is self-destructive, as Patty found out the hard way.
I think we can all learn a thing or two from Patty’s experience, no matter what business we're in. I highly recommend this book for everyone. Buy it on Amazon!