Jason Katims: By profession, an expert at making you cry

Story of the A place in heaven (Apple TV+, as of Friday, 3rd) It may sound too melodramatic to be true, but in May 2010, a boy becomes the sole survivor of a plane crash that takes the lives of his parents and brother. Hundreds of victims. This event inspired Anne Napolitano to write a novel that, in turn, inspired the veteran writer and producer Jason KatimsAnd an offer such successes Friday night lights also fatherhoodon his new attempt Reduce scenes to a bunch of snot and tears.

If in Napolitano’s novel she alternated between the episodes hours before the accident and the episodes after, then Katemis preferred to finish the first, more disturbing part, in the introductory episode. We accompany the teenager Edward (Colin O’Brien), his parents (Robin Tunney s Brian Darcy James), his older brother (Maxwell Jenkins) and some other characters and their families not only during the hours before the tragic flight, but also in the minutes before the accident; Shocking footage brings flashbacks United 93Paul Greengrass’ film about the (perverse but tragic) trajectory of the fourth plane hijacked during the 9/11 attacks.

After the worst drinks, Katim can devote himself to it His usual themes: the bonds between people, the value of family that finds or chooses, and above all, the strength of the human spirit. “I’ve always been drawn to these kinds of ideas,” he explains via video call. “When I watch movies and series or go to the theatre, I always end up focusing more on the characters than on the plot twists. I like stories built around trusted people, people we care about and understand despite their flaws and mistakes.”

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Magic chain remains

The interviewee was struggling as a playwright when he was director and producer in the early 1990s Edward Zwick (creator Thirties) Encourage him to work on screen. Katmos wrote three chapters it’s my lifethat quintessential youth drama through which you discovered us Claire Danes. Then, too, under Zwick’s umbrella, he created the short-lived but memorable romantic drama Relativity. His first (modest) success was another romance, a love story between a human and an alien: Roswellmore than an obvious model for twilight.

But Katim is remembered, above all, as an offer from friday night lights, Heartwarming soccer drama (and the dad you meet along the way) which outweighed the popular and critical impact of the Peter Berg film on which it was based. His last episode earned him Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series in 2011. “Everything fell into place in that chain,” he says. “There was something magical about the combination of factors: It was the actors, it was the world that was depicted, it was the Texas landscape. People still come to me today to say they see it again or they just discovered it. It’s something special.”

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a star FNLAnd Connie Brittonshines A place in heaven As social worker Dee Dee, wife of a passenger on the ill-fated flight and mother of a young woman, Zoe (Audrey Corsa), whose birthday is the day her father died. “I created Dee Dee for Connie, but the idea wasn’t to revisit what was already there, but to do something new together. The character couldn’t be more different than [la consejera estudiantil] Tammy Taylor”.

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His family drama is also remembered with affection, or rather wistfully. fatherhood, a particularly personal project for Kateem: the character of Max (Max Burkholder), the Bravermans’ son with Asperger’s, was somewhat like his own son, Sawyer. Last year, Kateem relapsed into an autism spectrum disorder disorder Our lookAmazon canceled it after only one season. Something never discouraged him from his mission to make series about ordinary people: “This is what motivates me. The exact details of what is happening between people. Silence and know what’s behind them. The feeling of thinking that we are all, in fact, doing our best“.

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