Emmys writers & directors: Writer’s POV – Alexa Junge

One nomination, "Friends" in 1999

Inspirations: “People who are writing currently owe a great debt to ‘Seinfeld’ because it changed what constituted half-hour structure and content. It made it OK to be scathing and subversive,” says Junge. She also extols “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” as an earlier influence. “It’s just extraordinary how it holds up, the realness of the show, the fact that the jokes are so rooted. It’s none of the stuff you associate with half-hour.”

Influences: For someone who once moved to the East Coast to pursue theater writing, a career in television came as a bit of a surprise. Citing Chekhov as a personal favorite, Junge says, “It’s other kinds of writers that inspired me. I feel like I’ve been educated about TV in the last 10 years, more than when I was growing up.”

Moments: Junge values her 1999 Emmy nomination for “Friends,” unpretentiously referring to it as “one step closer to female world domination.” She adds: “Oftentimes there aren’t many women in comedy who are nominated; it’s not even considered that women are particularly funny.” But working on “Friends” was its own reward: “I’m so proud of the work we did and the fun we had. That’s sort of my acid test, it’s what I measure fun and excellence by.”

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