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  • Writer's pictureHannah Pearson

Hannah in Berlin

Choke on a Croissant Emily, There's a New Brat To Watch.


Spoilers For: The Greatest Show on Earth!


We open on a chilly spring night. It was a clear sky but let’s make it foggy (creative licensing). A smiling couple leaves the Castro Theatre holding hands, the marquee lit up behind them. They round the corner onto 18th Street when the girl spots a dusty-looking van in an alley and a sign that reads “Tarot Reading.”


What could it hurt?


It’s a waste of money.

Ignoring his dismissal, she crawls aboard. He stays outside. Waiting inside a strange woman and the smell of patchouli and weed. Cut to fifteen minutes later and the once perky ingenue emerges with a somber look.


What did she say?


Just two things.

Smash cut:

Few minutes moments before. The fortune-teller pulls out the last card of the formation of five. We angle on an upside-down Ten of Swords.


This is not good.

A long beat. The eager blonde leans in, staring at the cards. Her future.


First, the man you love will break your heart.

The girl looks out the window at her date. He plays on his phone under a street light. The resident "bad boy” of her college days. He flew all the way out to see her after months of texting turned into a confessional, unmasking shared mutual feelings. She spent four years distracted in class by his charms and now he was going home with her.


What else?


There is something you want more than love, yes?




You will never have it. And if you try to have it then you will fail. Every time.

The girl is polite and thanks the woman for this dreadful news before handing over a wad of crinkled ones. She slides out of the van and back onto the street. Cut back to walk home:


I don’t want to talk about it.

Fade out on the penultimate episode of our 2015 binge-worthy obsession. It’s a bit cliche, a white girl moves from small town USA to the big city to “find herself” but goddamnit if the writing and the soundtrack aren’t on point. It's only season one but already we can tell it’s going to be around for a long time. So what happened in the season one finale??

The man she loved did break her heart but it wasn’t the guy from the movies. The twist ending revealed it was the coworker with all the sexual tension and funny one-liners. He was the fan favorite anyways, but alas, the actor was committed to other projects and had to be written off.

So with half the omen now true, would our main character give up on the thing she wants most in the world, the thing she has spent her whole life dreaming about, the thing she eats, sleeps, and breathe… to be a writer.

Wait a second! A slightly annoying girl in the big city, wanting to be a writer, and her name is Hannah. It’s gotta be Girls, right?

FUCK NO! It’s my life. And seeing it through a television show lens is the weird way in which I process this confusing world and all the emotions I feel on the reg. I have been suffering from main character syndrome long before TikTok ever left China and let me tell you it has been a wild ride. Let’s recap and catch all you newcomers up.

Season One: Runaway bride Hannah books a one-way ticket to San Francisco. She is fed up with the South and seeks fortune out west. In the first half she gets mixed up with a tech bro that introduces her to the “New” San Francisco. Turns out he sucks and she likes the old SF better. The rest of S1 has a carousel of eligible bachelors and misadventures for our plucky heroine.

Season Two: We shoot in Los Angeles. Hannah leaves The Bay behind to try to make it as a writer in the one place it makes sense. But that crazy van hippy’s curse hits hard. Our protagonist gets stuck in an awful job with a love-to-hate boss and a friendship is destroyed. The season ends with Hannah semi-homeless and holding a positive pregnancy test. Dramatic cliffhanger AF.

Season Three: Bright lights of New York City, baby! Oh and an actual baby. Hannah reinvents herself on a different coast. The first few episodes are rough slices of life. Turns out having a newborn makes doing anything else basically impossible. But by the end, she seems to have gotten the hang of motherhood and squared away some time to write again. She’ll show those tarot cards wrong. Oh, but what’s this? A pandemic and full-blown lockdown. Dun! Dun! Dun!

Season Four: The Santa Cruz episodes. Honestly, this season is kinda boring. Thankfully it is cinematically stunning and the special guest stars save it from being a total snooze fest. But despite being back in California, somehow Hannah feels even further away from making it as a writer. Maybe that fortune-teller was right. Maybe she’ll just keep failing. Maybe she should just give it all up and try to make it on a Real Housewife show.

Okay, we are all caught up and it’s time for season five. The last season (although the fan base is still fighting for six seasons and a movie). It’s time to get back to the secret sauce that made this show in the beginning. We need Hannah in a beautiful city, fish-out-of-water scenarios, and a killer soundtrack.

Let Emily have Paris because Hannah is in Berlin!

Wilkommen Y’all!

That’s right, I moved to Berlin and stopped writing in third person. Even more insane, I did it to go to film school. Oh yes, film school, that thing that is somehow both a joke in the industry but also very highly respected. Annoying, ja?

Honestly, though, it’s not even to help me “make it as a writer.” I am a writer, whether I am being paid or not. But I need a break from query letters and fellowship/contest rejection emails. Until I am staffed on a show, give me a simulation. Film school is a way for me to build a network, have access to a studio/equipment to learn new skills, and get the experiences I have been dreaming about for my entire life. Also, a masters degree would look pretty cute on my rezzy.

So what can we expect from this season of my life? Well for starters I will be taking anyone interested on this journey with me, instead of letting the weird TV show fantasy exist only in my head. So look out for occasional interruptions of my regular scheduled programming of snarky articles about all things TV with updates on life in Berlin and film school. It is going to be like How Stella Got Her Groove Back Auf Deutsch!

Berlin will be a central character because I’ve been madly in love with this place and vowed to move here ever since a visit in 2016. The fashion is punk meets post-apocalypse and a hot summer day ends at a beer garden. Everywhere you turn is someone doing something cool. Everything is art here. People seem inspired but also completely fine taking their time. It’s like the West Coast and the East Coast had a baby and that baby ran away to go to raves in Europe.

But it’s not all techno and brats. Learning the language has not been a Kuchen walk. Some days I feel so confident and order food in my best Deutsch, only to be met with the dreaded German stare down. If I leave here in a year only knowing how to say one thing it will be Ich verstehe nicht. Making time for writing meetings with Susannah will be tricky but with all our exciting new projects, I’m fine with a few late nights. Lastly, I already understand why everyone complains about the paperwork here. Germany is a linear video game and if you forget one step then it’s Game Over. I’ll probably just throw it all in a montage that illustrates how time-consuming and frustrating the process is while adding some comic relief for the viewer.

I’m not sure what this year will bring, because I can’t see the future. There are many things I hope will happen. I hope I make friends because this extrovert needs a supporting cast. I hope my daughter falls in love with Berlin and picks up the language quickly because I need a translator. I hope all my upcoming projects with Susannah and Tellyfish are successful. I hope film school is everything I ever wanted. I hope all of this gets me one step closer to becoming a paid writer, because I don’t believe in tarot cards, predicting the future, or awful curses. I just believe that I am meant to be a writer.

So stay tuned!


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