facebook_pixel Press "Enter" to skip to content

Looking to start your TV writing journey?

Writing Themes and Values in TV (PT36)

Alex and Nick discuss the importance of themes and values in television writing, and how you can use them to your advantage in your own TV scripts.

Why are themes and values important in television writing? What are some examples of both? How do you work them in scripts? How do you avoid preachiness in the writing?

The Paper Team shares their motifs…



1 – What are themes and values? (01:20)
2 – How to write themes and values in TV (14:12)
3 – Avoiding preachiness in your writing (23:10)
Takeaways and Resources (27:28)


Survivor: Blood vs. Water
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
“Far Beyond the Stars” (6×13 – Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
Sons of Anarchy
Everybody Loves Raymond
Desperate Housewives
“Earshot” (3×18 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Danny Strong
Buffy Studies
“Beer Bad” (4×05 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Scorpius (Farscape)
The Outer Limits (1963 TV series)
The Outer Limits (1995 TV series)
“Chaos is a ladder” speech from Game of Thrones (Video)
“BoJack Horseman Christmas Special: Sabrina’s Christmas Wish”


“Philosophy of…” Books
“The Philosophy of The Simpsons” – William Irwin, Mark T. Conard, Aeon J. Skoble
Star Trek episodes with social themes

Special thanks to Jason J. Cohn for helping us edit this episode.

If you enjoyed this episode (and others), please consider leaving us an iTunes review at paperteam.co/itunes! :)

You can find Paper Team on Twitter:
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, you can e-mail us: [email protected]

Paper Team
Paper Team
Alex Freedman & Nick Watson

Paper Team is a podcast about television writing and becoming a TV writer.