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‘Fleishman Is In Trouble’ Creator Talks Series’ Nostalgia and ‘Jewish Aesthetic’: ‘I Only Know How To Write What’s In My Heart’

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Malina Saval Associate Editor, Features With “Fleishman is in Trouble,” Taffy Brodesser-Akner has sparked a wave of nostalgia for viewers who, like the FX limited series’ three main characters, Toby, Libby and Seth, met during a study abroad program in Israel.

Whether it was Hebrew U. in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv U.—or Bar Ilan U., where Brodesser-Akner spent her junior year of college— the TV adaption of the best-selling novel is not only an excavation of divorce and parenthood in the modern age, but a vessel through which fans of the show can relive one of the most impressionable periods of their early twenties, that period during which they left America, nurtured their Jewish identity in a foreign country and forged relationships that stretched into their adulthoods.  “Fleishman” is one of four nominations in the WGA awards limited series category. “The Dropout,” “Pam & Tommy,” and “The Staircase” are also in contention at the event, taking place March 5 at the Fairmont Century City Plaza in Los Angeles.  “Fleishman” is a personal story, notes Brodesser-Akner, but that’s really the only way to write in such a way that captivates a broader audience.  “I only know how to write what’s in my heart–what’s been in my heart,” says the journalist-author. “And I know someone who gave me [this] great advice a long time ago: your writing will be bad unless it’s for one person.

And if you look at anything I ever wrote for GQ, it’s different from the things I write for the New York Times. And it’s not because GQ and the Times are different—it’s because my editors there are different.” “And so, this thing [“Fleishman”] was the story,” she continues. “I was very lucky I had a network that’s at a studio and producing partners who were

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