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After 148 days of striking, Hollywood writers are going back to work

JUANA SUMMERS, HOST:

After 148 days, television and movie writers are headed back to work. And whether they're starting a new job, working on a show that was put on hold or looking for a new gig, writers are happy that the strike is over.

ELISE BROWN: I'm really excited to go back to work. I mean, I love to write, and I love the room that I'm in. I'm really excited to kind of go back to that camaraderie and kind of that environment.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

That's Elise Brown. She wrote on the Hulu series "Candy," which is based on the true story of a woman accused of murdering her lover's wife.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "CANDY")

JESSICA BIEL: (As Candy Montgomery) I did have an affair with Allan Gore. But, well, it has nothing to do with all of this. I ended it. I ended it a long time ago.

SUMMERS: That's a scene from an episode Brown wrote. And on Wednesday, she's headed back to work, this time for season three of Showtime's hit series "Yellowjackets."

SHAPIRO: Another writer who can't wait to get back to work is Kylie Brakeman. She's a comedy writer but isn't quite sure where she'll land.

KYLIE BRAKEMAN: I am unemployed in kind of an awesome and cool way, and it is kind of nice. Like, I know it is tough to find work as a writer and as an actor, but it feels a little bit more optimistic because it feels like there's more protections in place.

SHAPIRO: Brakeman had worked on "The Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE TONIGHT SHOW")

JIMMY FALLON: Thank you, dogs willing to wear Halloween costumes, for looking at their owners and going, sure, I'll do it. It seems like they need this.

(LAUGHTER)

SUMMERS: That's a joke Brakeman wrote for a recurring bit, Thank You Notes. With all writing stopped, both Brakeman and Brown were left feeling, well...

BRAKEMAN: I definitely felt a little aimless, a little wandering.

BROWN: There was just so much kind of anxiety and emotion kind of built up in terms of just trying to figure out, like, where the strike was going and trying to continue to make ends meet and also just worrying about, you know, the uncertainty of it all.

SHAPIRO: So what do you do when you have all the time in the world? Pick up new hobbies, of course.

BRAKEMAN: I picked up the banjo. We were on strike for long enough for me to buy a banjo, sort of learn how to play the banjo and then completely forget how to play the banjo.

SUMMERS: Luckily, banjo playing won't be necessary for her next job, but she does hope her next job will allow her to expand her comedic writing.

BRAKEMAN: I think, overall, a big thing for me is, like, I just love telling stories about women who are horrible, like Lucille Bluth.

SUMMERS: That would be Lucille Bluth, the boozy matriarch from Fox's acclaimed series, "Arrested Development."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT")

JESSICA WALTER: (As Lucille Bluth) Get me a vodka rocks.

JASON BATEMAN: (As Michael Bluth) Mom, it's breakfast.

WALTER: (As Lucille Bluth) And a piece of toast.

SHAPIRO: Brown says she's looking forward to joining the staff of "Yellowjackets." She's especially drawn to how the series leans into dark comedy.

BROWN: It's really bold and really surprising and unapologetic, and I think that makes it really fun and exciting. And so I'm excited to be back in the room and kind of be part of finding those things that hopefully people will find really surprising and exciting and don't see coming.

SUMMERS: That was Elise Brown and Kylie Brakeman, members of the Writers Guild of America, who are no longer on strike.

(SOUNDBITE OF WALE SONG, "SABOTAGE (FEAT. LLOYD)") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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