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Author Shea Serrano was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He grew up in a  Latino community where the prospect of getting paid to write about music and sports wasn’t even heard of. Lest building a career from it. 

Luckily for him, he would find out that accomplishing that is possible. 

Shea started working in construction, but after a couple of years of disappointing customer service work —turns out he wasn’t hired to do actual construction work, the kind that gets you a ton of muscle after a while—, he quit to become a middle school teacher. However, he found out that being a full-time educator was not enough to support his wife Laramie who was pregnant with twins. 

When he couldn’t find suitable options for his work schedule, Shea started hunting for writing gigs. He eventually landed at Houston Press, a weekly publication in Houston, “where I learned how to be a writer,” Shea says. That publication would open the door to more prestigious publications, such as The Village Voice, LA Weekly, MTV and Rolling Stone

His breakthrough moment came when he was invited to join the team at ESPN’S Grantland, a pop culture website created and run by Bill Simmons. However, the endeavor didn’t last long. But Shea had become such a relentless writer that the same year that Grantland shut down in 2015, he published The Rap year book, that would become a New York Times bestseller and turned into a documentary series for AMC. 

But his prolific work hasn’t stopped there: he would later rejoin Bill Simmons at The Ringer (a pop culture, tech and sports website), and went on to publish Basketball and Other Things, and Movies and Other Things, both New York Times bestsellers. 

Shea has a work ethic that involves never feeling too daunted by the unknown: “I had never written on a show before or had any sort of meaningful experience writing a script or anything like that,” he said when he started taking meetings with comedy showrunners such as Mike Schur (Parks and Recreation, The Office). The result of that meeting was “Primo”, released in 2023, and which Shea thinks of as “a show that you watch and hopefully when you’re done you feel a little bit better about the world and your place in it.”

The show got a stunning 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes. But unfortunately, it only ran for one season since Amazon Prime announced its cancellation in May . 

This certainly won’t be Shea’s last jab at TV comedies (he created “Neon”, for Netflix, and wrote the movie “Miguel Wants to Fight,” both released in 2023, the same year as “Primo.”) In the meantime, he just published a new book called A Real Human Being: Dissecting Nine Essential Ryan Gosling Movie Roles

Photo by David Maris.

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