Lauren Schmidt Hissrich: A Striving Force In Television

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Geralt. The Hargreeves. Matt Murdock. Three major franchises and Netflix original series. But what does each have in common? One creative mind and genius behind the writer’s desk called Lauren Schmidt Hissrich.

Born in 1978, the screenwriter grew up in Ohio and graduated in 2000 with her BA in English and Creative Writing. Lauren Schmidt Hissrich has been a striving force in the television world since 2002 where she worked as a writer for The West Wing. Until 2007 she was solely a story editor and script writer for fellow NBC shows such as Justice and Drive, when she became the Executive Producer on the Grey’s Anatomy spin-off Private Practise until 2009.

From there, her career and popularity have only gone upwards. 2016 saw her become involved with Marvel series Daredevil and 2017 with its Defenders, which stars a returning Matt Murdock from Daredevil teaming up with Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage from other Marvel series on Netflix. In 2019, Schmidt Hissrich worked as a writer and co-executive producer on Netflix original The Umbrella Academy, which adapted the comic series of the same name. The series was the third most popular on the streaming site in 2019, raking in an audience of over 45 million within its first month, and renewed for a second series just as quickly.

Perhaps her most famous project is the Netflix adaptation of The Witcher. Released in 2019, this adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels is gritty and expansive and her work as the showrunner of the entire project has made her become a household name. Her writing and creative vision allow for such a unique viewpoint to come across in her creations; in The Witcher: A Look Inside The Episodes, Schmidt Hissrich presents questions about humanity, decisions, humanity and fantasy-fulfilling moments that display a critical eye and thinking about why instead of simply what.

Sure, The Witcher contains gore and nudity, which may make people think of Game of Thrones and the backlash behind some of its more shocking moments. “Fans are savvy,” she says in Making The Witcher. “They don’t need to be shocked” with over-the-top gore and other content. For that decision, The Witcher comes across as more well-rounded and welcoming to new audiences. It’s no wonder it’s become one of Netflix’s best-loved, most-watched series.

All of Lauren Schmidt Hissrich’s projects, particularly those in the past five years, show just how dedicated to her craft she is; the 49-year-old takes care with what she adds into each episode of her work, thinking not just for the current series, but (and especially in terms of The Witcher) the longevity of story and characters – what will their character arcs look like three, four, five series down the line?

Season 2 of The Witcher is currently filming and writing for its prologue series Blood Origin is likewise in early stages. Whatever happens, it’s safe to say that it’s in some talented hands.

All episodes of The Witcher‘s first series are available on Netflix. You can watch a trailer below.

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Second-year archaeology & history student and Culture Editor 2019/20. Loves archery and Assassin's Creed, and still hoping to one day find the doorway to Narnia.

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