Friday, January 20, 2012

The Big Bang Theory's 100th episode.

This screencap is of course from The Big Bang Theory's second season and to be more precise, from 2x17, 'The Terminator Decoupling'. That episode isn't perhaps the best in the series - but just take a look at the picture: Horny Howard trying to get the hot girl.

Pretty awesome in my opinion.

Now, let's flash forward to the one hundreth episode of The Big Bang Theory, 5x13 The Recombination Hypothesis. It's the episode in which Leonard and Penny go out. Well, kinda, because in the end it turns out that it was just a dream.

This 100th episode was supposed to be special - in a good way - but unfortunately it just wasn't. This was simply a terrible episode. It didn't celebrate our geeks, their friendship or their ideals and it didn't take a look back at what made the show good in the first place.

Instead, it did the complete opposite. It promoted almost every aspect of the show that hasn't worked in recent years. Like not having a plot, not having science and not having any enthusiasm in the episode.

It was really frustrating to watch an episode that basically consisted of dick-jokes and Leonard's passive-aggressive moping, 'Lenny' hating his life, hating others and then of course getting in bed with Penny. It was honestly depressing and sad. No jokes, no story, no nothing.

Unfortunately, what's worse is that the Lenny & Penny chemistry-free uncomedy probably wasn't even the worst part of the 100th episode special. Because I think that the worst part was this:

Bernadette and Amy Farrah Fowler talking dirty for no reason at all.

I mean, how is it be possible that characters that didn't even exist 1-2 years ago have now almost taken over the show? This is so wrong and so against the premise. You don't give secondary characters individual scenes. You just don't never ever do that.

But they do this anyway, and now we're supposed to be interested in Amy's smoking monkey, Amy playing her harp, her being Sheldon's girlfriend and her wanting to have sex with Penny (!).

This stuff is so pointless, depressing and weak that I'm wishing that maybe these last two seasons never happened and that perhaps it was just a dream.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Modern Family spec script.

I decided to make my first Modern Family spec script available, so there you are.

Once again it's pretty difficult to tell how good the script is but at least I tried to keep the storylines somewhat simple, logical and straightforward. I also tried to keep the reader interested in what was going on.

Another challenge was how to deal with the information, "who knows what and when" - how to reveal information to the characters and to the audience.

For example, in Gloria's and Jay's storyline about Gloria wanting to buy a tandem bike, I think I had to keep what she wanted hidden as long as possible. If they would have mentioned the bike in their first scene, would anyone have cared about what happened in the next scene? My guess is a pretty solid no.

The storyline about Cam and Mitchell taking Lily to a babyswim was also pretty challenging. Again, I had to keep the Fizbo part hidden. If Mitchell had known about it in the first scene, they would never have gotten to the swimming hall. Of course it's another question whether one finds this storyline plausible.

The third storyline was about Phil meeting his college buddy for the first time in years. His friend used to have a drinking problem so the question was whether he was still an alcoholic. This storyline was a serious one but I thought it was a good idea to show Phil as a real person and not just as a harmless goofball.

Modern Family usually has storylines that in the end tend to converge. The problem with these endings has been that the lessons or happy endings have usually been implausible. So I tried to circumvent the problem by being tongue-in-cheek instead of using voice-overs that wouldn't have worked.

As I said, I don't know how good the script is, but I did write it.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Worst spec script mistakes ever: criticising looks.

You might have already read my post about the guy who wasn't able to write a coherent logline (but managed to win a competition). That's probably the biggest mistake you can make based on your lack of intelligence - lack of IQ that is.

However, that still leaves us the mistakes you can make based on your lack of emotional intelligence. Unfortunately this is an area where you can make even bigger mistakes than writing loglines that don't make sense.

I found one when I managed to read a Modern Family spec that boldly went where many hadn't gone before - that is, totally superficial.

It was pretty hard for me to believe what I was reading, but nevertheless, this writer's storylines were all about how someone looks and how the characters would change the appearance of others if they could.

Cameron this, Mitchell that, Jay this, Gloria that, Claire this, Phil that. Looks, looks, looks.

You know, unless the premise of the show is "the fat guy and.." (King of Queens, Mike & Molly), you don't bring up someone's appearance. You may and even should complain about someone's habits, but you don't complain about the looks. Because doing that is simply wrong. It's inhuman.

The whole point of writing is that looks don't matter. It's what's inside that counts.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Modern Family's disappointing third season (so far).

I think it's pretty safe to say that Modern Family has had a disappointing third season so far. I haven't laughed and I haven't been moved. Out of eleven episodes that have aired, only one in my opinion has been good.

There are of course numerous reasons why the show hasn't been entertaining. The characters haven't been particularly likable, there are too many storylines on every episode and the plots don't make sense either. Also, the wrap endings have been almost completely implausible.

Nevertheless, probably the biggest reason that the show lacks in quality is because the creator of Modern Family, seven time Emmy winner Christopher Lloyd, apparently hasn't contributed anything to the show this season.

The only good episode, 'Treehouse', was written by the other showrunner, Steven Levitan. That episode unfortunately happens to be the only one that Levitan has written this season.

To me this shows once again that there aren't that many talented writers in Hollywood. The difference between 'Treehouse' and the rest of this season's episodes is simply too big. 'Treehouse' is such a lovely episode, those others just aren't.

I can't help but to think how much better Modern Family would be if it had more good writers like Levitan. The audience deserves better than this.

Is there any chance that they could work a little bit harder on the show? I mean, they must be aware that things aren't going that well despite the ratings and the awards.