Thursday, December 03, 2009

Patroclus and I have written a sitcom!

(sometimes the classic JonnyB opening is the only one that will do).

Because I don't really live in what is tiresomely known as 'the real world', I was under the impression that programmes like 'The Apprentice' and 'Dragon's Den' were an accurate, and if anything, underplayed representation of Big Business. This was until I started to realise P (who has been a professional copywriter for umpty tum years AND has set up her own business, which is doing very well, thanks for asking) would squirm in her seat while these things were on, and murmur gentle admonishments like 'THIS IS BOLLOCKS' and 'THAT'S NOT HOW BUSINESS WORKS!' &c.

Which came as a shock to me, because apart from anything else, television DOES NOT LIE. If television is ever caught lying, Ant and Dec have to come round your house to apologise, and they're busy people, so everyone works hard to make sure this doesn't happen. But apparently on this one occasion (being where it covered business, I'm lumping it all together), television had lied.

PATROCLUS: I mean, cuh, if you actually thought business worked like this and went around shouting about giving a hundred and ten per cent, and blaming everyone else whenever something went wrong, you'd just get stared at. People would think you were mad.

ME: OH TO THE EM TO THE GEE! We should write a sitcom about exactly this, using my years of comedic experience, and your knowledge of the business world, and the absurd jargon within, particularly in the IT industry, and it should be about two guys who quit a secure office job to start up their own company working on the next Facebook or Twitter or augmented reality, or whatever nebulous thing is hovering on the horizon!

P: WE SHOULD TOTALLY DO THIS!

CUT TO:

Us doing something else.

CUT TO:

A FEW MONTHS LATER

A producer I know mentions she's looking for a few lines of dialogue for a couple of actors we already know. P and I suddenly realise they would be perfect for our sitcom. Nine symbolically important months later (we both wandered off for a bit in the middle), we have finished the sitcom. It's far too late to be useful to the producer, and the characters have changed a bit, to the extent the original actors wouldn't work, so in terms of fulfilling the brief, it's something of a bust, but on the other hand: BRAND NEW SITCOM SCRIPT.

What was particularly fun about this was that though I've written as part of a team, or on my own, I've never written with one other person before. And I am married to P! Which suggested moments like this:

INT* VERANDA - EVENING

The sun goes down over Penryn harbour, yachts and bronzed millionaires frolicking in the pink dusk (note: can yachts frolic? Get script editor to research).

P and I, wearing Fifties style matching pyjamas, are on the veranda. I am sitting carelessly on a chair, next to a lovely battered old lovely old typewriter (battered). P stares carelessly out over the water, where a squadron of dolphins frolic carelessly in the lovely battered water.

P.: (carelessly) Dearest heart, I cannot but wonder if on page eighteen, line nine, we could add the phrase 'realistic pigmentation of raptor perspicacity'.

ME: (carelessly) Sweetie pumpkin, what a marvellous notion. I shall action it henceforth.

Slight pause.

ME: Let us never fight like this again.

CUT.

Actually it was a bit like that. Anyway, we finished it (it's called 'Outside The Box') and it's just now being sent off to various production companies. Woo!


* or possibly EXT, it's hard to tell with verandas, they're liminal.

21 comments:

Vicus Scurra said...

Can I be in it?

Tim Footman said...

Shouldn't the dolphins be battered? And served with chips and peas?

james henry said...

WHY DOES TIM FOOTMAN HATE DOLPHINS SO?

Vicus: my current plan is to play all the parts myself, but this may change, will keep interested parties updated via the blog. Perhaps some kind of Paypal auction etc.

Boz said...

This is officially Very Exciting. Battered.

I am free to babysit if you both get thrust into the glamorous world of the business they call show.

james henry said...

Cheers Boz! It is a concern if we both get invited to meetings actually. Although could pretend Blue Kitten is our very small PA.

'Get me a coffee!'

PA collapses in giggles, looks suddenly very thoughtful, does ginormous poo.

Fi said...

Babies are totally appropriate for meetings... Surely?

This is exciting, I look forward to it :)

Boz said...

That sounds like a scene from the sitcom...

Piers said...

I wish to read said sitcom.

To where, exactly, should the piles of non-sequential used five pound notes be delivered?

Phill said...

Sounds good. I work in IT so will look out for this with interest. (Not, you know, with bank interest, as in my interest is increasing by 16% a day. Just to clarify).

And I've just added "Try battered dolphin and chips" to the list of things I need to do while I'm still alive.

Sylvia said...

All the best of luck with it. Is there a part for JRT? Please? As long as it doesn't involve rabbits... The Queens of Insania need him back on their screens....

Billy said...

I hope you both give 110% to this project.

Rebecca said...

I can't wait. And this really is one of those "How come we never thought of this before?" things.

jonathan said...

Those comments of 'P's while watching the Apprentice etc are exactly the sort of things I tend to shout at it, it's high time someone nailed the dishonesty of those shows- which, apart from anything else, must put suitable but underconfident young people from trying to get jobs in big business, I always worry- and you may be the very man.

And Shaun the Sheep! From the synopsis this sounds well worth waiting for... I don' know if you have written for with STS before (I seem to recall maybe you have told us...) but if you had anything at all to do with the one where several sheep go out to buy pizzas, disguised as a man inside the scarecrow's coat, then you are truly a genius...

Hannah said...

Ooh fantastic news! It sounds excellent! I trust you're passionate, dedicated and ready to give in excess of 110% to this project to get it up and running?

Jayne said...

There seems to be quite a lot of frolicking going on in Penryn (for some reason I originally typed Penrith there which made me giggle - I'm easily pleased). Millionaires, yachts, dolphins. Am glad to hear that you and P are much to busy lounging in matching pyjamas to join in. Although this may be depriving the kitten of a sibling.

The Bureauista said...

Wait, you mean there are no vets in this sitcom? What about Adam Ant?

patroclus said...

Bureauista: I really wish I still had the draft of that one.

cello said...

Anything with a box involved is bound to be a rampaging success.

Personally I prefer things to stay 'inside the box' as 'twere, but I am sure you know what you are doing. Can't wait.

Zoe said...
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Zoe said...
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Twitter Buzz said...
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