The Enemy of the Good (eideteker) wrote,
The Enemy of the Good

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Life Irritates Art (An idea for an UnSitcom)

This is taken directly from my notebook, so it may be hard to follow at points (I've gone back and tried to explain with links some of the more obscure terms/abbreviations as well as sitcom references). The basic idea revolves around those people (you may have met them) who seem to deliberately try to act like they're either a general or a specific sitcom character.

Life Irr(m ~ rr, they look alike)itates Art (imitates, irritates, the opening titles could play on this)
Each Character on the show acts like a stereotypical sitcom character. It's a way, in shorthand, to give themselves what they see as a personality; gives people a handle on them. But increasingly, they find themselves unable to "be themselves"; trapped, as it were, in the role (one who talks only in catch phrases). And then they find out they are characters on a sitcom, and despair, or try to escape, rebel, commit suicide (?), etc. The show itself would not be a sitcom, but would be billed/advertised/sold as such (the show w/in the show w/in the show, if you will) rather than the show itself (tragedy, not comedy. Sit-trag?). { So there's the show the characters are in (Reality A), the show they find out they're in (Reality B), and the show the viewers watch }

     { Cast, characters they pretend to be, characters they actually are. }

Art himself is perhaps a narrator/V.O. main character who finds himself less and less able to interact until he is just a disembodied voice no on but R.L. audience can hear (and his on-screen time is gradually phased out). He talks to "himself"/the camera, himself pretending [in this way] to be a character]

We could do things like replace the actor for a role (Darren on B'witch'd) and have no one notice. Or maybe one char. commits suicide only to be replaced next week (could be the way to get Art offscreen). It should be clear, though, that it's not characters vs. writers (a la Daffy Duck), but that everything about their situation is their own doing. They have sold their souls to pop culture (in fact, this message could be transmitted to them by a sympathetic writer (Later: Art?); if there is to be any interaction between wri. + char., it should be along these lines ("We wish we could save you from yourselves.").). Poss., one character realizes what "characters" they are and sells a series based on them, which is how they come to be 'in the show.' They, the people acting like characters, are actually characters acting like characters, based on the original people. The line when/where they cross over should be as blurry and* gradual (* the two are not the same) as possible. Could be Art who sells the script (is it ironic if he himself is a writer?), setting up later motivation for suicide when his friends find out and/or he realizes what he's done (trapped himself as well). Dunno if the suicide should be a[n episode] cliffhanger, but once he's replaced, series should end soon (next ep?) when the 'moral' has been delivered. Possibly have fade credits as he's midsentence to highlight how he's trapped himself as 'ghost', unable to interact w/ the people in the show, and w/out even a voice outside his timeslot.

    Short series (3 seasons)
  1. Setup - The 'sitcom' phase
    Maybe only the slightest hint ("How do you afford this apr. working at a coffee shop? *shrug* scene moves on w/out looking back)
  2. Destabilized - The 'Reveal'
    Existential crises abound as the realizations are 1 by 1 made
  3. The Collapse - 'Tower of Jengalon'
    Reactions, rebellions, everyone falls apart, some resign themselves to almost robotic existence (and they find out Art sold them out as they had already sold themselves)

INTRO? | "Hi, my name is Art! Sometimes life irritates me, so I write about it. It's my way of dealing..."

It's important that even the minor characters be caricatures. As a way of testing their reality, maybe they ask the mailman some obscure trivia Q., which he answers correctly without a thought (Cliff Clavin). The wacky neighbor is unable to enter "normally" (Kramer). Products are always handed label out ("Why'd you hand me the back of the box?") (Product placement).

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