BREAKING NEWS: frigocc changed course, and wants to do something entirely different! It's unheard of! When I get focused on something, everything else falls behind. This past week, I discovered that I'd like to try to do some screenwriting, so I'm kinda putting sketches and my novel on the backburner. As of my last tally, I have about 28k words (about 30k once I add some filler I've just been too lazy to do), and about 50-60 sketches, most of which, I know the exact dialogue I want, but have been too lazy to write it down, lol. Anyways, now I'm onto my new screenwriting project. Watched Community for the first time ever a couple of weeks ago, and now I'm obsessed, and I need to just get at least my pilot out of the way. Will be editing this post as I go along. Don't have it all (or really much at all) figured out yet. PLOT: After being fired from his job, a professional slacker finds a new home in the most unlikely of places: his local indoor mall. Here, he befriends a ragtag group of misfits, as they all seek to find out where their lives went wrong to end up there. I dunno, still working on the synopsis. Pretty much just Community at a small indoor mall. They're all workers there at the different stores, and they have all of these crazy, absurd things happen along the way. SETTING: Small local mall. Food court can sometimes get busy, but it's generally pretty empty outside of the workers. Such is, unfortunately, the state of malls in 2020. Would be hard to not mention the current state of malls, given that they're dying in most places. MAIN CAST: Alright, this is where most of my initial planning will go. With absurdist sitcoms like this, the characters drive everything. If you know your characters well, you can put them into any setting, and it'll be entertaining. With that said, I do like the mall setting, as I feel it gives me pretty much unlimited storylines to come up with (especially with new stores coming in and out all the time). (Names are just placeholders for now) John Dope: This is the main character. Think your Jeff Winger of sorts, or Dennis Reynolds, or Barney from How I Met Your Mother if he was more of a jerk. Self-absorbed, vain, cynical, tries to act much cooler than he actually is. Good-looking, mid-30's, and cunning. As said, pretty much your stock Jeff Winger/Dennis Reynolds archetype. He starts working at the mall (maybe as a cell phone repair guy) after he's fired from his job and doesn't really have any other prospects. Thinking maybe I'll kinda surprise people, and make it seem like he had some big, important job, like investment banking or something, and he'll actually have been working at some dead-end job. Not necessarily at the level of McDonald's, but like a car salesman or something. Like a smooth talker would, maybe he tells them he, say, "handled client relations and brokered transactions for a Fortune 500 company," when in reality, he sold used Toyotas. Not lying, but not being outright truthful. He's kinda like the father figure of the group, and definitely the leader. He's the "straight" guy of the story, whereas most others are absurd. Occasionally, he'll have his moments where he lets go and joins in, realizing that he actually enjoys it there. Goofy: Early 20’s semi-nerdy guy (think Troy from Community). Dumb, but harmless. Every week or two, he's constantly trying out some new hobby or something, convinced that THAT is what he wants to do with his life. Maybe some passing hobbies include being a hair metal singer, being a tradesman/weldor, being a doctor, being a rancher/cowboy, being a rollerblader, being a CEO, being an inventor (parabolic urinal), being a writer/poet, being a standup comedian, being an actor, being a breakdancer, being a bodybuilder (John and Goofy compete for coveted prize. They both get each other disqualified, and old senile guy, having accidentally wandered on stage, wins by default), being a porn director, being in a motorcycle gang, being a swimmer (when John Dope beats him in a swim-off, Goofy says, "he's like a fish!"), cult leader, master distiller, human statue/nude model, repo man ("this is all our domain, as far as the eye can see." "Maybe YOUR eyes. MY eyes are perfect."), a sugar baby, Olympic curler, etc. While John is the MC, a good amount of the plot will be driven by Goofy, just by the very nature of his ideas/weekly career choices/whatever influencing the entire group, often into competition with each other and other groups. Nerdy Friend: Early 20's nerdy guy, this is the Abed to the Troy. Not full-on aspie, but not your typical nerd. More "cool," if that makes sense. Magic, LoTR, movies, books, science fiction, yes. Anime, Minecraft, and My Little Pony? Hell no. Pretty much the same as Goofy, just a bit more nerdy. Usually goes along with Goofy's career-of-the-week, but gets obsessed, and learns everything about it. Bitchy Girl: This is definitely the Britta of the group. On-and-off love interest of John, kinda tomboy-ish and mean. Acts as the foil to John, always calling him out when he's being a jerk. Lonely Old Guy: Just some random lonely old guy. Lies and says he works at this random store, and they later find out that the store has been closed for 2 months. He actually lives below it, and holds illegal, underground gambling and cock fights down there. He just saw how much fun the group was having, and decided to join in. Doesn't like John. Submissive Girl: Youngest of the group, friends with the bitchy girl. Nice, but a pushover. Looks up to John, doesn't like old guy, likes mostly Goofy (who likes her as well . . . but only platonically), and sometimes John. (EDIT: Removed 7th person) As you may notice, with wanting 7 main cast (4 men, 3 women), and the archetypes pretty much the same, I'm stealing the dynamic from Community, lol. But that's okay. I think. They'll still be unique characters, with unique backstories, and unique plot points/character development. I just think the archetypes lead to good comedic rapport, and the number of men and women lead to just the right amount of subplots. Some recurring subplots I could see would be the two nerdy guys, Goofy and John, John and Bitchy Girl, the three girls, the four guys, the three girls plus the nerdy friend, occasionally John and old guy, Bitchy girl and submissive girl, Goofy and Another Woman, etc. Just a lot to work with if the dynamic is set-up correctly. Not really trying to copy everything about Community, I just really think that their whole dynamic leads to the most potential storylines (and great ones at that). (EDIT All the characters, at some point, will have each other as love interests, minus nerdy friend (no love interests towards him, or him towards someone else) and old guy (no love interest towards him, but maybe he gets creepy with the bitchy girl). Now, these will be passing things. The main, lasting love interests will be John & Bitchy Girl, John & Submissive Girl, and Goofy & Submissive Girl. AUXILIARY CAST: This is be a sizable portion of the "world" as well. Lots of repeat customers, other workers, mailmen, etc. Some ones I've thought up already: Pretzel Pete: play on words of Pistol Pete. Guy that works in the soft pretzel place in the food court. Whenever someone does something (like puts up their hand and says, "hit me"), a pretzel flies really accurately right into their hands. Guy that REALLY Looks Like Asian *Insert Random American Celebrity*: pretty self-explanatory. Just some guy that never (or rarely) gets any lines. Just there so they can comment on how much he really looks like *random American celebrity*. Probably works at the massage chair. Other characters/stores: Old, overly aggressive casket salesman. Kinda looks like grim reaper Bitchy teeny bopper girls working in fashion store (like Claire's) Bungee bounce thing guy is really good looking, main character gets jealous Random hot milfs/divorcees at the playpen that John hits on, even though he has no chance Train operator. Personality-wise, maybe someone like Chang Weird hippie guy that burns incense and does yoga in a place like Spencer's Guy always trying to scalp movie tickets Asshole nerds at GameStop that start feuds with main group Spa/nail salon Shoe emporium Bath and bodyworks. Maybe like Jeff and Troy's trampoline happy place until it closes. Mailman Inept security guys etc. Again, by the very nature of it being a mall, especially in 2020, with stores constantly coming and going, lots to work with. Biggest issue will be fleshing out the main characters and how they all fit together. Have thought of just doing 6 characters instead (drop non-existent "Another Woman"), but I feel like the men would overpower the dynamic, and that just doesn't work in a sitcom like this, in my opinion. ---- Anyways, this is what I have so far. At least character and setting-wise. Have tons of plots already worked out, and think I already may have a decent idea for a pilot, but the biggest challenge, as said above, will just be fleshing out the main cast of characters and how they all fit together. I think John and Goofy can be perfect exactly where they are, but the others are a mystery.