The Young and the Clueless
I have in my possession the transcript of an actual phone call placed by an agent to a Hollywood television producer. I only have the agent’s voice, so you have to imagine the producers responses on the other end. Here it is.
“Hey, Max! How’s it going? This is Sid. You keeping it in the short grass there at Bel-Air? Really? What’s your handicap now? You sandbagger. You’re a thief. Hey, I have a property for you that you cannot pass up. It’s a winner. You can say goodbye to the Kardashians. This will blow them out of the water. Reality TV is over, just like the soaps are over. I have the next big thing right here. Are you ready? It’s a reality soap.
“No, it’s nothing like Real Housewives. No, it’s better than The Bachelor. Well, there’s a peripheral connection to Dancing With the Stars.
“OK, imagine a large family owned company. I know, it sounds like Jabot Cosmetics on The Young and the Restless. The company was built on a kitchen necessity and the founder bought a sport’s franchise/facility. What’s that, Max? No, that’s just the back story. It gets good years later. Well, there’s a shooting and rumors years ago, but that angle can be played later.
“It’s got everything, Max! Just like a soap opera, there’s family intrigue, greed, stupidity, lies…did I mention stupidity? And the best part is it’s all free. We don’t have to hire actors. That’s the reality part of it.”
“Here’s how it goes: The scion of a wealthy corporate family that owns a major sports franchise becomes the CEO while marginalizing his three sisters. I know, it sound like Jack Abbott, but remember, this is true. Mom is still the Chairman of the Board and lets Sonny run the franchise the way he wants. He builds a new facility and brings in another tenant, but he gets snookered by a much smarter guy that owns that league. He also brings in another league, and they screw him, too. Yeah, I know, he sounds like all the sucker money men we have in L.A. A fool and his money. But it gets better. He is so upset that nobody respects him that he starts his own league, figuring that he can’t, you know, screw himself. But the only people who like and respect him are his own family and the cronies and flunkies he pays to like him. Right, kind of like Entourage without the sex and drugs. Anyway, he keeps shooting himself in the foot. He runs the league like a hobby and manages to spend a ton of money and piss off all kinds of people, but what does he care? He has money on tap from his original franchise. Then he finally screws the pooch. He spends so much money on the league that his sisters, who are all on the board of directors, stage an insurrection. They vote him out of power. Actually, they tell him he can either run the league, a money loser, or the franchise, a cash cow. He pouts and quits. The sisters and mom then hire a rodeo cowboy to come in and wrangle the league, and they bring the corporate bean counter over from the original business to run the sports franchise.
“No, that’s not all. Sonny wants the franchise and the league back, and with the aid of a sister and his mom, manages to get his cronies on the board. But the family fights back and adds even more people to the board. Then he starts plotting the demise of the cowboy so he can be back in charge again. He somehow convinces his rich buddies to finance his proposed purchase of the league he used to own and could have had for free, but it all goes public and everybody is mad at everybody and pointing fingers. We add the social media element of Twitter and bingo, everybody’s involved. We can play this story out on TV and Twitter. It’s never been done like that before. TV is the soap opera and Twitter is the reality.
“What do you think, Max? Series? Feature film? Mini-series? Think HBO might be interested. It’s kind of like a modern Game of Thrones or Boardwalk Empire, don’t you think? This is gold, Max, gold!
“What do you mean it seems too far-fetched? This is Hollywood. Nothing has to make sense. If people believed Nightrider, they’ll believe anything.
“Not interested, huh? I’m telling you, Max, the reality soap Indy is the next Survivor. Get on board now or you’ll hate yourself later. I mean, you passed on the racing snail, didn’t you. It’s going to be a monster, too.”
That’s all I managed to get. If my sources turn up anything else, you’ll be the first to know.
Brilliant. Very funny piece.
This reminds me of a piece I recently wrote about a (real) TV show called “Heil Honey I’m Home” The premise was a sit com about Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun living next door to a Jewish couple. The pilot is still on Youtube.
I honestly think agents, producers and the like are competing for the lowest commo denominator in entertainment.