A simple background character from a sitcom learns that his television world is just one of many.
SummaryA Gunther from Friends type character discovers that he can leave his television show behind because of the Tommy Westphall Universe Hypothesis
The overall concept is fun. It reminds me of a Family Guy episode, when we saw what happens during one of Peter’s flash backs. The structure of the story and the characters are well done. We have a clear begining with cause and effect, and have a predictable, yet working ending. There were umorous lines, but i didn’t really get a good chuckle until pg 20 “now is not the time”. This would work well as a cartoon, adult swim perhaps with some work.
First and foremost, there are quite a few grammatical and spelling errors.
In terms of story, it’s hard to get a grasp on some things. I’ll start with the characters.
I don’t understand what Jenny and Chuck do. What is their actual purpose? It doesn’t seem like they accomplish anything the entire episode. ANd the line, “we never said we were good at our jobs….” is a cop out. They should accomplish something at the intro so we see their purpose. How do they end up in Anton’s world? Why not just go home? What were they doing in the zombie place anyway? Wouldn’t they check the van for zombies or anything they could be transporting to another show? WHat if it was a scifi show with an alien baccteria strain? I just don’t get the point of this secret organization. Developing this part will give us an actual B story, which most tv shows have.
I don’t understand where we are in the world of the story, in terms of, how long has Jenny been here? Chuck? I ask this b/c Mycroft gave her the one ex machina box. But how long ago and why? There’s no cause and effect there. Is this mission 300? Or were they on a really dangerous one and he thought they might need it? Why even show her the second one? What would make sense is that their first mission was to find the first box, and then they use it. Mycroft is angry, but he has a second one.
This reminds me a lot of Reck it Ralph right down to the horde of _________ that are invading other ___________’s. I hope it doesn’t end up going that route. It might be too similar.
How is it that Jenny is not the slightlest bit upset about Chuck? I’m pretty sure he’s not dead. But she is far too ready to just hand over the keys to the van. He’s got to go, but show us she cares. Him being on a sitcom was a nice touch, and that means he felt for Anton, but I don’t remember them ever having any interaction where any of that came through. He should ahve taken him under his wing like a big brother or something. I’ll get into this later but there is a lot of wasted dialogue where this could have gone in place as solid character development.
What changes Anton’s world view? He may have been questioning the world before, but what is it about right now in this moment that makes him see the fourth wall, or hear the laughter? IT seems to come out of nowhere without any cause and effect. If he had gotten hit in the head, started puberty, or been hypnotized, or even questioned why it started on Monday at 1:00 I would feel like there were specifics behind the condition.
Right now, Anton spends a lot of time just asking questions. It’s just another way to get exposition. It’s lazy, no offense. Figure out another way to get across every little aspect. There are some exchanges where you spend 3-5 lines back and forth asking questions, saying what to get across a point that could be done with a line of dialouge. Every word on the page is precious. Don’t waste it.
Anoton just jumps on this train without any fight. You setup a perfect scenario, his world is destroyed, so that he can fight against it. For example: In a New Hope, Luke denies his heroes journey several, i believe 3 times. It isn’t until he goes home and finds his uncle and aunt dead that he knows what to do.
If Anton was a racecar driver, then show him driving. SHOW IT. It’s a visual medium. Have him do a cool driving move to get into a parking space at work. Something. Don’t show a picture and tell us, that’s boring.
When they’re telling Anton the jist, after several pages of questions, he just beleive it…. Put yourself in his shoes. Realistically. No matter of telling me some stuff am I going to believe you unless you show me. And the reason for showing me should be something plot related. Not just, b/c he heard the laughter. B/c by Mycroft’s description, it seems like others have heard the laughter and they didn’t accept them to the program.
Does Jenny just bring people back that often? Are they not worried about what happens when they send people back, knowing what their world is?
The Neo thing… I dont know where this is going, but I’m not a fan. Something like freeing the shows from their enslavement of entertainment. But we’ve seen this “profecy thing” soooo many times. It doesn’t make me excited to stick around for 4 seasons. The whole, “I’m more special or the only special one” is just very early 200’s.
I’m hoping that the world is more developed in a bible as well. Like what’s outside the fourth wall. Why is it a blank audience? Where is this actual organization is relation to everything. I can see the potential for a fun series, it just needs to be worked out a bit more.Just make sure your characters are responding to cause and effect, and built naturally etc…. I like the muppet btw.
Side note. Why is the one guy described as African American but i think everyone else doesn’t have a racial description? Are we assuming that they’re all white? If your character’s race doesn’t drive the plot, or you don’t say everyone’s race, then there’s no need to put it down. The casting department will handle that.
This pilot does an impeccable job of showing the limitless potential of its premise. Effortlessly blending the off beat comedic style of a Community with the dimension hopping parody of a Rick and Morty, Westphall promises clever dialogue, interesting characters, and an emotional element that works just as well as everything else.
The characters are strong, within the cold open we get everything we need to know about them, though some foreshadowing into what genre of show Chuck and Jenny are originally from would make Chuck's reveal towards the end that much more impactful, perhaps they connect on some innocuous thing that the others don't quite understand but doesn't give it away fully. The main plot is strong, it does feel a tiny but rushed at times, but mainly due to the quick pacing. This story had everything it needed to have, though it slowed down a bit in the second act. Mycroft was the least interesting Character in this particular episode personality wise, there were certain aspects of his character that could be brought forward to give him a real moment within the script whether comedic or dramatic. The more dramatic moments were all done very well and give us a good idea of what to expect from the character arcs.
All in all it was a very good script, I'm kind of at a loss as far as things to say about it. It's just fantastic and I'm excited to see where it goes.