A homeless jerk wins the lottery.
SummaryMeet Carl. He's a middle aged man who's a master at being an obnoxious jerk and hurting everyone who has made the mistake of knowing him. After a multitude of horriby ill advised mistakes costs him everything, he finds himself homeless for 8 years. Thats until one random drunken evening he luckily wins a 400 million dollar lottery ticket. So, now that Carl is back on his feet, how will he make use of his new found wealth? Who knows, maybe being homeless made him a better person....or maybe not.
So I have read this script before but I must confess, a lot has changed. It is definitely better now.
Scenes are better written now. The way the flash back sequence goes now is definitely better. Our protagonist is definitely compelling. He drives the story. Dialogue is good but could be better. Conflict is real enough. Pacing is good but could be better. The climax is good. And the stage directions are gone. That's a good start. The script reads more professional now.
Your script has a really good concept. However, the story likes dimensional depth. Usually, when you write a script you need to have more than one plot. Most scripts have an A, B, C storyline, for example, Atlanta is a show about an up and coming local rapper name Paper Boi. He is new to fame and still has a street life. The main storyline is usually something about Earn's life (i.e baby mother or daughter). The B storyline would be something about Paper Boi and his Nigerian friend. Sometimes the C storyline is Earn and the Nigerian friend getting into adventures. Despite having the many storylines they all still link back to the main storyline.
In order for it to be a comedy, it has to have funny jokes or content with a punchline. There are funny moments in your script but for the most part, but he is just your everyday jerk. Then you ended the story after he won the lottery, this was the most interest part of the script. You could have made scenes about his wife trying to get back with him after winning the lottery but him not wanting her. Just so much you could have expanded upon at that point in the script. Just seem like you ended the script at the climax. Also if this a spec script you may want to take out the camera angles and just tell the story.
HI. I quite like the original idea but there is a lot of work to go into this. Firstly I didn't find it funny. I didn't laugh. I know humour and what is funny is subjective but the fact that he insults everyone and is foul mouthed becomes a little stale after the first 10 pages. There was nothing to make me want him to succeed. If he was charming in a drunk Hank from Californication kinda way that would work.
Also, plot wise there isn't much beyond a flashback of his awful behaviour and then we're back in the present, where he is still an arsehole. Significantly, I didn't care that he had the money and I wasn't curious to see what he would do with it, I presume blow it all in an orgy of booze and hookers.
Structure wise I'm not sure where the peaks and troughs are as the tone is fairly flat.
Sorry if this is harsh. I do wish you well with all your writing.
I think the concept is good and it really gets you thinking, but I don’t think Carl is likeable enough. Even if he gets nice at the end (script not finished at the point of reading) he is not a character i want to follow over a whole Episode or even whole Seasons. Let’s say you don’t want him to be nice because in your logline you explicitly wrote "Jerk". That’s totally fine but I think he needs some Character trait that makes him likeable or gets the audience more invested. The relationship between Carl and Stephanie is great, I especially love the part where he insults her mother and she is sitting right next to him. Jokes like that really got me, the humor of his former employees is funny too, but Carl is more mean than funny (but humor is subjective, so I respect that). I would recommend keeping the jokes in the same type of style, meaning you should choose between dry or dark humor. I think the conversations between the characters are well written and interesting. But I would recommend sometimes to be subtler like when saying to the grandma that she is old. In that situation it maybe even funnier if you let Stephanie insult her with a funny joke about how old she is. Again, my favorite conversations where between Carl and Steph, I just love there dynamic and how Stephanie sees through all the bullshit and jokes. I am not sure what the main conflict is…Because I don’t really see how the story goes from here. I mean Carl is a jerk with money and without and now that he won the lottery will become even meaner? Or does he try to get back with Stephanie with his new acquired wealth? Your scripted was really finished so maybe there will be a big conflict or maybe someone tries to steal his money. The pacing overall was okay, the beginning was very slow, but the story picks up the paste after that although the part where he actually wins could have had more build up. On the other Hand, you could say that is intentionally done because of the quick and large amount of money the lottery winner gets is kind a sudden too. To summarize my thoughts, I think Carl needs a major Character change, it is okay to make you character an asshole but we as an Audience need to be invested in him to even want to follow his live and just winning the lottery isn’t enough for that. I love Stephanie as a Character being the personification of his lost life.
There are some structural things that need to be addressed to improve this script. Hopefully, I can address them clearly.
The concept is not very thrilling or compelling. Okay, some jack ass wins millions. I don't really care what happens after that. Maybe adding something in there to give your logline and concept a boost might work wonders.
Carl seems to wander around aimlessly causing trouble wherever he goes. There's no purpose in his movements other to show the kind of person Carl is. that's fine, but that could be done in a few pages instead of half the script.
It's not clear what Carl's goal is, what's at stake, and who is going to be his pain in the ass. The ending is kind of anti-climatic. He finds out he won the lottery in the last scene. Great. What happened before then? David Mamet said, "You have your hero and he wants one thing." There's more to it. There are obstacles in their way and there's someone conflicting with the hero preventing him from getting that one thing. I know this is a series, but you have to set something up clearly in the pilot.
The first few pages read like the last few pages. There's no difference. A good hook or inciting incident usually draw a reader to want to see what's on the following pages. IF you don't grab them up front, your script is tossed aside. Then, it's a roller coaster ride. Sometimes it goes up, sometimes it goes down. This was more like a flat line that kept going downward.
The pacing was hard to get through the script due to some problems. Large text blocks, some spelling and grammar errors along with formatting. Think white space when writing a script. There are some scenes that can be removed and it wouldn't hurt the story. Some can be combined. Also, the dialogue is just okay. It's also forgettable. There are ways to improve that. Humor, sarcasm, irony, etc. Subtext, too. That's a good technique to learn. There's also some points were action can replace dialogue (show, don't tell).
I hope my review helped in some way and gave you some ideas to improve it?