Okay, so I probably shouldn't have read this before bed, but I needed to know what happened! I thought the concept was extremely clever: the serial killer's name, the method of finding victims, and the "weak link" responses. My main note is to strengthen your characters' personalities a little more. I really enjoyed Chain Link and Jennifer, but the supporting characters were a bit generic. My second note would just be formatting. I'm not the best at it, but there were some nit-picky formatting with sounds and set-up that I would just read over again for your next draft. Also, just a very small side note, but with so many similar "J" names, it can be a little hard to keep track of who is who. Very small tweaks: Some of the dialogue felt a little fake in its young/hip tones. I'm not sure if you're going for cheesy horror (ie. Cabin in the Woods or more classic gore like Saw). I thought your strongest writing was the first scene. It left me haunted in the same way I felt when I watched Saw the first time. I would a little repulsed (in a good way!) but I kept reading, which is what you're aiming for. I would love to see more light-humor in the beginning. I feel the best horror movies are the ones that really seem to dissect a regular, happy-go-lucky teen's life and completely reverse it. Overall, I thought this was a really good start. All my above comments are just little tweaks here or there, nothing major. I look forward to reading your next draft and will definitely keep an eye out for future chain mail!
I was very excited to read this teleplay. The concept was intriguing and different, but the execution, specifically your dialogue, fell short. I think this idea could be a children's television show or an adult cartoon. The vibe throughout the characters were a mix of the both that makes the reader a bit confused on what exactly we should be laughing at. You had some good jokes at the beginning, but the scenes in which Randy was introduced felt extremely awkward. His dialogue is choppy and too on-the-nose. I want you to show more in the scenes rather than explicitly stating everything within your dialogue. Make it more natural or form your own aesthetic. Your characters are charming and thought out. From Booksy's perspective, I felt some "Ted" vibes, Eye-ore, as well as Carl from UP. Overall, your script fell flat in two departments, character development and dialogue. I think it's hard to watch a show where the first 2/3 of the cartoon is just one character, Booksy, speaking. Yes, we have a couple random side conversation inserts, but that's about it. Additionally, I counted many grammatical errors. This is something to look into when having your script reviewed. It's an easy fix. Just run it through spell check software. I hope you don't take this review as pessimistic. I think the idea is extremely clever and something I hope to see executed one day. I would love to watch an adult television show with a sarcastic cartoon bear with an arch nemesis, crazy scientist (that really isn't so crazy) in a television show that is self-aware. I think the self-awareness aspect, which I think you were getting at with the "you're not supposed to question it!" random voice. Keep fleshing out exactly what your storyline is. I think you could find some good qualities to focus on. Make sure to have at least three stories, Story A, Story B, and Story C the will help keep the action going. By having one main story with two other side stories, we will have a good picture, multi-faced story that will make us one to keep watching. Keep chugging along! Read lots of scripts and look for videos where screenwriting pros give advice on dialogue.
I absolutely love your short, snippet-like descriptions for characters and scenes. They're simple, to the point, and descriptive. But, at the same time, I feel the need for a bit more in describing scenery at some points. You have an odd mix of quirky, can't-be-taken-seriously dialogue juxtaposed with very serious brutal murders and overall action. It is a bit odd. I couldn't exactly pinpoint the vibe of the show. I believe your dialogue is where you lost me the most. The story was great. A classic, quirky police show with sassy one-liners and small town cops with big egos. I definitely think looking into police lingo would be beneficial. I would suggest trying to find what "police scanner codes" they would use to dispatch, since there is a universal police coding system. Rarely would a police officer say "got a stab victim". They would say something along the lines of "we have a 10-72 (which is a possible knifing), one female down. 11-14 (ambulance needed) 901 Cherry Avenue. White female," and then describe the victim "Looks like she has multiple stab wounds to the abdomen." I just want you to try to make the dialogue as authentic as possible. "HQ" would also not say "What ya want, Kathy?" Instead, they may reply with, "10-4" which means "understood". This is definitely something to research. As for cursing within your dialogue, I believe that you could find multiple phrases to replace dialogue like "double shit" and "double crap". It feels unnatural and forced. Another extremely unlikely aspect of the show is that "Chief Duggan" has never been to a murder scene. Chiefs outrank Lieutenants by quite a bit. It's impossible for a Chief to have never been to a murder scene. As for the dialogue between between the Chief and Lieutenant, the Lieutenant's demeanor and dialogue would be extremely disrespectful to someone of the Chief's rank. How could the most senior police officer never have been to a murder scene??? Also, why was the Chief called to the scene? One side-note, this is a completely "me" aspect, but I felt like you really didn't show any strong characteristics of Grimes. You really focus on feminine characteristics such as her mascara and crying. It would be great to finally have a strong-female police officer who isn't characterized by stereotypes. You made her very weepy and unprofessional with really no other role to play besides by being the emotional female cop, which is a big turn-off to a reader. Also, Doctor Robins, another female character, is overly-sexualized by Reed. Overall, I thought this was well done. It's not exactly my cup of tea genre-wise, but once I began reading it, I had to know what happened. I think with the right tweaking, you should be ready to enter this into competitions or even the Blacklist. Best!
Minimum wage employees at a failing mall try to keep up with a crazy manager, power hungry security guard, and all the strange customers in-between.