A strong idea for a sitcom using a situation relevant to the digital age. The characters could use some fleshing out, and there are far too many flashbacks, but by and large there is a strong potential here. As the writer mentioned, there are some minor formatting issues. The issues do not detract from the reading, but would likely result in a hinderance to contest or pitch performance. Recommend reviewing https://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/scripts for example screenplays. This is an archive of BBC screenplays sorted by genre and can help. The largest detractor with this pilot stems from the flashbacks. Over a 24 page pilot (roughly 23 minutes of airtime), there are no less than five flashbacks. While the reader understands that this is a device being used in order to aid in setting up the show, it comes off a bit too much as a 'clip show' instead of a pilot. Highly recommend reworking the story so that no more than 2-3 flashbacks are used. Perhaps wait on introducing the mailman until a later episode. As to humor: there were several humorous moments, but no strong laughs. Many of the moments of humor come at the expense of the protagonist, versus the males viewing her. This is counter to the writer's stated intent and should be considered. The ending has a nice cliffhanger. However, it may be of interest to set clues or foreshadowing as to who the private audience member who knows the protagonist is. As it stands, the only viable options are the mailman and the old man who walks his dog.
A very well done pilot with well defined characters and interesting situations/ comedic moments. The idea of a run down mall as a sitcom setting has current and timely relevance. The situations are used well for comedic effect while still tying in to an overall story arc. The inept manager and her security sidekick are a good pair. The mall characters are well thought out. Lunch bag is an interesting enigma that can be built on. Karl and Vinny are a very funny pair and I'd love to see more of them. Amanda as the ring leader/ straight person is a good character. Amanda's entire background is given to us in one exposition. While well done, it is a bit on the nose. I may prefer if this were to be congealed together towards the end, while seeing her give some medical advice, ruminate on her relationship, etc. Give us hints by showing us, then tie them together versus telling us everything at the ice cream counter. The comedic timing is excellent. The humorous moments are fast paced, well spaced out and work. In all, this is an excellent pilot for a sitcom. On a side note, I attempted to use scriptmother's new feature of adding script notes. I'm unsure how well it works, as it seems some of the notes posted to the page after where I clicked. If this is true, feel free to send me a message and I'll try and clarify anything you need. Excellent job with this one.
A very strong screenplay with excellent character development and a well structured story. The last 20 pages introduce a twist that this reader questions as necessary, as it drastically changes the tone of the preceding film. That being said, the twist was still well structured, if a bit of a stretch. The story has excellent pacing and flows well. The overall concept, while not entirely original, shows a good working of a family drama and murder mystery with pseudo-supernatural elements throughout. The close relationship between mother and daughter is on full display. However, the relationship may be a bit too close as the daughter seems to idolize her mother to an almost unhealthy point of infatuation, especially for a teenage girl. The relationship with the father and daughter is well displayed with signs of alienation and strain throughout. Overall, an excellent story that this reader can see being a semi-finalist or finalist in strong competitions, and can see as an indie production. Excellent job, the hard work shows through. Areas of recommendation largely revolve around formatting, and are more to align for contest submissions or pitches. If the author intends to make this film themselves, this can be disregarded. Many of the slug lines are abbreviated (e.g. just saying BASEMENT). Reader encourages use of standard formatted slug lines throughout. While tight action lines are greatly appreciated and on good display here, there is an opportunity for a few of the action lines and scenes descriptions to be expanded upon to give greater detail. At a few points where sentences are interrupted and quick changes to scenes occur, this reader needed to go back and sort out what was occurring.
An interesting concept in which the homeless population use magic to support their lives. While the plot is a fairly formulaic three act story, the ideas behind it keep a reader (and potentially a viewer) entertained. The pacing is well done and brisk. At times, there is a need for greater world-building or character building which would also slow down the pace for a moment or two. However, this would be recommended. While the absurdist and surreal humor does not always convey itself onto the page that well, in the right hands it could have an almost early Zucker brothers air to it. Not in a zany respect, but a proper visual atmosphere would be necessary to bring this story to the screen. A good balance of this absurdist humor and dramatic surrounding has been struck by the author, in that the surrealism doesn't make light of the depravity of the setting. A few areas for improvement: I'd like to see some character descriptors when new characters are introduced. While a few have them (e.g. gentle giant), a great many do not. This would help bring the world fuller to light, and aid a producer in casting decisions. In addition, once a character is introduced in all caps, he/she doesn't need to be in all caps for each action line. It is particularly detracting during the final confrontation where characters in all caps are in each action line. Side note: The term 'hobo' is used incorrectly. Hobos are homeless migrant workers. If a person is not willing to work, he/she is not a hobo. Finally, dialogue. For the most part it flows well. Especially with supporting cast and Hobo Baggins. However, at many times Outlander's dialogue is stilted and awkward. Highly recommend reading the dialogue out loud to aid in finding where it doesn't 'flow' to aid in revision.
A family on the brink of collapse tries to reconnect at a quaint Bed and Breakfast for the weekend, but a supernatural evil in the house has other plans.