Thursday, January 13, 2005

Mehlman for a Day

So I’m sitting on the john, flipping through Entertainment Weekly. (What? Like you don’t read in the bathroom.) I could say it was the current issue, but it was just the most recent issue we received, since they sometimes show up in our mailbox six or seven weeks after the publication date.

I see this article by Peter Mehlman (former Seinfeld producer and writer) called, “Notes from the Sitcom’s Deathbed.” It’s about his compulsion to be such an observer in his own life that he sees possible sitcom ideas everywhere he looks. (One of my favorites? “77 Gaza Strip”) I'm highly amused by this. Check it out here for yourself. It gets me thinking. I’m always whining how bored I am here--maybe I could entertain myself by adopting Mehlman’s pastime.

So I head off to the beach for a walk after work. By the time I’ve strolled to the western (typically deserted) end of the beach, I’ve got my first idea. It’s “The Terminal meets Cast Away." About a foreigner who becomes stuck while on vacation, but instead of being stuck at the airport, he has to spend his time stuck on a beach on a tropical island. (No, I don’t know why. Details, schmetails. Leave me alone, I was just getting warmed up.) Title: Sand Trap.

(I wasn't clever enough to come up with an idea related to the enormous “FUK BUSH” that someone had carved in the sand.)

Or maybe a show about a wedding coordinator on a gorgeous tropical island--a destination where people from all over the world travel to get married because it’s easy to do there. Crazy antics ensue as she must try to deal with a myriad of nationalities and personalities--and uptight brides of all stripes. Title: Mixed Knots. (And, yes, I walked by a wedding happening on the beach, as I often do there.)

Or, how about an older Chinese couple who sell their restaurant, buy a sailboat, pack up their woks and set sail for the tropics? Hijinks (as opposed to crazy antics) ensue as they stop off at various islands. The whole ‘fish out of water’ angle. Title: A-Soy! (And you’ve probably figured out that dinner was going to be a trip to the food court Chinese buffet.)

Or how about this: a very sophisticated middle-aged woman has a high-powered career as a concierge at an extremely exclusive hotel. It caters to upper-crust types, high rollers, celebrities and muckety-mucks from all over the world. There’s just one problem--she has bladder control issues. Wackiness ensues as she strives to keep her cool behind the concierge desk and not have an accident. Title: Incontinental. (No, it’s not autobiographical, but it did occur to me as I ran for the bathroom at the end of my walk having consumed vast quantities of water all afternoon.)

Alright, who wants to play with me? Let’s be Mehlman for a day. Whaddya say? Take a look around your daily life and see how many sitcoms are just waiting to be made. Report back here and let's compare notes. If nothing else, we'll entertain ourselves.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is genius!! Keep it up for 24 hours so I have a chance to play-- right now I have to run to work and can't but did I say GENIUS??? Send this stuff to your I love query letters man . . . ~bluepoppy

8:15 AM  
Blogger lizardek said...

If you could bottle that creativity and sell it you'd be a fucking millionaire. *mwah!*

9:20 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

After I read this, I was staring out the window at the cows that are out for a good airing (yes, you can see cows from my window, at least, today you can) and thinking about how sometimes, it really does look like I got suckered in to living on the set of that one movie and I start thinking about how the hills here really are alive with The Sound of Moosic...

No? Back to the drawing board.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Leslie said...

OH my gosh -- those are great!

I think you need to more john sitting or beach walking....gets your creative juices flowing. My fave was A-soy! You clever woman you!

Oh and how wonderful it sounds to "take a walk on the beach after work!" And to see a wedding! Oh my!

6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Incontinental. That's great. I had to call Shane JUST to share that one with him ;)

8:44 PM  

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