Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Glib Apocalypse

Since Apocalypse is where every "supernatural" dramedy seems to tend, why not jump on the bandwagon and write your own? A few guidelines, if you want to cash in on this trend which should go up all the way, dunno, 2012, when Mayan prophecy has it we're all gonna croak?

1. You must have a tortured hero/ine. Maybe hero/ines.

2. Tortured hero will have to choose between saving the world. And eating an ice-cream.

3. You can gauge the level of torture by hero's glib remarks and slick repartee. Throw in one-liners and cultural references (and by cultural, I mean B-grade TV shows) and your ratings go through the roof.

4. Build up to Apocalypse with Signs. Crib from the Book of Revelation, if you can't think of any yourself. It's always good for a few episodes.

5. Turn everything upside down. Angels are perfectly perfect in every way. Meaning emotionless automatons who follow orders without question. Demons are a little like the heroes - tortured.

6. A theme song for evil would be good. Not House of the Rising Sun. That's so "been there, done that". Something a little unexpected. Like Fire and Rain. I can definitely see the possibilities there. You know Fire? And Rain? See where I'm going with that?

7. Go heavy on the tomato sauce. And mutilated bodies. But would help if heroes are impervious. And if they trade joke over corpses.

8. No matter what you do and how you play it the Apocalypse will fall flat. Like any production of King Lear. So don't worry about it. Oh yeah, and in TV-land, everything is reversible. Sold your soul? Buy it back. Fallen into hell? Climb right out. (After all, if Dante did it, why can't your hero/ine?

9. Long shots of hero gazing into distance at scenes of destruction, flashbacks of sacrifices along the way, brimming eyes, heavy sighs, counting the cost, giving up all thought of ice cream.

10. End with burgeoning music, a few stale platitudes mouthed off earnestly, or as earnestly as the B-list actor/actress of the "cheerleader or James Dean will save the world" ilk can manage.

And voila, you have a hit, a maker of nightmares, something that can go into seven seasons at a pinch.

Keep it churning....

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