Monday, 5 July 2010

Daytime Hell

Picture the scene: Struggling scriptwriter struggles out of bed in the morning and proceeds to struggle with conjuring up something worthwhile to write about.  This may be anything from a blog article to a full-on idea for a film screenplay.

Struggling scriptwriter decides to take a break (even though he hasn’t written anything yet) and decides to watch the electric television set for inspiration.  After struggling to locate the remote control (which is eventually discovered under the sofa cushion along with a strawberry-flavoured chewy sweet and two pecan nuts) struggling scriptwriter settles down to the inevitable menu of diverse and mind-expanding programming, the likes of which will relight his creativity and result in the best masterpiece he has ever written…

It does not take the genius of a brain surgeon to work out how this story ends.

The unfortunate truth is that daytime television programmes are the worst example of television programmes in the history of televisual entertainment, and anyone associated with them, however remotely, should be eliminated in the name of public health and safety.

There is a tragic dead zone in the morning from around 10 o’clock until midday when all that is available to watch is shows about buying houses or antiques.  No sooner had I switched on the television than I was subjected to the face of a grinning idiot who came out with the immortal line: “This house has had more extensions than a footballer’s wife’s hair.”

I am a firm believer that dialogue in any kind of show — whether it be dramatic, comedic or factual — should at least go some way to sounding how real people speak.  This is a problem for many aspiring scriptwriters; they simply write “dialogue” which doesn’t sound like dialogue.  It is either explanatory guff, poorly constructed or completely incomprehensible.

The scripts written for these daytime property and antiques shows are the complete opposite.  They are over-written, over-polished, and full of puns designed as seamless segues into the following item.  You can just sense the endless hours that have been spent in the production office by brainless “writers” trying to come up with these clever “links” whilst still making them sound as though they’ve been adlibbed on the spot.  What is worse is that they are spoken by people who possibly hold the record for being the most irritating people on the entire planet, with a manner that usually instils the urge to shove one’s foot through the television screen.  Thus, very little in the way of inspiration is gleaned from such vacuous material or, indeed, people.

However, on this particular day one did actually find an idea developing in one’s head stemming directly from the vacuous grinning idiot.  In fact, the scenario for a hugely-exciting cinema feature film began to form in one’s creative mind.  Picture the scene:

Struggling scriptwriter struggles out of bed in the morning and proceeds to struggling with conjuring up something worthwhile to write about.  Struggling scriptwriter decides to watch the electric television set for inspiration and settles down to the inevitable menu of diverse and mind-expanding programming.  Struggling scriptwriter is disturbed to see the menacing face of a grinning idiot who says: “This house has had more extensions than a footballer’s wife’s hair.”

Wracked with feelings of hate and revenge against those responsible for this travesty, struggling scriptwriter launches on a new career-move to rid the world of the televisual plague.  He joins MI5, engages in a specialist intelligence operation to wipe out all daytime television presenters from the face of the Earth, then forms an elite assassination squad to hunt down the man who wrote this line and shoot him.

2 comments:

EastMallingKumon said...

HELLO - Matt you're missing out here!

If you want excellent dialogue; gripping plots; an underlying sentimental theme; a lesson for society today AND to learn something then for gods sake turn to cbeebies.

Perfect day time viewing and definetly room for a plot there!

PS - Have you considered writing for childrens programmes? I've just read a really good book written by one of the script editors of Thomas the Tank Engine. It may not fulfill your longterm desires, but it'll pay the rent in the meantime...

Jeff K said...

Here is the States, TV is just as bad. I can not take it anymore. Even the comedy shows in the evening are go predictable I can't see how they make one laugh!