My new comedy TV series pilot screenplay, The Incorrigible Chats, has just gone through a series of revisions and is available for review and consideration.
- Pilot episode: “Chats Lives”
- Half-hour comedy
- Rating estimate: PG-13
- Target audience: Adult, Young Adult
- Lead role gender: Female
- Lead role age range: 21-25
- Effects required: some
- Pilot cast size: 8
- Pilot locations: 10
A young woman, Cathy aka Chats, tries to come to terms with her cult-loving, conspiracy theorist parents, and get a handle on the self-induced chaos in her life with the help of her best friend, her counselor, and Bertrand Russell, the dead British philosopher residing in her head.
Sample (first 10 pages)
After stealing a baby, and thwarting the police, Cathy, aka Chats, is told by Vera, her counselor, that her impulse to save the baby may be related to trauma Cathy suffered at the hands of her conspiracy theorist parents. Bertrand Russell, the dead British philosopher living in Cathy’s head, agrees with Vera, and suggests the only logical course of action for Cathy: tell Vera all about her parents. It’s advice which Cathy promptly ignores.
Cathy then has to confront the baby’s meth-ed up mother, Stella, during a drug deal where Cathy is trying to trade her hallucinogenic products for harder stuff. Jake, Cathy’s friend and colleague in the trade, helps Cathy disarm and control Stella until Cathy provides Stella with the harder stuff as a supposed peace offering. It helps pacify Stella for the time being.
Later, Cathy meets up with her best friend and computer gaming partner, Paula, who provides support to Cathy both in-game and in real life. It turns out Paula’s personal needs aren’t getting met and she tries to convince Cathy to use her diabolical intelligence and gift of gab to find Paula a romantic partner. Cathy doesn’t have time for that right now because she has her own date that night; a date with destiny, or rather a top secret mission to deal with both the baby and Stella.
After leaving Paula’s place, Cathy wanders the dark streets at night thinking about a frightening experience when she was ten years old: her parents essentially kidnapped her and took her to live in a cult. This memory leads Cathy to drop in on Vera, in the middle of the night, jolting Vera out of bed. Vera is not at all keen to see Cathy crawling around on Vera’s bedroom window ledge. Before Vera kicks Cathy out, Cathy confesses that Vera was right about her parents and her motive for stealing and trying to save the baby.
Early that next morning, Cathy waits outside of Stella’s home as police drag Stella away kicking and screaming because they caught her with the drugs Cathy gave her. Bertrand Russell is impressed, but recognizes Cathy has more to do to resolve this problem. Cathy also reveals that she lives in that house with Stella and now has to move.
Later, Cathy visits Stella in prison and tells Stella that she moved Stella’s things out of that house, along with her own things. Cathy is also checking up on Stella’s baby to ensure the foster care is proper. Stella is both grateful and mad at Cathy, which, it turns out, is kind of normal for how people feel about Cathy.
In the prison waiting room, a disturbing encounter with a woman inmate, her visiting husband and child, and a French clown confirms what Cathy expects all along: no matter how hard you try to shield your child from trauma, there’ll always be a metaphorical (or actual) French clown around to cause long-term neuroses.