Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Notes On Improving Your Sit Com After Our Test Screening

Just some things we think will really hone the comedy and help this thing be a break out hit for both you and the network:

More misunderstandings.

Communication is the opposite of comedy. We saw countless places in the pilot where one character answered another character's questions in a straightforward manner that left nothing to the imagination. Questions and answers should always leave wiggle room. We suggest reworking the middle scene where John is talking about the death of his dog so that the other characters think that he is admitting to being gay. Misunderstandings about being gay have tested very well in the past.

Less characters / more characters with nametags.
Either way on this one, but the audience really got lost after about four individuals hit the screen. The studio would prefer you just cut characters for obvious cost benefit reasons, but if you want to just have them wear nametags, that's probably workable. But how about instead of names, their tags just have descriptions? For instance: The Wacky Neighbor, The Overbearing Boss, The Sexy Sister. We see this as just eliminating the middle man. That way, instead of having to remember two things, the character name and their role, the audience gets to cut right to the chase.

At least one reference to cooking abilities of a mother in law.
This one's kind of a staple, so we're sure it was just an oversight on your part. Try to work in the word Meatloaf.

More references to the diminished frequency of sexual activity after marriage.
Test audiences love these as many audience members are married and having less sex. Seeing your characters reference this makes them feel better about watching your show from one side of a king size bed with two dogs, a child, and some leftovers between them and their former object of sexual desire. Try to use the phrase, "decade long headache".

At least one moment where the audience (or the sound effects simulating an audience) go Awwwww.
Again, hard to believe you overlooked this. Try working in the phrase, "but I made it for you, mommy."

Not a single person fell down
What, are all your characters gymnasts? They don't trip? They've never gotten tangled up in the curtains? They don't get shoelaces stuck in revolving doors? Come on. This is a sit com we're talking about, not a documentary about Olympians or something.

Less clothing on the female cast members, more on male cast members
As a rule, cleavage is more important than anything else in retaining viewers. We'd didn't cast a bunch of hot, desperate, insecure girls in their mid twenties so you could dress them up like Quakers. We recognize that the show is set in a Quaker community, but maybe it's a progressive Quaker community where the girls dress like they want their show to get decent ratings. And unless you're really running with the gay thing, we'd prefer not to have the males in anything that's cut above the knee. Unless you're doing the gay thing. Gay is gold.

In short, what you have here is a very interesting, fresh, and original piece of work. That really doesn't give us much to work with. But if you can take these notes to heart and learn from your mistakes (quit watching those Arrested Development DVD's and maybe watch some Three's Company reruns) we think we can figure out how to market this thing.

Remember the mantra and everything will be okay.

Meatloaf and cleavage.

And gay jokes.

4 comments:

hallwayfour said...

So true! Well done.

Jack E. Jett said...

brilliant posting. i don't think steve allen could have spewed better verbiage.
producing a sitcome is like going to the grocery store and running into yourself.
keep us posted. i dig this site.
finally something with no paris hilton.

jack e. jett
www.jackejett.com

Jack E. Jett said...

brilliant posting. i don't think steve allen could have spewed better verbiage.
producing a sitcome is like going to the grocery store and running into yourself.
keep us posted. i dig this site.
finally something with no paris hilton.

jack e. jett
www.jackejett.com

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