Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Guess the Plot
1. As finals week approaches, Mark braves peer and family in his quest to remain drunk just a little bit longer.
2. Brenda has one complaint about the faculty of Shadyville U: they're all dead. It's vampire versus zombie versus small town girl in this thrilling story of love, intrigue, and English 101.
3. As test scores plummet, vice principal Josh Gregory realizes the problem lies with the school district's administration, but the administration is blaming white supremacists and Muslim terrorists. Will Josh have to talk them out of arming the students against a possible attack on the school?
4. After flunking out of six graduate degree programs, there's one thing left for Rachel Turner: collections consulting. She can help the untutored rich improve themselves with impressive selections of books, art and curios! It's all brilliant, until her first three clients die in mysterious circumstances and Detective Vince Spinelli, former art major, suspects she's the culprit.
5. Marcus is a doctor
In love with young Cherise
They share Roberta's outlook
On the subject of disease
Stanley plays the trumpet
At night in Larry's house
David draws some pictures
With the insides of a mouse
Leo likes the leather lash
Ginny loves her physics
They're all in love with money
Like most crazy Academics.
6. Doug has the school's worst case of spring fever, and there's still a month until summer vacation. Will he give up, drop out, stop trying? Of course not--even tenured professors don't get paid if they don't show up.
I am seeking representation for my one hour television drama – “Academics.”
Think high school meets “West Wing.” [I'm thinking that, and what I get is a high school student gets elected president of the United States; immediately drugs are all legalized, sex education is taught by porn stars, and we go to war with Canada just for laughs.]
High school vice-principal Josh Gregory wants to make public education make sense -- and make kids smarter at the same time. Unfortunately, test scores have been falling to record lows for five consecutive years, and it seems the District office is more concerned with public image than with building capable kids. [The falling test scores belong at the beginning of the paragraph. That puts the "unfortunately" closer to the district's attitude, which is what it describes.]
When an unfounded rumor begins to spread that white supremacists are planning to attack the high school, the staff is sent into a flurry of District-mandated overreactions. [Surely this rumor is based on the fact that white supremacists have a motive in attacking this high school. What is it?] Josh is overwhelmed by an attack of common sense and realizes he isn’t educating children anymore; he and his colleagues are sowing seeds of failure while pandering to the lowest common denominator. And that isn’t enough –- not nearly enough. [What isn't nearly enough of what? Is he saying we need to do more than just sow seeds of failure and pander to the lowest common denominator? "Not enough" implies that we need to do something in addition to sowing and pandering. Instead he should say, And that's immoral, or disgraceful, or reprehensible.] Like it or not, the kids aren’t going to wait for the school district to figure all this out. They’re growing up, and Josh knows the real threat to students isn't Muslim terrorists or white supremacists. The real threat to everyone -- is the education the kids aren't getting.
I am a certified Montessori Elementary teacher and have written a humor column for a local magazine for two years. In the past three years I have also written two novels and four screenplays. Please consider “Academics.” It is provocative and timely, yet most importantly it will make for a damn entertaining hour of television. [I agree--if the students are armed and the school is attacked by Muslim terrorists or white supremacists.] [That "yet" implies that provocative and timely usually = not entertaining. I'd make it an "and."] Thank you for your time.
You don't really see many stand-alone 1-hour dramatic TV shows in the U.S. Back in the 1950s maybe. Maybe if you got it up to an hour and a half it could be a Lifetime Network movie or a Hallmark Hall of Fame production.
I know little about who would handle this, but I'm guessing that as bad as the odds may be with novels, they're way worse with a television drama, especially if it's not a series. Now, if white supremacists and Muslim terrorists both happen to attack the same high school at the same time, and end up fighting each other, and the computer geeks and the jocks team up to save the school, you may want to put this in the mail to Oliver Stone.