Progressive Place

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Dems can throw sleezy political lies for fun and profit, too!

Okay, here's one to counter the Swift Boat Veterans. Maybe SNL or the Capitol Steps might be interested.

Wealthy Saudi student Osama bin Laden visits Yale for a month-long International Economics seminar. Dubbya's family, dear old friends of the bin Ladens, arrange for him to stay in one of the many guest rooms in Dubbya's fraternity house. The two wealthy lads soon become drinking buddies, and then close friends. Very, very close. A few eyewitnesses to intimate acts between the two begin to talk. Foolish. Very, very foolish, considering at least one of several bro's, "returned vets" in their mid-20s, is never more than a hurl away from Junior. Rumors spread, and are quickly squashed. One house resident falls victim to a mysterious illness, another from his 4th floor window. Not surprisingly, nobody talks after that.

Until now...

Friday, September 17, 2004

NELL, a TV treatment based on 1994 Jodie Foster movie

TV series concept based on the 1994 Jodie Foster movie Nell
Concept c. 1999-2004, David Calloway. All rights reserved.

Thoughts on why Nell would make a fabulous, original, thought-provoking dramatic TV series.

Characters we care about:

  • Nell

  • The sherriff and his wife (who's mental illness did not magically disappear, but is a recurring theme and sub-plot)

  • Psychologist Paula and her family: Jerry, the local doctor, their daughter Ruth. Ruth is growing up, styling herself after Nell, which is not an easy path for a pre-teen to travel.

  • The "jerks" in the pool hall. It turns out that most of them, like Nell, cannot read. Her struggle to gain literacy becomes a model for one, who is a basically nice guy struggling to break out of his failure trap, to the dismay of his buddies. What will they do to stop him?
Story lines that will appeal to a variety of audiences:
  • The tale could be picked up either within the five year lapse preceding the end of the movie, or after the end of the movie, when Nell's become a bit more mainstreamed into the local culture.

  • Nell's friends try to shelter her from the "corrupting" influence of her wealth, and of those it attracts. It's possible that most of it went into making her mountain a wilderness trust, so she could continue to live on part of it, relatively undisturbed.
Other story lines:
  • Explore the classic tale of the "innocent" in a tentative dance with civilization, but not in a drippy way. For example, she is befriended by a handsome but manipulative "environmentalist," who in fact works for a developer, intending to induce her to sell. Who's more convincing? And at what point does the audience find out that he's a fraud? Next week's episode, maybe?
  • Introduce the inherent new-age, spiritually-oriented messages in a very natural human context. An underlying theme is the commonalities between a sincere new-age perspective, and the old-fashioned, home-spun values espoused in the stories. Because of this, sponsors will have to be carefully selected.
  • Nell continues to be a healer of many of the broken souls who cross her path. A special bond grows with Native Americans in the area. A shaman colleague of Paula takes her under his wing as a not-quite apprentice. (Be careful she doesn't become a caricature of a savior, ala "Tommy-The Shameless Stage Extravaganza".)
Nell manages to maintain her efficient, fulfilling lifestyle, while dealing with a constant stream of new experiences, many both scary and attractive.

Sex must, by the nature of the situation and the times, be a presence. It should be handled gently, and with a light touch, but it cannot be taken lightly.

BTW, do you know who owns the movie copyright? All I could find thru Google is the production companies: 20th Century Fox (USA), Egg Pictures, and PolyGram Filmed Entertainment (USA).

Martha Stewart to redecorate Danbury

It's rumored that Martha Stewart has already been ordering material for new curtains and specifying the color scheme in her future suite at the Federal Correctional Institution at Danbury, CT.

One wonders, why send her to the already tastefully appointed Danbury? Why not somewhere that's dark and dreary and could really benefit from her decorator's touch? Her conviction may have tainted her reputation, but certainly not her ability as a creative designer. Imagine the wonders she could work on a more challenging canvas!

But alas, so few women are sent to Federal prison, that Danbury is the only one available. Maybe they could loan her out to more needy State penal institutions, such as Sing Sing in New York and New Jersey's Rahway.

Then, her production company could launch a TV series called "This Old Cell."

Friday, September 10, 2004

This is a RADCOTT Day

Ever get the feeling that a whole day, or more, was spent Re-Arranging Deck Chairs On The Titanic?
That was yesterday. A real RADCOTT day.