Monday, 28 June 2010

And the prize for Best Backdrop goes to - New York!

For some time now (since I was in my late teens) I have mused over executing a merger of my favourite tv shows.

When I was young I longed to see Remington Steel take on Maddie Hayes from Moonlighting or Bergerac face down Bodie and Doyle. I pondered the plot lines if Magnum PI was compelled to leave his beloved island and travel to New York to settle an old score with Cagney or Lacey.  Later I contemplated a catastrophic event on the Bold and the Beautiful resulting in the doctors of ER stitching up Brookes jaw or Thorn's pecs, amidst terrorist scares and rescues from Jack Bauer.

I am willing to admit that most of the drama in my life is of this order - fictional, imaginary or impossible. Nevertheless, the possibilities are endless. After all, many shows sport the spin-off series and some do it so well - CSI being the prime example.

But the really exciting untapped market must be in the occasional cross over show where for an episode or two - or a movie length feature event - worlds collide, as it were, on the small screen. Think of the merchandising alone!

I am mindful of my adolescent daydreams as I reflect on the very adolescent "Sex and the City 2". From the limited press coverage I saw in Australia regarding the film, I think it is safe to say that there will not be a third one, but one cannot be sure about these things so - you read it here first - I claim all rights to the royalties should my plot line end up on the big screen - or even go straight to DVD!

First, the lesson to note upfront is that most of us know the virtue of quitting while we are ahead;. even if we learn it when we are far behind and down and out. That said, people who make films/pay for making films fail to see that millions of people watching something that is over-hyped, over-exposed and over-anticipated is not the essence of success. Like so many things we seem to prize these days, the mere fact it is popular does not mean it is good. Now this may become a philosophical rant about populism, culture, art and emotion. 

I could go to town about one woman's dross being another's escapist heaven. Indeed, I recall a friend lamenting my appalling taste in films when I said I would rather watch something that was screening about a shopaholic than "The Reader". You see, I had read the latter and knew it dealt with war crimes and older women interfering with impressionable young boys. I knew how it turned out and it just seemed that that little Australian actress who married Borat might be more diverting as she grappled with her shopping addiction and found love in the big city.  I do like to escape and relax, even laugh at the movies. So, no, please don't infer that I am a snob when it comes to movies - I mean I call them movies (rawther than cinema or film). But even populist swill needs to deliver something other than ageing clothes horses whining about their lives. A joke or two would be something? (Mind you, the Alicia Keys tune, scenes of NYC and the photography were quite diverting...

Anyway, my proposal is to do a sequel - a SATC3 - that will be thought provoking and good

Here is a precis:

New York circa 2015
Samantha dies of a horrible STD after a lifetime of hedonism and sybaritc abandonment.
At her funeral where a sordid crew of former lovers and loveys are in attendance, Miranda finally makes peace with Carrie with whom she fell out some time before when Carrie hired a competitor law firm to represent her in a libel suit. Carrie lost the law suit and is now bankrupt. Her books have been blacklisted. Poor Carrie. Mr Big is hugely overweight after being fired from his vague but well-remunerated job in financial services as a result of rogue trading. The US Securities and Exchange  Commission is investigating him. Luckily Chris Noth has been under house arrest in other dramas (The Good Wife) so he is well equipped to play this role. 

Alas, bankruptcy and unemployment mean that the golden couple are living in Charlotte's guest house in the Hamptons - woeful, I know. Mr Big - diagnosed with stage 2 diabetes - faces some hard choices.

Charlotte has gone on to parent triplets and has had a breakdown as she grapples with the competing interests of motherhood, weight management, keeping her virile man happy and being a role model for 5 daughters. The Rehab song that tormented us a couple of years ago plays through our first encounter with grey haired, gaunt Charlotte. 

Meanwhile Miranda is managing partner at her law firm but struggling to deal with her family problems. Husband Steve is gay but won't move out for fear it will harm Brady and put his mother is a difficult position as she lives with the family.

The drama is taut, funny and poignant. 

And all is not grim, by any stretch of the imagination.

Mr Big and Steve become close and start to go to the gym together. Charlotte begins a long journey towards recovery and coping; letting go of her self-imposed unattainable standards. Miranda proves more likeable than any of them and starts an amazing mentorship programme for young street kids. Through this Steve finds love, Brady develops a passion for basketball and ambitions for the NBL (another sequel?), Mr Big requalifies as a personal trainer working with other Mr Bigs as well as troubled youth and Carrie breaks a nail or two avoiding the ball in the grand finale community sports carnival.

Carrie too evolves, at last. Forced to make money and with only her talent to fall back on, she starts writing under a pseudonym and publishes ebooks about - you guessed it - clothes and shoes. She does not make any cash but all her readers love her work. Miranda convinces her to help her protegees discover their own facility with the written word.

What do you think?

I am optimistic someone will pick this up and run with it. I feel connected already with these characters - well some of them.

The only thing that might cap this off would be some cameos from various other New York characters. Some cross-over! 

A little bit of Sopranoesque action for Mr Big before he finds fitness. Bree from Desperate Housewives might make an appearance in the therapy centre Charlotte frequents. Ross and Rachael could befriend Charlotte's husband at the synagogue and their kids have play-dates together under the guidance of bachelor Joey. Jerry Seinfeld would delight in the role of rival to Miranda for head partner at the law firm (and rival to Miranda for Steve!). Those nice FBI people in Without a Trace would get a look in as well, when Carrie goes missing for a day - drunk and confused she drives off the road in Queens and has to rely on her talent - yet again - to emerge mostly unscathed from a near disaster in a holding cell with Jeff Goldblum from Law and Order.

Too ambitious? Too silly? 

Yes - perhaps you are right. Best leave it to the experts. I would be better placed to do some ironing or sort a few jigsaws that seem to be muddled together. That said, I might see if they work out better when muddled up. Like some movies would, I dare say...

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