Dear President of HBO,
I hope you’ve received this letter in good time. I couldn’t find an address for you directly, so I sent it to the HBO Office Headquarters and Retail Store in Midtown. I trust that it was properly forwarded to you. Please allow me to pitch an exciting new half-hour show, conceived by my friends and me, that I believe would fit nicely in your prime-time programming schedule.
My show would follow the misadventures of several young friends trying to make it in the big city. “The big city,” you’re probably thinking to yourself, “That could be good. Like maybe Pittsburgh, PA or Henderson, Nevada.” Not quite, my friend. I’m talkin’ even bigger than that. I’m talkin’ New York City, baby! The Big Apple. I want to go huge with this.
Let me see if I can read your mind at this point in the pitch. “Ah yes,” I bet you’re thinking, “A show that follows several wealthy young friends in New York City. It could work.” Not so fast, partner, because here’s where it gets crazy — most of the characters don’t actually have a lot of money! Oh sure, they live in one of the most expensive cities in the world, but they’re not even rich!! Sometimes they struggle financially! We’ll follow them as they try and navigate the treacherous job market and pinch pennies just to get by in the big city. Some of them are even interested in the arts!!! Sound like a wild ride? You bet your ass it is. Wild. Gritty. Real. New.
“But wait, is it a funny show, or a serious show?” Ha-ha. Fair question, my friend, but none of the above. Oh, it’s funny. It’s FUNNY. The comedic chemistry between the characters would be some the best on TV. But sometimes, the show gets a little serious. It’s got heart. The relationships are human and real. It’s neither comedy nor drama, and it’s both at the same time. I will give you a second to process that. Also — and hear me out on this — the show would not feature a laugh track at the funny parts. Yes, you read that right. No need to dust off your glasses and read it again. We’ll trust the audience to decide for themselves what’s funny and what isn’t. Unless that’s a deal breaker for you in which case we can use a laugh track.
“Okay, several non-wealthy young friends having a great time together in New York City. I’m on board so far,” you’re probably saying. Back it up, pal, because I’m going to throw another twist at you: the friends don’t always have a great time together! Sometimes, the friends don’t even get along. Sure, there’s plenty of stories about them just hanging out and riffing, but they also bicker. Sometimes, and I need you to just trust my judgment on this, the audience might wonder why the characters are even friends, because they fight so much! It is these kind of RISKS we want to take with this show.
Now you’re really listening, eh pal, “Where’s the sex?!” you’re asking. Don’t worry big guy, because guess what? Sometimes the characters have sex with each other. “Nice, nice, so there will be sexual chemistry between certain characters and eventually they hook up, satisfying the audience’s expectations,” you’re guessing to yourself. Hold it, buddy. There’s a bit of that, yes, but just as often, characters you’d NEVER expect to have sex with each other, have sex with each other! Also, I forgot to mention, remember how the show takes place in New York City. What If I told you that New York City itself was a character all its own??? I’ll wait a second for you to get the record-scratching sound out of your head. “But, New York City can’t be a character. It’s not a person. It’s a city!” Heh-heh. You think you’ve seen it all, don’t you? What has more “character” than New York City? Think about that for a few minutes, while I go grab some coffee.
I’ll bet you’re hesitant to give some Average Joe with no television or film production experience the green light, but what if I told you that my college friends and I have already been producing this show as a web series for several months on our own time, and we already have six three-minute episodes, and that we ALL. DO. IMPROV?
“Yes, I think I can see it,” I bet you’re saying to yourself at this point. “A show about several culturally diverse friends trying to make a life for themselves while living in New York City and earning very little money, and they get along sometimes but fight other times, and sometimes hook up.” Wrong again. We’re all white.
Get in touch,