Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Five Projects I Wish I'd Worked On

As a writer, there's plenty of opportunity in the world.  Sometimes, however, you don't get to work on the very best creative projects you will ever see.  Others, you just aren't old enough; other times, you aren't known enough.  Finally, a lot of times those projects come to an end at some point before they even get started - they had potential, but they just drifted away.

Here are five projects, heavy-in-writing, that I wish I had been able to work on.

#5:  Undergrads


I've talked about Undergrads before, so fully detailing that series would be a grievous misuse of my powers. Which are writing, and writing.  Now, I've mentioned how the show was forced to be non-edgy out of the fear of censorship and all that, whereas real college life is nothing but that edge.  How would I have changed things?  No idea.  I would definitely have been a force for it's edginess, to keep recycling a word, and I would have thought about taking the Arrested Development approach of cleverness and double/triple meanings - though that would be risky, as the target audience for the show was too young to really get such jokes.

Nevertheless, not only was the series a very small project (without a large need for external writers), but it was too short lived and before my time.

Speaking of...

#4:  Arrested Development

Another series I've talked about!  What are the odds?


Here's the thing that made Arrested Development so awesome:  Its humor was character driven, but also driven by the writers' distinct ability to talk about absolutely and totally forbidden topics on a major prime-time network...And get away with it.  They did this through both blunt-but-not-over reaching jokes, like how Tobias is an Analyst + Therapist.  Making him an Analrapist.  Then there's more subtle times, like when Tobias believes his children are heavily into leather clothing, so he goes to a store and asks if there's anything that would make him a "Leather Daddy."

Insert every "Tobias Is Gay" joke out there.

Working on Arrested would have been awesome.  Considering it's coming back, well, there -is- a very minor chance I'll get on it!  Unfortunately, they're already filming, so it'd have to involve a time machine.

#3:  Moral Orel


Moral Orel is just one of those shows waiting to have a "Cancelled Before Prime Time" article.  It's the first of two Adult Swim shows on this list, surprise surprise, and why is Orel on here?

Because Orel is about as gritty a drama as you can get in the world of Claymation, with dark humor and serious social commentary all wrapped into one.  Robot Chicken, similar in visual style, is much more light-hearted, and considering the number of gruesome deaths on that show?  That's saying something.  Moral Orel doesn't need death to be bleak.

The upshot is that there is apparently a made-for-TV movie in the works for Moral Orel, but its cancellation after three seasons (with the absolutely depressing trimming of the final season, to boot) just served as an honestly crushing blow.  So, chances are, I'm not workin' on this, either.  But let me tell you - if you haven't, you need to watch Season 3.  Shortened as it is, it's one of the finest seasons of TV I've ever seen in any medium, ever.

#2:  The Venture Brothers

Okay.  This one...Is probably the only one I'd ever have any shot of getting in, mainly because it's the only one still being actively, aggressively produced.  Unfortunately, it's also way too high profile for a TV newbie like me!


Where do I really begin?  Well, with it's beginning.  Venture Brothers really started as sort of a spoof show, a parody of the old Johnny Quest TV show.  As it grew into its own production halfway through the first season, however, character complexity took center stage.  No longer was it just about whatever random adventure Rusty happened to be on; it became about the state of The Monarch's relationship with Dr.  Girlfriend.  It became about Hank and Dean growing up and, in time, becoming more than just tag-along nuisances.

It became its own show.

With this Adult Swim show having suffered from production troubles due to a company going under, the stage is quickly being set for a fifth series.  It will be awesome, because it's production is in the hands of people who truly care about it.

#1:  Xenogears

Oh yes, I said it.  A video game.  Not a TV show, not a comic book, not a novel project; a Playstation One game.  And I'm going to show the very first scene which will explain why...


In case you're wondering, yes; this game very nearly got banned from the United States for scenes like that one.  It's plot is somewhere between a scathing Biblical launch-point, an episode of Mobile Suit Gundam, a Final Fantasy game (It's made by Square), and an awesome psychology lesson.  I don't want to spoil things because, frankly, the game'll do that in due time if you can pick up a copy, but here are some highlights...

 - Umpteen years ago, a space-craft crashed on Earth.
 - Your protagonist pilots a giant robot of destruction.
 - Battles between sand-submarines.
 - UFOs.
 - Religious iconography that's powerful and creative.

The biggest weakness Xenogears had was that it didn't get perfectly translated when it came to the U.S..  That, and sometimes dungeons can get a bit long-in-the-tooth, with old-school random encounters that today seem to only get in the way of a story...Except that typical RPGs of today are nothing but story broken up by bits of tutorial mode.

I would have loved to work on this project, if for no other reason than to provide an extra degree of precision on the final product.  Any translation runs some risks, but Xenogears - with its dialogue-heavy plot - ended up very well, despite not attaining perfection.

Oh well.  That's what Perfect Works is for.

No comments:

Post a Comment