The Sitcom Trials 2012 Page 7



  • Saturday 3rd March 2012, 9:00pm
  • Leeds, England
  • 476 posts

Hope the votes start appearing on the thread - I love the bloodbath!

PS - I was a contestant last year and it stings a bit when the negative reviews come in, but it can be incredibly helpful once the pain dies down. :)



  • Sunday 4th March 2012, 12:12pm [Edited]
  • Brighton, United Kingdom
  • 180 posts

Sitcom Trial reviews

Is this the right place for these or should I move them to the Yahoo message board?

General things I've learnt.

1, Everyone is doing a script about Loveable layabout loafers in their twenties in a flatshare with their oldest friend.
2, Formatting a script is really important. Some were really, really hard to read. Make it easy on the reader. The one I use is the Newsjack recommendation.
4, Too many drunk/stoned/hungover people (I'm guilty here)
5, Loads of people trying to write decent parts for women - nice work.
6, Too many jokes on the 'scared of being bummed' theme.

Here's my reviews, happy to discuss any of them but if you just want to call me a dick, PM me as it's boring for other forum readers.

Good luck to all

A French Affair - I would have thought unstagable, too many locations including a car. But I'm not sure so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. It's a bit clunky, some of the jokes are hugely signposted. I didn't really see much definition to the characters. There were a few good jokes but, I'm afraid - NO

Scream Sisters - 'Are your underarms still trés European?' - is nice. Some good ideas. Nice setting. Dialogue very clunky though and not enough laughs and can't tell the difference between the two lead characters - No

All the fun of the fair - 'People are finding hot-dogs in their candyfloss.' - funny. Good stuff, funny, good original jokes. Characters distinct. Dialogue could flow better, there is some clunkiness to it - YES

As plain as day - An awful lot of plot and concept crammed into a small space which is smart. Didn't really make me laugh though. - MAYBE

Baked - Not for me I'm afraid. Couldn't see any difference between the characters, didn't particularly warm to any of them. Didn't laugh. Isn't stoner comedy a bit old hat? - No

Bewilderment Years - alright. Beryl has definitely got potential. Thebit with him waiting in the office is nicely written and funny. Sounds like an inner monologue thought so don't know how you'd perform it. - MAYBE

Big Boys bad - Funny! Hoorah! Genuine jokes and everything. Sadly, I have to 'No' it. I'm afraid it's not a sitcom. It's a sketch. I reckon with some edits and rejigs, you've got three good sketches here. So, sorry, well done but - No

Chairman Sal - I liked that characters, there was an easy gentle humour going on. Nice. Why is there no decent football sitcom? Problem is it's too long with not enough going on. Based on what you've given us, 'No' but with a tight, tight
edit I'd say 'Yes' so to conclude - 'MAYBE'

Cold Call - 'There are no traffic jams down the extra mile Rebecca' - laugh! Hang on, I've finished? Is that it? That's about a five minute peice at best. Potential though. Be careful with the manager, David Brent is going to loom large for a long time and there's a touch of the brent about him. Liked the two girls, didn't understand the logic of why they were sitting together. I really warmed to this but I want to see more - MAYBE

Cooper - Hangover - I submitted this, I'm pleased with the distinct characters and the dialogue. I also think you get good VFM in laughs per line- YES

Deirdre Dooley - Fairly well defined characters, nice simple plot, good ending. Not funny enough though - NO

Games Night - More subtle exposition please - Great idea, very funny, good characters. Too one-note for a sitcom though, it would just be too similar week after week. I'd extend it into a play if I were you, bags of potential here for a great Ayckborn type affair. - No

Geezers - Dated and not funny. The punchline appears to be two men beating a woman with a baseball bat. - No

Istanbul - Good 'stenders joke. Really like the skull, enjoy the surrealism of one of the characters being a skull for no real reason. More stoner comedy though. Couldn't realy follow the plot and not very funny. - No

Limbo - That's just f**king weird. I wasn't really sure what was going on but a few bits made me laugh "status: piece of shit" - MAYBE

Loxley - Very clunky dialogue. EG 'hint: thing' and it being DNA is funny, but there's a lot of redundant dialogue here though. 'Hint: Thing' is funny, you don't need someone to then explain that it's 'vague and irritating.' Good effort, you've tried to give characters a different voice which is really important. I want to be able to cover up the character names and know who's speaking and there were parts here I could do that. I'm not sure we need Simone. Seems a bit superfluous. Some nice swearing. Unfortunately though, not funny enough and dialogue doesn't feel particularly realistic. - NO

Making Heavy Weather - Don't like the setting, not really sure where you can go with that. I'd move them all off your spaceship to somewhere with a bit more scope because I liked your characters, I thought it was funny and the plot cracked along at a nice pace. I'd try and give the two leads more distinct personalities though - YES

Me and Mrs Jones - Like the relationship here, there's the basis of something solid in the two characters and their relationship. IT's way too reliant on dirty old (wo)man jokes though, far too course for me - NO

Mr Pipe - Is it a sitcom? Is it the start of a film? I don't know. Good enough plot, laughed, liked Mr Pipe. Two other characters bit too similar though, need to make them more distinct. Think you're on to somehting here though - YES

Murder - Not for me. Unpleasant. Your characters are all identical and I'm afraid it's not funny.

Shock Treatment - There's a few good lines in here but it seemed a bit rushed. I think it needs a few more edits and an ending, it looks like we're halfway through your story - NO
Moonstricken - 'Carlos Bronson over there decided to share me around like tapas!' is funny. Hmm, weird, weird weird. There are a few nice lines in here but you're making fun of mentally ill people. Sorry, that just can't work. Also, you want to have an actor shit themselved on stage. How's that going to work? - NO

Social - 'What if cats have their own internet and it's just full of pictures of us' - best line I've read all day, in fact I've just quoted it on Facebook so pick the irony out of that. Some sold funny stuff in here. Your characters seem
very similar though. I think you've got a good solid idea for a sitcom here, I'd make it less obsessively about social media though. Almost every line is social media based, give them a life apart from social media - YES

Stanburg - 'unauthorised autobiography of Alan Shearer - Hello, I'm Alan Shearer' - I'd buy it! Funny. What the hell was that though? I'm afraid I had no idea what was going on. I suspect it's all a bit Boosh/Reeves and Mortimer which is not an area of comedy I enjoy which could be why it didn't mean much to me - NO

Suburban Bohemia - Nice ending, enjoyed the final line. You've got a decent plot but I'm afraid I didn'#t find it very funny. - No

TAKE A PENNY LEAVE A PENNY - Nice setting Found it hard to figure out what was going on and it didn't make me laugh - NO

TFL EPISODE 1 - The characters are all the same. Too long, unstageable - NO

THE MOLECULE DUPLICATE - It's a decent enough story, could do with being funnier though but it's unstageable - NO

The Gaia centre - alright. Lead female is close to being a decent character, I'd play around with her a bit more make her more monstorous, but it's a bit harridan wife and hen-pecked husband. Not funny enough. - NO

MacArthurs and me - A bit rough around the edges, lots of jokes, the majority of which work pretty well. Good final line - MAYBE

The Offy - Black - I submitted this, I think it's funny with some decent characters. Good do with some more plot though - YES

The old LEgion - "Yeah, you were a lot quicker with your first two pints" - nice. The two old boys were good enough characters if too similar. Didn't like harridan wife though. Needs to be funnier - NO

The Space between - "Two words. CCTV." - great. Really liked this. Nice characters, pathos all over the place and funny - YES

The tragic life of Roger Bulwark - Fine. Some decent laughs and a good story, I'm saying there's potential here - YES

Three Moons - original, likeable characters. Nice. Gently funny. Quite sweet but not amazing - MAYBE

To Live or Die - Too many mispellings and punctuation problem make it hard to read. That said, there's been scripts that are spelt perfectly that were harder to read than this, but work on it because you want it as easy as possible for people to enjoy what you've written. It's a decent concept and easy to see a series come out of such an idea. As it stands though, it's got some decent jokes but your characters need to be more defined and consistent. - NO

Toil and Trouble - good stuff. Funny, nice characters. Good idea, plenty of scope for more - YES

Welliott Marsh and the Big Soak - Unstageable. "the process of strategic cannibalism" is funny. It's a nice, well written idea but I think you're in the wrong place - NO

Whitecoats - Nice, characters are a bit cliched though but some good funny lines - MAYBE

You've Missed a Bit - Characters too similar. I don't find their banter funny, but I suspect it may work for some people - NO



  • Sunday 4th March 2012, 6:54pm
  • bristol, England
  • 48 posts

I think it's -1 for a NO.



  • Sunday 4th March 2012, 7:33pm
  • Brighton, United Kingdom
  • 180 posts

Thanks cedardude. Removed it rather than have it there being all wrong.



  • Sunday 4th March 2012, 8:12pm [Edited]
  • portsmouth, England
  • 192 posts

Trinder. I wrote Geezers, I know it seems a bit dated but these fellas are real and out there, and long not to be in their situation, to get the characters across with plot and conclusion all in 15 mins is very hard to do without sacrificing the characters. I can't believe you didnt find it funny but that's your opinion and opinions counts ill turn it round and rewrite it for now.



  • Monday 5th March 2012, 7:55pm
  • Brighton, United Kingdom
  • 180 posts

Hey, I'm sorry. Remember, it's just my opinion and opinions are like arseholes and all that. It may work for other people.
I'd definitely thing about the overall image of the last scene though.



  • Monday 5th March 2012, 9:29pm
  • portsmouth, England
  • 192 posts
Quote: Trinder @ March 5 2012, 7:55 PM GMT

Hey, I'm sorry. Remember, it's just my opinion and opinions are like arseholes and all that. It may work for other people.
I'd definitely thing about the overall image of the last scene though.

It is important to the feel of the series and women do get the upper hand, maybe a different episode would have come across the way it is meant, cheers for input.


Kev F

  • Monday 5th March 2012, 11:51pm
  • Bristol, England
  • 689 posts

I've done it! Finally got all scripts read, reviewed and voted on (except for the three .docx documents which I couldn't open on my mac). I've posted my reviews on the SitsVac forum:

And even better, I don't have to add up the votes!

I am loving this round of Sitcom Trials script reading (helped by being in Australia in March, which can't be hurting I'm sure). I have found the level of writing to be the all-round highest I can remember, so my congratulations to everyone who's entered, and to Vince for encouraging such a response. I hope I've given a good enough explanation for every Yes, Maybe and No I've given.

I'd encourage anybody and everybody on this message forum to try and read the Sitcom Trials entries and vote on just a few if you can. Every vote helps, and it doesn't matter if you only read 4 out of the 40 (because an unread or unovted on script remains unaffected, a YES counts for 2 points, a MAYBE for 1 and a NO is worth minus 1). Every little helps.

Kev F
Exec Producer
The Sitcom Trials


evan rubivellian

  • Tuesday 6th March 2012, 5:25pm
  • England
  • 672 posts

Anyone else having problems opening the files? I keep getting a "this document is not accessible" message no matter what file I click on.



  • Tuesday 6th March 2012, 5:30pm
  • bristol, England
  • 48 posts
Quote: evan rubivellian @ March 6 2012, 5:25 PM GMT

Anyone else having problems opening the files? I keep getting a "this document is not accessible" message no matter what file I click on.

they open fine for me now but earlier I had the same problem, I ended up saving each file then opening it, that seemed to work


Mr Ashdown

  • Tuesday 6th March 2012, 9:56pm
  • England
  • 124 posts

Just over 24 hours left to cast your votes. There are some really tight races going on near the top of the table, and every vote counts, so please keep them coming.


evan rubivellian

  • Wednesday 7th March 2012, 6:34pm
  • England
  • 672 posts

Here are the cotes (so far) from the Evan jury. Sorry for being so curt in places. I do admire everyone who's completed a script and entered the competition. What follows is just my opinion.

As Plain as Day: By me. I sweated blood crafting this and squeezing in as much as plot, characterisation and laughs as I could. I think it's good. YES.

Shock Treatment: Also by me. Come on, Dr Lime is great fun. YES.

Scream Girls: - I like the premise and there is a lot of potential in the idea, but the dialogue lacked drive because there was nothing happening. NO.

A French Affair: I liked the opening joke. But the script felt dated and relied on stereotypes too much. No.

You've Missed a Bit: A bit slow-paced, and though some of the dialogue was good, it lacked spark and felt like a Carry-On movie from the 70s. NO.

All the Fun of the Fair: An original situation but the pace felt slow with people just sitting around talking. NO.

Welliot Marsh: The writer has balls of steel for saying that the script is for radio! And giving a poetry credit! I don't know if it's eligible for this comp this is a great script and I hope it does well both in this competition and in the "real" world. Imaginative, funny and witty. YES.

Whitecoats: The characters didn't grab me and the humour relied on bums and dicks too much-something in common with a lot of the scripts. NO.

Baked: Not enough happening to keep my interest. NO.

Bewilderment Years: I just didn't care about the sock. Things picked up with the scene at the publisher's but it was too small a part of the script. NO.

To Live or Die: Lots of typos in this one, which made it more difficult to read. Characters were too samey with everyone speaking in the same voice. Not much plot. NO.

Big Boys Bad: Felt like a sketch idea rather than a potential sitcom. And not enough laughs. NO.

Three Moons: Some good dialogue, and the blonde horse joke made me laugh. But most of the script was taken up with stuff that happened in the past. The main character has a lot of potential, but the script didn't explore it enough. NO.

Chairman Sal: The club has problems but the characters spend too much time talking about things rather than actually doing something. Consequently I don't have any sympathy for them. NO.

Tragic Life of Roger: Something happening right from the start, good dialogue and strong, identifiable characters. 17 pages seems too long, but that's not my decision to make. YES.

Cold Call: Needs a good proof-read because it's riddled with typos. I liked the dialogue and the character, but a lot of the situations felt familiar from other sitcoms. Still, MAYBE.

Space Between: A typo in your first line of action? Fortunately, I read on. I loved the lobster tanks joke. Liked the relationship between Jim and Kirsty. Plot builds nicely. YES.

Cooper: I couldn't figure out the scene changes. Perhaps if you made more of an effort to describe the time difference, the clothes they are wearing, or something to make me aware that time has passed in the scene changes. As is, the conversation kept jumping round and was hard to follow. MAYBE.

The Old Legion: I feared this was going to be about a group of old codgers. And I was right. But there was something warm about this that kept me reading with nice dialogue and character touches.. A gentle comedy, but one that won me over. I must be getting soft. YES.

Dierdre's Dilemma: Seems far too short. I liked the idea, but we only get to the interesting stuff after the cliffhanger. She's a scam clairvoyant? Why wait so long before getting to that? I think you should rewrite this. Definite potential, but as is, NO.

The Offy: Not enough happening. Dialogue felt contrived in places. NO.

Will try to get more reviews in later.

And what is going on with all those people turning up to vote for Loxley's Poker Night?!?

I can't open docx files so I guess I won't know what I'm missing.


Alan O'Brien

  • Thursday 8th March 2012, 11:05am
  • Liverpool, England
  • 103 posts

Bit bored, so here are my tips for the 5 that will go through:

As Plain as Day
Games Night: Monopoly
Making Heavy Weather
The Gaia Centre for Holistic Healing
The Tragic Life of Roger Bulwark

Was a surge of votes for Loxley's Poker Night a day or two ago but the tide seemed to turn after that. Cooper might be the dark horse to break into the five.


Mr Ashdown

  • Thursday 8th March 2012, 11:18am
  • England
  • 124 posts


The votes are in, and they've all now been counted, and double-checked, and the full results are:

Making Heavy Weather (35)
The Tragic Life of Roger Bulwark (25)
Games Night: Monopoly (23)
Shock Treatment (23)
Whitecoats (21)

Cooper: Hangover (20)
As Plain As Day (19)
The Old Legion (19)
Welliott Marsh and the Big Soak (18)
The Gaia Centre for Holistic Healing (16)
Cold Call (15)
All the Fun of the Fair (12)
Bewilderment Years (12)
You've Missed a Bit: Faith (12)
Mr Pipe (10)
Three Moons (10)
Stanburg (10)
Social (9)
The Offy (9)
Scream Girls (7)
The Space Between (7)
Toil and Trouble (7)
Deirdre Dooley's Dilemma (5)
Loxley's Poker Night (5)
There's Been a Murder: Chainsaws (4)
A French Affair (3)
Limbo (3)
Istanbul (1)
Moonstricken (1)
The MacArthurs and Me (1)
You've Missed a Bit: The Best Medicine (1)
Take a Penny Leave a Penny: Kevin and Nevin (0)
The Duplicate (-1)
Geezers (-4)
Suburban Bohemia: New Management (-5)
Baked: Pilot (-9)
Chairman Sal (-9)
Me and Mrs Jones (-9)
TFL (-11)
To Live or Die (-11)
Big Boys Bad (-15)

Congrats to the writers of the top five - their scripts now go forward to the live show at the Wardrobe Theatre on March 30th (tickets available now).

Commiserations to all the other writers - it's a tough competition and it takes a lot of guts to write a sitcom and enter it into a peer-reviewed contest where everything's out in the open. Thank you to everyone who took part; I hope you found the process to be rewarding, and the feedback to be useful.

I'll be in touch with the Wardrobe to ask for comp tickets for the writers (which should encourage them to attend the show, and to bring with them all their friends).

A few things -

- In the interests of transparency and fairness, I've uploaded my votes counting document to the SitsVac files section, so please feel free to double-check that I've got it all right, particularly if it affects the top five in any way.

- I discarded votes from Bart Hulley (over 10 hours past the deadline) and from Shaun (a few reviews with no votes attached to them).

- Two writers withdrew their scripts very early on, but some votes were cast for them anyway:

Honest (2)
A Game of Two Halves (1)

- The Bristol team will be reading/casting the top five scripts at our next meeting, and the writers are very welcome to attend. Oxford pub, Oxford Street, Totterdown, Bristol, Sunday 11th March, 2-4pm (ish).

Thanks again to everyone (and especially to Kev F for his Antipodean support).



Alan O'Brien

  • Thursday 8th March 2012, 12:39pm
  • Liverpool, England
  • 103 posts

Well done to the top 5 - sounds a great experience and hope you enjoy every minute of it. Thanks very much for all the vote counting, Vince - sounds a nightmare job, and I made mine 12 too with All the Fun of the Fair. Funny how some scripts I really liked ended up towards the bottom.