British Comedy Guide

Stood up

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sglen

  • Sunday 18th January 2015, 9:44pm [Edited]
  • Manchester, England
  • 599 posts

Can't seem to get this right...quite like the passive aggression and the twist, but I've overwritten out of frustration...meh...help?

WOMAN opens door to JOHN.

JOHN - Hello!

WOMAN - Hi...

JOHN - I couldn't help but notice you weren't at our date tonight.

WOMAN - Oh...

JOHN - It's ok, I know you're not the kind of sociopathic piss-dinghy who stands people up or masturbates furiously when terrorists bomb schools, so I'm here to help you with the emergency that prevented you from calling ahead.

JOHN pushes the WOMAN out of the way and goes into her flat. She follows.

WOMAN - John...

JOHN - I got you a gift...

JOHN pulls out a napkin and wraps it around the WOMAN's neck.

JOHN - I assumed you were bleeding uncontrollably from the neck; it's only due to such an urgent matter that you would waste my time, and I know you're not so heartless that you couldn't muster a good arterial spurt.

WOMAN - John...

JOHN - Then I thought you'd probably slipped on your blood puddle and broken your head, which would understandably make it difficult to remember my number, or where you're supposed to be, or the basic maxims of human decency. A bit like this...

JOHN grabs a bottle of wine from the unit and spills it on the floor and lies down in it.

JOHN - But then I'd arrive to hold your shat-up head and sing you the song I wrote in your honour while I meticulously planned my night around you.

SINGING: 'Ooooo, I like it when you look at me with your fat eyes. I hope you don't destroy me with your pathological inability to empathise.'

TWO PARAMEDICS rush in.

JOHN - Ah, thank you for turning up. It seems her neck is fine after all, but I'm sure Chloe can explain what the emergency is.

WOMAN - I'm not Chloe...

JOHN pulls out his phone and rifles through it.

JOHN - Karen...

JOHN stands up.

WOMAN - Yes...

JOHN - ...tomorrow at the restaurant...Chloe...tonight at the...

JOHN's phone starts ringing. He answers it

JOHN - Chloe! So sorry I didn't make it, I'm bleeding uncontrollably from the neck.

JOHN walks towards the door, and slips over the wine puddle.

END

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Ben

  • Sunday 18th January 2015, 9:46pm
  • England
  • 18,369 posts

I liked it.

Nice lively character in John and a decent twist/slip at the end.

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sglen

  • Sunday 18th January 2015, 9:48pm
  • Manchester, England
  • 599 posts
Quote: Ben @ 18th January 2015, 9:46 PM GMT

I liked it.

Nice lively character in John and a decent twist/slip at the end.

Thanks. I just feel like it's a bit flat/forced at the moment. Not really feeling it. But maybe I've been looking at it too long.

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sean knight

  • Sunday 18th January 2015, 10:01pm
  • England
  • 318 posts

Yeah it's pretty good, you could maybe add in a bit more interjection from the woman though. Also she shouldn't really be called WOMAN when we find out her name towards the end.
Also the slip at the end, feel like you could do a bit more with it. I'd maybe hold out on the call from Chloe until after he's fallen and injured himself or he asks Karen to call her and make his excuses, like it's the least she could do for causing his injury.

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sglen

  • Sunday 18th January 2015, 10:52pm
  • Manchester, England
  • 599 posts
Quote: sean knight @ 18th January 2015, 10:01 PM GMT

Yeah it's pretty good, you could maybe add in a bit more interjection from the woman though. Also she shouldn't really be called WOMAN when we find out her name towards the end.
Also the slip at the end, feel like you could do a bit more with it. I'd maybe hold out on the call from Chloe until after he's fallen and injured himself or he asks Karen to call her and make his excuses, like it's the least she could do for causing his injury.

I think you're right it's flat because it's essentially a rant. Reading it through there's no real escalation because the peak of the dynamic is almost hit from the very start.

Problem with more interjection from the woman, though, is that if she had a chance to speak she'd just say 'our date is tomorrow night', so I can't let her speak.

Maybe it's funnier if in response to being stood up the man stubbornly 'brings the date to her', complete with waiters and performs some kind of enforced quick-fire date which he abruptly leaves when she says something innocuous that he doesn't approve of. Maybe more potential in more of an exchange between two people.

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Marc P

  • Sunday 18th January 2015, 11:02pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 17,698 posts

I think its a tad flat as you say because it is overdone. Write it as if it is real would be my advice. Build the disappointment in the man, think drama, build build it. Maybe even have the woman apologise. So I would lose the paras etc. It would make the twist more zingy!

As for her not speaking... just write that with him interrupting and him not starting with the reason why he is angry. So maybe he does't mention the stand up until later and then she apologises for wrong date etc and finally the penny drops with him.

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sglen

  • Sunday 18th January 2015, 11:04pm [Edited]
  • Manchester, England
  • 599 posts
Quote: Marc P @ 18th January 2015, 11:02 PM GMT

I think its a tad flat as you say because it is overdone. Write it as if it is real would be my advice. Build the disappointment in the man, think drama, build build it. Maybe even have the woman apologise. So I would lose the paras etc. It would make the twist more zingy!

As for her not speaking... just write that with him interrupting and him not starting with the reason why he is angry. So maybe he does't mention the stand up until later and then she apologises for wrong date etc and finally the penny drops with him.

Hmmm...interesting....may try that tomorrow. Thanks.

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Marc P

  • Sunday 18th January 2015, 11:14pm
  • England
  • 17,698 posts

And then we he feels really bad have a naked man come out of the bedroom and ask him to join them.

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gappy

  • Monday 19th January 2015, 6:03pm
  • Oxford, England
  • 2,026 posts

LInes like this are over-written: "the kind of sociopathic piss-dinghy who stands people up or masturbates furiously when terrorists bomb schools". That kind of thing can be very good in journalism, say, but just feels sludgy in sketch dialogue.

The passive-aggressive thing is good, and I like the ending. I think perhaps a date is too much, too big an event, and it might be funnier if it was an acquantince he was going to meet for coffee, but that's just a little thought.

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sglen

  • Friday 30th January 2015, 8:04pm
  • Manchester, England
  • 599 posts
Quote: gappy @ 19th January 2015, 6:03 PM GMT

LInes like this are over-written: "the kind of sociopathic piss-dinghy who stands people up or masturbates furiously when terrorists bomb schools". That kind of thing can be very good in journalism, say, but just feels sludgy in sketch dialogue.

The passive-aggressive thing is good, and I like the ending. I think perhaps a date is too much, too big an event, and it might be funnier if it was an acquantince he was going to meet for coffee, but that's just a little thought.

Thanks :) Yeah, what I'd ended up doing was going 'there's no escalation!' and then thinking maybe I could escalate the language or something...then going 'no, that's shit'...and putting it up here :)

There's a reason it had to be around a date, but I think I've kind of dropped this one because no matter how I looked at it it wasn't really engaging me.

Thanks for the critique though!

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Wills

  • Friday 30th January 2015, 10:39pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 73 posts

I agree with the above. For me, it seems less real because Karen doesn't try harder to correct him. It has to feel like moe of a struggle for her to get her point across. Then the punchline will be more satisfying because the reader/audience will feel like they had the opportunity to 'get it' but didn't. It would also be nice to get more of sense that he's just ruined two dates, I'd assume the date with Karen's dead in the water after his display, but it'd be funny to see that manifest itself in some way?

Other than that I think it's great! I love some his lines and the action, congrats sir :)

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sglen

  • Friday 30th January 2015, 11:02pm
  • Manchester, England
  • 599 posts
Quote: Wills @ 30th January 2015, 10:39 PM GMT

congrats sir :)

I is a Miss, but thank you!