British Comedy Guide

First Scenes from New sitcom idea- Advice appreciated

Avatar

Dave C

  • Friday 9th November 2018, 11:44am [Edited]
  • Derby, England
  • 27 posts

Hello all, I posted a first scene on here a few years ago and you were all really helpful and full of great advice.
This is a sitcom set in a local news station and was wondering if you have any feedback on style, jokes, plot etc.
Much Regards,
Dave C

INT - MEETING ROOM - DAY (10:30)
TERRY HUGHES - mid-50's, looking worse for wear and casually dressed - is stood behind a camera,. He is filming CHRIS HICKMAN - late-20's, dressed smartly - inside a bland looking meeting room. There is a group of 10 people sat on chairs in an oval shape in the middle of the room and a female GROUP LEADER at the 'head' of the oval.
Chris is wandering around the group whilst reporting and Terry is following him. He stops next to a larger woman.

CHRIS
It's been ten successful years here at 'Third Chances Rehab Clinic' where they help hundreds of people kick their addiction, like Sandra here. Sandra wants to get rid of her marijuana habit as she gets the 'munchies' and wants to lose some weight.
FEMALE PATIENT
I'm not Sandra.

The woman looks unimpressed. Chris awkwardly tries to carry on.

CHRIS
Really...? But your...

Chris symbolises a fat person, the woman looks offended so Chris quickly turns to the camera.

CHRIS (CONT'D)
Well I guess it's safe to say, the grass certainly is greener on the other side for these people. Christopher Hickman, at Third Chances Rehab Clinic, East Midlands News.

As Chris signs off, one of the group lets off an enormous sounding sneeze.

TERRY
And cut. That's a wrap, pub?
CHRIS
No, we need another take. You obviously heard that.
TERRY
No one will notice.
CHRIS
We're going again.
TERRY (CONT'D)
Let's at least have a break.
(to the group)
Okay guys, we'll have a break and then we need one more take, if that's alright?
GROUP LEADER
No problem Terry. Good to see you again, how long's it been?
TERRY
Ooh it's coming up on 8 years now. And I don't regret a single day giving it up.
GROUP LEADER
Everyone give him a round of applause.
The group of people clap. Chris reluctantly applauds.
GROUP LEADER (CONT'D)
We'll meet back here in five.
The group of people gets up from their chairs and slowly head for the door.
CHRIS
That was a very cheap applause.
TERRY
What? I'm 8 years off weed.
CHRIS
Yes, but I saw you snorting something from inside a urinal bowl yesterday.
TERRY
Yeah that was good, I could do with perking up now actually. Do you think it would be wrong if I took something here?
CHRIS
What do you think?
Terry thinks about it for a second.
TERRY
I'll be back in a couple.

Terry heads out of the same door the group left from moments earlier. The group leader heads over, with a couple of glasses of juice, towards Chris. She passes him a drink.

GROUP LEADER
When he came to me, all he could think about was where to get his next fix. How times have changed.
CHRIS
You mean Terry? Yes, he's like a boring old man now.
GROUP LEADER
Weed isn't the substance that makes us interesting. Do you know what is?
CHRIS
Coke?
GROUP LEADER
Love. Love is the most exhilarating substance there is. It made me more interesting.
CHRIS
Really? More interesting than when you were on the gear?
GROUP LEADER
(smiling)
Well once; I was high and stole a police car, tasered my ex and crashed the car into a reservoir... that was fun. I still get into scrapes now though. Me and my husband couldn't agree on what toaster to get; I wanted white and he wanted off-white...

BEAT.

CHRIS
Oh, you're done? It sounds to me like you were forced to give the drugs up, but they were the things making you feel alive. Maybe you've lost that in your life now.
GROUP LEADER
(mumbling)
Wha... nah... I'm happy now... can I just?
She heads off in the same direction as Terry who passes her on his way back to Chris.
CHRIS
You feel good about yourself?
TERRY
Yes, buzzing mate. I'll buy you lunch if you want to pretend to take the high ground.

Terry gets a load of crinkled notes from his pocket. Chris looks confused and then sees members of the group carrying packets of
white powder around.

CHRIS
You really are something.
TERRY
Look, I did actually do some drugs in there as well.
CHRIS
I'm not angry because I thought you'd lied to me. I'm angry you've just sold drugs to recovering addicts.
TERRY
To be fair to me... I got a good deal. Demand outweighed supply.
CHRIS
Fantastic. You've exploited some...

Terry gets yet more notes out of his pocket.

CHRIS
Ooh that is a lot. Champagne lunch, here we come.
TERRY
That's the spirit, and we can still get the take, no harm done.

The group leader barges open the door and has a drug-fueled expression on her face and a white powder moustache.

GROUP LEADER
(shouting)
Let's go bitches.

The whole group cheers and goes wild.

CHRIS
Shit, that's on me. Let's get out of here.

INT. ANDY'S OFFICE - DAY (12:00)
Chris is sat at a desk in a tiny and cluttered office. Opposite to him is an unimpressed ANDY GREGORY, early-50's, slim, well-aged and the head editor of the news station.

ANDY
You're telling me the entire group had an unprovoked relapse at the same time, before you could get the take?
CHRIS
Yes. The real story should be that someone smuggled drugs into a rehab clinic.
ANDY
Was it Terry?
CHRIS
I can't be sure.

Andy gets up and opens his office door.

ANDY
(shouting)
Terry did you sell drugs at the rehab clinic... again?
TERRY (O.S.)
Yeah... and I got a great price for them. Usually I on...

Andy slams the door shut.

CHRIS
It could possibly have been Terry.
ANDY
You've got till 4pm to get a story into me otherwise you're doing desk work for the next three weeks.

EXT. PLAYGROUND - DAY (11:00)
NATALIE CARTER, early 20's, recently graduated and ambitious, and DAISY LUDLAM - late-20's enthusiastic and a bit nerdy, are talking to one another whilst their camerawoman (BETH) makes some adjustments to the camera. They are stood alone in front of an empty school playground, with a camera on a tripod facing them.

DAISY
So, I think if we should sign off with a joint ending where we both speak.
NATALIE
Or I could sign off on my own?
DAISY
And I do what?
NATALIE
Play on the swing or something... but do it off-camera.
DAISY
This is a dual report, you can't just take all the glory. I'll say my name, then you say yours and we sign off together.
NATALIE
It seems amateurish, is that what you're going for? If so, well done.
BETH
Alright, ready to go.
DAISY
Try it my way. And loosen up a bit.

Natalie sighs. The camerawoman counts them in.

DAISY
This school in Spondon really is closing the gender divide in more ways than one. I'm Daisy Ludlam...
NATALIE
And I'm Natalie Carter.
DAISY & NATALIE
East Midlands News, Spondon.
DAISY
That felt great.
NATALIE
It was good... surprisingly. Beth, can we do a moving shot across the playground to end on actually?
BETH
Yeah I'll need to get the fluid head from the van.

Beth walks off. Natalie goes to the camera and starts moving it.

NATALIE
So I think we should start on the slide and circle 180 to the swings whilst signing off. In fact, lets move the camera over here a bit.
She picks up the camera and as she moves, it falls out her hand onto the floor.
DAISY
Oh Jesus.
NATALIE
Shit.

Daisy starts to breathe heavily and panics. Natalie is motionless, staring at the smashed mess.

DAISY
What do we do? I can't be fired, I just bought a back-up kettle.
NATALIE
I'll figure something.
DAISY
Beth?
NATALIE
Yes!

Natalie snaps the leg of the tripod and pushes it over.

DAISY
What are you doing?
NATALIE
We're framing Beth, aren't we?
DAISY
No, she can help us fix it.
NATALIE
Ahh, I immediately jumped to framing her as a plan.

EXT. NEWS VAN - DAY (11:05)
Natalie and Daisy both nervously and quickly jog over to Beth who is looking for something in her van.

NATALIE
Hey Beth, great work so far.
BETH
What do you want?
NATALIE
Nothing, I just, right this moment, want to get to know about your job.
BETH
Okay.
NATALIE
How much did that camera you were using cost?
BETH
It's the best we have at the station, so roughly three thousand pounds.
Daisy whines in the background.
BETH
Weirdly the Tripod costs about as much as well.
Daisy stares at Natalie who utters the word 'f**k' silently.
DAISY
Would you hypothetically be able to fix a broken one... hypothetically?
BETH
Depends what the problem is?
DAISY
Someone droppi... the wind dropping it on the floor.

EXT. PLAYGROUND - DAY (11:07)
The three of them are staring at the camera in hundreds of pieces on the floor.

BETH
Yeah, that ain't being fixed.
DAISY
There's some glue in the van though.

Beth and Natalie look at her confused.

Avatar

Rood Eye

  • Sunday 11th November 2018, 10:36am
  • England
  • 4,103 posts

It's not rubbish - and that alone puts it ahead of 90% of the scripts that TV companies all over Britain are going to be receiving between now and the end of the world.

It is, of course, reminiscent of "Drop the Dead Donkey" and that might be a very bad thing or a totally unimportant thing, depending on who's deciding whether it matters or not.

The humour comes from character rather than from an infinity of smart-arsed remarks that nobody in real life would ever make, and that too sets it above most scripts written by would-be sitcom writers.

All in all, it's pretty decent and it shows promise.

Avatar

Dave C

  • Monday 12th November 2018, 8:09pm
  • Derby, England
  • 27 posts
Quote: Rood Eye @ 11th November 2018, 10:36 AM

It's not rubbish - and that alone puts it ahead of 90% of the scripts that TV companies all over Britain are going to be receiving between now and the end of the world.

It is, of course, reminiscent of "Drop the Dead Donkey" and that might be a very bad thing or a totally unimportant thing, depending on who's deciding whether it matters or not.

The humour comes from character rather than from an infinity of smart-arsed remarks that nobody in real life would ever make, and that too sets it above most scripts written by would-be sitcom writers.

All in all, it's pretty decent and it shows promise.

Thank you Rood Eye.... 'it's not rubbish' may be the best review I've ever got!

I do notice the connection with Drop the Dead Donkey and I imagine the majority of people will call it a rip-off but I've tried to make it as different from that as I can.

Thanks for the review and I've tried to focus on making the dialogue and story as natural and real as possible.

Thanks for taking the time to read and review it and I appreciate it.

Any bits that you didn't like/didn't work for you?

Avatar

Rood Eye

  • Tuesday 13th November 2018, 5:28pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 4,103 posts

For me, there's nothing there that's so bad it simply has to go. That's not to say I wouldn't cut things and change things and polish things and add things but, having done all that, we'd end up with a script that I think is better than the one we started with - while any number of other people might think we'd ended up with a much worse script!

My only serious concern is whether or not a character selling drugs to recovering addicts is going to be acceptable to sitcom producers and audiences in this current socio-political climate.

Avatar

Dave C

  • Wednesday 14th November 2018, 10:33pm
  • Derby, England
  • 27 posts
Quote: Rood Eye @ 13th November 2018, 5:28 PM

For me, there's nothing there that's so bad it simply has to go. That's not to say I wouldn't cut things and change things and polish things and add things but, having done all that, we'd end up with a script that I think is better than the one we started with - while any number of other people might think we'd ended up with a much worse script!

My only serious concern is whether or not a character selling drugs to recovering addicts is going to be acceptable to sitcom producers and audiences in this current socio-political climate.

I know what you mean, I've been editing it for months now and I'm at the stage where i don't know whether or not I'm improving it or not!

Yeah I know it's a bit risque and controversial as a first scene but I feel there's not many sitcoms like that now Peep Show and Inbetweeners are finished.

Thanks for taking the time and reviewing it, I really do appreciate it.