British Comedy Guide

The Recyclers

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Britcom Barry

  • Wednesday 30th August 2006, 6:13pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 446 posts

As most of you on this forum consider yourselves budding sitcom writers I felt a little left out. So I’ve decided I better join the fun. Below is the outline of my idea. I think a recycling centre would be an ideal place to set a sitcom because of the characters that work there the customers that can come and go and the endless comic situations that can be crafted around the things people throw away.

As you can see as yet not written any dialog just given you an idea of the characters and type of humour.

Let me know if i should just go back to watching sitcoms

Barry

The Recyclers

A sitcom set in a large recycling centre about the oddball that work there, their customers and the oddity that turn up in the bins

The Cast
Albert Hough (late 50’s) ( AKA the Sarge ) an ex sergeant from the army who work at the recycling centre to make up for his reduced army pensions. He left the army under a cloud having been court having “relations” with the regiment mascot (a Goat). He supposed to manage the site and the staff but no one takes any notice of him.

Tommy Kennedy (about 60) (AKA Grumps) His main characteristic is that he asleep most the time, only to wake up for a moan, he blames the Internet for everything but mostly the lack of decent pornography in the paper bins.

George Taylor (62) (AKA Brown eyes Blue) Due to the fact he has one brown eye and one blue (also known as Sir Shag-a-lot) He rumoured to have fathered over 200 children by over 300 women and despite his advising years is a still a hit with the lady’s and is often spied having sex in all manor of places.

Mark Holt (30) (AKA Merv (the Perv) ) Every thing that comes out of his mouth is a lie and as his name would suggest he’s a bit depraved, one day a bag of sex toys arrived in the bins and he inserted a vibrator up his rear only to get it stuck, then spent the rest of the day buzzing. He also stuck his privates thought a hole in the toilet wall thinking it was a glory hole only to have it grabbed by a pasting jack russell.

Richard Birkin (18) (AKA New Boy) He’s just started and is far to eager to please, When Tommy traps his finger and the others thinks he’s having a heart attack he’s told to give him the kiss of life, he doesn’t know how but give it a go anyway it all turns a little too passionate for Tommy liking.

Gary Wake (25) (AKA Sparks) His good with all things electrical, and is always trying to automate the yard from washing machine motor powered wheelbarrows to high-speed invalid carts. With nothing better to do one day he built a flasher, from a shop manikin a windscreen wiper motor and an old raincoat, then place on top a hill over looking a main road causing a pile up and a full-scale police alert

Justin Reeves (30) (Reevesy) As near normal as they come, but just out for what he can get. Once while showing the new boy around he spot’s a pair of brass Victorian doorknocker, eager to get to them before George he tell the eager to please new boy to grab them knockers. Hesitant at first he go off in pursuit of a well endowed woman, when he dose as instructed she not best please nor is her enormous husband, a full-scale riot brakes out in the background while Justin carry on removing the door furniture.

Bernard Watts (late 60’s may be older no one seems to know) (AKA Peg) Peg due to the fact he only has one leg, despite this he is the only one that seems to do any work but finds it difficult to get out of the bins and has found himself more than once on the back of a lorry on the way to the landfill site.

No Name (AKA the boss) You don’t see much of the boss just pops in every now and then to explain that the wages are short due things being difficult in waste management, dressed in a designer suit and drives a flashy sports car, he has no interest in the work just the money paid to him from the council.

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Kirk

  • Wednesday 30th August 2006, 9:43pm
  • England
  • 34 posts

Hi Barry,

I really liked the idea and I think it has potential. I can see it appealing to an older audience (mainly due to the age of most of the characters), which is always good. I think the the broad range of characters will be a challenge to write - especially as there are 9 of them. Most sitcoms tend to focus on a few main characters, so you may want to think about which characters are stronger than others. One other thing I noticed was the lack of female characters... I understand that a Recycling Centre may not be a hot spot for women, but perhaps a female could be crow-barred in somewhere?

Overall, it's a good idea - but unfortunately, a good idea is just that. Now you have to execute it. But, I think with the base you have to start with, it's gonna turn out well.

I look forward to reading a bit of it, if you do decide to write it.

:)

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Ginger Jesus

  • Wednesday 30th August 2006, 11:24pm
  • England
  • 511 posts

Hello mate,

One thing I've picked up off people is you've got to decide who your central characters are going to be. I'm just starting out in this kind of thing myself, but I think you should be looking at around 4 central characters and no more. From what I can gather (and I can see why) it's very difficult to keep the momentum in all your characters if you've got too many of them. Obviously I don't know what your planning for them all, but for sitcom purposes I would say you probably need to shave a few off. Perhaps 2 central and 3/4 intersting other characters. Maybe merge some of their personalites together?

I'm just thinking out loud here.

What does anyone else think?

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Thomps

  • Wednesday 30th August 2006, 11:27pm
  • England
  • 172 posts

Way too many characters and it sounds too self consciously madcap for its own good. And the synopsis is littered with spelling mistakes and typos. Sorry if picking on the poor standard of English seems harsh, but if a production company reads a poorly presented synopsis, they are unlikely to rush to read the accompanying script.

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Britcom Barry

  • Thursday 31st August 2006, 2:14am
  • England
  • 446 posts

Hi Guys

Thanks for the feedback so far, I will try and answer a few points

Re too many characters, I take you point but one only pop in perhaps once during the series (the boss) and one’s asleep most of the time, I was going to make the first series 7 episodes with each episode being a different day of the week, as no one works sevens days a week not all characters would be in ever episode some also be part timers may only turn for 2 or 3 episodes. I did see Justin Reeves as the central character

I not sure what you mean by being “too self consciously madcap” but there surely nothing wrong with being madcap.

As I’m hopelessly dyslexic who only types with one finger the chances of becoming a writer is slim, but thinking and writing this has made me laugh more than Blessed, My family and My Hero put together.

I’m a sitcom fan just playing around but thanks for reading it and keeping the comments coming.

To the writers out there please don’t write to a formula or be told you need four main characters, don’t be too madcap because if you do we will end up with the same bland rubbish, we would have never got the Office, the Royle Family or Green wing.

You may be writing the next big thing speaking as a comedy fan please make it original and funny.

Barry

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SlagA

  • Thursday 31st August 2006, 2:19am [Edited]
  • Blackwood, Wales
  • 5,335 posts

Too many characters but most of them can be kept as cameos not central players.
The point Thomps makes about spelling isn't pedantic. You have to get everything perfect. But we can bear in mind it's a first draft of an undeveloped idea.

Some people would also argue that a setting is not the crucial part. It's character and the way those characters interact. Red Dwarf, Only Fools and Horses, and Fawlty Towers would have worked in other settings because the character dynamic and tension was so well balanced.

Re: madcap (To be or not to be madcap) The idea of a bloke putting his nadgers into a glory hole at work is not the norm. A dog grabbing the offered parts only ups the madcap stakes. That's what the other person was getting at. Be madcap, yes, but then the setting isn't going to suggest a recycling centre, the scenario has to be an universe / domain / community where these things can occur. League of Gentlemen is bizarre but it is allowed to be bizarre by setting it in an isolated, unchanged, almost parallel world to the one in which we live. No-one would believe Royston Vassey could possibly really exist yet we suspend our belief. The distance and remoteness aid and abet in that.

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Thomps

  • Thursday 31st August 2006, 12:43pm
  • England
  • 172 posts

Well put, SlagA.

BritcomB, I was merely offering you some constructive criticism - you will receive a lot of it if you decide to embark upon this sitcom. Whether you like it or not, sitcoms abide by certain rules, including the ones you mention. The Young Ones is one of the most madcap shows out there, but in many ways it still adheres to the rules of a traditional sitcom structure. Like all forms of writing, you need to learn the basics before deciding to do something 'different' with the genre.

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Aaron

  • Thursday 31st August 2006, 3:07pm [Edited]
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,509 posts

Yesss, not quite sure about Mark's character, but it sounds like there's some good stuff going on there, and quite a bit of potential. Keep at it, and let us know how you go! :)

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SlagA

  • Thursday 31st August 2006, 3:44pm [Edited]
  • Blackwood, Wales
  • 5,335 posts

Yep, I thought the crits have been polite and constructive, which is a breath of fresh air compared to some forums. You should have seen some of the crits i had off industry pros for my first script. I still blush when i look at the rejection slips. Constructive? Some were just insulting. :O But reading their comments helped produce scripts that don't attract such emotive words.

But the general rule with crits is:
1) If it's only one person saying it, examine why they said it and then decide whether to accept it or reject it. It is only opinion after all, because there is no objective measure of 'comedy'
2) If everyone is saying the same thing, you can assume they have a very good point and some major flaw most likely exists
3) But remember that it is your work, and you have the finally say in it. However, it's no consolation sitting on the best sitcom script in the world if it's in a form that no one will touch

______________________________________________________________ www.welshwriters.org.uk/slaggbrothers - Anarchic Welsh writers www.welshwriters.org.uk/ajdesmond - a new Sci-fi / Humour writer