A quick thought on the Emmys.  Breaking Bad dominated with 5 wins in important categories, taking out True Detective, which only received one (for directing).  Mad Men shut out again.  Has that show lost its juice?  Also, why is Game of Thrones ignored at the Emmys?  Is that just a show for geeks?  Is it because 75% of the writing is exposition?  Do voters not take it seriously?  Share your thoughts on the Emmys in the comment section…

Genre: TV Pilot – Drama
Premise: When three high school girls do a porn video for some quick cash, the repercussions of their actions take a toll on the small town where they reside.
About: Sea of Fire was originally a Dutch show, ported over here for an American treatment. The show is being described as a modern-day Twin Peaks (I will confirm after reading it, that it is nothing like that show). This draft of Sea of Fire was written by long time TV writer, Steve Maeda, who’s written on such shows as The X-Files, CSI: Miami, and Lost. – It should be noted that this is not the final draft. They would later bring in one of Shonda Rhimes’s writers (on Grey’s and Scandal), Jenna Bans, to do a rewrite, where she changed all the character names. Whether that means they just wanted different names or they totally scrapped this draft by Maeda, is yet to be known.
Writer: Steve Maeda (original show written by Frank Ketelaar & Robert Kievit)
Details: 60 pages (1/19/13 draft)

celebutopia“Whoa whoa whoa. Say that again. My daughter’s in what??”

When someone throws these ingredients at you, you’re thinking, at the very least, you’re going to read something interesting:

1) 3 high school girls secretly create a porn tape.
2) The town they live in finds out about it and the tape’s repercussions slowly destroy said town.
3) Adapted from a Dutch television show.
4) Said to be David Lynchian.

This is the kind of scandalous subject matter that if you take chances and push boundaries, you can create something epic. Unfortunately, that’s not what we get here. Instead, “Sea of Fire” is like a cross between the recent 90210 update and that show “Revenge.” Now I’ve never seen Revenge, but I’m going off their over-the-top promos, where someone’s always dying, coming back to life, cheating, or getting pregnant. Sea of Fire is very much in that mould.

It follows three 17 year-old girls in the town of Santa Cruz, California. There’s bad girl leader, Megan, gorgeous second-in-charge Polly, and third wheel, Elena. When we come into the story, Elena is pissed at Megan for reasons that will be revealed later. But Megan couldn’t care less. Being the bad girl that she is, she’s already off stealing a dress for tonight’s party.

Which is ironic because her father, Mark, is a cop. When we meet Mark getting ready for work, he checks his e-mail to find that someone’s sent him a preview link to a new porn site. Mark is shocked when he sees that the girls in the video are Megan, Polly, and Elena.

Now this is sensitive stuff. Mark can’t just put the site on blast. He doesn’t want anyone to find out his daughter was in a porno. So he approaches Polly’s dad, Peter, to get his take. The two agree that they should keep it quiet for now, and they definitely can’t tell Elena’s dad, who would go insane if he found out.

It just so happens Elena’s dad is having his 50th birthday party tonight, which all the adults and all the children will be attending. It’s here where Mark finds his daughter and questions her about the site. Megan is defiant. “So?” she says in that carefree way only teenagers can pull off. She wanted the money.

In the meantime, Elena storms out of the party for what is believed to be porno PTSD, and is chased by her drunk boyfriend, Slater (yes, her boyfriend’s name is Slater), towards a cliff. The two get in a fight, she scratches his face, Slater passes out, and when he wakes up, Elena is gone.

Slater stumbles back to the party, where he’s immediately questioned as to the whereabouts of Elena. When he says he lost her, an impromptu search begins. But when questions start getting asked, everybody’s individual secrets prevent would-be clues from being revealed. And for that reason, it doesn’t look like poor Elena will ever be found alive.

I want to start off by talking about false hooks. A false hook is when you hook us with one element, but then the show or the movie really isn’t about that element at all. So here, we’re hooked by this idea of a scandalous porn video. That’s the unique factor that pulls us in. But Sea of Fire really isn’t about a porn tape. It’s about a girl who’s gone missing. And isn’t that the premise for every other show on television?

So I felt a little duped. On top of this, it drives me crazy when writers fudge the catalyst moment. The catalyst moment is the moment that propels your story into motion. So here, it would be the disappearance of Elena. If you cheat as a writer – if you artificially hide what happened when there’s no reason that the moment should be hidden other than that you want to create a mystery – that’s cheating.

Here’s how the disappearance plays out. Drunk Slater is near a cliff with Elena. He’s yelling at her, asking her what’s wrong. He grabs her. She scratches him to get away, he falls on the ground and…COMMERCIAL BREAK! When we come back, waddaya know! Slater is conveniently passed out. When he wakes up, Elena is gone. This conveniently sets up a multitude of possibilities of what could’ve happened (Elena fell off the cliff, she ran away, Slater did something to her and forgot, she was taken). But the moment is so manufactured (why would someone pass out after getting scratched, drunk or not??) that we don’t buy it.

And now, the entirety of the show – the next 100 episodes – is built off a catalyst that was a cheat. I can’t stand that. Why not just have Elena walk into the night to get some air then never come back? That would’ve been so much more honest and terrifying (our imaginations would’ve gone crazy trying to conceive of what happened). I guess because with the scratches, that makes Slater a suspect, a plot point they can play with early on. But if you’re sacrificing a believable catalyst to get that plot point, is it worth it?

Sea of Fire also had a bad case of “old people trying to write what they think young people sound like and are 7 years behind” syndrome. So the teenage characters were using ill-fitting words like, “A’ight” and “True dat,” – real cringe-worthy stuff. If you’re older and you want to write teenage dialogue, go over to Youtube and search videos of teens talking. Don’t go off your memory, as your memory is typically way behind. Teenage-speak is constantly evolving. If you’re behind on it, the story loses credibility.

I’m not saying Sea of Fire is all bad. It’s soapy (REALLY soapy – like you won’t need to bathe for weeks after watching it). But it niftily gives all its characters secrets that prevent an easy case. For example, Polly’s mom, Kristen, is cheating on Polly’s dad. When Kristen and her lover leave the party for a make-out session, they see troublemaker Freddy break into a construction site. When Freddy is later tabbed as a suspect in Elena’s disappearance, Kristen can easily provide an alibi for him, but of course won’t, since she would then have to admit to her affair.

There was a lot of stuff like that in Sea of Fire, and for the most part, it worked. But there’s a big difference when you see all these soapy elements in a show like Sea of Fire, which is taking itself seriously, and a show like How to Get Away With Murder, which is just having fun. You know “Murder” is silly entertainment so you go with it. With Sea of Fire, you get the feeling it’s aspiring to be more, so the over-the-top soapy stuff sometimes undercuts the drama.

But it’s weird. One of the things I’ve noticed since focusing more on TV is that it draws a lot more on its soapy elements that I’d previously thought. Even some of the most esteemed shows, like Game of Thrones, are essentially about who’s sleeping with who, who just got pregnant, who murdered who, and so on and so forth. But I’m not sure how a show like Game of Thrones gets away with it while Sea of Fire comes off looking cheesy. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

It’s important to note that when I don’t like one of these pro scripts or pilots, they’re still pretty solid. I mean, this is definitely better than all the amateur scripts submitted to the site. But I couldn’t shake the feeling the whole time that I was reading “90210: The Edgy Version.” Maybe the creators felt the same way, which is why they brought in Bans? Either way, I hope they figure it out. It’s definitely an intriguing premise that I don’t feel was utilized to its full potential.

[ ] what the hell did I just read?
[x] wasn’t for me
[ ] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius

What I learned: Tell us your story through action and dialogue. Do not tell it through description. If I see the bartender discreetly place his hand between married Kristen’s legs and she seems to like it, and this is then followed by some flirty banter between the two, I don’t need the writer to tell me in the description: “And that’s when we realize it. KRISTEN IS HAVING AN AFFAIR.” I think it’s pretty clearly implied that Kristen’s having an affair already. (note: I’ve heard professional writers complain that when they try and be subtle about this stuff, dumb execs don’t get it, which requires them to be more on-the-nose in subsequent drafts. So that may be the case here. But it’s still a practice I’d avoid as a spec writer, as it can easily ruin a shocking moment).

  • Ryan Sasinowski

    I wrote a pilot like this a few years back, where a whole town had secrets. People were cheating on each other, indulging in stolen prescriptions, etc. The big difference was that the catalyst for mine was that a high school teacher was caught having sex with a student, and the reactions from various townspeople and students. It was a fun write.

    Those “big secret” type shows tend to be pretty boring without A) An arching story [“Twin Peaks” — Who killed Laura Palmer?], or B) Interesting and unique characters [Again, “Twin Peaks” — Log Lady, perky Dale Cooper.]

    I remember a show that aired on Fox a few years back, “Vanished,” it seemed like the writers were pulling it out of their asses each episode. The missing woman’s past was all over the place. (Like Laura Palmers, except Laura’s was grounded in a small town.)

    My point is that these have already been done to death, but they’re a tried formula. The most helpful thing you can do is to FLOOD these things with interesting three-dimensional (read: more than a single characteristic) characters and continuous questions pertaining to an overall arc whilst at the same time retaining self-contained per-episode storylines.

  • OddScience

    Breaking Bad deserves everything they won. That series only got better and better and better. Excellent writing, acting, directing, everything. Ozymandias may be the best 1-HR Drama episode EVER.

    Here’s a great tribute video for the show:

    http://uproxx.com/tv/2014/04/watch-walter-white-transform-from-good-to-evil-in-this-lovely-supercut/

    Game of Thrones I like it. I don’t know. Even though it’s HBO it seems more like a British/European show being aired in America — maybe?????

    • Sebastian Cornet

      Exposition might be one of GOT’s albatrosses around its neck, but two other big factors are surely vulgarity and its soap opera approach.

      Emmy-winning shows like The Sopranos and Breaking Bad had violence, cussing, and the occasional nudity (for the Sopranos, at least) but it never felt cheap or that it propped up scenes that would otherwise have been lackluster. It never felt vulgar, in other words. GOT does it in almost every episode. It turned into a bad joke a long time ago.

      Finishing an episode of The Sopranos or Breaking Bad I often found myself thinking on how the stuff I watched reflected the human condition. It would actually make me sit down and reflect.

      GOT only makes you wonder who’s gonna get axed/boinked next. Like any soap opera.

      • Magga

        It’s taken me quite a few weeks to “binge-watch” five episodes of GOT. Mad Men, Sopranos and Breaking Bad made me crazy thinking that I had to wait another week, another day, another hour to watch a new episode. But honestly? I think it’s partly that I’m more interested in advertising and crime than big fights and dragons. GOT is much better than I thought after the first episode (which took me three attempts to make my way through). Anyway, deserved wins for Breaking Bad, hope Mad Men takes it’s fifth Best Drama and Jon Hamm finally gets one next year.

  • Scott Crawford

    If you want the script:
    https://www.sendspace.com/file/m015nq

  • gazrow

    Hmm… haven’t read the script but the amateur writer in me disagrees with you about the catalyst moment.

    “why would someone pass out after getting scratched, drunk or not??) that we don’t buy it.”

    I buy it. Not because he was scratched. Because he was drunk! A drunk kid falling over then passing out worked just fine in the opening scene of JAWS.

    “And now, the entirety of the show – the next 100 episodes – is built off a catalyst that was a cheat. I can’t stand that. Why not just have Elena walk into the night to get some air then never come back? That would’ve been so much more honest and terrifying (our imaginations would’ve gone crazy trying to conceive of what happened).

    Well, if I watched a scene were a teenage girl suddenly disappeared after just been exposed for being in a porno my first thought would be that she was so ashamed that she simply ran away rather than face her parents and the townsfolk. Nothing particularly terrifying about that. Sad, yes. Terrifying, no.

    And that is exactly the reason Elena and Slater have an altercation on a clifftop because as you acknowledge yourself:

    “This conveniently sets up a multitude of possibilities of what could’ve happened (Elena fell off the cliff, she ran away, Slater did something to her and forgot, she was taken).”

    • Casper Chris

      He’s not just drunk. He’s been taking narcotics.

  • Robin the Boy Wonder

    Holy highway robbery! Ty Burrell stole Andre Braugher’s Emmy. Peralta’s on the case…

    • Scott Crawford

      Braugher played a non-stereotypical gay character. Modern Family wins the Emmy.

      Not saying much, but I think it’s a lazy shame.

  • Panos Tsapanidis

    Breaking Bad definitely deserved each and every award (imo), though I would like to see Orange is the new Black beating Modern Family.

    I want to believe that maybe Game of Thrones didn’t shine or was outshined by the phenomenon called Breaking Bad. Oh, and Fukunaga’s Emmy for directing that episode… hell yeah!

    I am not sure though why True Detective wasn’t in the same category with Fargo and American Horror Story. They all seem to have the same mini-series format.

    • Awescillot

      I was wondering about the same thing, True Detective not being a mini-series.
      I don’t see Orange is the new Black to be that strong of a contender in a pure comedy category, though.

      Breaking Bad did absolutely deserve all their awards. If it was up to me, I’d include a special Breaking Bad emmy from now on, just to continue awarding a prize for all the years I’ll probably still watch it at random.

      • Panos Tsapanidis

        I read that HBO submitted True Detective in the drama series on purpose even though it was eligible as a mini-series too. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

  • GoIrish

    Carson – I just want to clarify. When you say “this is definitely better than all the amateur scripts submitted to the site,” are you suggesting that the writing (but not story/plot) is better than the writing for amateur scripts that received “impressive” reviews?

  • Brainiac138

    I think a problem with GoT is that so many people were turned off of its because of some really negative press during its first season. I know an executive who will not watch the show under any circumstances because she is sure, and is sometimes right, that she will just see rape scenes and gratuitous nudity that demeans women. While the show still f’s up and goes in that direction, I think just by the nature of the story and the evolution of the characters (and a few actors signing non-nudity clauses in their contract renewals), it has grown away from it. I think it is a much better show in the last season than in the first.

  • Awescillot

    I think it’s safe to assume that the ‘edgy’ approach was something they deliberately put in for the US audience. Shows with that angle continue to draw an audience nowadays, so it might be a logical choice to adapt the concept in order to sell it.

    The original aired on a channel which is probably more known for its homegrown series to be more gritty in nature. It’s also set in this little sea-side, conservative village (albeit fictional; but we still wouldn’t associate the region with something else). The porn story probably has a lot more traction in a town that’s small enough for everyone to kinda know everyone else living there. I’ve never been to Santa Cruz, but I don’t think you can pull the same thing off (the social stigma, etc.).

    Also, I was curious whether the catalyst was the same in the original. And it wasn’t. The boyfriend runs back to the party that same night, so the scratching is just a cheap rewrite.

    As for my two cents on how GoT gets away with it instead of looking cheesy: all the relationships between the characters (and the kingdoms) are essential to the story. It revolves around the actions of the players, who all have unique personalities and flaws. We look forward to knowing what the consequences are to their actions, in relationship to everything else that’s going on. We’re not stuck with ‘Who did it’, but we focus on ‘What’s going to happen next’. That way you don’t just get gossip and a big load of whodunit in general, but a far more interesting question: what’s going to happen next?

  • jw

    As a fan of Game of Thrones I feel like we should be more honest with ourselves. When this show first came on and I saw that Benioff was writing I shit my pants and threw it on the wall! I don’t know what it is about this guy that gets everyone wet in all the right places, but his films are not commercially, nor critically successful. As GOT started, I thought he’d turned a strategic corner and we were going to get away from shit like STAY, but then season 2 rolled around and slowly but surely… aw yes, here it comes… the unwavering brilliance of the meandering writer is now upon us. Episode after episode of talk, talk, talk… oh – we’re going to kill a main character now. Talk, talk, talk… wait – let’s have the characters moving to distract the audience from the fact that all that is happening is talk. Now, if you or I did this we would be panned and hung out to dry because we don’t have “a name” but because these guys have a name, then “it’s okay”? I’m going to venture to say that Breaking Bad won a lot of its Emmys because it’s no longer on television and has no opportunity to win anything else, while the other shows it was up against are still on and have plenty of time to take home the statue. Overall, it was a fairly boring show, up until the point that Jimmy Fallon went on stage with Stephen Colbert – now that was some funny shit!

    • Franchise Blueprints

      If you break down GoT to it’s essentials it’s a action-costume-drama. Everytime I see a film or tv show covering that era of the middle ages it’s setup and payoff are the same. Lots of talk of the brooding impending doom and then the climatic battle – repeat. The question becomes is the dialogue engaging, or is it repetitive?

    • Nicholas J

      You picked out Benioff’s single unsuccessful film. 25th Hour, Kite Runner, Brothers, Troy, and X-Men Origins were all either critically successful, commercially successful, or both. And his novels 25th Hour and City of Thieves are where his writing is really allowed to shine and both are especially great and widely recognized as such.

      • jw

        Oh no, Nick. Thanks for the comment, but unfortunately you just walked into it, and everything you stated is categorically false. Let me provide the facts…
        25th Hour – Budget: $15m / Box Office: $13m
        Troy – Budget: $175m / Box Office: $133m
        Stay – Budget: $50m / Box Office: $3m (no – not a typo)
        Kite runner – Budget: $20m / Box Office: $16m
        X-Men Origins – Budget: $150m / Box Office: $180
        Brothers – Budget: $26m / Box Office: $28
        A collective LOSS in excess of $60m at the box office.
        Box office isn’t critical acclaim you say? Well, let’s take a look at the Rotten Tomatoes critic’s scores for these films…
        25th Hour – 78%
        Troy – 54%
        Stay – 27%
        Kite Runner – 65%
        X-Men Origins – 38%
        Brothers – 63%
        A collective average of 54% critic’s rating on RT.
        So, let’s take these 2 things and put them together – a collective $60m loss at the box office and an average critic’s rating of 54%.
        My time here is done folks. Facts speak louder than opinion.

        • Nicholas J

          Okay, now factor in the entire box office and not just domestic. For example, Troy raked in half a billion dollars.

          This is all also just looking at numbers, which never tell the whole story. Dreamcatcher did poorly at the box office and has a 30% on RottenTomatoes. Lawrence Kasdan and William Goldman must be horrible screenwriters, right?

          Have you seen/read 25th Hour? Read City of Thieves? If you do, you might get a much better barometer on Benioff’s quality of writing since you’ll actually be looking at the writing and not meaningless box office totals of summer blockbusters.

          • Scott Crawford

            Could only find one Benifoff script online, the rest have been taken down:
            http://sfy.ru/pdf/stay_(2005).pdf

          • Nicholas J

            I was referring more to his novels, where the writing will be relatively unmarked from the claws of executives, producers, directors, other writers, previous drafts, etc. But yes, actually reading the scripts is still better than looking at numbers.

          • Scott Crawford

            I don’t think I post one of his novels here! But, yeah, I suspected that might be the case. Didn’t he used to write for the New Yorker as well?

          • Nicholas J

            Not that I am aware.

          • Scott Crawford

            I must be confusing him with someone else; anyway, my research found this sample from City of Thieves, for those who want to read:
            https://www.bookbrowse.com/excerpts/index.cfm?book_number=2161

        • Magga

          25th Hour is a masterpiece. That it didn’t do better speaks volumes about audiences, not the movie.

          • jw

            I’m not sure I’d go with “masterpiece” but I thought it was a decent flick. My overall point was really referencing the aggregate, which I know is tough to explain, but aggregate is the world I live in, so that’s how I look at these things. And, I still cringe to this day when I see “written by David Benioff”. I’m sure he’s a nice guy and he’s no doubt talented as fuck, but his stuff for me is just meandering. I want to go into the writer’s room with him and just smack the shit out of him in the hopes that maybe his writing would then have some punch to it. But, to each is own.

          • Nicholas J

            It actually made $13 mil domestic plus an extra $10 mil international, all on a budget of $5 mil. Not bad for a Spike Lee picture that only played on 500 screens. All of this is according to boxofficemojo. Not sure where jw is getting his numbers from.

        • Scott Chamberlain

          Not that I’ve got a horse in this race, but you need to ensure you’re not just relying on US Box Office.

          For example, per Box Office Mojo, Troy did $133k US Domestic, but $364k International, for a total of $497k against a budget of 175k. That sounds like commercial success.

          I think you’ll find similar results for all films quoted above (‘though it seems not even the rest of the world could save Stay from commercial failure)

  • Randy Williams

    I thought you wanted us to put

    CHARACTER
    (on cellphone)

    above the dialogue when characters are speaking on their cellphones, which they do A LOT of in the beginning of this script but it’s not pointed out that they are.

    ummmm?

    • Casper Chris

      I think Carson’s advice was a little misguided. I don’t think you need that parenthesis for every utterance in a typical intercutting phone exchange between two characters (it would get tiring quick and take up space), but he’s right in that you need it when there’s a third character and one character is alternately speaking to that character (in person) and to another character on the phone (I believe it was a scene like that which set Carson off).

  • Brainiac138

    Is this show being developed by a network? It feels network-y trying to be a little edgy.

  • Franchise Blueprints

    It’s important to note that when I don’t like one of these pro scripts or pilots, they’re still pretty solid. I mean, this is definitely better than all the amateur scripts submitted to the site.

    Way to keep us amateurs in our place!!!

    • Casper Chris

      haha, I laughed too.

      • Franchise Blueprints

        I guess I better settle for aspiring and not professional.

    • Randy Williams

      Amateur screenwriter’s hell is not a “Lake of Fire” but a “Sea of Fire”

      who knew?

    • klmn

      That statement implies that Carson has read all the amateur scripts submitted to the site.

  • Nathan Labonté

    The thing about Mad Men is that it’s consistently excellent, but there’s nothing about it that stands out. True Detective stood out because of a flashy (still excellent) 6-minute take and Matthew McConaughey; Breaking Bad has its stand-out leads in the perfect episode of television “Ozymandias”. Mad Men doesn’t have something flashy like that, although it’s been consistently one of the best shows on television ever (in my opinion). Maybe next year is its year.

    As for Game of Thrones, I don’t know… I think it’s one of those shows that many have a hard time getting into (I did because of all the characters and storylines), while shows like Breaking Bad and True Detective have a few lead characters and one consistent story thread. I don’t think Game of Thrones will win Best Drama for another few years, unless another great drama premieres.

    And then there’s Downton Abbey. I don’t even know who nominated that show…

    Postscript, what really bugs me is: JIm Parsons (Big Bang Theory) winning best actor in a comedy, Ty Burrell (Modern Family) winning supporting actor in a comedy, and Modern Family winning best comedy. Seriously, someone needs to get rid of Modern Family; it’s stealing Emmys from deserving shows.

  • ripleyy

    Everything is subjective. Shows like “Breaking Bad”, “True Detective” and much, much more are all phenomenons. It’s entirely possible some of them don’t warrant the praise they’re getting because of the group mentality that is surrounding them.

    Anyway, this show needs to be the edgiest thing on television. If the teenage girls were in a Christian town and done porn, wow… that would be a really great show because it has conflict *right* from the get-go. Their lives would well-and-truly be over.

    But this? Who cares! They get a tap around the wrist. They realized this and decided to make Elena go missing.

    Guess what?! I would go missing as well if I was in this show. Elena probably wound up in “The Vampire Diaries” and found herself in love with two vampire brothers.

    • Randy Williams

      No, the pilot (SPOILER) ends with “The Chicken Man” riding his bike with Elena’s sweater wrapped around the handlebars.

      So, think “chicken” not “vampire”.

  • UrbaneGhoul

    British accents makes anything good. True dat.

    • Casper Chris

      Just like Irish accents make anything funny.

      • klmn

        Maybe not nail bombs.

        • Kirk Diggler

          Zing!

  • cjob3

    I was in the room when my then-girlfriend called a girl’s father to deliver the news that his daughter was in a porno that was being passed around her son’s school. She put the call on speaker so I could hear it (not that I wanted to). It was one of the most uncomfortable moments I’ve ever experienced. Felt so bad for the guy.

    Yeah, great premise. Shame it’s a bait and switch.

  • Nicholas J

    Of course Breaking Bad was going to sweep this year. The final season built episode after episode and never lost its momentum — for 16 episodes! Most serialized dramas have a hard time doing 10-12. Great acting, great writing, great directing, great everything.

    And remember, that is for a final season! How many shows can you name that have gone out on top like that? How many shows have aired their final season as the unanimous best? I’m talking serialized dramas here. Unless I’m forgetting one, the answer is a big fat zero.

    IMO that scene in Ozymandias where Walt calls Skylar and channels Heisenberg in order to get her off the hook while the police are listening may very well be the best scene ever aired on television.

    • Altius

      That scene was brutal. Bryan Cranston burning through the screen. I agree about why Breaking Bad swept this year – it’s not about the lack of quality in other shows, it’s just that nothing was better than that final season of Breaking Bad. I do think Ozymandias topped the lot, though. Not even the finale reached those heights.

      • Nicholas J

        Absolutely! You want to sell a script? Write one scene like that.

      • Logic Ninja

        It’s true. I loved Breaking Bad all the way through, but it wasn’t until that scene on the phone, with Cranston coming off so menacing, so human, and so heartbreaking all at once, that I had to ask–HOW THE F$#K DOES HE DO THAT?!

  • Sullivan

    Why is Sons of Anarchy ignored? It’s great.

  • Scott Strybos

    I think GOT can get away with its “over-the-top soapy” tone because of the simple fact that it is a period piece. Most think back on the medieval ages as Shakespearian, with it’s Kings and Queens. The time period is already thought of as Grandiose.

  • Casper Chris

    AFAIK, The Disciple Program was never submitted to the the site (read: the slush pile). The writer bought notes.

  • Nicholas J

    What’s wrong with soap? It’s not the dirty word everyone thinks it is.

    So many great shows are essentially soap operas: Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, Downton Abbey, Mad Men, OZ, the list goes on. People even consider Shakespeare’s work to be high class soap operas.

    As someone who loves character work above all else, soap is great! Soap just gets a bad wrap from the daytime soaps (which I honestly don’t think there is anything wrong with, it’s mind blowing to think about how much content is needed to fill 10,000 episodes) and from ones that spill over into melodrama.

    You might say soap makes for the best television!

    I would rather watch 10 scenes about the relationships and characters involved in an upcoming battle than to actually watch the battle itself — which is the exact thing Game of Thrones so often does! (Season 1, Episode 9)

    So to answer the question of how Game of Thrones “gets away” with soap is simply because it is well done.

  • jw

    Wow. That was fucking hilarious! Well done.

  • andyjaxfl

    The Wire never won a major award (I don’t think it was even nominated) and is regularly considered the best TV show of all-time. Game of Thrones and Mad Men will do just fine in the annals of history when the dust settles from this golden era of TV that we’re living in right now.

  • Midnight Luck

    Yo’
    Vanilla Ice,
    MC Hammer needs his Parachute Pants back,
    and Madonna her Virginity.

    It’s All Good.
    Sweet.

  • carsonreeves1

    I LOVE The Walking Dead. It’s one of the most underrated shows as far as writing. Nobody crafts better scenes on a more consistent basis than Walking Dead.

    • Panos Tsapanidis

      You guys look so lonely. Talking about WD all by yourselves here.. :P

  • Malibo Jackk

    OFF TOPIC
    Lionsgate has picked up MAGGIE which was scheduled
    to be released at a film festival.

    (Been so long — I don’t remember what all the buzz was about.)

  • IgorWasTaken