Phew!

2 Jan

(This was supposed to be a couple sentences of the happy and turned into a TD 210 commentary. Hmmm.)

I finally got a bit of feedback on the new TD episode. It sat there for over a day with crickets chirping, and I started to seriously second-guess myself. m3sektet challenged me to do a comedy episode, and comedy just isn’t my strong suit. In addition, I started to realize as I was writing it that my idea of “funny” is very visual and physical, and that’s hard to get across in writing, even when you’re writing what’s supposed to be a “television show.”

Also, a lot of my jokes were pretty “inside”–as in maybe funny only to me. In the episode, I have Angel take Connor on a business trip to San Francisco. I’ve been wanting to set an episode in San Francisco for a while now, and San Francisco is a highly mockable city. The people there are just so weird and earnest at the same time. Plus, I have a few demons to exercise after eight years of residency. So I’m mocking San Francisco, which people may not be familiar with, and I’m mocking Angel left and right (because he’s always been so highly mockable), which people should be familiar with.

In the meantime, nothing is sacred, and I realized only *after* I posted the episode that it might strike some people as a smidge homophobic.

A few jokes I had in there I ended up taking out because they were no longer that funny. Like, there’s a scene where Connor is chasing a “ghost” up the street in the SOMA district, and the ghost leads him to a loft-style office building that in real life is the headquarters of Six Apart. Angel was supposed to follow him and make a comment about how they were clients of Wolfram and Hart who “refused to give up their demon investors.” But that’s not as funny as it would have been before LJ was sold. Plus, talk about your inside jokes. A lot of TD readers aren’t LJers and a lot of LJers don’t follow LJ politics.

Another challenge was the appearance of a special guest star who appears both in the teaser and the end of act two, and whom several bit characters make reference to throughout the episode, but whose identity I didn’t want to reveal until the end. It’s really hard to show-but-not-show a character in *writing*. On TV, you can blur them out, show the scene from their Point of View and have the viewer aware there’s another person in the room without showing them. In writing, that’s more difficult.

And did I mention the repeated Interview With the Vampire nods? Mostly ‘coz part of that book/movie took place in San Francisco.

Of course, the ultimate point of the episode was to write a little Congel, with fight scenes and father-baiting and of course that Connor-and-Angel-get-soused-together-in-a-bar scene I’ve been wanting to write for a long time. ‘Cause of…the fun!

28 Responses to “Phew!”

  1. scrollgirl January 2, 2008 at 6:04 pm #

    the ghost leads him to a loft-style office building that in real life is the headquarters of Six Apart. Angel was supposed to follow him and make a comment about how they were clients of Wolfram and Hart who “refused to give up their demon investors.”
    Hee! Okay, maybe I’m just weird but I find that hilarious! You’re probably right that most readers wouldn’t get it, but man, I appreciate your poking at Six Apart. Evil!
    Connor-and-Angel-get-soused-together-in-a-bar scene I’ve been wanting to write for a long time. ‘Cause of…the fun!
    Which is the best reason for writing, yes? 😀

  2. neshaffer January 2, 2008 at 6:15 pm #

    This was an episode in which I allowed myself more than a few personal indulgences–things I wasn’t quite sure were in character, but really always wanted to write. I think the fact that it was a comedy episode let me do certain things I would consider “over the top” in a normal episode. Even the brief moments of angst were played as melodrama.
    Fan fic writing should be fun, or you’re doing it wrong.

  3. neshaffer January 2, 2008 at 6:18 pm #

    The Six Apart joke would have stayed if Six Apart still owned LJ. But it kind of fell flat now that that’s no longer true.
    There’s another scene (the drunk father-son scene) where Angel is talking about all his women and how they’re not all blondes, and one of his examples is Drusilla. Of course, Juliette Landau had to go and make a liar out of me by bleaching her hair. In this case, though, that makes the scene funnier.

  4. scrollgirl January 2, 2008 at 6:53 pm #

    Dude, she did?? *googles* Eh. I’ve seen worse, I suppose. But brunettes dying their hair blonde — not my thing. Usually it doesn’t work with their skintone (a la Charisma).
    But yeah, Juliet dying her hair certainly adds to the Angel-likes-blonde joke 😉

  5. neshaffer January 2, 2008 at 7:06 pm #

    I only saw the pics really briefly and randomly, so I don’t even know when she did it or why or if it’s still that way. On her, it wasn’t as weird as it was on Charisma, because Juliette Landau has the kind of looks where you expect incongruity, and Charisma really doesn’t.

  6. scrollgirl January 2, 2008 at 7:19 pm #

    Juliette Landau has the kind of looks where you expect incongruity
    Agreed. Juliet has a kind of fey, delicate look and very pale skin that could work as a blonde (though I still prefer brunette) but Charisma is more olive-skinned. I don’t think there’s anything she can do to make blonde look natural on her — though it’d be interesting to see obviously fake streaks (a la Gwen Raiden).

  7. neshaffer January 2, 2008 at 7:25 pm #

    Also, there are just some types of people where, because of the kind of people they are, you expect them to look weird, so weird isn’t so weird on them. Others, you expect to look more conventional, so weird is really weird on them.
    Does that make sense?

  8. scrollgirl January 2, 2008 at 8:05 pm #

    Yes! That’s it exactly. Charisma is very beautiful, but in a conventional way. Regular features, very girl-next-door — even if that door is a big mansion as per Princess Cordy and her hot step-mom appearances! Heck, Charisma was a professional cheerleader. She’s very …American heartland?

  9. neshaffer January 2, 2008 at 8:07 pm #

    Exactly, whereas Juliette is just the sort of woman you’d *expect* to play a Drusilla.

  10. its_art January 2, 2008 at 10:06 pm #

    I suspect some of the non-commenting comes from posting the ep on New Year’s Eve. I think you might get comments now that the holidays are officially over.
    I know what you mean about comedy. While a lot of my comedy is verbal, there’s still the delivery missing, which is harder to convey in writing. I’m sure you did great.
    The 6A/LJ joke would have been funny. Shame you weren’t able to do that.
    TOTAL word on the hiding a character thing. I have experienced this so, so many times in TNP. It just happened in my last ep. I brought in a character I didn’t want to identify right off, but I wanted to put hints in about her, hints you would normally get just by seeing her on screen. But since I pointed them out, folks have figured they were important details and pretty much managed to guess EXACTLY who she really is.

  11. neshaffer January 2, 2008 at 10:10 pm #

    That’s it *exactly*. On screen, you could show details that give hints, but not have to call attention to any specific set of those details. In writing, you can’t describe what is “on screen” completely, you have to pick and choose. So you’re forced to describe only what’s important, and that calls the reader’s attention to stuff you actually hope they would only notice on their own accidentally. It’s really a very different medium than television.

  12. neshaffer January 2, 2008 at 10:14 pm #

    There was one joke I wanted to do to hint at this character, that *might* have worked on screen to not give their identity away, but in writing, it would have revealed who they were *instantly*.

  13. neshaffer January 2, 2008 at 10:51 pm #

    One of the reasons I was freaked out about the lack of commentary was because, according to my counter, people *were* reading it, both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. They just were saying nothing.

  14. midnightsjane January 3, 2008 at 5:32 am #

    I have to apologize for no feedback; my excuse is that I haven’t actually had time to read the episode yet. I’ve been so busy the last little while, I can’t do much at night but sit and stare blankly at the TV..
    But I’m going to read it and give you FB, I promise!

  15. neshaffer January 3, 2008 at 1:12 pm #

    No prob. Just FB over at OW!

  16. dlgood January 3, 2008 at 9:39 pm #

    I read it. My excuse is that I’m lazy.

  17. neshaffer January 3, 2008 at 10:20 pm #

    I was kind of wondering if you’d comment on the sports-related stuff in the episode. At least to tell me it made sense!

  18. dlgood January 3, 2008 at 10:26 pm #

    Oh, the sports comments were fine. I don’t remember what year your show is in yet – if it’s a few years ago the Boston Celtics stink. If it’s this year, they’re great (and pretty much all the Boston teams are…)

  19. neshaffer January 3, 2008 at 10:31 pm #

    It was late fall of 2005.

  20. dlgood January 3, 2008 at 10:41 pm #

    Okay. So that year Kobe was awesome but the Lakers were average, and Boston stunk. I can very much picture Faith hating on Kobe and being an obnoxious road fan regardless of how lousy her team was.

  21. neshaffer January 3, 2008 at 10:49 pm #

    With a giant foam finger, no less.

  22. dlgood January 3, 2008 at 10:56 pm #

    Indeed. To think, the trouble she would have to go through to get one of those. Wow, she probably had to go on ebay…

  23. neshaffer January 3, 2008 at 11:16 pm #

    What, she didn’t have one left over from a previous game back in Boston?

  24. dlgood January 3, 2008 at 11:22 pm #

    If she’s been back to Boston recently. (I forget off the top of my head if she had in your story). I’m sure she wouldn’t have had one when Sunnydale went into the crater.

  25. neshaffer January 3, 2008 at 11:36 pm #

    Why not? I thought those things were pretty ubiquitious fan items.

  26. dlgood January 4, 2008 at 1:19 am #

    I thought those things were pretty ubiquitious fan items.
    Having run across the country in blind panic, having gone to prison, it’s just not the sort of thing you’d expect her to have lying around – especially as they are big and foam and very breakable.
    It’s funny. The Giant Foam Finger was popular when I was younger, but I don’t think is really a particularly common item around sporting events these days… People dress in team apparel, but the props are less of a thing now.
    However, in popular culture portrayal, the Foam Finger is still a very common shorthand/convention to portray your character as that sort of intense fan. So it’s funny there… a real person maybe wouldn’t have one, but a TV character would. And it’s also the sort of mix of genuine enthusiasm – but also something that could be played off as irony were she going to feel defensive about it… it can very much work for her character.

  27. neshaffer January 4, 2008 at 1:50 am #

    Also, it doesn’t take a stretch to imagine using the foam finger to give someone the finger.

  28. dlgood January 4, 2008 at 1:53 am #

    Nope.

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