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10/30/2006: Ungulates with Plans
I think a very cool name for a country song would be "C.C. from Little Rock." And, in a stunning coincidence, I got a letter recently from C.C. from Little Rock. He (she?? -- C.C. should put some gender clues in his/her letters) asks a good question about the perpetual problem of specing a show with arcs.
He points out that both Entourage and The Office are currently in the middle of story arcs that change the show's normal status quo (the re-assignment of Jim, the firing of Ari). He asks if it's okay for a spec writer to assume that these situations are temporary and can be ignored in the righting of a spec. Yep. I'd say that's exactly the right approach. I don't watch Entourage, (I have just been given the DVDs and plan to catch up when I have time), so I can't state with certainty that the Ari-firing thing isn't permanent, but it sure sounds like a pretty good gamble to me.
The alternative, of course, is to write a spec that takes advantage of the stories that can only be told during the temporary situation. But then you've got a spec that's tied to a specific time, which will be harder to keep fresh-smelling. So that's probably not the way to go. (I wonder if a Battlestar set in what turned out to be the temporary settlement of New Caprica would be an interesting novelty spec, however? Hm? Maybe not.)
Note that this contradicts advice I've given in the past, in which I cautioned against the folly of trying to "lead" a show as a hunter might lead an escaping deer, betting that you can predict the course. But in this case, where one specific future seems safely likely, I'd have to say go for it. Because what we're dealing with here is a predictable deer.
Lunch: I ignored the lovely Mexican buffet so that I could save room for the Marie Calender's chocolate pie.