"Some Great Reward"
TV series proposal
Tagline: They don’t call it drama class for nothing.
Logline: Jill’s unconscious desire for a father figure draws her to the intriguing
new high school drama teacher. She’s a late bloomer and no beauty, so Jill is determined to use her intellect and sense of humor to impress this beguiling mentor.
Setting: An Albuquerque high school in 1985 – MTV is still pretty new and in its
heyday. Non-stop videos of Cyndi Lauper, Eurythmics, Aerosmith, Phil Collins, Depeche Mode, not to mention Tina Turner’s big comeback and newcomer Madonna. Back to the Future, Goonies, and Out of Africa were the hit movies, but you had to rush home if you wanted to watch Family Ties or Dynasty because VCRs were only recently becoming a household item. Walkmans were all the rage, you can now listen to your own music on tape without a stereo! A glorious time to be a teenager, aside from the usual drama and emotional crises that plague everyday high school life.
Story: In a class full of pretty, outgoing, sexually blossoming young ladies Jill hopes to use her playwriting skills to impress Roger, their intriguing new drama teacher. Jill’s thrilled that he’s not fooled by the other girls’ shallow demeanor. He takes her under his wing and a true friendship forms. When he mentions that he’s putting on a play in the city’s summer festival she puts her obsession with the band Depeche Mode on hold and sets her sights on having her play produced, proving to everyone that their unconventional relationship is built on mutual respect and nothing inappropriate or sordid. But Jill’s young age blinds her to certain truths.
Tone: A darker, more dramatic version of Freaks and Geeks starring a younger, less neurotic version of Hannah from Girls set in the drama club with dubious teachers, raging hormones and the teenage angst we all somehow managed to live through. Freaks and Geeks meets Girls with a dash of Glee. With the popularity of Stranger Things audiences’ nostalgia for the ‘80s has been revived.
Audience: Young audiences will relate to the young leads and older audiences will relate to being a teen in the ‘80s. And audiences of all ages will relate to being obsessed with certain bands, getting all-consuming crushes and surviving the dramas and traumas of high school.
Conflicting desires: The drama is driven by the fact that our hero Jill has to choose between two equal but irreconcilable ideas: Jill wants to be the one who comes to Roger’s aid to prove all the others wrong who say that Roger has dubious motives spending so much time with female students during after class rehearsals. But on the other hand she has a deep crush on him and being seduced would make her feel accepted and appreciated. She herself isn’t always sure which outcome she’s rooting for, both lead to pain, both lead to satisfaction.
Surface conflict: Jill wants to get her teacher’s attention and approval by writing her skits, monologues and plays, and hopefully having him choose hers to perform, yet she’s plagued with insecurity about her skill.
Deeper conflict: She struggles to be aware of her father figure fixations and how will she tackle and subdue them in order to live an emotionally healthy life.