When is the Question

I watched season I of ‘Friday Night Lights’ over the weekend.  Twenty-two episodes in 72 hours.  The series has been critically acclaimed but audiences haven’t really warmed up to it.

I was curious about the series because I’m pitching my own football show and I wanted to know what I was up against.

I liked the series.  However, despite being a ‘football’ show, there’s very little football in it.  There’s also a massive cast.  Every single character wants something, and has some kind of problem getting it.  In some cases, those wants are profound.  In others, it’s a bit of a weak effort… more like the writers followed a writing principal that says stories need conflict, but they don’t really have a good reason for putting it there.

I realized I need to make a much more thorough effort of mapping out the series arc for ‘Highwaymen’.  I need to treat it like a four hour story, rather than a series of half hours.  I have some strong ideas about some things.  I’m drawing a blank for others.  I need to write characters who don’t exist yet.  I need to tie them into the overall series arc, not to mention the theme.

Where to begin?  ‘WHEN to begin’ is a better question.  I need some sort of positive movement with the pilot episode script.  These things take time.  I’ve made inroads to a production company with a sterling track record for producing popular TV series in Canada.  I made a connection at TSN as well.  Select members of the football community and the media also have been acquainted with the project.  It’s a matter of patience… again.

I guess I need more information if I’m going to write the rest of the series.  I need to talk to football people and pick up old war stories.  I need to dig deeper into my philosophy texts.  I need to learn more about psychology, and schizophrenia.

That’s a lot of work, and there’s not much of a point doing it until the pilot script gets a decision maker’s blessing.  Still, I really want to do it.  Nothing gives me more satisfaction than writing a great story.

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