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This is totally banged out. I was working on other things today so I didn't really spend a lot of time on it. It's not refined in any way or nearly funny enough. But this is another scene for that (pointless) theoretical Frasier spin-off I was musing on. It would probably come before Day #14 - The Cousins Crane, as it sets Freddy up to find something to take him out of himself, rather than stewing constantly on his dissatisfactions.

Funny, it's the second TV show pilot scribbling I've done that involved the main character talking to a therapist. It's also the device I use for the opening scene of Bridesmaids, as in the first half Day #9 - Nothing Common and the second half Day #13 - About Me. It's a pretty convenient way to have them talk about their life and situation.

Day #15 - "Subtle But Unmistakeable Disappointment"
By Phoebe Roberts


FREDDY CRANE, early thirties, fussily dressed, sits on the couch in his therapist’s office.

I guess I just feel like… this isn’t the life I’m supposed to be leading, you know?

THERAPISTCan you say more about that?

Well, I was gifted kid. I mean, a really gifted kid. Spelling prodigy, chess champ. Marbury Academy, Phillps Exeter, all the way to Harvard.


Yeah, to everybody but the bullies. From the time I was a kid, everybody told me that when I grew up I’d be so successful I’d be able to buy and sell those guys. Well, here I am, grown up… and that hasn’t happened. My parents always figured I’d become a doctor or a lawyer or an Internet millionaire, but nope. A concentration in philosophy— a concentration, you see, they don’t have majors at Harvard —leading to a series of underpaid adjunct teaching jobs where I grade the boring, probably purchased papers from little snots whose parents pushed them into the gifted and talented track the same way I got pushed.

Do you have a lot of contact with your mother and father?

Well, they’ve been divorced since I was a kid. My mother is your typical emotionless intellectual ice monster—


And my dad is a neurotic snob with a superiority complex concealing his inferiority complex, so…constantly, yes, they never stop calling me.

You don’t sound happy about that.

When at worst they can’t stop wondering where they went wrong, or at best radiate a subtle but unmistakable disappointment? Yeah, they’re a barrel of laughs.

Well, Freddy… it sounds to me like the problem is you’ve having difficulty reconciling your expectations with your reality.

Freddy turns to stare at the therapist.

That’s it? That’s the best you’ve got for me?

I’m sorry, what?

Doctor. My father is a psychiatrist. My mother is a psychiatrist. Uncle, grandmother, all psychiatrists. Do you honestly think that’s something that’s never occurred to me?

He stands up and starts to pace.

Now, if you’d said I had a Millennial malaise, that would have been trite and dismissive, but it might have at least sounded like you were listening to me. Or if you’d said I was crushed by the weight of my parents’ hopes and dreams. My dad was a Freudian, even that might have had the ring of truth. But crushed expectations? Really? After a childhood of behavior experiments and my every youthful quirk examined for all possible psychological phenomena? Really, doctor, you disappoint me.

The therapist closes his book.

All right, all right, Lucien Freud. You want something new? You’ve exhausted every possible course of self-examination. Why don’t you try something where, for at least a minute or two, you focus on something besides yourself?

Freddy considers.

So you think my expectations are off, huh?

Posts from This Journal by “31 plays in 31 days” Tag


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 16th, 2016 04:15 pm (UTC)
You know you're really good at this, right?

Just, you know. Saying.
Aug. 17th, 2016 02:08 am (UTC)
Aw, really? Thanks!!!! I am beaming over here.
Aug. 17th, 2016 02:11 am (UTC)
I'm no TV exec, but... I wanna see you finish this pilot.
Aug. 17th, 2016 02:27 am (UTC)
I'M ON IT. 😁
Aug. 19th, 2016 06:52 pm (UTC)
Spinning off of that "pointless" for a sec: you're thinking of this as a Frasier spin-off, and that's great for getting an initial grasp on it. But it's only succeeding because you're coming up with characters and scenarios that are, in and of themselves, well-rounded and interesting. That's the necessary and sufficient condition for success, really.

In other words: if the story works, the story works. And if you can't get NBC's attention, the story is *still* going to work pretty much as well with the names changed. I could probably name several major works (Watchmen comes first to mind offhand) that were initially designed for specific licensed characters, failed to get the license, changed the names and were at *least* as successful as they would have been with the license...
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:

MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3

at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM


Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

Latest Month

April 2017


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