As I prepare to begin my Christmas shopping for family and friends, thoughts turn to a phrase we’ve heard bellowing from every mall and grocery store this month. “I wish it could be Christmas every day,” Roy Wood memorably sang four decades ago. It’s a sentiment echoed (not just in cover versions) countless times each year at this time. And as I hear those hopeful words, I am invariably reminded of one of the many unfinished screenplays I have on file. Or, at least, in mind.
The festive tale begins with a youngster, seated at the dinner table, pronouncing the above-mentioned sentimental words. And, in a development in no way inspired by the film Groundhog Day he/she (probably she) awakes the next morning to find that — you guessed it — it’s Christmas Day yet again. More presents. More candy. Another fine feast. Lots of holiday cheer. Good will towards all. And so forth. Day after day. And, I figure by about the fifth Christmas Day, our protagonist begins to tire of the cycle:
Must we go to grandma’s again today? Is Uncle Bill every going to go home? Turkey again? Why is there never any mail? Why have I still not gotten that iPad I ask for every day? Can’t the goddamn TV channels just once show something other than It’s a Wonderful Life and The Wizard of Oz? How can all those stores even stay in business if they never open? (Of course, they can’t. That’s part of the plot development, you see.)
Kind of thin, perhaps, if we’re talking motion picture. But hey, they all laughed when Adam Sandler proposed building a feature film around the idea of his playing himself and his twin sister. And trust me, no one’s laughing at Jack and Jill today.
So there’s that. And yes, brilliant is a word for it. I really should finish it one day.
As indeed I should flesh out my proposal for a PBS drama series: Ironic Mystery Theater. (Please excuse the spelling; it’s for PBS, after all.) In the debut episode, possibly set in a hospital, the victim is beaten to death with a first-aid kit. The second 90-minute — OK, 60-minute — nail-biter centres (sorry, centers) on a troubled mime killed by the mob to keep him from talking. No wait, there’s more. In the season finale, the killer is revealed to be… the detective.
Sure, arguably it needs a little something. But it’s a start. The rest, I figure, can be filled in with care chases and cute animals. So I’ll leave it for now. And a good thing, too, as I have shopping to do.
Or, I could spend time working on Green Light, my proposed TV show aimed at those who miss Prison Break. In the series opener, a handful of cars pull up to an intersection just as the light turns red. Subsequent shows concentrate on juxtaposing extreme close-ups of the frustrated drivers with flashbacks that tell each of their stories. In the gripping finale, the light turns green and, well, I won’t spoil it for you.
Right, then. Shopping it is. Perhaps I’ll see you down at the mall today or tomorrow. If not (and even if so), best wishes to all this holiday season.