7 thoughts on “The Crazy/Stupid Idea Chugs Slowly Towards the Finish

  1. 25: Yellowstone
    There have been 300 deaths inside the enormous area of Yellowstone Park since it opened in the mid 19th century. This series follows each one, jumping forward weeks or even months at a time, thus producing a generational cast that evolves quickly through lives and loves and into old age and retirement.
    24: Travelling Players
    A group of actors make their money taking Shakespeare to the people who appreciate it the least – angry teenagers, too-young grade schoolers, corporate team building exercises and prisoners working towards parole, all the while trying not to go as mad as King Lear or as daffy as Hamlet.
    23: Hunters, Inc.
    In the near future, when monsters are real, and hunting humans, the biggest, sexiest industry in the world – a combination of the celebrity sports-worship and professional security firms – is the industry of monster hunters, and the inside world of these big game chasers and their managers and support staff is as savage as the jungle.
    22: Off the Grid
    When her ex-husband dies, a wealthy technophile blogger who never leaves her apartment if she can help it agrees to keep raising her estranged son in the environment he’s used to: on a remote Caribbean island where not only is there no internet connection whatsoever but it can take a week before the toilet paper arrives by boat.
    21: The Forest
    After an accident with a devastating bioweapon, a moderate-sized northern US city and all its surrounds is engulfed in what covers the rest of the state: old world forest. Soon enough, the wolves and bears start moving in, and with the forest growing and no end in sight, the survivors will have to return to nature to stay alive.

  2. Hooray for sitting around manning a stall – ten more on Saturday night.

    20: Glassies
    Where Employees Only (see above) was semi-serious and in a ritzy place – a tropical Hotel Babylon – Glassies is a farce about rough as guts cleaners, dishies and glassies – the behind the scenes schlubs who keep the whole thing rolling on every Saturday night in the central city pub/nightclub, no matter how much vomit they have to clean up or shotglasses they have to fish out of the urinal.
    19: Dangerous Dave
    Dangerous Dave has a internationally high-rated cable network show about his man-vs-wild exploits in the world’s most dangerous places, facing the world’s most dangerous creatures, but of course it’s almost all fake, and on the verge of being busted his publicist insists he team up with his zoologist daughter to do his shows on the road as he actually learns about the beasts and wilds he’s so famous for conquering.
    18: Professional Party People
    They’re not technically famous, not even Paris Hilton style, but they kind of come close. If you live in LA, you know them or see them. They don’t do anything particular, but they are gorgeous, they are fashionable, and they are there – whenever there is the place to be seen. They are literally paid to attend parties to make the parties look cool, but like most jobs, it’s nowhere near as glamorous or easy as it sounds, and in the rarefied world of the PPPs, love and drama are constant, and there is no such thing as an ordinary day.
    17: Monster Squad
    It’s kind of like Mad Men meets the X-Files: when the atomic bomb tests in New Mexico tear reality a new a-hole and let lose a whole new type of monster into the wilds and cities of the American west coast, the amoral and historically interesting men in trilbies and suits stop hunting commies and start hunting monsters, although really, after you beat them up and roll them off a cliff, there’s not much difference between the two.
    16: 1812
    In 1812, England had to take a small break from crushing Napoleon to remind America they didn’t really have a navy, and ended up marching all the way to Washington and setting fire to the White House. In this version, they didn’t leave and we join the city under siege, America cowed, occupied and free no more, but determined to fight back, if they can survive bands of rebels that remain can slip past the streets filled with guards, and smuggle Dolly Madison and her family to safety.

  3. 15: Dogstar
    The aliens got their wires crossed a bit. They studied our first astronauts, and noted the bravery of Laika the dog, a couple of chimps, and Yuri Gargarin, and used that data to build a diplomatic visitor who looks (mostly) human but is decidedly more doggy in his senses and nature than is appropriate at parties. With the help of a few amateur astronomers, can he stop sniffing things, find someone to trust in the government and begin our first relationship with an alien planet? Yes, except for the first one.
    14: Imaginary Friends
    Donny Darko meets Roswell: four children in a small town are terrified to find their misshaped and bizarre imaginary friends have reappeared in their lives, giving them access to paranormal powers. But nobody else can see them, and the friends did not come back alone, and dark secrets and dark purposes are waiting to be discovered.
    13: Arkadia
    It’s 1981. On the streets and clubs of the hippest place on earth – New York City – disco is waning, and the New Romantics are waiting in the wings. But what’s actually going on is the summer court of the fae are handing over to the autumn court, because the fae now live amongst the music scene, if not control it outright. And all the drama, and all the feuds go down every night at Arkadia, the greatest club of all, and the focus of this sort of Tru Blood meets Staying Alive epic drama.
    12: Leonard
    It’s like if everything in the town of Eureka was one guy, or if Chuck was a hypergenius: there is a new Da Vinci in town, and he can conceive, design and build things nobody else can even imagine, and break several laws of physics doing it – but all he really wants is a normal life, and a girlfriend, but being something like Sheldon Cooper crossed with The Doctor, getting those things will leave his friends, family and CIA handlers trailing in the wake of some serious scientific disasters…
    11: Magnifico
    They called him de Magnifico at the height of his power, but this story starts with the assassination of his older brother, and attempted assassination of himself – the story of the rise and rise of Lorzeno de Medici, the greatest name in all of Renaissance Florence, and the artists he owned, the empire he commanded, and the people he destroyed.

  4. 10: Going Down
    A dark satire of the world of high finance and large corporations that become nightmare warrens of bureaucracy, played out through tiny morality plays played out on every level of the beast, from CEO to middle management to the boiler room dwellers, with the twist that the entire thing is viewed from the point of view of the window washers outside, slowly descending floor by floor, which means that more often than not, you don’t get the start or even the middle of the story until you get to the floor in question….
    9: Disapora
    When the earth blew up, the aliens promised to save us but we reacted poorly to the psychically damaging Nexus Point travel system, and the survivors were scattered clear across the galaxy. Now, only a few have the genetic predisposition to survive more travel, and they walk the Nexus from planet to planet, carrying news and memories, keeping refugee families connected, and discovering a universe where humanity is an endangered species.
    8: The Bridge
    It’s an Aussie Broadwalk Empire with more politics as roaring 20’s Sydney crashes into the depression while Prime Minister Stanley Bruce loses the election and his seat, Premier Jack Lang defies the Melbourne Plan with his own ideas on solving the depression and the New Guard paramilitary group plot to take over Australia by force – all against the background of building one of the world’s most famous landmarks: the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
    7: Rip in Time
    A 23rd century time-criminal – a “ripper” – is caught and sentenced to do community service as a time-guardian of America’s colonial history, a job he constantly tries to avoid but he is kept in line by his snarky and sarcastic parole officer, and by his budding friendship with a young writer called Washington Irving who, when he discovers a device that lets you step outside time for a few years, is inspired to write his greatest story.
    6: The Plague Diaries
    The age of biowar begins with a series of superviruses ravaging America, particularly the densely populated cities. In the hope of containing the contagion, the CDC orders all travel illegal and shuts down the airlines and trains. The only people who travel are CDC teams, composed of EMTs, researches and inoculators, moving from town to town, spreading hope and healing to a sick nation.

  5. Last few. A strong finish I think. I’d apologise for the steampunk zeitgeisting, but to be fair, it took me 98 ideas before I turned to the zeitgeist.

    5: Covenant
    Suddenly the aliens were here, in space, and they sent us something – something that was building itself into something – a landing pad? A factory? They sent power and information into it – then all of a sudden, they were gone. Were they like the Romans, leaving us tech we couldn’t understand, or was this a Trojan Horse? Only one way to find out – to go inside, and this is the story of the team doing that.
    4: Eagle Eye
    A military sniper has a crisis of conscience, goes AWOL and has a spiritual awakening in the desert where he finds out he has some of the powers of his Native American totem, Eagle, which, for one, allows him to read the fine print on a bank note from a mile away. He teams up with his new (and beautiful) shaman, and a wacky helicopter pilot to help the US Marshalls Service hunt fugitives, and hoping his past doesn’t come back to haunt him.
    3: The Dark of the Forest
    This is the historical/fantasy version of The Forest – medieval Ireland finds itself thrown from being on the brink of inventing chemistry right back to the Stone Age when the fair folk return, and declare all human technology heretical illegal, right down to agriculture and the tree-hating crime of fire. A bold young alchemists apprentice teams up with other local youths to fight for humanity and science.
    2: Switching Gears
    An accident throws Isabella Brunel – great granddaughter of Isembard – and most of her laboratory across dimensions, from a world where she continues her father’s work in a stately manor house in a London where the steam age never ended, to the ramshackle goth/steampunk nightclub which inhabits the same house in our world. Disguising herself amongst the bands and burlesque dancers, she teams up with a scientist and a local historian to unravel why she’s here, and try to find a way home.

  6. Last one, and one more to replace Hellfire, because I still don’t like using a licence. But let’s plumb Aberrant a bit anyway….

    1: Passengers
    After surviving a freak accident (and making a deal with death) our hero gains the “gift” of being able to carry the spirit of a dead person in his head – along with all their personality quirks – for 24 hours, giving them a chance to tie up their loose ends, ala the underrated film Heart and Souls, but less schmaltzy, and more cameos by Harvey Keitel as Death.

    0: EveryMan
    Superheroes/soldiers are real but most of what they do on duty is boring or top-secret army stuff, but because they can lift cars and turn the tide of battle, they are still media darlings, which means trying to relax while off duty is not just full of all the usual bullshit soldiers have coming home, but also dodging paparazzi, doing PR jobs and appearing on EveryMan, everyone’s favourite reality show about supers, giving us a wry slice-of-life sitcom like Modern Family.

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