Red Flags (2016)
LOGLINE: Professionally and personally floundering, Archie Wexler is persuaded by an exceedingly optimistic old acquaintance, Hazel Dobson, to pose as her boyfriend in an attempt to break up their exes' relationship when a formerly tight-knit group of high school friends reunite for a weekend wedding.
There are few tropes I enjoy more than the ol' "protagonist returns home with his or her life in shambles" plot. Probably because I perpetually feel like I'm one bad day away from this happening to me in real life.
Is it overused? Sure. But if you make a show or movie about this, I will watch the hell out of it. Ed is one of my favorite shows of all time. I'm seen every episode of October Road... multiple times. My point? I have a very rich and fulfilling personal life, obviously.
ANYWAY, I requested notes for Red Flags from the Blacklist and it received a 9 and 8 for character and dialogue, respectively, but only a 6/10 overall because the reader believed it was more of the first third of a film than a pilot, which is definitely fair. But I feel that a long wedding weekend is perfect for a 10-episode first season and planted the threads of something happening to Archie's dad near the end of the season forcing Archie to stay in Virginia and deal with the nefarious Tommy Austaberry and (more importantly) all the interpersonal fallout from the wedding.
Personally, I feel like it's pointless to think too far ahead in terms of long-term storytelling when you're writing a pilot, unless of course you’re in the position where there’s a chance you can actually get it made. Personally, I’m using this a sample of my writing/voice. Plus, if it were to actually be green lit, it would go through endless drafts and note sessions with various people. Semi-Charmed Life went through a variety of changes before production. It’s important to have a basic plan or outline for the season, but I prefer spending my time working on a new pilot than dwelling on a Season 2 that’s unlikely to happen.
This was my first attempt at writing a pilot in the indie dramedy genre. I was aiming for something along the lines of Hulu's (brilliant) Casual in terms of tone. I just love the idea of this once close-knit group of friends, who have so much shared history and romantic turmoil, all under the same roof for four days.