How to Write A Lifetime Network Murder Movie of the Week

In my work as a Script Doctor, I take dramatic stories for television, the movies, and the stage, and I make them structurally better. That sort of work isn’t formulaic, but there are common touchstones that must always be considered and then incorporated — what I remember the great Joseph Campbell loosely calling, “the natural rhythms of human storytelling shared with the reliability of a heartbeat” — and that’s what I do; I provide an unpacked redirection of the concentric condition that we are all innately accustomed to sending and receiving in a performance communication dyad, in the acknowledgement of, and in the often unwitting acceptance of, “The Holy Triad.” The Creator, The Object and The Observer.

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The Life of Your VOTE!

There comes a moment in a lifetime where there are no choices left except to stand up to a demon, face the torture of the confrontation, and either accept your death, or condemn your victory. Some fortunate folk in the world may never have to make that choice between the devil and the doom. Unfortunately, for us, we who live in America, that time for the deconstruction of the “them,” and resurrection of the “us,” is now; right now, and we either die trying to escape, or we earn the right to live free again under the magnificent wonder of what we once always believed was a democracy.

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The Genius Cutthroat Thuggery of Apple Fitness+

When Apple announced their new total workout app — Apple Fitness+ — I was stunned at the sheer audacity and cutthroat thuggery of the move, and I was never more proud to be a dedicated Apple fanatic and loyal Apple Watch owner. Apple isn’t aiming for Peloton with this subscription App release. No, Apple is aiming to kill off the Nike Training Club, Centr, FitBod, Sworkit, Strava, Adidas Training — and all other exercise and fitness Apps — and, perhaps, even one day, MyFitnessPal. Yes, Apple is going to knock out the small fry competition with their big, giant, footprint, and they’re doing it because there’s gold in them thar fields: One Workout App to Unite Them All!

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When They Go Low, We Go Lower!

The Obamas are kind and smart people, but as politicians, their presidency was unfortunate and unsustainable in the residue of an enduring legacy that lived beyond them in true democratic electoral rule — they were bad at getting Democrats elected. People loved President Obama, but that popularity did not transfer to overwhelming legislative successes that matched his election mandate. In fact, Obama spent too much time trying to make peace with Republicans when all they wanted to do was remove him from office. Obama wasted the first two years of the majority he won in the House and Senate and then never recovered after his first midterm election disaster that poisoned the last six years of his presidency.

At the 2016 Democrat convention, Michelle Obama played the morality card against the GOP, by proclaiming, “When they go low, we go high” and that ridiculous phrase never had any power beyond the wish and the fairytale — going high was only the pabulum of early virtue signalling — lacking any substance that did anything to help anyone. Just ask Hillary Clinton how going high worked out for her as president.

What the Obamas, and the Democrats, generally fail to realize is their opponent, the Republicans, are smarter, better organized, craftier, more cruel — the GOP own the courts and they have better lawyers, just ask Al Gore about his presidency — and if Joe Biden hopes to win in 2020, he needs to go LOWER than Donald Trump, not higher, to meet the ferocity of the viciousness that is about to become Mr. Biden over the next two months; and I fear he, and the Democrat leaders, think they’re going to win just because of voting and goodwill, while the election is really going to be won in the streets, bloodlines, the courts, and in a multitude of lawsuits.

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Toss Aways

There have always always been disposable people in a limited-use society, but it’s worse now. We, as a nation of lonesome people found alone in a decaying world, have become much more than merely disposable. We have become the toss aways. We have lost our value. We have forfeited the way forward. We find ourselves teetering on the precipice between the living, and the dismayed, and the balance of the affair solely belongs to us — the us of us.

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Only One Man May Save Us from Donald Trump

America is in crisis. We are lost. We are hungry. We are hurting. We are ill. These troubles have arrived with the heavy hand of Donald Trump — who has yet to meet a policy, a decision, or a thought that he can’t successfully caress into hatred and bigotry. If we are ever to get out of this muck of a mistake of a President, we need our national elected leaders to lead. We need Republicans to step up to stand up and stand down Trump. With Trump isolated and emolliated, the union just may be salvageable. There is only one man right now who has the capacity, and the power, to save us from the complete destruction of a failed American democracy: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — but one nagging question remains and lingers — how long will he wait to finally do the right thing?

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Rereviewing Ordinary People 40 Years Later

Forty years ago, this September, when I was a teenaged movie critic for “Kidding Around” on KOLN/KGIN-TV in Lincoln, Nebraska, the movie “Ordinary People” was one of the first movies I reviewed on television — and the experience of that film has stuck with me to this day. I recently re-watched the movie out of an aging curiosity, and residual melancholia, and I am still struck by the raw emotion of its story of human longing and tragedy that is always just boiling below the surfactant tension of an intrinsic “ordinary” family clinging to exceptional issues of survival.

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