Hello, and welcome to Parallelevision.
First of all: me. My name is Alan Flanagan, I’m a playwright / screenwriter / journalist / guy who sells tickets in a cinema – originally from Ireland but currently living in Toronto.
And what is parallelevision? Well it’s not a word, for one thing. But more importantly, it’s a website, where I’ve decided to vomit my love of television everywhere – as well as bits and bobs of everything I’ve written before.
In writer’s circles, they’re called “spec scripts”. Take an existing show, write an episode for it, use it to bolster your portfolio and prove that you’re a real boy now. Usually writers do two or three, aiming for shows with broad appeal, high ratings, and enough of a standalone format that their scripts won’t lose their polish once Tatiana unceremoniously leaves the show after getting her tits caught in an air turbine.
I like the idea, because I like television. I believe it to be the greatest medium there is – better than film, better than theatre, better than books. It has the emotional grasp and tug of the full cinematic experience, but the depth of character and time normally confined to literature. It is often the worst thing in culture – I’m looking at you, Jersey Shore – but every once in a while it is the absolute best.
The “broad appeal” and “two or three” aspect, though, doesn’t appeal to me. I like my ideas, I like to write what I like to write, and as long as nobody is dangling a paycheck in front of me I’m under no sway to stop writing what I like and start being “broad”. If I want massive character development, I want massive character development. If I want Tatiana’s boobless ghost to exact ghastly revenge on the cast of whatever awful show I just made up, then let the flat-chested gore commence. And – as you’ll find out soon enough – if I want zombies, then zombies there shall be.
So here it is – “parallelevision”. Twelve spec scripts, for twelve television shows, over the course of six months. That’s a new script every two weeks – just to be clear – complete with a whole new story. The title comes from the fact that I really want to tackle these shows – everything from Grey’s Anatomy to Doctor Who to Community – and run hell for leather into what I believe makes them work. No broadness, just a chance to see how things could be in a parallel version of these shows.
As I said, I’m not a paid TV writer, I’m not a professional. I will fuck it up, gloriously no doubt, but I’ll give it my best shot. And I hope that if you like or hate anything you read that you’ll let me know – I’m always learning, and despite my apparent gung-ho attitude I’m not an idiot. I know that feedback works, because I only have one set of eyes (and the right one’s a bit dodgy).
Along the way I’ll also be uploading scripts for plays and short films that I’ve worked on in the past. All of these are my intellectual property – if something catches your eye just drop me an email or leave a comment and we might just get a conversation going.
With that all said – welcome to my head space. May contain traces of nuts.