May 10, 2023

Last night, we watched My Cousin Vinnie. Probably the first time I've seen it since the 90s, and it turns out that the reason it was so popular is that it's good. It's still good. I didn't remember much other than the main plot outline, and it had me laughing.

Not just the big moments -- like when Vinnie came into court wearing the thrift shop suit, but also ones that could go unnoticed if you're playing on your phone while it's on. In one court scene, the prosecutor mentions "all our little old ancestors bank in England." As he speaks, the camera panning the jury stops for an extra beat on the face of a black lady who could have had a best supporting nomination just for the look on her face during that 1.5 seconds of screen time.

How about instead of rebooting Matlock, they back the truck full of money to Joe Peci's and Marisa Tomei's houses and have them revise their characters and solve courtroom crimes somewhere else that they don't fit in?

I have more TV show pitches, y'all.

Lucky Hank is very similar to an idea I had about a Mad Men style drama set in the English Department of a huge state university. My version would have had a lot more political maneuvering and back-stabbing, and I dare say it would have been funnier. (Topic for another day: the embarrassingly shitty state of academic buildings at LSU.)

My most flushed out idea is for Neighborhood Pool, an Office-style mockumentary taking place at a neighborhood pool. My ideas are exaggerated stories based on real people and events from the Tara pool in Baton Rouge, and the fact that the pool is named after a slave-owning estate from Gone With the Wind is just the tip of the iceberg, comedy-wise.

Tara pool pics from 2015

I'll piss off someone if I get into too many details, but there are sources that I can mine for comedy that are probably universal when it comes to the neighborhood pool experience:

  • The board member committed to an overzealous enforcement of the rules. Especially as it contrasts to our main-cast group of heavy-drinking parents.
  • Along with that, we have speak-to-the-camera sessions with the kids of the main characters, where they are dismissive of parental involvement and have their own little dramas going on.
  • The tanning people, committed to their hobby in spite of the fact that their skin looks like overcooked sausage.
  • The people who have their own little territory and insist on their own music, so that everyone else hears a mismash of official club music and their tired classic rock playlist.
  • Lifeguards who continuously blow the pool closed in name of lightning, even though there is no threat of bad weather.
  • The angsty teen who brings his guitar to the pool to try to catch a lifeguard's attention
  • Adults who stand in the pool and pound Michelob Ultras all day long, yet never need to use the restroom.
  • The snack bar speaker, which announces whose orders are ready in unintelligible gibberish. (Unintelligible Gibberish would be a good name for your cover band or your next boat.)
  • In my running plot for season 1, the pool parents find out that one of the dads is going to get divorced. This leads to all of the tanning ladies -- both married and divorced -- to throw themselves at divorcing dad shamelessly.

If anyone wants to make this when the writers and studios come to terms, I'll be happy to join the writers room. I haven't even been to the pool as a guest in several years, but the comedy tap is still providing.