The more I write

The easier it gets, right?

TV sitcom treatment

I haven’t written anything for quite sometime. Not making excuses (like I would in the past) but we’ve had a few personal issues that have had to take priority.  Life is starting to work itself out and I’m feeling more like putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).

Recently I had a forced vacation in the hospital and while I was there I came up with the following idea.

If anyone reads this and has advice, feedback or words of encouragement, I’d love to hear from you.

The Undercover Lunatic

Logline: The Undercover Lunatic sees Gavin Bond, an unknown billionaire bachelor get himself committed into a Mental Health Hospital as part of a complex plan to donate $5,000,000. The balmy billionaire is convinced that this will raise his international profile and in-turn help him to meet the woman of his dreams.

Pitch:

Genre: Sitcom/Mocumentary

Target Audience: Teens and Adults 18 to 80

While the show will be a light hearted comedy, each episode will feature real mental health disorders and present an important message. Gavin Bond is a misguided, awkward, kind hearted romantic. Think Chandler Bing meets David Brent.

Gavin Bond is a billionaire bachelor. However, unlike his counterparts, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Richard Branson, he is not widely known. Gavin believes that he needs to become famous in order to meet women. He sees that many other wealthy entrepreneurs get noticed when they donate large sums of money to various charities.

Gavin decides to donate $5,000,000 to a Mental Health Hospital, by the name of Parkview, but rather than simply hand the staff a huge novelty cheque, he devises a complex plan that involves getting himself committed as a patient. Gavin enlists the services of a highly skilled technical assistant to develop a special outfit that is fitted with cameras and audio equipment so that he can film his interactions with the patients and staff, and to also capture the big moment.

Episode 1 (the pilot episode):

In the first episode we meet Gavin wandering through the rooms of his seemingly empty mansion, the image of a lonely man. His footsteps echo loudly, further emphasising his aloneness. Later we see him Googling himself, not finding anything on the first 10 pages of search results. Then he is Googling other billionaires. The one thing they have in common is their charity work. We see an idea begin to hatch and Gavin making notes on a pad on his desk. We see the figure $5,000,000 written and circled, other words are scribbled down, video, TV show, and Parkview.

Gavin makes a call. “Mac, I need to see you, the usual place okay? Great, 3 o’clock is perfect, see you then.”

Gavin writes a brief email to his assistant Jennifer. In the email he tells her he is taking a few weeks off and not to bother him. Gavin’s company is run by a board and very rarely needs his input on any decisions.

We find Gavin and Mac sitting in a booth, in a very questionable looking bar. Gavin explains his plan in detail to Mac.

Gavin: “You know that show Undercover Boss?”

Mac: “Yeah.”

Gavin: “I want to do something like that, but much much bigger.”

Mac: “Okay?”

Gavin: “I want to go into Parkview Mental Health Hospital, undercover, as a patient.”

Mac: “Tell them this story and you’ll get straight in, because you’re clearly nuts!”

Gavin: “No, you don’t get it, listen to me. I want that jacket of yours, the one with the camera and mike built into the buttons. I’m going to get committed, but just for the day. I want to film the whole thing and at the end of the day I am going to donate $5,000,000!”

Mac: “Okay, still sounds crazy to me, but apart from my jacket, why else do you need me?”

Gavin: “Right, well I’ll need you and your surveillance parked somewhere close by to record it all. I also need a fake licence in the name of Adrian Tombs.”

Mac: “Who is he?”

Gavin: “He is me, or at least I will be once I shave off my hair, beard and moustache.”

Mac: “Anything else?”

Gavin: “Yes, you need a cop uniform. It’s gotta be realistic, you will be the one committing me into the hospital.

Mac: “Okay, I’m still sure this is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard but I think I can handle that. But I want double what I got last time!”

Gavin: “Sure, whatever you want.”

A few days later, the pair are sitting in Mac’s white van, around the corner from the Parkview Mental Health Hospital. Mac is in a very authentic police uniform. Gavin has transformed into Adrian Tombs. He has no facial hair and just a very short stubble covering his head.

They have gone over the plan several times and tested all recording equipment. All systems are go. The pair leave the van. Mac has handcuffed Gavin and is walking him to the door of the Parkview Mental Health Hospital.

At the door, Mac hits the buzzer and after a few minutes, some guys come out to greet them. Mac tells them that he picked this guy up when he saw him wandering across a main highway. He was talking to himself and he kept mentioning this place. “Reckons he’s been here before?”

“He has a wallet, empty except for his licence, which says he’s Adrian Tombs.” Mac said. “Ever had an Adrian Tombs in here before?” Mac asked.

One of the guy nods and says “could have, we get so many, you don’t remember all the names. We’ll check for his file. Take a seat in the waiting area while we check.”

Mac has of course hacked into their computer system and they will most certainly find a file on Adrian Tombs.

Shortly after the men return and confirm they have his details on file and that they are willing to take him as a patient. Mac unlocks Gavin’s handcuffs and leaves. Gavin is taken inside the secure facility. The wheels are in motion.

Throughout the day, Gavin mingles with the staff and other patients. He moves around the ward, in and out of the rooms and outside in the outdoor recreational area. Just before 5pm, when he thinks he has enough footage he makes his way to the reception area, in readiness for the big reveal. The time moves passed 5, then 5:15 comes and goes. At 5:30 Gavin’s concerns are growing. Just before 6pm he is approached by one of the male nurses.

Male Nurse: “Why are you waiting here Adrian? Maybe you should go get ready for dinner.”

Gavin/Adrian: “I’m waiting for a friend to come and get me out of here. He was meant to be here an hour ago.”

Male Nurse: “A friend?”

Gavin/Adrian: “Yeah, it’s hard to explain but when he gets here, it’s gonna be one hell of a surprise. Everyone will be so happy when he gets here.”

Male Nurse: “Look Adrian, I really don’t think anyone’s coming for you, at least not tonight. I need you to move away from this area, now.”

Gavin/Adrian: “No, please just give me a few more minutes, he’ll be here.”

The male nurse signals two other nurses to come over. The 3 have a brief discussion. One of the nurses leaves the other two and goes into the pharmacy room.

Male Nurse: “Adrian, I’m not going to ask again, I need you to go to your room and rest for a bit.”

Gavin/Adrian: “You don’t understand. I’m not Adrian, I’m not a patient! I’m actually a billionaire and I’ve been filming this day for a TV show. A guy is meant to be here with a novelty cheque for $5,000,000. You are ruining the surprise!”

The other nurse has returned and has something behind her back. The two, large male nurses move beside Gavin and each grab and arm.

Male Nurse: “Calm down now Adrian, calm down. This can go two ways, easy or not so easy.”

Gavin/Adrian: “What are you doing? I told you, I’m rich, I’m not sick! You’ll see, you’ll all see and then you’ll regret what you’re doing to me!”

The third nurse steps between the other two nurses who are struggling with Gavin and inject him with diazepam. Gavin sees the needle coming but is unable to do anything about it. The effect is almost instant. Everything goes dark.

Gavin is carried to his room and strapped to his bed.

The episode ends with Mac in front of his computer. On the screen we can see he is accessing Gavin’s bank account. We hear Mac say. “Well, you did say whatever I want.”

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