Season 1 Completed

This one is long, but if you make it all the way to the end, there’s a reward.

After laboring mightily, I have finally — FINALLY — birthed the final episode of Season 1 of Muckey Landing. Although this is the last episode I’ve written for the first season, it’s actually going into the show as Episode 3.

This one done kicked my ass. The idea for episode 3, “The Swine Dinner,” as well as the title, was the direct result of one of Roma/Sul Tempo’s terrific monthly wine dinners, which Mike, Bruce and I attended with some friends probably a year or more ago. I’m not sure exactly when I started actually writing the episode, but I know the weather was warm, the trees were green, and the birds were singing. The plot quickly got very complicated, with lots of scenes and new characters, and getting from point A to point B turned out to be unexpectedly difficult. What’s worse, after I completed each scene, writer’s block set in like a big ol’ case of constipation, slowing down the whole process.

The biggest problem was that I knew exactly where I wanted to go, but it was taking me a whole lot of words to get there. Every other episode I’ve written runs about 30 pages, which at approximately a minute a page, translates roughly to 30 minutes per episode. But this one kept running on and on, and I was driving myself crazy trying to figure out how I could get to the end while keeping it to 30 minutes. I was getting pretty discouraged with it, and worse, I couldn’t find the funny.

Then the weekend after Thanksgiving, Mike, Bruce and I were up at the cabin. We were all in various stages of either coming down with (Bruce), in the throes of (Mike) or recovering from (me) the flu, but I explained the problem I was having, and we all gamely sat down and did a read-through of what I had so far. I got laughs out of both of them, which was encouraging. Then Mike finally pointed out to me that it’s a podcast — there’s no set time limit, so why didn’t I just write it, stop worrying about the length, and if I need to, go back and cut out the chaff? That was exactly what I needed to hear to break the logjam.

I’ve been writing furiously since then, and last night, I was finally able to type #END#. It’s nearly 50 pages, and I don’t care, because it’s good. Mike still has a bad cough left over from his bout of the crud, and last night when I had him read it, he laughed so hard in places that he subjected himself to several horrendous coughing jags. I felt bad for him, but not really, because his not being able to breathe meant it was funny.

So, we’ll start recording after the holidays, in January. There are seven episodes total, running 224 pages total currently — several later episodes will actually be a bit longer than they are now, because I want to add some new scenes with characters who really hit me in the funny bone, like Doral and the Yoders. All told, I anticipate having 4 to 5 hours’ worth of podcast material when completed — that’s 2 or 3 full-length movies, wow!

Now, because you’ve been so patient and read this whole freakin’ thing, I’m finally gonna fulfill a promise I made several blog posts ago, and give you a sneak peak. Here are the titles and brief synopses for all the episodes in Season 1:

  • Episode 1 – Virgil Gets A Dog: We meet Virgil Slatter and Harmon Truesdale, proprietors of the Muckey Landing Market, Diner and Hardware Emporium. Virgil adopts Aloysius, the world’s ugliest dog. Local artist Myrtle Myrkle invites Harmon to dinner, and Police Chief Neville Chief shares conspiracy theories about the fire at the DuPlant chicken nugget plant.
  • Episode 2 – The Late, Late Harmon Truesdale: Virgil tries not to lose his temper about Harmon being late for work every morning, to disastrous effect. Salesman Dickie Butz stops in and sells Virgil some highly effective miniature spotlights from Japan.
  • Episode 3 – The One that Kicked My Ass — no, scratch that — The Swine Dinner: Harmon and Virgil head up to Bighead City for a free barbecue dinner and get a shock. We meet Muslim limo driver Ashley Hachache, stuffy maître d’ Frederick Tweed, his wife Rita, and plain old Rodney. Nuff said. (This one will run nearly an hour. I think it’s hilarious. Time will tell.)
  • Episode 4 – Harmon’s Dilemma: Newt Newberger interviews Myrtle about her upcoming art show. Virgil is shocked when Harmon shares the details of his relationship with Myrtle. Police Lieutenant Jenny Pilsner thinks Harmon is depressed, and chides Virgil for not being a better friend.
  • Episode 5 – Blindfolds, Please: Harmon explains that Myrtle never gave him the painting she’d promised him. Virgil figures out Myrtle’s plans and convinces Harmon they need to stop her. Mabel Sprout stops by with shocking news, forcing Virgil and Harmon to make plans of their own.
  • Episode 6 – Stranger Things In The Night: Virgil explains the law and his family tree to Harmon. Harmon has second thoughts and freaks out. There’s a fire at the Fuzzy Duck Gallery, and Police Lieutenant Jenny Pilsner shows up at an inopportune time.
  • Episode 7 – A Thong of Fire and Ice: Harmon and Virgil get into a fight. Jenny Pilsner and Virgil’s niece Bunny discuss the night’s events, and Bunny and Chief Cheefe consider theories involving Muslim terrorists and spontaneous combustion.

Posted by Chris Polo - Muckey Landing Writer/Creator/Director

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