Time for another (somewhat short) installment of things that have popped into my head.
This one just came to me as I was listening to Harry Chapin’s I Miss America.
In the song he laments the canned laughter of the sitcom and how each night the parents end up in separate beds (realize the time period the song came out people).
Therefore I’ve thought up of a storyline for a sitcom. Usual sitcom that gets brought back each year and is popular. Father, mother, and children going through the usual sitcom motions of solving a problem within 30 minutes. Each episode ends with a shot of the parents getting into bed (one bed these days). They talk a bit and turn out the lights; end episode.
Fast forward to the middle of the second season and Dad has a health issue that requires him to take two pills each night before bed. The end scene now has a slight change of Dad taking his two pills as him and Mom get into bed. Lights out; end episode.
Fast forward again to the third season. For the last half of the second season Dad has been taking his pills just fine and continues to do so throughout the first 1/4 of the third season. A huge “OMG” episode arc (you know… Urkel on drugs, DJ Tanner becoming a hooker… shit like that) where one of the children loses a leg or something after being crushed by a building. (Just insert your story arc there, as long as it is crushing to the family.)
From this point on at the end bedroom scene Dad takes only one pill instead of two. Nothing is said by Dad, Mom or anyone else. It is done as if it was normal. Throughout the season (until the section below) Dad is a bit more irritable but it is played off as being pissed at the health insurance company and the plight of his now deformed/maimed child.
Fast forward to the latter 1/4 of the third season and Dad is now taking zero pills. The end scene plays just like it did in the first season.
Last episode of season three: the lights go out just like normal. Credits roll. After a minute credits stop, light comes back on, and Mom is trying to wake up Dad. Dad won’t wake up. Mom calls 911. Fade to black with Mom crying as she desperately tries to wake Dad.
How fucked up would that be to do in a tv show? I actually think, if done just right, it would be very, very effective and be buzzed about until the next season comes.