Friday, April 24, 2009

Pilot Script Review - Solving Charlie

Written By: Daniel Cerone
Draft Date: January 8, 2009
Pages: 60
Network: ABC
Category: Thumbs Down

Oh, yay! We've reached the point in my Stack of Review Material Process I like to call "The Crappy Crime Show Gang."

Let's start with the most laughable, shall we? And let's start discussion of this saying that, for the love of god, ABC does not know it's way around a crime procedural. I mean, really, it doesn't.

The first 5 pages of this script (by a man who LEFT HIS JOB RUNNING DEXTER TO DEVELOP THIS, DEAR LORD HOW THE HELL DID EVERYTHING TURN OUT SO BADLY) show us the murder.

They also give away the murderer and the motive and that it's set up as a suicide.

This strikes me as a poor decision. I'm not the guy who watches all of the crime shows on CBS, so I may be wrong here... but shouldn't you, like, hide that stuff? So that the audience is figuring it out along with the characters? No?

I've heard that Law & Order: Criminal Intent does, actually tell you who committed the crime from the get-go and then the rest plays out form both sides of the fence (never watched an episode, myself). Which may be why it's the L&O series now relegated to USA?

Anyway. The pilot serves to set Charlie Hudson (mid-30s, let's just call him Hudson) up with guardianship of his estranged-since-the-age-of-five/now-dead father's 11-year old son, Charlie (yeah... inventive man, wasn't he!). Charlie happens to be a genius with a knack for solving puzzles. Hudson is a Property Crime detective with aspirations of being kicked up to the Homicide department. And - yay! - they fight crime together (the pilot case involves a jealous English professor killing a student who gave him a manuscript for a novel to get notes on and the novel was so good that, gosh darn it, the frustrated professor had to kill the student and take the manuscript for his own and finally get published... and he would've gotten away with it if it weren't for those meddling brothers and detectives!)



Nathan said...

I read it and actually kinda liked it. It is now called "Solving Charlie." I liked the sweetness and innocent with the two Charlie's. I do agree that the case was kinda stupid but I liked the main characters.

Travis Yanan said...

*This* is what Solving Charlie is? Huh, I really did think that Solving Charlie was some sitcom (since I hadn't read anything by that title). I'll change the posting to reflect that, thanks!

I think it would play a lot better without the reveal of who the murderer is and why right off the top. And maybe it does in future drafts. But that just sucked all the tension out for me (even when Charlie is within the murderer's clutches and about to be abducted, and then when he is abducted).

Nathan said...

I agree that was a mistake to reveal the murderer in the first act. I think it would be more suspensful if we did not know and I think that would be easy to change down the line and maybe they did

Todd said...

Columbo famously would reveal exactly who did it early in the episode, and the pleasure was seeing how Columbo would trip them up.

Then again, Columbo had a hell of a writing staff. Doesn't sound like this does.

Anonymous said...

I loved the premise of the show and from what Ive heard it created much buzz. It is apparently incontention for mid-season. I look forward to it.

Steven Capsuto said...

Pity this didn't fly. It's a great premise. I liked the original Argentine series, and flat out loved the remake from Spain. The Mexican version looks good, too. You'd think such a durable concept could work on U.S. television.