Monday, April 27, 2009

Pilot Script Review - Limelight

Written By: KJ Steinberg
Draft Date: January 23, 2009
Pages: 66
Network: ABC
Category: Jury's Out

It's Fame! But in 2009! I'M GONNA LIVE FOREVER, DAMMIT!

Interestingly this pilot episode plays a lot this an audition episode of, say, America's Next Top Model. There are various phases of "the competition" and cuts of would-be stars. We get to know a handful of characters who have gathered in NYC for Callback Weekend at the Paige Academy of Performing Arts: musicians, singers, dancers, actors. 150 callbacks, 45 spots available. Most of them are two-faceted character... they have some semblance of a distinct personality, and they have the field(s) they want to be in (there are also a few people already in the academy that we meet). Given that we only meet, by name, 7 of the potential 150, the fact that only 5 make it into the academy really does feel like a reality show chain jerk.
- Zoe Green: quirky, would be Lucille Ball if she could be, shy actor who is in danger of getting cut until she shows some backbone in an evening karaoke performance
- Eddie Auerbach: the hot guy, actor and singer, has very little idea Zoe harbors a giant crush on him, and sleeps around
- Jazz Barkley: African-American dancer, strong, doesn't make it in, but is okay with it because she got to meet her biological mother through the process (Nina Khari, one of the judges)
- Georgie Peech (snerk...): southern belle, buxom blonde (or, as she says, a "blondgenue"), actress, doesn't get in (but also doesn't take "no" for an answer)
- Xavier Davis: African-American drummer, street performer, has a sob-story but pretends he doesn't because he doesn't want to get where he's going as a charity case
- Kevin Cotton: straight dancer, suffers through an ankle injury but makes it in
- Nanako Kai: quiet, Asian violinist, fakes not being able to speak English so she doesn't have to deal with temporary roommate Georgia
- Romeo: horny male, pianist... make that genius pianist, he's only 14 and he's a 2nd year
- Tatyana Valenko: the "poster child" of PAPA because "yes, I am on poster," a Russian ballerina who Xavier has the hots for

The adults, invariably, are slightly more interesting and allowed to be bigger, more complex characters, but this is a show about the kids. Honestly, Limelight seems like it belongs less on ABC and more on the CW, with its main focus on the teens (PAPA seems to be college-aged kids as the bulk of those auditioning are 18) and a minor focus on "the adults" (the judges during the callbacks and the teachers at the academy).

I'm skeptical of this show getting a shot on the fall schedule, since Fox's (amazing) Glee will be having a special presentation this May and will definitely be on the fall schedule. But you never know... with teen shows it's all about chemistry, and with performance shows, it's all about creating magic. Limelight needs both.

To paraphrase what Vincent tells the lucky few who get into PAPA at the end of the script... "In your time here, you will fall in and out of love, betray each other, inspire each other, need each other more desperately than you ever thought possible. And you will bring it all with you on stage together -- and create something brilliant."

We can only hope. I'll say it again... we'll see.


Anonymous said...

If ABC passes on this show, do you think CW would consider picking it up?

Anonymous said...

(another Anonymous)But...but....but....(she says, nonplussed)...Oded Fehr is playing the lead adult and he brings such intensity (and hunkiness) to every role he plays.

I am so looking forward to watching him play alpha-maile supreme Vincent Marlowe.

Travis Yanan said...

@Anonymous 6:55AM

I doubt it, but as Limelight is a Warner Bros TV production... there's a better chance than if it were made by anyone else (er, unless it were made by CBS Paramount TV...)

Anonymous said...

So I just watched the pilot and if this thing were on tv, I would have to admit that I would be home in time each week to watch it. Perhaps that sounds lame but I can be religious about my shows.

So here's why I loved it
1. I may not have been a teenager for a while, but I still remember the transition to college -- the chasing your dreams and figuring out who you are ... I like that this has a lot of room for the characters to grow and develop. I mean you can sort of tell where the adult macho competitive track will go ... they'll get drunk, they'll have sketchy sex and then move on and maybe will feel guilty about it - or they're so used to it that they won't. The thing about being 19, you don't know where it will go or what the twists and turns might be ... I hate to say it, but with a teen you can mold, remold, and have the angst to go with that whole process ... and Adults might not mind remembering back to that.

2. I love dancing but the thing is, reality shows like dancing with the stars don't have enough drama and storyline to keep me tuning in each week. Take the dancing and training and give it a secondary drama storyline, and I'm hooked. Its kind of like why I watch Grey's.

3. I like singing and liked Eli Stone -- but that is sadly gone. I think this has a bit more dynamics and maybe is a bit more believable than Eli so perhaps it will fly better.

Elle said...

I wanna see the pilot! I am a huge fan of pretty much everybody in the cast! Where can I see it???