Dead Memes

Back in the summer of 2011, there was this blog meme going around called “I SURRENDER”.  It went a little something like this:

“1. Comment to this post with “I surrender!” and I’ll assign you the basis of some TV show idea. (post-apocalyptic scifi-fi drama, fantasy, noir gumshoe pulp, criminal procedure…IN SPACE, historical drama WITH WEREWOLVES, etc.).
2. Create a cast of characters, including the actors who’d play them.
3. Add in any actor photos, character bios, and show synopsis that you want.
4. Post to your own journal.”

Don’t worry, I’m not starting it again. I’m only bringing it up because tonight, while I was cleaning up my computer while avoiding cleaning up my office…

…much of which I dumped onto the floor to get it out of the moving boxes, but I still haven’t put everything away…

…I stumbled across my response to a prompt from @byharryconnolly. Well, it’s a partial response.  I’m sure that I worked on it for a little while, then had to close it and go deal with something else, which morphed into something else entirely and then that mutated, yeah, yeah, yes, Shai, your daily life is a social proof-in-progress of a theory of adaptation, yes, we get it.  You also have this nasty habit of talking to yourself in public, which you’ve really got to being more careful about, particularly when you’re on one of your ‘doing mouth feel tests of invented languages’ kicks. And have we mentioned those fits of your taking on the role of a hypothetical audience? Girlfriend

I think I’ll just leave this here and back away from it slowly. I didn’t get around to casting the actors for this or writing up some show sketches, though while looking at this, I imagine the first four episodes could almost write themselves.

Prompt: “An adaptation of any computer game with a contemporary setting.” quoth Harry Connolly.

Title:  Lifeland

Type: Surreality Television

Setting:  “Lifeland” (various locations within a metropolitan area, including “foreclosed McMansions purchased by The Company”), Icon Analytics (warehouse set up with banquet tables, folding chairs, and lots of computer monitors – only private space is the single toilet set inside a cubicle with a shower curtain for a door). “The Company” (standard office setting in shiny glass building).

Inevitable Comparison: Better off Ted in a ménage à quatre with Big Brother, Desperate Housewives and The Truman Show.

Opening Credits Song: “Flagpole Sitta,” Harvey Danger (I laughed so hard when I found this version of it.


An electronic game producing juggernaut (referred to only as “The Company”), fresh out of ideas for its legendary life simulation game, is trying an unusual tactic:  secretly filming the lives of four “families” as they interact with the actual denizens of a California suburb.

No one at the Company is more excited by  the idea  — and has more riding on it — than BRIAR SUMNER, the ruthless young marketing exec who came up with it.

Only she didn’t come up with it. She stole it from MATT and KEVIN KWAN, the two brothers behind Icon Analytics, a shoestring start-up media company who first pitched the idea to Blair as a series of commercials.

Stuck delivering on her big idea without support from her colleagues, BRIAR hires MATT and KEVIN to deliver on their big idea on a scale they never imagined — and weren’t remotely prepared for. They call in favors from everyone they know, assemble a cadre of dysfunctional actors, and spring them on the unsuspecting denizens of a nearby suburb.

2 thoughts on “Dead Memes

  1. Only just saw this – my brain is now littered with horrible ideas like “viewers vote on how the actors interact with their neighbors” a la the Sims: “Be nice” “Tell a joke” “Be Mean” etc.

    • Yeeesssss…

      And rival groups inside IA’s NOC pretend to be regular viewers and compete with each other on how messed up they can make things (and the dysfunctional actors have ideas of their own that don’t involve following the script).

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