Subject : Are you in?
Mr. Cope, we here at the G.A.G. Media Group are currently engaged in the development of new reality-based programming, a table to which we have been late in coming. I'm afraid my predecessor misjudged the market for "infonewstertainment"--as we insiders call it--and he overextended our programming down other avenues of televisable content, such as an emphasis on peppy doctor shows (e.g., Doctor Don's Poop Hour), second-tier talent spectacles (e.g., So You Think You Can Scrapbook), and vintage collections from the Golden Age of broadcasting (The Munsters, weekend marathons of Mr. Ed, etc.).
However, owing to a dismal market share for the past 37 quarters, my predecessor has been reassigned to the Scenic Calendar Division and I have been tasked to build an entirely new vision for our Television Division. After witnessing the popularity of series centered on the lives of people previously considered too vacuous, too unstable or too icky for even 15 minutes of fame, I am determined to take G.A.G. further into this genre than any broadcast organization has gone before.
This brings me to you, Mr. Cope. I see from our records that you have been approached on several occasions in regards to other G.A.G. projects. Your assignment, should you choose to take it, is to conceptualize a cast of people who, by virtue of their unusual personalities, unusual occupations or unusual lifestyles, are camera-worthy. They could be a family, involved in some specific occupation choice, or drawn together by a common interest--we don't care. Not as long as they have that magical quality which brings an audience back, week after week, to see what they are up to.
We would prefer that whatever reality-based concept you come up with be set in Idaho as we are committed to the idea that Idaho can compete with places like New Jersey, Louisiana and Florida when it comes to repulsive people we can watch endlessly, even if it makes us feel queasy and disgusted with ourselves to do it.
I should also mention that when I say "reality-based television," you are free to interpret that to whatever degree you feel is compatible with "ratings-based television."
Thank you for considering this proposal,
Matt Schlurrie, Dir. of Programming, G.A.G. Media Group
Re: Are you in?
You bet your bippy I'm in, Matt baby! I've been conceptualizing about just this sort of crap for a long time. At least since season one of Hoarders. But then Honey Boo Boo showed up, and I thought, "Bill baby, you absolutely have to get a piece of this!" So I put a prospectus together that'll knock your jockeys off. Get comfortable, dude, and let your mind float ...
Picture the Flart family, immigrants to Boise (better yet ... Eagle) from Mississippi. Maybe Alabama. You know what I mean. From someplace where just to hear them talk is gut-busting hilarious, no matter what they say. (Suggestion: Whatever family we pick to cast in this, they should change their name legally to "Flart." They'll be glad they did when that money starts rolling in.)
Heading the clan is Bart Flart. He's tried alligator wrangling, catfish grabbing, working in a pawn shop, tracking Sasquatch, bidding on the contents of abandoned storage sheds, catching rattlesnakes in gunny sacks and pimping out Harleys. But somehow, those career choices did not satisfy his soul. (Suggestion: We fill out Bart's character with flashbacks to his earlier days and have him reminisce about not being able to put his whole heart into bellowing "Wahoo!" like the other guys. It could be sadly touching, don't you think, Matt baby?)
So Bart has moved his family to a tent on the hill above the Ada County dump, where they fight over, laugh over, cry over and do their family love thing over crud that you and I throw away. Get it? The Flarts are trash pickers. Ergo, the name of the series: The Lords of the Landfill. Tell me that isn't catchy.
There's his wife, Alma, and the seven little Flarts: Jenny June, Burp, Elvis, the twins Flopsy and Mopsy, that pudgy little firecracker Elvisina, and of course, the baby... Pisser. Jenny June is the oldest at 14, so Bart and Alma don't mind so much that she brought her boyfriend Curly along to (as J.J. puts it) "keep me all worm and coozy at night"--which, when said with that mushy Southern drawl, will be just a hoot. (Suggestion: I can see a running gag where family members stumble across J.J. and Curly, hiding out behind discarded kitchen appliances and under torn-up sofas, in one state of carnal entanglement or another. Is that funny, or what?)
For dramatic tension, we can introduce other families to compete with the Flarts over the junk of Hidden Hollow. Like, I see one bunch imported from the refuse dumps of Mumbai and another from the mountains of garbage around Rio in Brazil. Just thinking about the inevitable language bloopers breaks me up, how about you?
Let me know when we can get started, Matt baby. We need to get going on this before those guys from the Arts and Entertainment channel get wind of it and steal the idea.