Well, since nobody has reviewed this script yet, I figured I’d give you guys some feedback. You said you had you had tough skin, so here goes:
Firstly, the wording of your action dialogue is WAY TOO LONG. And, some of it is really unnecessary. I think if you trimmed the fat, your script would lose maybe 10 pages. I believe it's critical to cut that stuff out, b/c with all that excess being trimmed, you’d have more room to put some heart into your story (back story and more character interactions). This is supposed to be a TV series, not a novel. There is far too much description happening in those paragraphs…and NOTHING is being added to your story.
Also, you’re basically telling the director what to do and giving him no leeway… you need to sell your STORY…and don't do it shot-for-shot. Leave that to the director. You’re the writer. Just write your story. They’ll dictate how to SHOW what you’ve written. This isn’t an exact science, I mean, you have to show some things, but you’ve gone overboard.
In the opening scene for instance, rather than telling the camera where to go and what we see…why not have the police officers walk to the room, one describing to the other what they’re about to find...then maybe cut the room with Gus waking up and BOOM the cops walk in: Gus is disoriented and doesn’t even know he’s in a crime scene. It would be far more interesting than a camera tracking over the room and telling the story. Not really something that I’d want to watch. This is your series opener. Open with a bang!!!
Another example: when you first show Edward’s room, you tell of the “luxuriously furnished in a modern and minimalistic way….Egyptian cotton sheets…”…blah blah blah. It’s something that’d be on the screen for 10 seconds, but you’ve dedicated a large portion of your page to describing it. What I NEEDED to know was he has a luxurious apartment in NYC, a girl is in bed, and he’s brought her “breakfast.” Seriously, TRIM it down guys.
The mini-bible states that Edward is charming and sophisticated. Script didn’t show it. He’s arrogant and full of himself. Not charming and sophisticated by any means, and I thought he was completely unlikeable. I get that you’re trying to paint him as a villain of sorts, but there is nothing in the script that makes me glad to see him alive again (he makes fun of babies, gets Georgia despite his awful "charm," and he's an all around jerk to everyone that he encounters --save for the doorman at the beginning) I mean, this guy broke up with his girlfriend because her dad had a stroke. WTF…I was so shocked that Georgia was even intrigued by him.
I’m so confused by this love interest. Maybe if Georgia was cynical and made comments about the fat woman in the store, THEN I would be able to see her being drawn to Edward…due to a mutual “angriness”…but as is…there is nothing that makes her attraction seem real.
The following notes correspond with the pages of the .pdf, not necessarily the script page numbers:
It’s not really clear that Gus is an employee of the hotel until page 8…it probably should have been made clear on page 7 or sooner.
p. 3 - When you first introduce a character (like on page two with Alison, put her name in ALL CAPS). Also, why is he buying her a suit if he really is going to turn around and be so cold-hearted to her later in the script. We have no explanation why he is so “bi-polar.”
p. 4 – DOORMAN…then after you introduce him as “Allan”…then you need to refer to him by his name, and not Doorman anymore.
p. 5 – “I’m innocent”…you’re missing the “m”…. Also, I’m shocked that Edward is so nice to kids outside of his room, then flips the script when he’s on the plane. WHY? Does work make him a jerk? Is he just bipolar. What gives? Maybe if he would have made a sarcastic comment about that kid, it would have foreshadowed his behavior on the plane.
p. 8 (beginning on this page there were just wing-ding looking characters for the “Greek” that was being spoken..I don’t think that’s necessary. Just write in parenthesis that it’s Greek and write the dialogue. It messed up the fluidity of the read as you’ve written it…or maybe it looks different on your computer program?)
p. 11 – In front of “Edward”… capitalize the “e”
The way he breaks the news to Julie that she’s fired isn’t “charming or sophisticated”…he’s cold and flat. If you want to show how charming he is, this is a good place to do it. He could lead her on a little bit more, don’t you think…maybe it could look like he’s really interested in her?
p. 12 – I’ve”…it looks like two separate words. I saw this on several of your contractions throughout the script….maybe a formatting issue with your computer program?
p. 13 – When Gus is talking through the door, it should say (O.S. – signifying off-screen as opposed to OFF, as it’s written).
p.14– if Gus is part of the family, maybe he should have known a little bit more that Edward was going to be coming. It seems to come out of the blue…with hardly any foreshadowing. Give the audience something to look forward to or anticipate. Too many surprises aren’t really a good thing. Also, if the firing is due to poor profit…hint that prior to it happening. You had an opportunity in the opening scene at the hotel.
p.17 – the conversation with Alison on the phone needs to dictate that she’s (O.S.)…Actually, you might just want to omit her dialogue all together, because it’d be hard for the audience to the see this scene especially since Georgia is eavesdropping. You know?
p.19 – great example of too many words: “Gus drinks a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice through a thick straw. They are supposed to be celebrating his birthday, but Gus remains silent, with an empty expression. His friends try to cheer him up”…
WHY NOT: “Gus sips orange juice through a straw, with a flat expression on his face”…and let the dialogue SHOW his friends cheering him up. Who cares if the orange juice is “fresh squeezed”…or if the straw is “thick” or thin? It doesn’t matter; it doesn’t help or take away from your story. So...take it OUT! Think about it…the more words you have in your script…the less room you have to put things in that REALLY matter.
p. 19-20 – I think it’s hilarious that Gus continued telling the story to Jones, omitting his wife leaving him. Sharpen up the dialogue between Jones and Gus because this is a good comedic moment. Nice work.
p. 21-23 – I don’t get Gus’ character? He doesn’t show any real emotion. He’s just kind of braindead, and I don’t really like that. He finds out his wife his cheating and he’s cool with that? He continues to talk to his wife with his friend there (which has funny dialogue--esp. when the friend starts crying). But it’s not REAL. It just seems like a fictitious scene, and if you want to show him being a weak character, then maybe you need to show that prior to this scene. He can't just have things happen to him and not react.
Also, p. 22 – when you’re describing the kids not looking like him, you could simply say that the kid is “Black” or something along those lines (“Jacob looks absolutely nothing like his father, they couldn’t be more different”). OR, you could leave the scene as-is…just delete everything AFTER the coma. It’s not really needed. WHY is Rita the best thing that ever happened to him? If she is, then how did his life get so sad…again, we need a little bit of back story to accept this pathetic character.
P. 22 – when Rita gets mad at him for LYING to her. Hilarious. When she says “Twenty Years”, you don’t have to go ALL-CAPS…just underline the part that’s supposed to be emphasized. Do this for all yelling dialogue