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October 14 2006

Plowing the Untouched Field. Jane Espenson blogs about developing a spec script based on an underdeveloped show character. In her ongoing on-line screenwriting seminar, using Buffy episodes "Superstar" and "Storyteller" as examples, Jane discusses focusing TV scripts on secondary and tertiary characters, centering on their relationship to the main characters.

"In real life, no one is a tertiary character."

"Superstar" and "Storyteller" -- funny, funny episodes, yet much more than that.

I love "Superstar" and "Storyteller," as well as "The Zeppo" and "Selfless." Especially the latter two, for finding the (limited, but real) heroism in secondary characters. Great post, QuoterGal!
Soda comes in scrambled eggs and cream flavour now? Ewwwww! ;-)
I think you're melting two things together, c2, for an incorrect nauseating effect. Though the names are certainly a little creepifying. There's something called an egg cream, which reportedly contains neither egg nor cream. And something called cream soda, which I associate vaguely with egg cream. I've never tried either (these are East Coast American things, and I'm a Westerner), but I think they're both just carbonated beverages, and completely distinct from scrambled eggs.
I love cream soda. I never realized that this was not a Western American thing.

The other trick to "Superstar" and "Storyteller" is that they actually are both Buffy-centric when you get down to the nitty gritty, most obviously "Superstar" but "Storyteller" as well. Jonathan and Andrew both idolize Buffy; Jonathan tries to become her in "Superstar" (he gets her class protector award!) and Andrew does a documentary about her. I think that "Storyteller" also has some of the best season seven Buffy moments in the final scene where she drops her guard around Andrew and lets him know that her speeches are all made up. She was at her best as a leader, and as a compassionate human being in that scene. I've always felt that's part of the reason the writers sent Andrew off with Spike in "Empty Places"; Spike and Andrew are the only people Buffy let see her, although in Andrew's case it also happened to be the best thing for the cause.

Essentially I love Jane. :)

And yes, episodes like "The Zeppo," "Selfless" and "Fool For Love" are terrific at developing the secondary (i.e. non-Buffy, but pretty central) characters. These ones, I'd argue actually are Xander/Anya/Spike-centric rather than Buffy-centric, although the latter two particularly are still hugely important for Buffy as well.
"In real life, no one is a tertiary character--everyone's feelings count for as much as everyone else's"

Words to live by, along with

"You can't pull an echidna backwards through a cardigan."
I'm realing enjoying reading Jane's blog. It's entertaining and she offers helpful advice for struggling writers.
I read it every day there's a post.

Nic from Germany may be sending this woman chocolates, but I'll be sending her a wedding ring.
Can I be a bridesmaid?
Alex I think she is married already, but well you can try!
I enjoyed "Superstar" and "Storyteller" so much that some of the few props I covet come mainly from those two episodes. I'd totally dig some "Jonathan" fan paraphernalia, and I'd really love Andrew's drawings on his homemade "Big Board." Ooh, and maybe some "We Are As Gods" crowns or set dressing.

catalyst2, you made me chuckle. And, dl, I love me some egg cream, which I think goes best with deli food -- a chocolate egg cream with pastrami on rye, um-yum. I make egg creams at home with milk, club soda (substituted for seltzer water) and chocolate syrup.

A food-or-beverage discussion seems entirely appropriate for a Jane Espenson thread.

!Kittens! and cream.
Plowing the Untouched Field

When I saw this I thought we were back on virgins from the Mercedes/Playboy thread.
I also loved the Dr. Strangelove reference implicit in his Big Board concept. Not a Jane episode, I know, but Petrie's "Get It Done" even has Andrew quote directly:

"He'll...he'll see everything...he...he'll see the Big Board!"

Classic. I miss Doug Petrie too. (Bring on The Batman, I guess....)
lol Alex you can marry her... I dont mind as long as I get Vincent Kartheiser. *g*

xoxo nic

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