TV writers script their upcoming strike.

Dubious and far-fetched ideas.
Nov. 2 2007 4:35 PM

Picket Lines

TV writers script their upcoming strike.

It's the night before the Writers Guild of America is to begin its long-awaited strike, and a collection of Hollywood's most experienced TV writers have commandeered a back table at Father's Office to hammer out scenarios for what will surely be the most important gig of their careers: plotting a compelling, believable strike that will play well in middle America.

Season 1
Episode 1: Establish the premise. Comedy writer Marty Brownstein has a Harvard degree, a simmering love affair with a cute young grip, and a slovenly roommate who calls himself "The Cheese." But his world is torn asunder when he's forced to take to the picket lines and fight for the thing he holds most dear: DVD residuals. Also establish the villainous conspiracy ("The Industry"), the writing partner ("Max"), and the wacky neighbor (Bollywood).

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Episode 3: Marty and his writer buddies have to make 100 protest signs in an hour or else their picket line will be a disaster. Too bad The Cheese huffed all the ink from the permanent markers!

Episode 8: We introduce a new character: a writer from the wrong side of the tracks who has some unorthodox ideas about how to get things done in Hollywood.

Episode 9: The writer turns out to be an alien.

Episode 14: Sweeps—time for a guest star! Jimmy Hoffa Jr. comes to town to show Marty and his buddies how a professional leads a strike. Ends with Hoffa winning a jitterbug marathon at Al's Diner.

Season 2
Episode 8: The picket line is spiced up by an extended lesbian kiss. Meanwhile, Marty gets nervous when he overhears his writing partner talking about "becoming a scab," but it turns out he was only talking about his Halloween costume.

Episode 10: The picket line's flagging morale is boosted by a visit from Santa Claus, who distributes presents: a biography of George Meany for Marty, a remote-controlled car for The Cheese, and pseudonymous jobs writing Spanish soap operas for everyone. Feliz Navidad!

Episode 20: The Cheese puts itching powder in Marty's bed the day before he's scheduled to meet with an Industry official (Powers Boothe) to discuss contract terms. Talks fall apart when Marty uses the official's Mont Blanc as an impromptu back-scratcher.

Episode 21: Powers Boothe turns out to be an alien.