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*He is not a secret agent. Not at all.



So there's good buzz on the Marlowe pilot, which is, yes, Phillip Marlowe (as in Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe). This is an updated Marlowe. Marlowe as he would be in the present day, though still hard-boiled. Though, not like an egg. Like a different hard-boiled thing. A cooler thing that is for some reason boiled. Hard.

Lots of the buzz seems to center around Jason O'Mara's performance. I like O'Mara. He was great in The Agency ( a series in desperate need of a slightly over-priced DVD release that I would gladly pay the extra scratch for). Since then, he's been in a lot of uninteresting stuff and one turn as an awesome bad guy in an episode of The Closer. The kind who should come back and menace once again.

When I'd read about the reception the pilot was getting at ABC, I realized that of the metric fuckton (slightly less than an Imperial fuckton but more than the US fuckton) of scripts my manager sent over (yeah, see how that sneaks in there), I somehow missed that one. Without further delay, I got right to it and was suitably impressed and totally grabbed before the end of the first page. Grabbed by what?

The script is written entirely in the first person.

Yes, entirely. Scene directions, everything. As if Marlowe wrote the script himself as he was living it.

So rather than "Marlowe drives down Sunset," you have "I'm driving down Sunset." More than that, it's all Chandlery (as it should be). He describes the characters as we meet them in, well, Chanderisms I s'pose. It works because it's Marlowe.

I think it's ingenious, this first person Marlowe thing. Written by Greg Pruss and Carol Wolper, it's surely a bold move as neither of them, as you can see on IMDB seem to have any massive credits to their name. It really makes the script an experience unto itself. Something a script rarely is and isn't generally even meant to be.

Last time Marlowe was on TV, it wasn't TV. It was HBO and Powers Boothe was the private dick in question and it was a period thing. I dug it, I seem to recall. I was quite the youth and all I remember about it now are the old cars. I'd like to see those on DVD too. I'd probably just NetFlix those though.

What other weird little scripty tricks can be thought up? And be they advisable? It seems like a fine line to walk. Calculated risk. It seems to have worked here, but it could easily have backfired, for an unknown writer. That's why I figure Tim Kring could do the Heroes pilot script with artwork in it. He's Tim Kring.

Marlowe is also the only script in the entire fuckton that should be set in LA.
©2024 Michael Patrick Sullivan
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