Friday, February 25, 2011
INSIDE URSULA HITLER'S HEAD 72: SWAP MEAT, pt. 6
Mr. Meany and Mandy the Microbe discuss living with lady parts, and the mysteries of love.
A while back I read an interview with Garry Shandling, about his old, pre-Larry Sanders series, It's Garry Shandling's Show. It's Garry Shandling's Show was a very post-modern, very 1980s thing where Shandling constantly broke character to talk to the audience and comment on the episode's plot. In the interview, Shandling talked about what a great crutch that was for a novice screenwriter, how instead of having to figure out stuff like subtext and exposition you could just have a character turn to the camera and say, "Now I'm at the restaurant to meet my older brother, Mike. He's a wealthy heart surgeon and I've spent my whole life feeling like he looks down on me. I haven't seen him in a couple of years, so this could be pretty awkward."
When I read that, I could totally relate. The format of Inside Ursula Hitler's Head lets me get away with murder, I can just have my characters turn to the camera and tell you what happened last time and exactly how they feel about it. But sometimes I want to go a little deeper, to have the characters say one thing and mean another, or for them to not totally understand how they feel. That's how real people act, and it's something I'm struggling to learn how to portray.
I don't know how well I managed it in this episode. I'm not sure if it's clear what Meany and Mandy are saying without quite saying it, or if it just seems way too obvious and on-the-nose. This is one of those episodes that will probably seem embarrassing and clumsy in six months, but it's the best I can manage for right now. I'm learning as I go, and that means you get to watch me flail (or fail) sometimes.