The Couch Potatoes
I spent three years teaching at the University of Central Arkansas (“UCA”) from 2001-2004. It was a great job, but my wife at the time and I agreed that we were just not Southern folk. So we moved away when we could and returned to the Northwest. While at UCA, I taught television production. The capstone course of the television production program was TV3 or Advanced Television Production. In my final year, the students decided that they wanted to produce a sitcom as their ongoing project. I had reservations about it because it was a massive undertaking, but I eventually agreed. The show was called “The Couch Potatoes” and the class produced four episodes. I wrote two of the episodes after the scriptwriting team failed to deliver, and also contributed some other pieces. Elsewhere on this site is the script for “Nowhere Fast” which evolved out of one of the “Couch Potatoes” scripts that I wrote.
Below are two clips from the show. I wrote and produced both as filler between segments of the regular part of the show. The first is called “The Learning Center.” It is a parody of UCA’s recruiting campaign that was in place at the time. It was called “The Center of Learning” and featured shots of students at various places around campus with voice-overs describing their experiences at UCA. Our version was lifted its visual style directly from one of those ads. I wish I had kept a copy of the original UCA ad in order to show what we were satirizing, but needless to say, the original had a much different message.
The second video below is a “stock-footage documentary.” I’ve always been intrigued by creating fictional documentaries using whatever footage is at hand. Monty Python used the technique to hilarious effect on occasion. I’m still toying with a feature-length project created out of stock footage and new linking material. In the meantime, here’s the story of the 1952 presidential election, Richard Nixon, radioactive sheep and Godzilla…