Friday, December 5, 2008

Peter's Commentary on the 'Oprah' Edition

Okay, so last week's FSW topic was "Oprah".

So I wound up writing this sketch. I had spent days trying to think of something -- *anything* -- that I could do with the topic. I think the best I managed was a couple's young daughter idolizes Oprah and causes embarrassing situations by trying to treat her parents as talk-show guests.

Then I visited my family for Thanksgiving and talked about the topic with my sister, who watches the show from time to time. I somehow stumbled into, "What if some guy had a big collection of Oprah porn?"

Katherine immediately said, "You probably should run with that." Then we stood around the dining room trying to think of the most disturbing things one could do with that topic.

I'm actually quite happy with the end result. I haven't tried to write a scene that's "OH GOD NO"-creepy before, so that was interesting. Apparently the scene thoroughly disgusted this round's other two entrants, which I guess means that I accomplished what I set out to accomplish. And I think I struck a nice compromise between sketch structure (funny, Funny, FUNNY!, end) and scenework (hero pursues an objective and faces complications).

It bugs me, though, that I didn't get the structure quite right. The opening scene in the living room works okay -- Matthew's series of reactions amuses me -- but it feels kind of tacked on. And I could have improved the reversal at the end, where I reveal that Chase's Oprah fetish is actually a cover for his roommate fetish. I keep trying to use a sudden twist as a sketch's button, but the twists are never clear enough, or they don't make sense at all.

For this round, Coyote wrote this sketch, and Ken Robertson wrote this one. I laughed out loud at "You watch a lot of shows on that LG HDTV refrigerator at your place?" / "Sometimes!". I also laughed out loud when, at the exact moment when I thought Ken's sketch couldn't get any crazier, the Mayan death god Cizin appeared. Well-played, sirs.

(If anybody wants me to get all detailed and critiquey with their sketchwar entries, lemme know. I may not know what I'm doing w/r/t sketch, but I can easily blather on about sketches in an opinionated fashion.)

On to next week! Once Mr. Porter posts the recap for this week, I'll post about the "learning something new about history" round.