Ode to TV Tropes

One of my absolute favorite websites on the Internet is TV Tropes.  TV Tropes, whose full name is Television Tropes and Idioms, is a wiki that is devoted to cataloging various types of narrative devices, or tropes as they call them.  Despite its name, it not devoted solely to tropes from TV; it covers tropes from literature, film, music, comic books, video games legends, folklore, mythology, religion, the Internet and real life.

The site first began as a collection of tropes from the popular series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in 2004.  In the nine years since, TV Tropes expand tremendously to all types of media.

I first began using the site regularly in about late 2010.  I was so entranced by it.  There was so much information on various shows and movies that I had never found anywhere else; it most certainly was not on Wikipedia (which TV Tropes calls “The Other Wiki”).  It was also a good place to learn about narrative tropes and help aid writers in developing plot occurrences and characters.  I am happy that it helped give me direction in the development of one of my characters, Riley Diamond I used the trope called Cloudcuckoolander, which denotes a character who is odd and seemingly out of touch with reality.  I’ve since used the site to help develop other tropes in my other ideas.

I cannot say enough good things about it.  However, I will point out that due to the fact that it is a wiki, and therefore, can be edited by anybody, it is not suitable for academic research for essays and the like, just like Wikipedia.  Not to mention, it has very few sources, and therefore, it has almost no verification of the information listed.  However, much of the information can be confirmed by viewing or reading the media discussed.

However, the main strength of TV Tropes is its community of lovers of all type of media and wealth of perspectives.

I plan on devoting several future posts to various tropes listed on TV Tropes, but for now, I will briefly discuss a few of my favorite entries.

Your Mileage May Vary or YMMV

This focuses on tropes that are subjective.  They may involve differences of opinions on characters such as whether a character is unlikable or whether a plot element is weak or strong.

Designated Heroes and Designated Villains

These are YMMV tropes.  They refer to characters who are intended by the writers to be heroes or villains but who are perceived as unlikable or even villainous in the cases of designated heroes or likable, sympathetic, and even heroic in the cases of designated villains.  This often happens because writers do not realize that they are making their heroes unlikable or their villains likable.

Cloudcukoolander

As mentioned above, this a character who does odd things, and who seems to have his or her head in the clouds, so to speak.

Alpha Bitch

This character is mean girl of the school.  She does everything to assert her popularity and make the lives of the so-called unpopular kids a living hell.

What an Idiot

Another YMMV trope, this refers to characters who something that causes the audience or reader to think or say “What an Idiot.”  Many of examples listed on the site are structures as follows.

Situation

You’d Expect:

Instead:

Non Singing Voice

This refers to a phenomena that has mostly died out in musical films where if the actors did not have suitable singing voices, either in general or for the material at hand, then professional singer would record their musical numbers, and it is the singer’s voice, not the actor’s voice, heard during the musical numbers.  Occasionally, as in the film versions of the musicals West Side Story, The Sound of Music, and My Fair Lady, certain actors sang their songs only to have them re-recorded by more skilled skilled singers.  This has also happened in various animated musical films of the 1990s, particularly those done by Disney.

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Characters for the Eccentrics

In approximately the fall of 2007, I was a junior in high school.  I developed a new idea for a TV comedy.  It was to focus six teenagers who are what people would consider to be odd.  I titled it The Eccentrics.  I really felt close to the idea because I was and still am the type of person who is “not mainstream” and I felt like I was an outcast in high school, who did not really fit in or belong.  I’ve been thinking about this idea every since then.  I have several episodes memorized in my head.

However, I feel that things are still not good enough.

I feel like that the premise is not original.  I need to come up with a way to give it an original and unique angle.  Also, not all of the main characters are even fully developed.  I still don’t have much of an idea on how to make some of them strange and unique.  I have three girls and three boys as the main characters.  The three girls are well-developed, though I think one of them is too strange to be plausible, especially with her personality and activities; however, the three male characters are not as well-developed as I would like them to be.  Two of the  boys are not very eccentric; the other is well-developed (he is partially based on myself), but I don’t think that he is eccentric enough.

However, I will share my character profiles here in hopes of getting some advice.

Characters for The Eccentrics

CYAN AQUAMARINE BROWN

Cyan is 16, tall, slender, and black.  She is an ultra-intelligent, over-achieving perfectionist, but certainly not one that is ordinary.  Basically, she is obsessed with the color she is named after.  Cyan lives and breathes the color cyan and all of its shades to the point that she dyed her hair cyan, everything piece of clothing, everything in her room her room, every accessory she has is a shade of cyan.  Her obsession, however, makes her something of an outcast among her the other studious students of her school.

Cyan is the oldest of three children.  She has a 14-year-old sister named Magenta.  Magenta has a generally mean demeanor.  She is embarrassed by Cyan and is not shy about putting down Cyan, her friends, or anyone in general.

ANDREW BREWSTER

Andrew is 16, tall, and black.  His passions are books, be they physical books, audio books, or electronic books.  He aspires to be an author and has submitted several manuscripts to publishers, but they have all been rejected.  Andrew has a rather cold demeanor in addition to his own social awkwardness.  He is quiet and stoic; he generally avoids expressing his emotions.  He is very shy and so acts cold and rude towards other people save for his five best friends.  He does this as a defense mechanism, but he does generally have genuine contempt for people he considers to be lowbrow or who in his view waste their lives or are beneath him.

Andrew is raised by a single mom.  She is similar very socially awkward and has generally unsuccessful friendships and romances.  The circumstances under which Andrew was conceived are somewhat unusual.  In college, his mom met his dad.  She was instantly infatuated with him, but because of her quirks and social ineptitude, he continually rejected her advances.  Her obsession for him was so great that she resolved to herself to always have a piece of him.  She spied on him while he was having sex with her girlfriend, and when they left their apartment she snuck in and stole his used condom from the wastebasket so that she would inseminate himself and become pregnant with his child.  However, shortly after getting pregnant she lost contact with Andrew’s dad.  She raised Andrew on her own, and despite often denying it, he wished he could reunite with the dad who never knew he existed and felt a measure of resentment towards his mom.

RILEY DIAMOND

Riley Diamond is 15 and five feet two inches tall.  She was born to a white Jewish dad and a black mom who converted to Judaism.  She has a 12-year-old brother named Zeke.  Riley is to say the least not a normal girl at all.  She is often oblivious of her surroundings and is always in her own little world.  Riley has strange, nonsensical hobbies such as singing songs from cook books, for example, or acting out her dreams or openly imagining poking people to see if something such as chocolate syrup will come out of them or personifying inanimate objects.  She regularly violates social norms and doesn’t seems to understand them.  Her first boyfriend was a boy with freckles and her obsession with counting them and naming them and treating his freckles as individual persons led to the boy and his family to move from Chicago to the suburbs.  Though not judgmental nor arrogant, Riley believes that she is the normal one and everyone else is strange.  Consequently, Riley is be very ditzy, naive, and gullible.  With respect to her gullibility, Riley enjoys helping people who are less unfortunate, but this regularly leads to being scammed; she is so stupid, overly trusting, and out of touch with reality that it is remarkably easy for her to be scammed.  She is so well known in her neighborhood for her gullibility that numerous people try to take advantage of her.

Riley’s relationship with her brother Zeke is a complex one.  Zeke often has to watch out for Riley to make sure her activities and schemes don’t go horribly and fix any damage that she causes.  Zeke often feels resentful of the fact despite being three years younger than Riley, he has to act as a babysitter to her.

IGNACIO “NACHO” RIVERA

Nacho is 15.  He was born to a mother from Mexico and a father from Puerto Rico.  He is fiercely proud of his Mexican and Puerto Rican heritages.  He is girl crazy.

MARISSA NOGALES

Marissa is 14, four feet eleven inches tall, thin, and the daughter of Mexican immigrants.  Marissa is an artist and non-conformist.  She enjoys taking all of the conventions of the world, artistic and otherwise, and totally subverting them.  She creates works of art in a variety of forms such as paintings, sculptures, on the computer and even the clothing she wears.

RODERICK “ROD” HARPER

Rod is 14 and black.  Compared to his friends he is the poorest.  He lives in a housing project, but he is certainly not the type of person one would expect to live in the projects.  (Incidentally, Rod isn’t the type of person you would expect to live anywhere in general.)

 

 

My Master List of Movie, TV, and Book Ideas

I have created a document, stored within the cloud, of most of my ideas.  A few are saved elsewhere in different documents.  These are most of the ones I have come up and am serious about the public seeing one day.  Some ideas exist in different formats. Some do not.  I hope that these are interesting to all of you.  Please comment if you have any questions or thoughts.  I’m sure some of what I have below could use some adjustments.

  1.  A teenage girl (named Samantha) is not allowed to go to a party so she drugs her parents with sleeping pills so that she can sneak out of the house. When she returns home she finds that her parents are dead. I thought about writing this one of three ways.  One way could be that the girl’s parents are quite controlling and never let her leave home alone without one of them or her brother, and she wants a taste of freedom before graduating high school as valedictorian and enrolling in an Ivy League college and after discovering their bodies, she decides to go the police and her lawyer uses her upbringing to defend her when she is being tried.
  2. Another way is that the girl is a bad girl who does all sorts of bad things like smoking, drugs, alcohol, fighting, partying etc., and she drugs them after being put on punishment and banned from attending a party.  When she finds them dead, she buries their bodies in the yard with help (haven’t figured out yet how they help her), and she reinvents herself as a good, responsible, studious girl.  Years later, the girl is about to graduate high and fears that her parents’ bodies will be found; she digs their skeletal remains up and hides them in her school locker where they are discovered when the school does a locker search.  The hiding, moving, and discovery of the bodies could be changed to where the girl has help with the bodies being put in some sort of box and the box is stored in her car which is searched when she is at school.
  3. The third way is identical to the first way except for the fact that her parents’ controlling behavior is downright abusive: they lock her in her room, electronically monitor her, and don’t allow her leave home for months at her time.
  4. The fourth way is that Samantha is obsessed with using social media websites on the Internet.  In fact, her obsession could be considered an addiction.  She uses it all hours of the day, neglecting homework, schoolwork, chores, and all of her other responsibilities.  She doesn’t even socialize with her peers in real life nearly as much as she does on the Internet.  She meets a boy in her class named Johnny, who like is also obsessed with using social media.  Her parents are concerned about Samantha’s behavior.  After taking her to a therapist, they follow the advice of putting Samantha on an Internet curfew.  Samantha is very unhappy about that.  She fears losing contact with her friends and most especially Johnny.  Johnny comes up with an idea.  She could drug her parents so that she can use the Internet past her curfew.  Samantha and Johnny procure sleeping pills that belong to Johnny’s parents.  She bakes them into a cake that she makes for her parents.  After they fall asleep, Samantha logs onto the Internet to make contact with Johnny.  However, something happens.  Samantha wakes up the following morning and discovers that her parents are dead.  She doesn’t know what to do.  She calls Johnny.  He comes over, and they try to come up with a way to fix the situation.  Samantha and Johnny decide to bury her parents’ bodies in the backyard.  After this, they try all they can to make sure that their crime is never exposed.

 

2. A woman in an abusive marriage tries various schemes to kill her husband but only succeeds in killing other people. For example, she decided to shoot her husband when he comes home from work, but when he hears her door open and pulls the trigger she finds that she shot and killed her own child. Later she tries to poison her husband with cookies but mistakenly sends them to her other child’s school where there is a bake sell and ends up killing several of the children as a result. Then she tries to set her home on fire, but her other child is killed along with his friends. Finally she sabotages her husband’s car, but he loans his car to his brother and an accident is caused killing several people as a result including the brother. Eventually the woman is tied to the other murders and tries to use the battered woman’s syndrome defense, but because she killed several innocent people no one has sympathy for her. She pleads guilty to her crimes, but still gets the death penalty. I intend this to represent and symbolize that domestic violence hurts everyone.

In case this seems too implausible (and it is) I thought about changing it where four women each try to kill their husbands only to fail.

 

3. A show about several teen parents. A couple who got married, but the marriage is failing. One couple planned their baby, but hate each other. A girl tries to raise her baby, but the father is a deadbeat. A boy tries to get full custody of his child because the mother is party animal. A girl in an abusive relationship got pregnant because of birth control sabotage. A girl is coerced into giving up her baby by her well-meaning but misguided parents and tries to get her baby back.

 

4. A woman sets up her best friend with a physically abusive man as a form of revenge. The best friend ends up murdered by the man. The woman feels guilty and found a shelter for battered women in her friend’s name. The woman does everything she can to make sure her role in her friend’s death never comes to light.

 

5. This idea is a TV show about the staff members of a high school dealing with the various challenges of educating children while also facing scandals, secrets, corruption,: Lena Johnson, a principal; Keith Johnson, an English teacher and Lena’s husband; Clarice Mitchell, a psychology and sociology teacher; Edmund Sanders, a math teacher; Todd O’Guinness, a history teacher; Jeannette Chan, a guidance counselor; and Michelle Slojinski, a substitute teacher.

Below are some possible storylines:

A dead body is found buried on the school for more than 20 years. The dead body was that of the best friend of the Lena, Judith Anderson. She was killed after her ex-boyfriend pushed her down the stairs and then forced a teacher who witnessed his crime to help him bury body otherwise he would kill her too. Then said teacher comes out of retirement because she is blackmailed because of what she did and left penniless.

Another is one I mentioned above. Clarice and Jeannette take some members of the school’s female wellness group to volunteer at a shelter for battered women.  Todd ends up dating the shelter’s founder, but while drunk she confesses the she founded the shelter out of guilt: She set up her best friend with a physically abusive man as a form of revenge. The best friend ends up murdered by the man. The founder feels guilty and found a shelter for battered women in her friend’s name. The founder does everything she can to make sure her role in her friend’s death never comes to light.  Todd is faced with the dilemma of whether or not to keep her secret.

Best friends Jeannette and Clarice have an argument. Clarice then destroys the Jeannette’s house by chopping down a tree. Jeannette then sets Clarice’s classroom on fire. Their rivalry culminates when both try to destroy each other’s computer’s with viruses which results in all of the computers in the school being rendered useless and results in all of the grades to be re-added up by hand and as a result graduation is delayed. They realize their rivalry has come to affect other people and reconcile. Then they team up with Todd to expose the woman with the shelter and learning of her secret which she told to another teacher who she happened to be dating.

Lena and Keith both work at the school and it begins to wreck their marriage.  They never have time for one another because Lena as principal has to practically deal with all the school’s issues.  When she finally strikes a balance, Keith is also unable to spend time with her because he begins coaching the debate club.  Their lack of time for one another eventually leads to the both of them being unfaithful.

Another is that the principal and her husband and two other teachers have sex in the school. The custodial staff sees this and spreads rumors which then must be stopped.

Lena has a deep dark secret. She was pregnant as a teen and was in an abusive relationship. Her boyfriend forced her to sell her baby.  Lena is haunted by her actions and wonders how her son turned out.

To pay pack her student loans and to be able to continue working on her Master’s degree Clarice decides to bet on school sporting events.  She tries to ensure that the rival school loses by seducing the star basketball player to throw the game. He does not. So she frames him for vandalism since it is believed that without him his team would lose. But the team wins anyway which puts the teacher farther in debt. Then she finds out she is pregnant.

Todd is a stern teacher, but does it as a form of tough love; he genuinely wants his students to learn and understand the material and help them have a good future as educated people.  One of his students, Rose, however doesn’t want to follow his rules.  So she comes up with a plan.  Rose disguises herself as an adult and goes to bar where Todd frequents.  She strikes up a conversation, and they end up sleeping together.  Rose then reveals her true identity and blackmails him, threatening to reveal their sexual encounter to the police unless she does exactly what she wants:  She wants to pass the class with an A, be marked as on time even if she’s tardy, and be marked as present when she ditches class.  The demands become too much for Todd to deal with, so he plants knives in her locker.  The school has a zero tolerance policy for weapons, so Rose gets expelled.  Rose vows revenge.  Years later, the statute of limitations has expired and preventing Todd from being prosecuted.  Rose conspires with her younger sister Daisy who is now one of Todd’s students; they drug Todd so that Daisy can rape him.  Daisy then accuses Todd of raping her.  Todd’s friends must then find a clever way to get Rose and Daisy to admit to their conspiracy.

Due to a scandal at the private school Lena and Keith’s children attended, the school was shut down and now their children attend the school where the series is set.  Their daughter Melanie is pregnant by a boy who attends the school.  Lena and Keith want Melanie to put the baby up for adoption, because they believe that based on her other behavior she is too irresponsible to raise a child.  When they learn the father wants her to have an abortion, they conspire with him to help him convince her to have an abortion.  Melanie, however, finds about and refuses to talk to Keith and Lena and makes it clear that she can’t have an abortion because she is too far along, and she adamantly wants to keep her baby because of the fact Lena was forced to give up her first child when she was a teenager.  Later on, a mysterious person pushes Melanie down the stairs causing her to have a miscarriage.  Melanie immediately blames her child’s father, but he denies doing it and has an alibi.  Melanie, however, is convinced that he’s involved in some way, and so she launches her own investigation.

Meanwhile, Lena and Keith’s son Preston is gay and facing bullying because of it.  He meets another boy in his home economics class and they begin a romance.  The get bullied even worse they become affectionate in public.  Preston and his boyfriend decide to murder the main person that’s bullying them by poisoning a Valentine’s Day chocolate candy gram.  However, the girl delivering the grams decides to eat the one intended for the bully.  She gets sick and dies later that day.  Preston and his boyfriend try to do everything necessary to keep their actions a secret.

6. I thought about putting a twist on the movie the Parent Trap. The film was based on a novel called Lottie and Lisa. Anyway, in this twist the two twins meet at summer camp and discover that after their parents divorced they separated them, but their parents told them lies in addition to never being told of each other’s existence. The twin that stayed with their father was told that her mother was an alcoholic and drug addict who died of an overdose shortly after their divorce. The other twin was told that her mom was abused by her dad and he lost his parental rights. The twins were already furious that they never knew of each other’s existence and are furious when they learn about the other lies their parents told them. They decide to switch places in order to get revenge against their parents.

 

7. Four teenage girls get pregnant. They all decide to keep their babies. Then they find out they got pregnant by the same guy. Since they know that the guy cannot afford to support all of the babies, they decide to have a contest in order to determine who get to keep their baby.

 

8. A woman named Samaria is devastated that her sister Lydia refuses to leave her abusive boyfriend. Then she discovers that her sister committed a major crime. Lydia in the past tried to murder her boyfriend by poisoning him, but a mix-up led to several members of his family being poisoned to death; alternately I might write it where she kills one member of his family or possible one or many members of both of her own extended family. Samaria decides to blackmail her sister into leaving her boyfriend. Lydia leaves him but then starts to feel guilty. Lydia felt that she deserved her boyfriend’s abusive behavior because of her crime, and so she goes back. She also resented her sister for blackmailing her into leaving. Samaria then has to make the decision to expose her Lydia’s crime or just accept the fact that she has chosen to remain in an abusive relationship.  Things get more complicated when Lydia’s boyfriend learns of her crime.

More background: I want to examine the notion of trying to rescue a person by competing with their captor. The woman whom I have named Samaria (Arabic for watch tower; I chose the name for symbolic reasons) has devoted her life to helping battered women trying to teach them how to take control of their own lives. However, when her sister Lydia gets into an abusive relationship, it is more personal to her. She tries to get Lydia to leave her boyfriend, but nothing she does seems to work. Then Samaria discovers Lydia’s secret. As she is trying to comprehend the secret she learns that her sister has been beaten very badly. Samaria sees Lydia at the hospital and she denies that her boyfriend was responsible. Samaria grows desperate and fears that Lydia will end up dead if she does not do anything. She realizes that Lydia is completely controlled by her boyfriend and comes to the conclusion that she must compete with the boyfriend to rescue her sister. Samaria later approaches Lydia and tells her she knows of her secret and threatens to go to the police if she does not leave her boyfriend. Lydia goes along with because she fears life in prison. Over time, Samaria realizes that she is no better than Lydia’s boyfriend and lets her go.

 

 

9. I thought of a twist on the stalker movie genre. A girl is sexually abused by a neighbor. The trauma manifests itself as as an obsessive attraction and she begins stalking him when she becomes a teenager. He does everything to avoid her even turning himself into the police, but she does everything to get to him even following him to prison. I am not sure if there are any characters the audience can empathize with. I thought this could be a cautionary tale.

 

10. A boy catches his dad cheating on his mom. The dad then decided to bribe him into helping him hide the affair. Also, his sister catches his mom cheating and then blackmails her mom.

 

11. i thought of a change for #2. The only difference is instead of one woman trying several times to kill her husband it is four battered women who try to make a pact to kill their respective spouses. Only they all fail.

12.  A man has a phobia of women so he goes to a school that aims to cure people of their phobias. While there he meets a woman with a phobia of men. They fall in love, but at the same time their phobias of one another are standing in their way.

13.  A dad has been over-protective in the past concerning his older teen daughter. She got so fed up and spiteful that she found an older man to be with and ran away with him never to be seen again. The dad blamed himself for being too overprotective. When his younger teen daughter starts dating he tries to be less protective. But when he finds out his daughter and her boyfriend are considering having sex, he is unsure of what to do. He fears that if he tries to stop them from having sex, he will push his daughter away and lose her like he lost his other daughter. Also, he does not want her to not have a dating life.   Therefore, he approaches her boyfriend and offers a deal. If he does not have sex with her daughter he will help him find other girls to have sex with.

I changed some of it, but I was told that is was not better:

The dad simply tries to “protect his daughter’s virtue” by sabotaging her relationships by doing things such as using her boyfriend’s cell phone to send her a mean text message. When she gets another boyfriend he spreads rumors of her cheating on her. When that relationship fails she is single for a while and then finds a new boyfriend he pays his ex girlfriend into claiming that she was abusive towards her. I am wondering if this is any better.

14.  A girl gets pregnant, but she hides it because she fears how her parents react.  She keeps her ultrasounds in her locker.  One day, she accidentally leaves her locker open and someone steals her ultrasounds, makes copies of them, posts them all over the school or sells them.

15.  Luna becomes the school mascot, and becomes more popular than the cheerleading squad.  Luna gets kicked off the team when Hazel, one of the cheerleaders, alerts the coaches that Luna posted sexually provocative photos of herself on Facebook.  Later Luna witnesses Hazel in the girls’ bathroom forcing herself to throw up.  Luna takes pictures of the act with her cell phone and posts the photos all over the school.  Hazel is mortified and initially plans to leave the school.  Luna feels guilty about what she’s done, but Hazel refuses to accept her apology.  Luna decides to that the score must be evened: she posts her sexually-charged Facebook photos all over school.  Everyone forgets about Hazel’s bulimia, and instead ridicules Luna for her photos.

16.  This is to be a TV series targeted towards teens. A girl named Minerva is beginning high school. Her older brother is the quarterback of the football team, and he bullies gay students, much to Minerva’s distress. Later on Minerva learns that her brother is gay, and only bullies gay students because he wants to hide his homosexuality and he has internalized homophobia. Feeling some measure of sympathy, Minerva decides to start a gay-straight alliance at the school in hopes of changing the school’s culture and improving relations between straight and LGBT students and possibly helping her brother feel comfortable enough to come out. But she has many challenges ahead of herself including, but not limited to, students afraid of being perceived as gay, gay students hesitant to come out, school officials reluctant to sponsor and endorse the group, and being bullied, herself for associating with gay classmates.

Possible storylines/characters for the previous paragraph:

-a boy is thought of as gay but is not gay

-a boy is afraid that his conservative immigrant parents will kick him out if they learn that he is gay

-a girl was kicked out by her mother when she came out; she called the police and her mother was arrested for child neglect; now she lives in a group home while her siblings in foster care

-a male-to-female transgender teen faces harassment at her old school when transitioning from a boy to a girl; even worse is that she was not allowed to use the girls’ restrooms and the school would not let her dress as girl on the grounds that it allegedly would cause disruptions; to end this her parents enrolled her in a new school and registered her as a female even though she is still legally male

– one boy who tries to stop himself from being bullied by pretending to attempt suicide. However, his actions only earn him condemnation from the GSA who believes that what he has done is insensitive to teens who killed themselves due to bullying. Now he is isolated from the entire school.

17.  I thought about giving an major overhaul to idea number 1. Samantha is a quirky girl. She has a huge imagination and is obsessed with things such as anime, manga, rubix cubes, and books. Samantha is sheltered. Her parents are so afraid of something bad happening to her, that they rarely let her leave the house and even then she had to be accompanied. She could not have friends unless her parents approved of them AND their parents. She was even home-schooled. Her twin brother Cal, faced none of these restrictions. To cope, Samantha creates her own fantasy world based on her interests, and manages to achieve contentment. Eventually, Samantha is finally freed from her parents grips when she enrolls in college. However, she has very poor social skills which hurt her socially (surprise, surprise). She retreats to her fantasies and attempts use them to find ways to learn to exist in reality.

18.  This idea is about two parents. They have a young daughter who dies when they are involved in a tragic car accident. Quite naturally, they are devastated. As they struggle to deal with their grief, they come to a rather shocking conclusion: they will just go on as if their daughter never existed. They do this because the wife became so depressed that she needed to go to in patient rehab; the husband became an alcoholic.

19.   Antonio and Sandy have twins: named Eden and Simon. Eden is a neurotic high achiever and tries very hard to be the perfect student and daughter. Simon is a slacker and struggles to be responsible in school and life. His parents are constantly on his case, more so than any parent would be even considering his lack of accountability. Antonio and Sandy constantly praise and practically worship Eden, and they berate and insult Simon for his bad behavior. This puts lots of pressure on Eden to be a good student; while on the other hand, Simon becomes so depressed by his parents’ treatment of him that he tries to kill himself. Feeling guilty and fearful that Simon may attempt to take his own life again, Antonio and Sandy start to indulge and praise Simon’s every move while neglecting Eden causing her own self-esteem and success to plummet.

20.  This one is titled, The Busybody.  A New York City socialite named Katie Hammond is frustrated with her life when her husband is transferred by his job, forcing her, him, and their children move to an affluent Chicago suburb; she considers the suburbs boring and the people there creepy on the surface.  Katie decides to become a busybody and meddle in the lives of her new neighbors so that she can write a book about their sordid lives, that she’s sure will become very successful.  While doing research for her book, Katie meets a neighbor named Cynthia Mulcahy who suspects that her best friend Rachel Wycek is being abused by Rachel’s husband Scott.  Katie investigates and learns that Rachel thinks that Scott is gay and is cheating with numerous other men.  Then Katie learns that Scott suspects Rachel of cheating on him.

21.  This one is called, I Hope She Cheats on You with a Basketball Player.  Dr. Ginger Redman is a psychiatrist with an amazing, though not foolproof gift for manipulating people and who gained international fame after she published the self-help book The Subtle Art of Manipulation: How to Get Anybody Anywhere to Do Anything You Want.  The book became a best seller with 60 million copies sold around the world.  Now, Ginger has published a sequel to her book entitled The Subtle Art of Manipulation: How to Get Any Man Anywhere to Do Anything You Want; among the chapters in that book include manipulating men into leaving their current intimate partners, how to convince men to propose marriage, how to convince men to buy women expensive gifts, and getting men to agree to disproportionately large divorce settlements.  It’s also due to be a huge success, but Ginger suffers a setback in her personal life.  Her actor boyfriend, Tommy Jorgensen is having an affair with Sally Van Dyne, a good-natured heiress devoted to various charitable causes, but too stupid to actually contribute anything worthwhile to those causes.  Tommy cheated with Sally because Ginger’s manipulative behavior became unwieldy; he couldn’t deal with the fact that she tried to manipulate him into changing things about him or even to marry her.  Ginger demands that Tommy pick either her or Sally, and so Tommy leaves her for Sally.  Ginger furiously plots revenge.  She has already began writing her next book The Subtle Art of Manipulation: How to Get Any Woman Anywhere to Do Anything You Want; it’s targeted towards women who want to manipulate other women to their own ends, and thus far contains chapters on how to compete with other women when it comes to men.  Ginger decides to befriend Sally and manipulate her into cheating on Tommy with famous basketball player.