Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Broke is the New Black

New this fall is an ABC comedy series about an affluent African American family living in the 'burbs and trying to retain their cultural identity.

Which got me to thinking, I need to pitch my own series:

Here are a few episode ideas as we follow the Smith family, trying to keep up with the Jones family next door. 

Episode 1: Mary Smith buys her daughter a like-new Vera Bradley backpack on eBay (just like Katie Jones' daughter's) and then realizes the girls are dumping their Bradley bags this year in favor of bohemian satchels. She sells it on a local Facebook trading site and gets $35 for the $85 bag she paid $60 for and vows to eat PB&J for a week to make up for her poor purchase. Meanwhile, Bob Smith takes a second job delivering pizzas in a nearby town (Mary can't take a chance on his delivering to anyone they might know) in order to pay the rent on his boat slip at the marina.

Episode 2: Mary realizes the tuition is due for Sally's private art lessons and her credit card is maxed out so she can't pay it. So, she rifles through Bob Jr.'s closet to borrow $50 from the $76.83 he keeps in a Mason jar. Meanwhile, Bob Sr. puts his childhood baseball card collection on Craig's List to get enough money to pay for Bob Jr.'s hockey uniform.

Episode 3: Mary gets Sally and Bob Jr. to help her "clean the freezer" in hopes of finding something she can thaw for dinner because she doesn't have money in the checking account for groceries. Meanwhile, Bob Sr. stealthily goes through Mary's closet in search of clothes with the tags still on that he can return for cash so he can pay the entry fee for his office's Fantasy Football League. 

Episode 4: Mary tells Katie Jones she's allergic to silver to keep from admitting she doesn't have enough money to buy anything at her Stella & Dot party. Meanwhile, Bob Sr. rifles through Sally's closet to borrow $10 from the $17.25 she keeps in her Princess Anna and Elsa bank, so he can put it under her pillow after she loses her first tooth. 

Episode 5: Mary sends Sally and Bob Jr. out on their bikes to look for a lost Jack Russell after seeing posters in the neighborhood offering a $150 reward. Meanwhile, Bob declares a family 'get in touch with nature' week and turns off the air conditioning in order to lower their utility bill, and everyone is forced to sleep in the backyard playhouse when the house gets too hot.

Episode 6: Mary gets her hair cut for $15 at a beauty school and cries when she ends up with an asymmetrical cut that Bob says makes her look like a transgender indie pop star. Meanwhile, Bob gets a cavity filled at the nearby dental school for free and tries to become a paid sperm donor but is told there's not a market for men with male patterned baldness and excessive congenital moles.

Episode 7: Mary Googles possible ways one can sell a paired organ in order to get the $5,500 she needs for a tummy tuck, and then wonders if she can just have the transplant surgeon remove excess back fat when he takes out a kidney. Meanwhile, Bob Googles the possibility of reversing a dog's neutering, so he can lease out their golden retriever Sooner as a stud to a standard poodle after he hears the Jones family paid $1100 for their goldendoodle puppy.

Episode 8: Mary crashes their Porsche Cayenne into the light pole in the Target parking lot because the lease payment is due and they don't have enough money to pay it. She then sues Target for $50,000 for placing the light pole too close to the cart corral, claiming she didn't see it because she was distracted by the kid using the motorized cart collector. Meanwhile, Bob loses his job delivering pizzas so he sinks his boat in order to collect the insurance money.

Before I pitch Episode 9, the network decides to scrap 'broke•ish because viewers complained that it was "depressing" and "hitting too close to home" and that "anyone knows you can't sell a paired organ for more than $1200." I guess it's back to the drawing board ...

Money Jar image by Darren Barefoot; Lost Dog image by Casey Bisson; Dental image by brillenschlange; Target image by Mike Mozart--all on Flickr.

No comments: