TV Guide Remix: Bananas gone bad

When I first browsed the DS106 bank of writing assignments, the TV Guide Remix appealed immediately:

Take an existing movie or television show and change the writing of the synopsis in a way where it’s still factually correct, yet the storyline feels drastically different.

I think the appeal had a lot to do with the  brilliantly executed example displayed by the submitter, Tim Owens:

TVGuideRemix_Ozexample< go on, click it. you won’t regret it.

I immediately decided I’d remix one of my 2 yr old’s fave shows: Octonauts / Bananas in Pyjamas / Fireman Sam. I was tossing up between Octonauts and Bananas when, last week I sat down with him to watch an epi of Bananas – “The Cushion”. As the episode unfolded, I thought it would be a good candidate for the Remix. Here is the original synopsis from the ABC website:

Episode 13 – The Cushion

The Bananas spill some juice on one of Bernard’s cushions and everything they do to try and clean it only makes things worse.

Sounds innocent enough, right? What this synopsis doesn’t tell you is that the Bananas, on realising they’d stained the cushion, actually escape out Bernard’s lounge room window (while he’s busy making their lunch), and enlist the help of the teddies in an attempt to clean and return it without Bernard noticing. Pretty sneaky: pretty much collusion to cover up property damage, if you ask me!

So this is the angle I played on. And here is my remixed synopsis (executed as an on-screen tv program guide):

DS106 WritingAssign772 TV Guide Remix

The writing process: decisions, decisions

Once I’d decided on the angle, I needed to determine style and tone. I started thinking of genres as far removed from children’s tv as possible. Horror? Crime? Drama? Thriller? I decided serious adult drama with a dark and sinister subplot. Think Dexter, or thereabouts.

Now, for the writing. The biggest challenge was how to refer to the protagonists – two giant bananas – in the context of this genre. Giant fruit references were out. As was using their ‘real’ names ‘B1’ and ‘B2’.

Finally, I remembered reading character descriptions on the ABC2 website with aforementioned 2 yr old, which referred to the Bananas as twins. “The twins”: perfect. Everyone knows that twins are freaky and slightly occultish. (For all the outraged twins out there reading this: don’t fret, I’m one of You. Yes, I’m a twin. So, naturally I’m allowed to say these things without fear of retribution).

After that, it was pretty easy – just a matter of dressing up the plot in the language of collusion & cover up.  Had to include the phrase “web of lies and deception” (natch), and “spilling juice on one of Bernard’s cushions” became “a reckless act of destruction”. Then: voila – done!

If you’re interested in how I created the graphic, see this post for a tutorial.

So…this was my first DS106 asssignment. And a helluva lot of fun it was too.

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