I am addicted to House. In fact, I consider Sunday nights date night with my television because a double-header of House reruns are on USA Network, and Hugh Laurie always puts out. Actually, it's the series' writers who always give me what I need. The show is consistently uncomfortable, intelligent, funny, and original (though I've noticed an over-reliance on chelation in season 4). It's the best detective show on the air, and millions of people, like me, can't get enough.
The genius of the show is the central character, Dr. Gregory House, played by Hugh Laurie. (My friend Julia Buckley says she has a hard time adjusting to his American accent but we both agree that he is perfectly cast.) His character is eminently unlikable and doesn't care, which makes him fascinating. He doesn't run with the herd yet he manages to succeed, and we all want to know why.
During a recent Sunday House juggernaut, I was flipping stations during a commercial and ended up on the Discovery channel, which, as usual, was covering something really gross. I watched long enough to get the gist and flitted to E!, which was airing The Girls Next Door. One of the ladies was having a problem due to her enhancement surgery. I switched back to House, which was now on, and an idea began niggling at me. There was a thread connecting these three shows. So, I turned back to the Discovery channel, back to The Girls Next Door, back to House, back to the Discovery channel, back to The Girls Next Door, and voila: I had a thrilling idea for a House episode--there'd be the central medical drama thanks to what I'd just seen on Discovery, continued character development in line with the direction of the series, and the humor that holds the show together, inspired by the "issue" I'd caught on The Girls Next Door (thanks, fake boobs). Talk about a strange stew.
As I sketched my ideas, I started to imagine what it would be like to write words that other people act out, to create characters that real people slip into like suits. I'm a novelist, and the words I write are meant to stay on the page, a note from me to you. But to write a script? I was taken with the idea. The television writers I have heard speak and those writers I know whose books were lucky enough to be turned into movies grumble at the experience--too many cooks spoiling your broth--but I thrive on collaboration.
So I've begun a teleplay for the House episode burbling in my head. I own one book on writing teleplays, penned by Lee Goldberg, and in it, he assures me I'd have better luck turning water into wine than selling a teleplay on spec, but that's true of any fiction writing, right? It's not a business venture for the practical.
In that vein, anyone have advice for me on writing teleplays, or the phone number for David Shore, the head writer and showrunner for House?