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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Thoughts on Spies, Mom's Tea, and Hey Arnold

I was watching the movie, Killers with Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher. It's one of many spy rom-coms.

Everyone knows being a spy isn't as romantic or funny. More than likely, it's dangerous, anxiety inducing, and is about never knowing when your last day will be. With witty dialogue, impeccable timing and a score of actors and actresses, it's easy to think that discovering your spouse is really a secret agent, would lead to some rather hilarious interactions - potentially something like Mr. and Mrs. Smith or plenty of moments in the previously mentioned film.

No one probably wants to think of the dark side of those movies. The fact that there are people that are trained to kill and are given "missions" to assassinate those that could harm a country's freedom and sanctity.

People want to be entertained. They don't want to accept that people really do lose their lives to protect their country from those that want to harm it. So despite how strange it is that espionage romantic comedies exist, they perform their purpose. Entertainment.

My mom is pretty routine. She always drinks either tea or decaf coffee in the morning. I'm not here when she consumes breakfast, but I generally can figure out what she drinks.

In high school during the summer, my mom would of course be out in her office working. I'd spend my time either video gaming, reading, or on my computer. And despite the fact she'd be in her office most of the day, I'd see her a lot - and no, that's not just for meals.

She makes her tea/coffee/mocha mix drink in the morning using our hot pot to boil water faster than our stove top kettle. During breakfast she consumes her drink of choice along with her vitamins and then heads out to the office. Hours later, she's back inside to grab lunch, a snack, use the bathroom or check on me. Her cup will remain on the table, definitely cold. Snagging it off the table, she'll heat it up in the microwave and disappear back to her office.

Much, much later, I'll go to heat something up in the microwave and discover her cup; once again cold and still placed on the rotating glass plate. I always figure out what she's had to drink with breakfast.


Hey Arnold has always been an intriguing cartoon on Nickelodeon. It's a shame they removed it from their network - although thankfully it's on Netflix - as it's something I talk about often with coworkers and friends on Twitter. I'll probably talk about Hey Arnold on multiple occasions because there's really so many things to think about, but for tonight, I want to ramble about the writing.

Arnold is an optimistic fourth grader at an inner city school. He's got a wide variety of friends, classmates and kids he regularly interacts with. Living in a boarding house run by his grandparents, he lives in a spacious attic - who doesn't want that attic? - and spends a great deal of time there when not on some city adventure. But wait... he lives with his grandparents? Huh, I wonder what happened to his parents? Perhaps they passed away in a car accident, or were murdered when he was a baby.

Actually, they spent two episodes telling the story of Arnold's parents - one that was 30 minutes while the other was an hour special. They were adventurers, his dad, Miles, being a anthropologist, and his mom, Stella, a doctor and botanist. He was born during the an eruption of a volcano in the San Lorenzo jungle. His parents were bringing medicine to the natives to cure them of a mysterious illness. When Arnold was probably one or two, his parents were asked to return to San Lorenzo because the mysterious illness had returned. Thus, he was left with his grandparents.

The Journal was the last episode, telling the story of his parents meeting, their marriage and their disappearance. Even though there was a movie, it was about Arnold and his best friend saving his neighborhood from demolition. Apparently, there was supposed to be a second movie - with ties to the last episode - in which Arnold would venture to the jungle to find his parents (and apparently return Helga's infatuation with him).

I desperately want the second movie to come out, even though it's long been cancelled. Sure, I love ambiguity as much as the next writer; the amount of creativity that leaves for others to write their own ending is fantastic. But I also want closure to a character I was fully invested in as a child. Which is why I want to write a script for a live-action television series. Whether it was a look at their college lives, or perhaps a continuation of the show, I'm not sure. Either way, that would be fantastic to see that body of work come to life and write my own form of closure for the show.

Besides, they're already doing a live-action of The Fairy Oddparents, and that show was pretty damn terrible; I think Nickelodeon could stand to hear my pitch about Hey Arnold.

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