Possible TV Series

This hidden page contains information on some potential TV series. Three of them have intro scenes written. One even has 7 minutes of what we shot in Mexico as the first episode of a web series in Spanish. The following are not meant to show the fullness of the stories or the writing, but rather the potential for development. They could also be shot as films. In any case, these projects all require cultural knowledge beyond what I possess, and I do not plan to pursue them on my own.

END OF TEARS — Drama

What if we could re-examine Native American life—past and present—in a blending of history and fiction that celebrates the fullness of present life as well as remembering the past?

A teenage Native American male named R.B., is in an old abandoned pickup truck filled with steam. In a shamanic vision, He was seeing Indians on the “trail of tears” nearly 200 years ago. His friends and sister break into the truck and haul him out, fearing he will get hurt. His sister threatens her brother never to do such a stupid thing again. She orders the others to dismantle the “sweat lodge.” While they are doing so, R.B. notices that a necklace worn by his sister is the same as the one worn by the old woman in his vision. After doing some research and speaking with nearly forgotten elders, Joseph finds a safer way to see the past. (I myself have had experiences using various forms of breathwork that seemed to be related to Native American past experiences.) His visions of earlier Indian history help him and his friends deal with problems of life on and off the reservation today. His sister can also be a part of this exploration. In fact, the roles could easily be switched, so that the sister makes the “sweat lodge truck,” and the brother discovers her in it. The format of the series allows us to explore anywhere, anytime in the history of Native American people, and relate it to their present situation.

Status: Here is the 6-page intro. This could also be written as a film. In any case, I feel it’s not for me to write, but I wonder if some Native American writers might be interested in developing a story based on the concept. This script is one of the first things I ever wrote, and it is not polished, but it’s enough to convey the concept.

PANCHO & VICTORIA (working title) — Comedy/Drama, Magical Realism

No one can really prove whether this unassuming high school janitor is a brujo (witch). But after he appears to raise a young car accident victim from the dead, people are bound to pay closer attention.

Don Francisco [“Pancho”] is a high school janitor in a Latino neighborhood. He’s old, he’s short, and he speaks broken English. He sips his “poción” from a flask. He says he healed Pancho Villa—which would make him about 100 years old. The school bullies call him “brujito” [little witch]. When a kid is hit by a car outside the school and killed, the kids get to find out who Don Francisco really is and what powers he has. Some kids believe, and some don’t. Young Yessica does, and she becomes the apprentice of Pancho’s wife Victoria, the maker of the potions.

Status: Here is the 10-page intro. I would only do this project if there were Latinx writers interested in creating the stories. This could also be done as a film to test the waters first.

MALITAS (“Bad Little Girls”) — Supernatural, Girl Power

When a “good girl” gets her hands on magic, will she use it for good, or will she use it to get revenge on the girls who used that same magic to humiliate her in front of the whole school?

(We shot a 7-minute intro of this in Spanish in Tijuana, Mexico, and I would love to bring in some Latino writers for a version in English set in a U.S. border town.)

13-year-old Xochi runs into the popular girls, Katia and Monica, at the street market, and in an effort to fit in with them, she becomes involved in the theft of the fortune teller’s jewel. When it turns out that the jewel has magical powers, Xochi‘s life is turned upside down when Katia and Monica start using the jewel for their own malicious fun. In the meantime, the furious fortuneteller vows to take revenge on all of the girls. Throughout the series, the jewel changes hands, and loyalties shift.

Status: First 17 pages written. This could also be made as a film. It could be set in Mexico for a Spanish-speaking audience, or set in the American Southwest, in English.

Here are the First 17 pages. (in English)
Watch the ORIGINAL MALITAS (7 minutes, Spanish with English subtitles).

MOJAVE VIPER — Comedy/Drama

In the Mojave Desert there are replica Afghan villages complete with pretend insurgents and villagers so soldiers can practice before they go to a real war. Sounds like fun, right? (Based on an actual U.S. military program.)

Replica Afghan and Iraqi villages in the Mojave Desert…that’s a unique and fascinating world! This series will follow young soldiers as they train to do their duty without hurting innocent civilians. These villages have actual schools, mosques, and markets. There are weddings. There are insurgents and civilian collaborators. There are bomb threats. A soldier can be captured if he wanders away from his squad. Most of the action—including occasional live explosives (once an Army dog was accidentally blown up on the real base) and “blood rooms” dealing with injuries—will take place on the base. But we think it would also be interesting to see what happens sometimes when the exercise is over, and soldiers and civilians mix in the nearby local towns. In the same way that M*A*S*H explored issues of war through humor, this series will explore the human side of being a soldier—or a civilian—in today’s “forever wars.” (This show is not a documentary. It is a fictionalized story based on real places and real events.)

Status: I’ve collected stories from two civilians who worked on the Mojave Viper base as a “cafe owner” and an “insurgent,” respectively. I have three veteran advisors on board who did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan: an Army medic, an Army paratrooper, and the Marine commander whose troops—through a bureaucratic screwup—spent more time at Mojave Viper than any other group. There are also Army bases similar to this—one on the southeastern U.S.—so it could be shot either in a desert or a forested location.