Writer's blog: Season 3, episode 5
by Gavin Strawhan
Okay, episode 5 so soon already and I have a confession to
make. Sitting around a table in the 'writers' room' can make
us a wee bit cruel.
Hard to believe, I know, as we're such sweet, kind people. (Yeah, right). But I have to admit there are times when the impulse to have something rotten happen to one of our characters is a prime motivator for coming up with stories.
See, we can either make our characters do a whole of stuff, or we can have a whole lot of stuff happen to them. Usually the best stories happen when driven by the characters - ie by something a character wants - but every now and then you need to throw something new into the works. And sometimes it's quite good when you can intersect what a character wants with something external that happens to them.
So for ep 5 we thought about Kevin's quest to have a kid, which
is really all about having a family.
It's especially important to Kevin because he's an orphan. Then we thought, wouldn't it be interesting if someone turned up claiming to be related. So Kevin has an instant family. We felt this was a good way to move on Kevin's quest a little without doing 'will Kevin manage to knock someone up' week after week.
It was clear that the first decision we had to make was - is this relative really related or not? Pretty soon we decided it was too soapie and unbelievable that anyone would show up claiming to be a relative when they weren't.
And we didn't want to make them evil or villainous (because it
doesn't feel like our good hearted show) but if they just turned up
without an ulterior motive and were really nice, well, that's a bit
So then we thought, gosh, it's been a while since some of our girls had any horizontal action - what if Kevin's relative is a young stud and works his way through Kevin's female friends?
So Shane came into being. We decided to make him friendly, good looking, brilliant at getting on with people and telling them what they wanted to hear. And we made him a fantastically successful Stickman, but not sleazy. Because Shane genuinely loves women - as many and as often as he can&
Along the way we had a lot of fun coming up with a back-story to explain why Kevin didn't know about Shane. In the end we decided to keep it simple and truthful. We all knew stories about family feuds where the reason for the feud is incredibly trivial or lost in the mists of time. We deliberately don't make a big deal out of it.
But I did think it was quite sweet that Kevin and Shane spend the day catching up on all the things they didn't get to do when they were growing up.
The real trick was to hold off Cody and Olivia from finding out
that they had both done Shane until after he's hooked up with
I love the scene where Britta comes to break the news about Angelina and all is revealed. And I think it's great our guys don't get pissed off with each other. First they are a little stunned, then they are amused and then Cody is worried for Angelina. That all felt quite truthful to me.
But the bit I like the best, because I'm a big sook as well as cruel, is how the friends all decide to band together and not tell Kevin about his cousin's less salubrious side because this shows how, in the end, that Kevin already has a family: his friends. Aw& (**)
At the same time, we thought we'd develop the family theme of Cody's quest by giving her more motivation to pull out the stops in taking care of her family. Having Possum picked up for shoplifting seemed a good way to put Cody under pressure. She needs more money. And she thinks that the mysterious NSB (played by the lovely Roy Snow) might hold the key. But she's having mixed feelings about him, to say the least.
This is all leading to possibly the most important, and certainly the most revealing moment in the episode. The moment when Cody squeezes herself into the FOOB - the fashion boob. For this tip we are indebted to the gorgeous Jody Malloy who was storylining with us at the time.
But I have to own up and admit that NSB saying (in Cody's imagination) "Woah, that's an impressive set of nungas you've got there" was all my own work.
Okay, so we leave Shane having moved on from our girls to Angelina& and Kevin none the wiser& and Cody having declined a 'nightcap' with NSB but still getting the contract&
Next week our girls will try and vanquish Shane before Kevin learns the truth about his cousin - as Kevin faces his 30th birthday with dread - and Olivia has to face up to some realities about her condition.