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Monday, January 17, 2011

Cheap Boys on the Verge

Many years ago, at the end of the long running sitcom, which I cannot name because I do not own it, a former cast member and I created a spin-off series entitled “Cheap Boys on the Verge,” inspired of course by Pedro Almodovar’s “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.” My friend was a triple threat: a director, an actor and a screenwriter. He was one of the main casts of the old sitcom while I was just one of the supporting characters, the token brunette/wallflower, but I was definitely not the Phoebe nor the Chandler nor the Carrie, nor the Will nor the Grace nor the Karen and I think you get the point. 

The series started as a New Year’s Eve special. The pilot episode was set in an old café in Manila; our characters were the only Filipinos in the famous Manila establishment.  Most of the clients were foreigners greeting the New Year. It was December 31, 2004 and we were just hours away to welcome 2005.  Our characters decided to take on different personas to blend with the expats that littered the place. We became eastern Europeans with Oscar winning accents.  We ordered wine and foreign sounding dishes, and began reminiscing about our lives in Eastern Europe, and as we chatter by the table with a single candle as our light, brilliantly photographed of course by John Toll, the scene changed and we were back in Prague, attending an art school under the oppressive communist government.  I am not at liberty to discuss the rest of the episode because I do not solely own the copyright to this series.  However, to make it short, the series became a cult classic, especially to those intelligent insomniacs, who perhaps were the only people who might have seen it.  The series ran for 3 years with less than 10 episodes per year. After 3 years, my good friend and I decided to call it quits. I focused on going back to writing while he experimented into full length independent cinema.   

Gargoyle on Saint Vitus Cathedral in Pargue
Image Taken from Wikimedia Commons.
From time to time, we talk about our forgotten series and what has happened to our once avid viewers.  We entertained the idea of reviving it but we were not in our twenties anymore.  It would ruin the entire concept of the show if we try playing our old sitcom characters. But I do remember my first line, “My name is Pavel; I’m from Prague but we call it Praha in my country,” (complete with an authentic Czech accent). Then, the screen faded to red, and you see me, with a hat and a red scarf, on a train heading to Moscow, Russia. 
How I miss that series.

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