& We Got Renewed
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life is like television. I’ve been pretty sure of that recently. Not in a Trumanesque manner but moreso my own personal philosophy that has emerged from trauma-laden ashes. Imagine a pentagram. Draw yourself deeper and deeper into it. Eventually the points leave your field of vision and you’re left with a shape that looks like a room.
This is the stage, where a variety of different characters and shows have their time in the spotlight. Is this your first season?
At least for me this way of viewing the passage of time came from existing in a world where media often exists as a noose to hang yourself with. We become surrounded by it, as it slowly contorts around our bodies and changes us. Life is a cartoon. Death is when you get a cartoon. I think this concept really altered the way I behave, see connections, my life, and ageing. It’s like being in Ynce Iche and I definitely feel marked by it. The first phase of my life ended catastrophically, marking an end to ‘season one’ or ‘series one’. We tried to keep going on the show as long as possible, but production cut it and left me stranded for around two years, and now I am back. Is it ‘season two?’ ‘series two?’ ‘a new generation?’ I have yet to see, it feels all so early to tell. When shit hit the fan only one person from the original cast stayed on set, and they slowly inched off to go with everyone else. I think there’s only a single cast member aside from myself with a level of continuity between both seasons, two if you count the celebrity guest.
Working on set was nice at first, good hours and the entire cast felt like a little family, the camera was always rolling and sometimes there was chemistry that got a lot of laughs out of the audience, I was the favourite character for some, the class clown, the goofster, happy-go-lucky idiot with a heart of gold. Still cracks were always showing in the production. I didn’t agree with other staff members on the direction of the show, some of the jokes I made were ‘too adult’ and made the list for Top Ten FUCKED UP Jokes that Writers Should be SHOT for which caused strain between the other cast members. V was too fetishistic, too pushy, always wanting to get in the hands of other people’s problems. Sure, it sometimes lead to a really good episode of trying to fix a friend’s Nintendo NES and accidentally lubricating it with whipped cream, which was pretty well received by critics, but then the rest of the cast pulls you off stage to explain that was out of line and the prop really WAS one of the costar’s childhood console. You feel uniquely isolated from them all in spite of how very much you are intertwined with them. It isn’t a sitcom without all five of you, right?
all four of you.
apparently one of the members went off to college.
that’s what they tell you at least, they say they were contracted for ten more episodes, and that the four main members can wrap up the last leg of the show while they wait for season 2 to start production.
You try and perform as normal, one episode gets recorded and the air is a bit heavy but everyone is trying to resolve their issues in a nice 30 minute timeslot so they can move on. But then you notice the stain. This splatter all over the wall that was available on the broadcast. People are talking about it, users on the forums are absolutely losing it, and the network is hounding everyone involved. You go back on set the next day and you see it while taping.
Nothing gets resolved, nothing can be resolved. You keep stumbling over your lines and the cast is getting angrier, they start fighting, they learn that you were fucking the person who left and feel they would be better finishing the series off without you. They throw you off stage. You’re watching from the sidelines, catching the last few episodes as they air and the stain is still there. The fighting gets even worse after you left. The last episode airs and the set is in shambles, but the stain is still there. You turn off the TV and it’s still in your field of vision like a floater.
Around a year or two after it all ends you send a text to a group chat where the team used to talk and they’ve all blocked you. The show never gets a second season with the original cast.
You go on living your life and eventually the stain vanishes from your field of vision and new connections sprout up, the rare old one comes back and things go well. You’re approached by an executive in a black suit. They want you on for another season. They won’t tell you when it starts, what happens in it, or who is in the final cast, but one will happen. You were the one to get a second chance. The others? Who knows. They pat you on the back and wish you good luck and a successful season. You kinda wanna kill yourself upon hearing this revelation but you decide to stick through it. One minor character from season 1 comes back and ends up being a major help in the setup of the next season, they say it’ll likely be part of the main cast, and new people in the team are apparently noted fans of your work on the original show. ‘Think of it as a reboot, a clean slate.’
It isn’t. But maybe that doesn’t matter.
You remember a character from a comic series you used to read during the initial tapings, you hid it from the other cast because they despised what it stood for and what it represented, or you never felt safe enough to share it at least. You do your makeup and end up looking a little similar to him. And you have gotten a lot more anxious and jealous, and you’re even a bit of a satanist like he is. At some point you got a girlfriend, a month or two ago. She smokes weed and is pretty stoic, sometimes softspoken and contemplative, she has a weird history with her ex, I guess like you do, but it’s a little different. She seemed like a nice enough girl, and can make a pretty accurate recreation of Surge if taught. You often feel a little inferior to her.
You snap out of it and slam the comic shut and throw it back under your bed. You need to go out for a walk, maybe start smoking again.