On the Importance of Laughter
I want to talk about tone for a bit here.
In the process of pitching, selling and/or explaining Streets of Myth, I’ve largely focused on the action and drama. I’ve avoided bringing up humour or anything like it out of fear. Fear that if I said anything that implied this was fun, most people would assume we were making a chop socky mash-up like Kill Bill or an outright comedy like Kung Fury.
And no, as cool as those are, that’s not what we’re doing.
But I think I may have undersold that, like any great TV show, Streets of Myth will be fun to watch. Or at least, that’s the idea. Any great story, from an anecdote about your day at work to 1,000 page novels will have humour in it. Did you know, for example, that Hamlet is hilarious? I didn't until I saw it put on by the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Even if a story is mostly sweat-inducing intensity, there needs* to be somewhere for the audience to catch their breath, some calm or quiet; some joy or laughter to let everything soak in before you drop the hammer back down.
That’s been a strength of EVERY “greatest show ever” from the last decade. If you’ve seen The Sopranos or Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad, you’re just as likely to remember a great one-liner as you are to remember the butterflies in your stomach at a particularly tense moment. Just as one example, let’s look back at Game of Thrones famous “Blackwater” episode from their second season.
While certainly not as white-knuckle horrifying as the red wedding, this episode is pretty intense, focusing entirely on the siege of the fictional capital city of King's Landing. The body count is high and characters you like are in serious danger (which in this particular show is even scarier than usual). But what do I remember most about this episode? Drunk Cersei’s spiteful, hilarious ramblings in between the carnage and Tyrion’s casual, tension-diffusing “Let’s go and kill them!” punctuation mark at the end of an otherwise ass-kicking speech.
In Streets of Myth, we have a lot of character-based comedy in the dialogue, usually to diffuse the tension… just like all of the gags in “Blackwater”. In the excerpt below, from page 3 of “The King’s Arms”, we have straight-talking pub regular John Holloway finding out that they’re going to have an unexpected visitor...
So, I hope you enjoyed that script excerpt and that we here in the Offices of Myth keep having fun producing this show.
Until next time... keep smiling.
*I should point out there are a few films, books, plays, etc that have no sense of humour at all and are great, but those are the exceptions.