Back in September, 2016, I raved here about a new show on NBC called The Good Place. I didn't expect it to last, since it was so wildly clever and unique. But it did catch on, and has made it through two limited-episode seasons,
Last year, they had a huge and hilarious twist. And to deal with it they did an episode in which the world had to be "rebooted" countless times, somewhat like Groundhog Day, but on steroids. The world of the show had to be different each time, and that meant (now famously) they needed different names for the restaurants there, all of which were food puns. It turned out that all the puns -- which were all a hoot -- came from the writer of that episode, Megan Amram. Like "The Pesto's Yet to Come," "Lasanga Come Out Tomorrow," "Cake Canaveral," "Beignet and the Jets" and MUCH more. The series' creator Michael Schur talked about that in an interview --
"I actually think, no joke, her brain is like the computer in Lost where if you didn’t enter the code and press enter every like 100 minutes or whatever else, the world would end. That’s Megan’s brain with puns. If Megan doesn’t make a pun every 37 minutes, her brain will overheat and her head will explode and she’ll die. That’s the only possible explanation for how many puns Megan makes out loud and on Twitter every day."
But it was more bizarre than just that. Because it wasn't that she came up with the 20-30 food puns needed for all the restaurants in the episode. Oh, no, that would have been much too easy. Especially if your brain is like the computer in Lost with puns. Schur explained what happened --
"This is not an exaggeration: Megan, in that section of the script, included a giant paragraph full of puns for different kind of names of different kinds of ethnic restaurants. I think it went on for six or seven pages. It just went on and on and on. Partially she was doing it to lean into her stereotype as a person who loves puns. But also, it was just straight-up impressive."
As proof, here's a mere partial list that Megan Amram posted on her Twitter feed. I can't help but mention two at the very top, "Penne for Your Thoughts" and "Pasta Expiration Date". This is a bizarre and incredibly clever writer, folks. I mean, who comes up with "We Ciabatta Zoo"?? And this is just the freaking abbreviated list!!!! --
All of which is just a very long lead-in to a six-episode webseries that the inveterate Chris Dunn told me about. It's titled, An Emmy for Megan, that Megan Amram wrote, directed and stars in. The point behind it is that Ms. Amram learned that there is an Emmy Award presented for Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy and Drama Series -- and she wants to win one. And the rules to qualify are really easy -- basically there have to be six episodes, and it has to be submitted by April 27. And so, we have six, short episodes of An Emmy for Megan -- in which she shamelessly does everything possible that she can to win over Emmy voters.
It's short, about 28 minutes in all, very low budget (though well-done), with some Emmy winners and recognizable actors (including a couple from The Good Place) along for the ride.
To get you started, here's the first episode, that largely sets up the whole thing.
And if you're interested in watching the remaining five episodes, about another whopping 22 minutes, you can catch them all here, at An Emmy for Megan.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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