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August 2, 2008

The Great Burn Off?

July 30, 2007

So yesterday was the “big” night. “The Two Coreys” premiered on A&E, who after decade of “Murder She Wrote” reruns, look to aim high and become TV Land 2.0. Getting through the show, I felt like a foie gras duck force-swallowing feed while waiting for a PETA lawyer to show up. The interesting bit/almost insurmountable challenge: two new episodes? Two more next week?

Our scripts for “Corey & Corey” were far more ambitious. Most of “The Two Coreys” takes place in a model kitchen. Coreys Haim and Feldman are producers. You don’t just hand two ex-junkies a cache of cash. Too much money spent on “nose props.”

The show opens with a similar montage to our film. Hey, we don’t have a corner on the montage market, but they do use some of the same file images. There are only so many “Bop” spreads to go around. Episode 1 was a Three’s Company-style special-ed textbook “situation comedy.” Haim loves meat! A PETA rep is coming for dinner! Zoinks! In episode two, Haim begins a desperate attempt to write “Lost Boys 2″ with the other (non-Feldman) Frog Brother. In our script Haim looks to revamp ‘License to Drive.’ Close, but not yet a lawsuit. There’s one talking head of Haim’s that’s remarkably similar to Ken’s “chalkboard timeline” exposition rant. Then again, we’re both just talking about the “Lost Boys.” Our script involved inane inventions, Korean investors, and a scene at a Chili’s. Our sets involved Haim living on a land-locked boat, and Feldman shaking with him mom, not his wife. However, the characteristic’s are very similar between the two stars.

But here’s the problem with the A&E show, and with the Coreys:

1) The Coreys are not talented. At all. In the opening credits the narrator introduces Feldman as an actore who “still works in Hollywood.” No, he really doesn’t! Which leads me to…

2) The hubris of these two jamokes will not allow the show to be as funny as it should. For example: in the show Haim comes invited to Feldman’s. Better idea: Feldman goes out to get the paper one day and discovers Haim sleeping in his bushes. Haim needs to CRASH into Feldman’s life. Come on, guys, you ripped off “You, Me, & Dupree,” so you must remember “Wedding Crashers,” right? Better idea: Feldman should be living in a humdrum suburban house in the Valley. Even if that is his real house, it’s not believable. People want to turn on the show and see these guys living in messy bungalows. These guys are burnout cup-rattlers. Feldman should be mowing his lawn and wearing a robe around the house. Feldman needs to be more domesticated, to the point where he’s content in his post-career life. The presumption that he is somehow better off than Haim is absurd. Both should be out of the picture. One just needs to be resigned to the fate.

In our script Haim lied and schemed and scratched to get his way back into the spotlight. In our documentary about the script, we took these two traits (and some of the plots) and layed them as a palimpsest over our own lives (Ken being Haim, I being Feldman).

Then again, you read the comments on the AETV.com site and you realize most viewers can’t tell how fake this show is. That pretty sums up the target market. Our #1 error in all this was hitching our wagon to a couple of mangy squirrels.

Next week it looks like Haim has a heart attack. Now we’re talking funny!

On another note, our plight has gotten a bit of press:
http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6462046.html?q=two+coreys

So It Begins…

July 18, 2007

A&E has posted 1/3 of the premiere of “The Two Coreys.” Objectively, it’s terrible. Putting aside my bias as a person who had an idea stolen, I can at least admit relief after seeing that the parties involved clearly do not have the chutzpah and vision to make the show funny. It was problem Ken and I saw from the very beginning and willfully ignored for the sake of solid scripts: Corey Haim and Corey Feldman are not talented. While writing and pitching the scripts we constantly faced the reality that the two Coreys would not be able to due justice to the material.

The reason lies in the blind hubris of the Coreys. When I talked to Corey Haim on the phone (at his mom’s house) and described our scripts, I described his character as the insane, desperate one, as a foil to the domesticated, resigned Feldman. Haim immediately bristled and I reassured him would could always flip-flop the roles (though we wouldn’t). Sadly, I just wanted to please Corey f’ing Haim and have him push our script into development.

What A&E has developed from our idea is a muddled, tone-less failure. In what in clearly faked “reality”, the Coreys show a complete inability to banter or improv humorously. The aim is “Curb Your Enthusiam”, but A&E ruins it with inevitable injections of VH1 Celebreality. The talking heads in particular crumble any pretenses that this might be “reality.” Why are they being shot against a white background in a studio?

Corey Feldman is delusional. Unable to admit he’s a nobody, the show even refers to him as a “working actor.” Even if that is his real house, it’s unbelievable. Feldman should have been living in a 1970s family ranch in the Valley, not a five bedroom landscaped manse. So what we get with “The Two Coreys” is “You, Me, And Dupree” meets “Flavor Of Love.” It’s truly awful. Mostly because of shit acting. This is why we debating using talented actors to play generic has-beens named “Corey” instead of the real deal. A&E’s show will flop because of shallow reliance on sheer nostalgia and the acting abilities of two complete hacks.

But I’m not bitter…

Coming soon to this blog:

Scripts from our show.

Raking through A&E’s show for any hints of the above.

Commentary Track:

This is a scene from the Final Cut. We always intended to have a scene showing a bit of my “writing process.” The first attempt at this was in my apartment. Quick film tip: apartments are not interesting to look at. So I decided to shoot this in the Lincoln Park Zoo paddle boat pond. Location is half of a movie.

The rice was not, sadly, cooked in an ab-roller/rice cooker. It was purchased at a Chinese joint at the corner of Fullerton and Clark.

My dad had a goat eat his leather coat when he took me to a petting zoo in the late ’70s.

After we finished filming a handful of takes, we paddled around and began to head back to the dock. As we turned to head back there was a goose freaking out, flapping, splashing, and honking. We paddled close and saw that he had his beak jammed into the open end of a Coke can. Blood covered the goose’s face and we tried to calm him to free him. However, the bird was so traumatized, he would not let humans come close. It was probably the saddest thing I’ve seen. This tidbit brought to you by Smokey the Bear.

Commentary Track:

This scene was shot in a park around Wellington and Lincoln in Chicago.

Test audiences felt Ken’s character was too obnoxious and unlikeable. We quickly shot this to show a softer, more reflective side of Ken.

Ken owned the “Corey Feldman Center For The Arts” t-shirt long before we made this movie.

Commentary Track:

Filmed in the back office of closing Barnes & Noble.

The “Where’s Waldo” tie I’m wearing was purchased in high school. I bagged groceries for Publix and we were required to wear ties. I looked for the dumbest ties on the market. This isn’t quite as obnoxious as the one with Wal-Mart trucks. With streaming video, I’m afraid you can’t find Waldo.

You can hear the full studio version of “Wash’d Up ‘N’ Used” over the credits. The lyrics were written by Ken and I. The music was performed primarily by Albert Menudo who recorded under the name “A-Set” for Ken’s Tree Records. Find his music here.

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