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« Inquiring Minds Want To Know | Main | My Eyes Are Leaking! »

May 18, 2009

Murder Mystery By Numbers

Charles Pratt sits in his office, pondering.

Weeks earlier, he had publicly announced that AMC's main story for May Sweeps would be a murder mystery, killing off a major character. At the time, he had no idea who the victim or murderer would be and figured he'd be able to wing it. After all, he worked alongside the master of winging it. Then he was told that the "May" of May Sweeps was a literal reference to the month of May and not some sort of unintelligible pun, and since April was rapidly drawing to a close, he figured that he needed to get cracking on this murder mystery, which brings us back to the office and the pondering.

He had finally decided on a victim, reasoning that since David Canary had already been on the show for 26 years, the audience had probably had its fill of him. As an added bonus, David Canary does good work even when the writing doesn't deserve it, so his great performance will surely make this awesome story even more awesome.

With the murder part of the equation chosen, he turns his attention to the mystery portion, not fully understanding what it means.

"Hmm. I know! I'll look and see what it says on the internet. The internet has answers for everything."


The very first search result was the intriguingly titled "How to Write a Murder Mystery". "This is fantastic," he exclaims. "It has everything I am going to need! And it says it can be done in just 30 days. I definitely need something that can be done quickly, since we start filming tomorrow." 

The article is even better than he could have hoped for. It has step-by-step instructions for writing a murder mystery!

  • Characters "I have characters!" he says excitedly, scribbling notes furiously.
  • Scenery "They say the scenery should be vivid and frightening. What's more vivid and frightening than a STORM?"
  • Motive "I can do this," he says. "Everyone is going to need a reason to kill Adam. And LOOK! The article even says the motive doesn't have to make sense! This is perfect!"
  • Determination/Patience of the Author "Let's skip this one..."
  • Goal "Emmy Winning Head-Writer Charles Pratt, Jr. has a ring to it, doesn't it?"

With those instructions in mind, he begins to write the greatest murder mystery in Pine Valley history...

"I need suspects. Lots and lots of suspects. Who would want kill Adam?"

He begins a list: Who Would Want To Kill Adam. He then adds And Why? to the end of the title, proud of himself for remembering the motive element.

  • JR: "JR thinks that Adam killed his mother, so of course he'd want to kill him. Just have to make sure not to dwell on the fact that there is literally no proof that Adam killed Dixie except that he once owned a ribbon...Let's also make him JR and angry. Anything can happen when people are drunk and angry!"
  • Krystal: "Adam has completely ruined Krystal's life. I mean...she sold her baby, and spent decades as a con-artist, whore and grifter, and then stole babies and lied about paternity, and lost custody of her daughter because she became addicted to pills and then she went and got the baby she sold and brought her back to Pine Valley and then the daughter found out that she was sold for food and formula and wanted nothing to do with Krystal and while all of this happened, Adam had the nerve to exist! Of course Krystal wants Adam dead!"
  • David: "Adam has ruined everything that David loves. Babe? Dead because of a tornado that Adam almost certainly caused. Marissa? Hates him, sort of because of Adam. Little A? David loves Little A more than anything in the world, so much so that he would murder Little A's other grandfather while Little A is upstairs in the same house."
  • Kendall and Zach: "Kendall and Zach blame Adam for the fact that Ian is dying, and they make a pact that whoever gets a chance first should kill him for revenge, because Adam is literally the person most responsible for Ian's condition. So, so get this--they are going to watch Ian flatline and then immediately run the hell over to the Chandler mansion to kill Adam. With no weapons! HA! Because that's what grieving parents do, they jump ship and let their baby die alone. And then--oh, god, this is good--it will turn out that Ian isn't actually dead, but Kendall and Zach are already gone! And there are no cell phones in Pine Valley to notify them of the fact that their son is alive! BRILLIANT." 
  • Annie "Because she's craaaaaaaazy"

"And THEN," he says, by now fully on a roll, "They will all descend on Adam at ONCE. And they will all find the mansion littered with weapons, which is convenient for those who forgot to bring one of their own. And it will be DARK AND SCARY while all of this is going on. God, this is going to be good. Gosh, this took me longer than I thought it would. I should have this script printed out now, since the actors are on set waiting for it..."


I loved where you had him "remember" the motive element and adding the AND WHY bit to his list. Too funny!!!!

I think he and Guza and Frons are all co-writing their real masterpiece....."How to Destroy a Soap Opera for Dummies"

DOes anyone else think that besides Google, Pratt had an old version of the board game CLUE sitting next to his desk? Then again, that game was more well thought up and complex than this "murder mystery".

"And THEN," he says, by now fully on a roll, "They will all descend on Adam at ONCE. And they will all find the mansion littered with weapons, which is convenient for those who forgot to bring one of their own.

Oh my God. I was just kidding when I said Pratt should imitate PASSIONS!

BWAH!I think he googled old Charlie Chan movies.

Don't forget craaazy Annie turning the lights off and Jesse randomly shooting things in the dark so that Tad could end up shot! I'm sure Pratt thinks that was a mark of brilliance.

Maybe Dr. Jake can bring Adam back from the dead with his magical powers of resurrection?

And if it ends up being like this year, he'll get another Emmy nom or two next year. This man is evil and must be destroyed.

You know, I thought the point of being rich was to have enough money so that you could keep INTRUDERS out of your house!!!!

But the Chandler Mansion is like freaking Grand Central Station. You might as well build a Pine Valley Subway System and use the Chandler Mansion as the main hub.

I was, for my own sanity, on a self-imposed AMC hiatus until a few days ago, cause I just had to see how badly Pratt could eff up Adam Chandler's death.

Turns out it was even worse than my imagination allowed. First of all, you've got half of Pine Valley on the Chandler property -- some of them waving a gun (see security issue -- geez louise Adam, even PALMER has dobermans), you've got Adam standing around in his living room just WAITING to be shot. Which is sad, cause SOB or not, Adam was never DUMB, and you'd think a man with a brain who knew that half the town had threatened to kill him would -- oh, I don't know, hire major SECURITY or something, not just STAND THERE waiting for it like Dick Cheney's hunting partner or something.

Then you've got Jesse, who, sadly, is being turned into your typical dumbass daytime TV cop, barging into the house, pretty much EXPECTING to find Adam dead, then shooting TAD without checking a) who he WAS, and b) if he was ARMED (although Tad did kill a man and never paid for it, so this REALLY doesn't upset me that much).

And OMG, Opal and her psychic catterwalling -- someone shoot HER, please! Cause it's NOT funny or cute, it's annoying and stupid.

This show is dead to me. DEAD TO ME!!!!

*throws barware*

Oooops, wrong show . . . . but the sentiment is still the same.

How in the fucking fuck did this show get nominated for a Daytime Emmy????

Brilliant.. just flipping brillant!!!

I'd be willing to wager my entire meager bank account that you just spent more time thinking about how to write this murder mystery than Pratt did.

Any suck...er, I mean takers, willing to bid against me?

I didn't think it was possible for AMC to get worse than Dixie's death... but after today I think I might have thought wrong.

I didn't watch today. I am boycotting the show. Is Adam definitely dead? Or could Stuart have been the victim?

I could care less about AMC right now. The show is dying a slow and painful death under both Frons and Pratt. Let it die!!!

My money is on Dead Dixie as the killer!

"My money is on Dead Dixie as the killer!"

Darling, wrong show. You're thinking Diego and that'd be two doors down at Pratt's bff of daytime show killers, Bob Guza. :)

My money is that it's Stuart. Just cause it's the type of thing that Pratt would think was a HUGE twist even though most people could see it from ten miles away without binoculars. *eye roll*

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