1135 – Wrapping up Nuns in Space
Lets put you and this series to bed with a fuzzy look back at how it all came together in a cloudy delusional way.
- Holy Navel-Gazing
- Listener Flavor Profiles
- Firewalled from Continuity
- Robert Rodriguez
- Little House on the Prairie
Notable Talking Points:
- When the Big Box Bookstores came to town
- Nuns + Demigod Powers + Delusion
- Wants vs Needs
Episode 1135 – Wrapping up Nuns in Space
[START OF RECORDING]
SCOOTER (INTRO): Hey, are you up all night tossing, turning, mind racing? Trouble getting to sleep? Trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome. This is Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. We do it with a bedtime story. Alls you need to do is get in bed, turn out the lights, and press Play. I’m gonna do the rest. What I’m going to attempt to do is create a safe place where you could set aside whatever’s keeping you awake, whether it’s thoughts, things on your mind, thoughts about today, yesterday, tomorrow, all those things forty years ago, five years ago, five year…thoughts about the past, the present, or the future, feelings, anything coming up for you emotionally related to those thoughts or feelings.
So, if anything feeling…anything you’re dealing with physically that’s coming up that you’re experiencing, anything on the schedule, it could be guests, it could be travel, changes in time, temperature, routine, you could have something big coming up or something big going on. Whatever it is, I’m here to keep you company and take your mind off of that. Now, the reminder, that part of the show where I just brought it all up, that doesn’t work for everybody. But the reason I bring it up is the reason I make the show and so many people are listening along whether you’re new, but there’s so many regular listeners listening right now with you, and the most…well, this is the second-most important thing I could tell you, which I already said once, but it’s like well, not everyone…not all of us know exactly what you’re going through.
A lot of us can probably…or more than likely, there’s people out there that can relate to how it feels in the deep, dark night. I don’t know if that means pseudo…what this is…non-pseudo loneliness or whatever. I don’t know, but…and…’cause everything’s happening at different times and ones and zeroes and all that. But even in…between those ones and zeroes, that’s the truth, is there’s feelings connecting us. I don’t know how it happens, but there’s other people listening right at this moment, and they know how it feels. Or they could probably say oh yeah, well, I felt this and I dealt with this. So, whatever it is you’re going through, there’s somebody nodding along right now saying yeah, I’m going through something, Scoots.
Maybe it feels a little bit better to know…you might be the only person going through it, but there’s other people out there that say oh yeah, I know that doesn’t feel good and it’s tough. So, that’s why I remind you of it, is to say hey, you’re going through it, whatever’s keeping you awake. But the other side of that coin or whatever is that you deserve a good night’s sleep. You deserve a place you could rest, you deserve a bedtime you could look forward to or feel neutral about. So, that’s why we make the show, is those two reasons. Now, this podcast does not work for everybody, and for most people it works for, it takes a few tries.
Like I say on every intro, I’ve gotten probably a million messages that said hey, it took two or three tries for me to get used to the show ‘cause I didn’t get it, I didn’t like it, or I…there’s a…now, if you already have a certain level of disliking me and the podcast, sleepwithmepodcast.com/nothankyou. But even so, give it a try and see how it goes, ‘cause that’s why the show exists. You deserve a good night’s sleep or a bedtime you could look forward to and say well, at least I got that rambling kinda incoherent babbler or whatever, the wrapping paper…he does rap on wrapping paper, and I can’t even imagine…and you’re right; when I wrap a gift, it looks exactly like what you would image it would look like.
I’m guessing this episode’s coming out around the holiday season, but I’m not positive, so…I’m not recording it in the holiday season, but whatever. So, what I’ll do is I’ll send my voice across the deep, dark night. I’ll use lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones, pointless meanders, and superfluous tangents, which you’ve kinda seen already. I go off-topic, I get mixed up, I misspeak, then I remember something else, then I say wait a second, what about that wrapping paper stuff? Believe it or not, that’s also what it looks like when I’m wrapping gifts, is…first of all, I say I know I have a cache of wrapping paper somewhere, probably smushed in a corner of the closet or some other storage area where the tube’s bent and pushed up against things.
The only time I remember those is not in the holiday…not in the wrapping season. I probably talked about this before; I know I’m supposed to get to the intro, but there was…for a while…I mean, I think this was when I was in college and I had a job. There was a bookstore. It wasn’t one of the big bookstores. It no longer exists. I think it was called Brenatan…not like Benetton; that was a clothing store. But I think it was something like Bren…Brena-something’s. If you bought a book there, they would gift-wrapped it…gift-wrap it nicely for free. Now, it all came in a green wrapping paper, or emerald, I’d say, with gold stuff. Not real gold. So, I’d buy the majority of my gifts there because…say, they…I remember when somebody told me about it, some other kid. Maybe it was even at high school.
They said, they’ll wrap the gift for free there. Think of the savings. It wasn’t…it was just about…anyway, I don’t know. That doesn’t…believe it or not, that company didn’t last and I think they were gone before even online shopping, probably. I don’t know. But yeah, ‘cause that’s probably when the big box bookstores came to the mall. ‘Cause it used to be there was that bookstore, then there was Waldenbooks, and I think those were probably…think about those; that was a different time. This might have been the nineties and the aughts, early aughts. There was enough mall book business to have usually two bookstores, at least. A lot of times there was a used bookstore, too. Oh boy, right…to talk about navel-gazing. You didn’t even have to look it up because you’re doing it.
So, what I’ll do is I’ll send my voice…lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones, pod…oh, this is a podcast you don’t really listen to. You probably already figured that out. You just kinda barely listen, nod along. Okay, uh-huh, uh-huh. Brenatano’s, it was called, maybe. Okay, uh-huh, yeah. No, I don’t remember that. Never been to a…I’ve been to a mall, but not in the glory days. Oh, well, that wasn’t the glory days for me. I say okay, yeah, yeah, yeah. Now I’m commenting on my comments. You don’t have to do that, but you might; your brain might…and you say okay, uh-huh. So, it’s just…you kinda barely listen. This podcast also doesn’t put you to sleep. I’m here to keep you company and take your mind off of stuff so you could fall asleep, to wrap your thoughts up, I guess.
So, yeah, just to reiterate; if you’re imagining me wrapping something, usually I mis-measure the wrapping paper, so there’s too much or too little wrapping paper, probably too much tape, and…I just don’t know. I mean, I try, and…but, yeah, just like you imagine. A lot of times, my goal with the wrapping is if…oh, at least one side looks pretty good. So, when you’re looking at it flat on something else, like coming out of a bag or under a tree, you say that look…oh boy…until you pick it up, you say oh boy, Scoots must have wrapped this one. So, I’m here to keep you company, to be your bore-friend, your bore-bae, your bore-sib, your bore-bud, your bore-bestie, your neigh-bore, your bore-bor, your friend in the deep, dark night, to keep you company and take your mind off of stuff, to be here so that you can fall asleep not listening to me.
But if you can’t sleep, there are people, regular listeners, who can’t sleep, and I’m here to keep them company all the way to the end. So, if you wake up and you need me, you need to listen all night, or you need to check in, you need a break during the day tomorrow, I’m here. So, those are a couple things. So, the first thing…I mean, this is pretty normal. First you’d say, do I have any wrapping paper? Usually that’s five minutes after I needed it. Then I discover…this is…I do non-linear wrapping. Remember when they came out with non-linear editing? Not everybody…but so, in some sense I wrap my presents in a non-linear way. I don’t even understand what that means, but it’s probably the truth. But at some point I find the wrapping paper, or I go out and buy more. I’m pretty sure I have some.
I think I have some with the Frozen characters on it that I got at the 99 Cent Store. So, then I’ll…then I have to find scissors and tape. Those are the next two hurdles to my wrapping. I’m gonna wrap, wrap, wrap this present right out of my hair. But eventually I wrap them. Oh, let me wrap this up, though. So, a couple other things to know if you’re new; on top of this podcast is not for everybody, it takes getting used to, it doesn’t make sense at first, then you realize that oh, it’s not supposed to make sense, it never goes anywhere, oh, it’s not supposed to ever get started or go anywhere, it never starts getting sleepy, it’s just always kinda sleepy…so, in addition to those things, there are other things that take some getting used to or that are just different than what you might expect.
So, I’ll tell you about those now so you understand why they’re here. Then if you become a regular listener, regular listeners, in the end they mostly listen linearly, but you could start the show at twenty, thirty minutes in. Only about two or three people do that, or you could pay and then listen to story-only episodes, but more people listen to the intro episodes. So, you can kinda discover how you want to listen as you become a regular listener. But the reason the show is structured the way it is is becomes it does come out linearly twice a week for free. So, it starts out with a greeting; friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, blah, blah, blah, wrapping paper or whatever I said this time, so you feel seen and welcome in and you say well, I’ve wrapped a present before, so I can relate…there is some sort of common ground we have, though you might be good at it.
Or, you say well, I put time and effort into it. I say okay, I appreciate that. My brain just used the listeners to put a burn on me. Did you…? Anybody notice that? That’s what my brain does. It just…I apologize on behalf of my internal critic for what just happened, but that’s probably…you probably can relate. Said well, that’s what happens when you say…then my brain just had my nana be like, you know what? If you’re not gonna wrap a present with caring and love, just don’t give me a gift at all. Then she would say to my…some other imaginary well-adjusted relative; oh, the way you wrapped this gift, you don’t…you didn’t need to give me anything else at all, so I’m not even gonna open it. Then that kid would giggle ‘cause they’d say well, it’s just a block of wood that I wrapped nicely.
Then maybe she would open it and she’d say oh, it was a block of wood. Could you re-wrap it for me and give me it as a gift? It was a pleasure just opening that wrapping paper of yours, unlike Little Andy here. So, I made that about me. But you just…you say, I can relate to stuff, you know? So, the show starts off with a greeting, then there’s support because the goal of the podcast is to be free. You can 100% optionally pay for this podcast, or 95% of people…and the show does great if 95% of people optionally pay for the podcast or support the sponsors. But the people that support the sponsors and support the show, that 5% of people, that enable everybody to listen for free. Then there’s support for listeners who are having a tough time right now and support for the communities around the show.
Then there’s the intro, which is separate from the support, but if people don’t like the support, they tend to lump the intro and the support together. Then I feel like the reason I keep talking about it so much is because I don’t want you to miss out, really, on the intros, because the intro is a lot of people’s favorite part of the show that are regular listeners, but it also serves a actual purpose which is to give you a break or some distance or a buffer between nighttime and bedtime, to ease you into bedtime and ideally to be part of your bedtime routine, like, start getting ready for bed or do some other activity. Now, there is people falling asleep already — we’re happy for them — or in bed getting comfortable, but the most effective thing that’s been shown for sleep is…part of it is having a wind-down routine.
So, the intro, it introduces the show inefficiently so you have a little wind-down and a little break, a little lowering of the volume. Or, I start my distraction. Then again there’s support between the intro and the story, then there will be a story about the making of Nuns in Space, Season 3, and then a little bit of a Coming Soon, and then some thank-yous at the end. So, that’s the structure of the show, that’s why I make the show. If I never talked about it before, that’s how I wrap my gifts. I’m glad you’re here. I really appreciate you coming by and checking the podcast out or coming back episode after episode, and I really hope I can help you fall asleep. Thanks again for coming by, and here’s a couple ways able…I’m able to get to do it for you for free twice a week.
Alright everybody, hey, it’s Scoots here, and this is Episode 13 of Nuns in Space, and this is where we kind of look back at the creation of Nuns in Space, Episode…Season 3. So, if this is the first time you’re listening to one of these episodes or to a Nuns in Space episode, glad you’re here. These episodes are where I kinda look back…it’s kinda like a making…a meandering making-of so you get to kinda see some of the thoughts that go into the show, some of the questions or ideas, and what…where…it just offers great opportunities for meanders, and ideally it also helps us stay on the production schedule, or in this case, get back on track. So, yeah, I think that’s it.
Without further ado…we won't have…so, yeah, we look back at…I guess there will be spoilers, but then you just look at this as oh, I watched the DVD extras first and I fell asleep in ten minutes, but I think I heard something about there being nuns on a spaceship, and then I forgot. So, a couple things I want to cover if I remember to, obviously, is episodically modular…this is the first time we did some production stuff with this show. There was something else right before I started talking I wanted to talk about that I forgot. Oh, the initial ideas and the listens-through before this series, and Nuns in Space and second seasons and third seasons. So, let’s talk about second seasons and third seasons of Sleep With Me stories and the benefits and the challenges they offer.
I don’t even know what I was gonna…I wasn’t gonna say ‘propose’, but I don’t know what word I was looking for there. Then we’ll talk about listening to the second season and then maybe ideas that I had before we started, and then where things went. But also, I want to earlier talk about the production schedule. So, okay, so where do we start? So, Sleep With Me has a pretty regular schedule, and we have three styles of episodes we make; TV recaps, random episodes or what we call Trending Tuesday episodes even though they don’t come out on Tuesday and they’re not all based on randomizing or trends…that’s just traditionally what we call them, and then written episodes.
Well, lightly-written, first, second, third-draft-style episodes with on…I’d say ongoing series may be the best way, but those are the written ones or the most written of every…well, the TV show episodes we have a lot of notes on. So, those episodes come out alternating between one an…so, traditionally it would be…yeah, they alternate in rounds of three. That way there’s always something for somebody, ‘cause there are people that don’t like the story episodes, there’s people that don’t like TV recap episodes, and there’s people that don’t like random episodes. So, that way, fans of each one…or usually people are not fans of one, but there are a lot of people that exclusively just listen to a few things. So, the more selection we offer…that’s part of it.
Then we have tried to alternate between having a series of returning characters and then a series of new characters, and that’ll be the case for the next series we do coming up. It’ll be a new series, new concept, and should be interesting. So, that’s…so…oh, and so, sometimes we do second series, third series. This is Season 3 or Series 3 of Nuns in Space. Stan and sidekick Scooter remain some of the long-term listeners’ favorite characters, along with Lady Witchbeard and Agatha, the step-mother of Cinderella, as the ones I hear about the most, though there is some love out there for James Cash Penney, Richard Warren Sears, and Doctor Triangle and Isoceles. Well, all the characters. Now I’m…feel like I’m leaving people out. But I do get this question; when’s the next series about…with Stan?
When’s the next Nuns in Space? For years, and that’s totally understandable. No problem if you have that feeling. Feel free to send me an e-mail. But I will say that it doesn’t…it won't change the time when it comes out, ‘cause one, we plan pretty far ahead of time, or I kind of allot things pretty far ahead of time, so obviously the first-half of 2023 will be taken up by this next series, and I won't even think about the back-half of 2023 until…I don’t know when, ‘til the time is right. But so, you say hey, so there’s a couple things we wait around for. I say, of course I want to spend more time with Stan, when there’s a kind of idea that makes it work. Sometimes those ideas will come and go, so I kinda wait for the sticky ideas or I forget to write it down and maybe I missed a good idea. I don’t know.
But the cool thing about returning characters is that I know them and I kinda have a better idea of their motivations and who they are and how they interact with one another and they interact with the world, though that also offers a challenge ‘cause the listeners also have their own relationship with the characters. Ideally, most people are falling asleep anyway, but that doesn’t change the thing that Sleep With Me listeners…people that consume our thing have a sense of taste for the things they consume, and they have a taste for episodes of Sleep With Me, and they have their flavor profiles. So, if something doesn’t fit that profile, they’ll have feelings about it, and our goal is not to wake you up, right? Also, because of the rigorous schedule of Sleep With Me…what is that stuff called on a movie set where…continuity is few and far…the continuity errors are not few and far between.
But I don’t get a lot of continuity questions. It’s just more of like, what people would…their…if…expectations being out of misalignment or flavor. You say, this tastes different than I remember. That happens with everything and even with me, so…but so, this…so, I’ve gotten questions ever since Nuns in Space 2 came out; when’s the next series of Nuns in Space? I said well, I don’t know because I don’t know when…would be after…? I mean, my questions, honestly, were like, what happened in Season 1 and 2? There’s Stan and Scooter, and Earth was…is there still a cloud of delusion or did they…as so many series, did they spread it across time and space, and what would that mean? Or was Season 2 a prequel? I don’t remember. I mean, I’m not kidding. This is not a bit.
I mean, I’m…’cause I’m making episodes…you know what I mean. I’m not able to focus or be my own archivist, in a sense. Even if I did, I…if I had archivist to write a report, I…obviously, I don’t know if I have time to read this report in a way that would affect the making of it, ‘cause I gotta go make episodes. So, okay, so that means…usually, the season, it’s…I’ve learned that it’s like okay, well, is this a standalone concept that ideally is firewalled between…firewalled from as much continuity as possible? This time, I did…well, I had other concepts about the series that ended up not panning out, but I…Stan is always becoming a little bit more of a sentient being, is one of the goals, and the interaction of Stan being in a leadership position or growing into one in Season 2, becoming more and more quotey-quotes “human”, though Stan is not human, just using Scooter language that Scooter would understand, to quote Stan.
So, that was kinda the thing with…okay, where is Stan on Stan’s development now? That’s one question that was out there in my head. Okay, if we’re gonna do Season 3, where would it be with Stan’s development? I had ideas come and go, particularly ideas of season-long thing with Stan with a rival, ‘cause I think we had Stun at one point. Then another thing I had was Stan’s first romantic relationship or a series of rom…Stan having that change from…going from pre-pubescence to pubescence or whatever, whatever you want to call it. But that’s not enough to drive a season, but I said okay, those could be parts of it, maybe. Then I’m not sure where this idea came from for the concede of this season, but I did want to say there was…okay, there was a couple other concepts that were important, and I don’t know if these came first or second, to be honest.
But again, the idea…the initial concept of Nuns in Space, which is the hardest concept to deliver on and continues to be the most elusive in some sense, because in…even bending of reality is almost impossible. For me to be on a spaceship with the nuns from my childhood for real, I guess as an adult, and to try to work together, that was the initial concept for Nuns in Space. It was a concept that I wanted to build something in for this season once again, to be like okay, I want that to somehow be a reality of this season, that Scooter, Drew, has to work with the nuns from his childhood and it isn’t just pure delusion…or it’s not question…there isn’t a question of are these the real nuns from your childhood or are you being delusional, which was kinda how we did it in Season 1.
Oh, Season 2 was The Stan Chronicles, so I don’t think there was any nuns. But so, that idea kinda came to me in a sense of…again, playing with what does it mean to make a episodically modular series in a way that is effective…even though it’s not really effective because you have to title everything, and normally the people that object or say this isn’t…as soon as you think something’s not gonna work for you with Sleep With Me, it’s not gonna work. It’s just the reality. There’s no reason to take that…that’s just…that’s normal behavior. I want to normalize it for anybody that says well, when I see Episode 5, I can’t listen to it. I understand and empathize with you, and that’s why I work so hard to keep the selections going.
But I will reiterate just in case there is some movement inside of you, but the normal…to normalize…if there isn’t, that’s normal, is that we’ve worked…I’ve worked really hard over the past, whatever, five, six years, to really probe what does this mean to make a episodically modular series, or…what is…episodic and not serialized, with a touch of seriality. Otherwise it would be hard to get to the conclusion, which kinda goes into our production this time. But I realized okay, that could be part of…and I think it helps with the past couple seasons…or series we’ve done, and being like okay, what does this mean if there’s…you’re following a procedure? So, there is a task that has to be completed. Let’s go into the production stuff before we get into the plot stuff.
But alls…if you’re new, alls episodically modular means it that you could mostly listen to it out of order. So, this…the first time I did this, I don’t know how success…well, I do know how successful it was and the challenges it offered. Actually, the freedom…because I’ll be honest; I just recorded Episode 9 and I feel like while Episode…oh wait, that’s Episode 7. I don’t remember what Episode 8 is now. Oh, wait a second, I can kinda almost remember what Episode 8 is. But I feel like Episode 9 was the strongest episode of the season, just from my production sense. I haven’t listened to it yet. It could also be…whatever, recent…whatever that is, because I just recorded it.
But so, I’ll tell you if you’re listening…and this has never happened before with the serialized series that I remember…now, that I recorded the beginning of the season and the end of the season and then all the other episodes. As far as I can tell, I don’t remember right at this moment if I recorded Episode 1 and then Episode 2 and then 10, 11, and 12, but I know 10, 11, and 12 were either after…recorded after Episode 1 or after Episode 2. I just wanted to see, like, hey, if you’re gonna do something episodically modular, man, let’s really try this. Now, we have…there’s probably been other times during the season episodes have moved, though I can’t remember. So, I don’t have an example of that.
But I really wanted to see, okay, if we’re gonna make this with just a touch of seriality, let’s figure out how to end this and then we…then without…so then if we’re not leading towards an ending, all the episodes after the ending will have their…they’ll be fully episodically modular even in their production. I feel like the cool thing is that it enabled me to do that. But the other side of it is…and I probably might not return to it for two reasons; one is the production reason, is that because with the ep…the release…because this…I use this as a analogy a lot, but it really is, that Sleep With Me is like a moving train that I’m building the tracks for, and everybody else that works on the show. Even with some lead time, that makes…made it really difficult.
Once we got through Episode 2…it’s nice now to have Episode 9 done, to know that 10, 11, and 12 are also done, and now I’m doing 13. So, that’s 1, 10, 11, 12, 13, and we need…I usually like to have six to eight episodes. I think I’ve given up on having eight episodes of the series, but six is nice in the bank. So anyway, that really did create some…and patrons would know that those episodes weren’t even always ready ten days out from public release, because…just because the reality is the shows have to be edited, they have to be listened to, they have to be mixed, and all that takes time.
So, that was a challenge, but also creatively, I do feel like one of the things about making these ongoing series — and that’s why I probably feel like 9 is the strongest episode, in my opinion, right now as I’m talking — is the longer time you spend with the characters interacting and facing challenges or whatever, the more…that’s how they develop and how you get to know them, seeing them deal with things. So, that leads things to a conclusion. So, it’s kind of tough when you’re making something that’s both a touch of seriality and episodically modular, but also not a pre-planned production. It’s not like I’m plotting out the whole season; I just don’t have the reality and time for that. So, it was interesting to do and I think it was successful, but I don’t know if I’ll do it again.
But maybe if I did, it would be another recurring set of characters because then it would be…I don’t know. So, it could be…’cause for example, to go into the creative stuff, it was like well, okay, so we had the nuns, then we had the idea that Stan would have demi-god powers and that yeah, delusion had been cast across time and space and that Stan was going to deal with the delusion. Then the idea came of like oh, well, it’d be cool…and not just for a episodically modular reason, but for a challenge for Stan to be reset at the start of every episode and starting in the middle of something and also not knowing…kind of important for the story, for…to challenge Stan, that Stan doesn’t know that whatever Stan’s dealing with is caused by some sort of concentrated delusion, you’re gonna remember that the next time unless your memory is wiped.
So then, at the next planet, Stan would just say well, let’s find the concentrated source of delusion and get to the bottom of that. Then for Scooter to come in, Scooter has his own procedure to figure out. So, for the nuns to get to Stan…but then Scooter’s there to help Stan. Also, he…Scooter hasn’t been in that situation, so it’s not like…and Stan’s…Scooter’s not there to solve things but to help Stan solve things, and for Scooter to try to just solve things would be…go against the character, but also it’d be like…it’d go against their relationship and it would just be confusing. Even if it was like…Scooter was gonna go in there and say Stan…and he just stopped talking…there’s a piece of concentrated delusion here and we’re gonna get to the bottom of it.
All this time you’ve spent on the planet working towards a solution has made it worse. Not your fault; it’s the delusion’s fault. Stan would say Scooter, I think you’re being delusional, or I think I know where the concentrated delusion is, and he’d tap my head or something. So, yeah, that…yeah, so…what was my point? I’m getting mixed up. I was just like, he’s right. But so…oh, procedural…oh, so that way, each episode Stan has to work towards a solution, too — I don’t know what I was setting up — and then Scooter has to come help him. But oh, creatively…I don’t know, that’s very episodically modular and, I don’t know, I enjoyed it.
Oh, also, the idea that…so…but originally that it was like…it was very important that the…Scooter and the nuns were trapped in a gem inside of Stan and the nuns were really trying to get out, and…but they were also caught in a loop. Then I said…once I got to the end, I was like okay, now that’s not super-important and it…even…I can remember running in a…going for a trail run and listening and thinking about all this and being like, I don’t know how this really works. Okay, so there’s a gem stuck in Stan. There’s a lot of unanswered questions, I’ll say. But what wasn’t unanswered is that every…the questions of every episode; how’s Scooter…what does Scooter need to do and help the nuns with so he can get to Stan? Basically, Stan’s on a planet that has a situation. Stan will try to solve the problem and make it worse.
That wasn’t a rule, but it’s like, Stan’s first efforts won’t work out normally because Stan’s headed in the wrong direction, but also as a key of this one that Stan and Scooter need to…Stan needs Scooter. I mean, Scooter needs Stan. Their relationship’s kinda the most important thing, and Stan’s growth or Stan’s humanity. So, yeah. So, those were the kind of things we were exploring, and that hopefully the procedure or the process of the episodically modular series set forth is like oh, these challenges…I mean, originally what called me back was thinking of Stan falling in love. So then…but then I was like, did that happen in Season 2?
So then, if you remember The Midnight Mission newsletter, which is free — you can sign up at sleepwithmepodcast.com/midnightmission — we…I re-watched…or, I re-listened to all the episodes of Season 2 at like, 2x speed, in fifteen to thirty-minute chunks. So, I realized okay, that was a interesting season. It was mostly based on the artist’s journey or the artist’s way. While Stan did kinda have kind of a relationship with the ship whose name escapes me…I think that was even earlier in that season, and that…I was like okay, maybe this is part of it, like Stan has learned…maybe Stan goes on dates, Stan has a crush on somebody. I had all these really grand ideas, like even having a Stan podcast about it.
Part of that was just the falling off of our production budget or whatever, being able to allot time to stuff as things changed with the support behind the show. But I was like okay, we just can’t make this side podcast or whatever. But it was also at the same time like okay, well, that kinda feels too gimmicky, even though the whole idea, episodically modular…I guess gimmicky is more like, where can I create a place for Stan and Scooter to be…or build a story or whatever…I don’t know, instead of forcing them into a story and saying hey Stan, you’re gonna start dating now…like okay, well, why would I do that, Scooter? I say well, because it’s the idea I…oh, okay. Then he’d say well, can’t you wait ‘til I want to start dating? So, I don’t know.
It just was like okay, this isn’t…this doesn’t seem like where the show…once you start telling the story…I don’t know, it’s kinda like looking for a path in the woods for me, or whatever. So, I think I talked about this analogy before, but I think it was Robert Rodriguez said oh, well, yeah, I’m making a story; it’s like I’m…it’s in the attic and all the pieces of the story are scattered around the attic, and my job is to go around the attic and…looking and stuff. Oh, there’s something here underneath this thing. Now, what part of the story does this…I mean, that’s not that simple of an analogy and that’s probably not the analogy that they were making, that it’s just that…but I don’t know.
So, okay, so, we listened to the first season, we recorded it out of order…oh, another thing I was hoping…and I had looked at the release schedule…and maybe this was also a part of the recording it out of order; it is really hard for me to make…but I was thinking we’d do themed episodes and we kinda did, but they got released out of order just ‘cause again, the schedule. So, the Cornucopia episode came out in September and then we kinda had two Halloween-esque-themed episodes. There’s no holiday-style episodes, but I was thinking that it could be another…was initially an idea of like, oh…but I didn’t forget how spread out those are and how to stay on schedule. Be like okay, there’s no way for us to meet the schedule and just move stuff around, which…without skipping a week or skipping a couple weeks.
But I thought that might have been cute to do that, but it didn’t work out. So, there’s that. Here’s an idea; we got a little bit of time here. I’ll see what else comes up about Nuns in Space, but I’m just thinking of the next series we’re doing. I’ve probably done this before; it’s like okay, well, what can I record now and how will it be different for the next series without giving too much away? But maybe I can’t do that. But so, I’m working…today was the first day of writing the new series, and that one has kind of gone through some flavor changes as I…it became a concept. This was a interactive one where…I don’t know what initially I was…this idea’s only two or three months old, which is pretty young for…so, I don’t know what I was thinking I was gonna do before that.
I can’t honestly remember, but I was like, what’s the next series gonna be? Then this idea came storming out of nowhere, literally. Like, my daughter and I…and maybe after the series I’ll tell you the movie and stuff. So, my daughter and I watched a movie, then…and we watched the original version of the movie and then we watched a remake, which the movie…I think it was a eighties movie. The remake came out in not the aughts and not the twenties…the tens or whatever. There’s also a musical version of it, which we haven’t watched. The movies are not musicals, though there is music in the movies. So, some of you might have figured it out. Please don’t publicly…just keep it until the season comes to an end. But you could privately share your guesses, I guess. But I won't…honestly, I can’t answer it.
We got really lucky because we were…we…so, I just saw a tweet somebody joked about this; it’s like, things have gone now back to the point where it’s like, I wish I could just…in thise case I did pay to rent the movie. I mean, I paid on a streaming service to rent it. Because it was like, we were looking for the movie and it took forever because even when you look on…when you Google which service has this movie, it wasn’t correct. Then the only thing we could find was the remake, which was on one of the services we use, and the original was not anywhere to stream for free. Then my daughter’s like well, let’s just watch the remake. I said no, I just got a sense…I think we should watch the original first. It wasn’t like…I literally had no memory of this movie, or almost no memory of it.
So, this is some serious vagueness, right? This is probably good for…I apologize if the vagueness is not working for you, but…so, I said…I just had a vague sense, though, that I said well, I really think we should watch…I don’t remember the original version, but I think we should watch the original. It wasn’t a…this was not a lauded film, and it’s not even a film that…I mean, I guess when I think about the remake…and it was a straight remake when I say that it wasn’t remade as a comedy or something like that, or a parody of the original. It wasn’t a shot-for-shot remake, though, either. But so, we watched the original and again, like I said, it’s not a movie that’s…I don’t know, it’s a movie…I don’t know. So…that anybody’s like, you gotta go re-watch this.
But now I’ll tell you, you probably should think about re-watching it because…when you hear what movie it is down the road. Because I was like holy cow, this movie’s pretty good. For the eighties, it was nuanced, and that was one thing I did not associate with it. I thought the movie had no nuance. Maybe it was some of the level of performance in the movie, but I was just so blown away. Then we watched the remake and I was glad we watched the original first, ‘cause I think if we watched the remake, there was no way I could have got my daughter to watch the original. I don’t think I would have enjoyed the original alone, or it would have had a different flavor.
But the thing about the original was that there was just a couple things that were slightly uncanny — I don’t know if that’s the right word, but I’m gonna use it — in a good way, where…so, I think it was after we watched the movie, but it could have been while we were still watching it, that I started…or maybe it was at bedtime and I was trying to get my daughter to go to sleep, where I started…yeah, I guess it was at bedtime. It was, that I started writing a journal, a out-loud journal, of the main character, because I had the idea…once I was thinking about this uncanny idea, I was like oh, wait a second, what if this…and I’ve never…so, here’s the thing, and this will make sense for the series that’s coming up, even though it’s a different idea. I’ve never seen a episode of…what’s that show called?
Is it Touched by an Angel with Michael Landon? I remember that show being on the air a lot, and then Quantum Leap, which has a new version out. I don’t think…maybe I watched a version of Quantum Leap. Now, there was a show even before Quantum Leap and Touched by an Angel, and I don’t know if it was on repeats…I can barely remember anything about it, but it was this procedural similar to those, which isn’t that different than…in Nuns and Space, we talked about A-Team and Knight Rider. So, I don’t know if…here’s what I think Touched by…is that what…? No, it’s not called…Highway to Heaven is what it’s called. Touched by an Angel is something else. I don’t know what that one’s about.
But my understanding about Touched by an Angel…or, no, Highway to Heaven, is that it’s like, Michael Landon’s an angel; he goes to a town and helps people, like a guardian angel. Now, I might be wrong, and…I don’t know, and that’s not what this series is, but that’s what I was imagining this movie was, and there’s no…there’s nothing in the movie that has that. It’s all pro…it was all me fanfictioning it. But I started writing these imaginary journals or telling them to…my daughter’s bedtime stories of the main character from the movie writing journals at night, checking in.
Because here’s the thing; even though it was a film, when you really look at the plot of the movie and really what’s powerful about the movie to me…they say with movies or stories…and I don’t know if this is…I don’t think it’s necessarily true…there’s two kinds of stories; a stranger comes to town or a person goes on a journey. This one was definitely a stranger comes to town, and…but they’re there, the stranger, to help people, particularly the two…I don’t know, the person helping is definitely the lead, but there’s two very interesting characters and then there’s some even C-plot characters. But there’s two B-plot characters that need help, and actually, on an emotional journey or whatever, they both need something to shift within them.
Some of this could be projection, but no, I don’t think so…and in a very nuanced way, again. Even in an over-the…some of the behavior of one of the characters is so over-the-top that it’s…that it actually adds nuance, to me, or did to me. Now, the reviews of this movie when it came out — I read some today — were not good. So again, this could be when I return…I keep going on a journey. But whatever. So, I had the idea that this character was actually there for a reason. I mean, in the story they’re there for a reason, but you’re watching a movie; you’re not really there…like, what’s the difference in a story? A character has a want and a need, right?
In this story, the main character wants something and they want to overcome this challenge that the place…they think they’re there to change this one surface thing, but really they’re there to help the other two people. I’m trying to think of what they need. I guess…but I don’t know and that, in a sense…that conundrum for me might not be the reality of the movie. Well, it’s like well, what do they really need? Yeah, they want this and maybe they want something else, too. But what do they need? They just need to help these two people, and maybe a couple other…and actually, their other bonds come from helping people, too. Even the symbolic thing they’re doing is helping people. But they really need to help these two characters heal. They’re there…and I say well, this…is this what Highway to Heaven was like?
‘Cause I said, this movie…this character could be placed there for a reason. Now, they didn’t come to town by themselves, so you say okay, well, probably a continuity error in Scoots’ brain. I’d say, you’re right about that. But so, I started writing…I mean, not writing; I was just making them up on the spot, of basically this main character getting…going into the room at night to get ready for bed, lying down, and then kinda writing a journal. Like, Day 1, this is…this happened and I got here, and I think this…almost like a guardian angel checking in with the geo to the de, and saying hey, I’m just reporting back and this is what I’ve found out so far, and I think this is what you want me to do, but I totally don’t understand it or I don’t know how I’m gonna do it, and these are some of the things I encountered.
So, this…okay, so then…and I was able to go on some good meanders, and I think it was a two or three-night thing. My daughter was laughing and it had meanders; those are always good signs. We were both like, this should be a…this should be the podcast. I said, okay. Then I said, well…I said okay, maybe this could be the next season. Then I started fleshing it out, right? I say well, this does sound a bit…I’ve never watched Highway to Heaven, but it does sound like the plot of that show. Plus, that’s kinda very…I said well, that gets into belief systems and…is there a way to kind of…that seems like it could be blocked for some people and also, it has a different creative constraint than the one I like. But I said, I like this idea.
The more I thought about the movie and imagining that the character was sent there on assignment…oh, I don’t know, and that was kinda the basic thing of the journal, was that they were sent there to help in a general way. Like, you can find a couple people and they need your help. Yeah, I guess I’ll have to look up Highway to Heaven if that’s what it was about. But yeah, let’s finish up. We got about five minutes. But so, basically this series is not…I mean, it is a imagining of like, what would the Sleep With Me version of all of that be? Let’s see, Highway to Heaven, though. This is fun. Never done…have we done this before? I mean, on this style episode? I think we have. Highway to Heaven…American drama series. Oh, drama. Okay, it started in ‘89…no. Oh, ended in ‘89; started in ‘84.
Still airing on…okay, here we go; here’s the Wikipedia. Fantasy drama…Michael Landon is Jonathan Smith, an angel sent to help people in need. Yeah. Victor French was Mark Gordon — oh, co-star from Little House on the Prairie — who travels with and helps Smith on the tasks or assignments. I think that’s an important part of these…I think in Quantum Leap there’s that other dude who’s kinda like…and then on the show I’m thinking of as a kid, it was an adult and a kid that were time…I don’t know if it was called Time Travelers or some…Time Helpers? Then Knight Rider has Kitt, the A-Team have one another…so, the helper’s important in this idea, and this is very procedural and episodically modular, again. I mean, ours is different, but let’s see. Okay, so we got this…111 episodes. Plot and themes…okay, interesting.
Sent to help people in need…meets Mark Gordon who’s not happy. Oh, so this dude only has one trip. Mark helps him complete his assignment. Volunteers to help Jonathan help people on Earth. The boss approves and they get assignments. Yeah, so this is pretty much along the lines of what I was thinking of as far as that character. So, they have jobs. They arrive in a new city and take jobs. So yeah, there’s a little bit about it. Production…Michael Landon had the idea. This is from Wikipedia; I was on my way driving through Beverly Hills to pick up my kids and everybody’s honking in Beverly Hills. People have money and they think if they honk, things will part. I thought, why is everybody so irritated? I’m paraphrasing. If they spend that time being nice, it would go better for everybody.
People were skeptical when he pitched the idea, but he was persistent Landon. He said, I would even make two pilots; the second pilot for free, or no pay. He chose Victor French ‘cause they were familiar with one another from Bonanza and Little House on the Prairie. There’s a theme song by David Rose. It consistently ranked among the top 25 shows on TV. Let’s see…and yeah, syndicated…so, interesting. Oh, wait, reboot film series…oh, there was a reboot film series. So yeah, I don’t know. Basically…yeah, looking…I’ve never watched this show, or maybe…I don’t think I have. I don’t think I really watched any Quantum Leap. Those shows were probably on before but I mean, those, I guess, are archetypes.
Particularly for me, I watched Riptide, A-Team…I definitely watched a lot of A-Team and a little bit less Knight Rider, but I did watch my share of Knight Rider. To close out, it wasn’t always rooting…just like the…watching Transformers and G.I. Joe…I don’t know, maybe I could find a way to do this in the series. I don’t know if you can. I found myself always rooting not for the protagonist because it’s like…I think that’s maybe where A-Team had the most range, was that because they had different characters, you could adjust your feelings and have some…you’d say well, I’ve had enough of faces looking good, or I’ve had enough of Murdock messing stuff up or Mr. T’s competence in all areas and his bad attitude. So, I don’t know. You could move around with what character…so, I don’t know.
But so, basically, I don’t know, the next series, we’ll see how it goes. It’s not…those are the concepts it’s related to, but hopefully it goes in a bit of a different direction. But then when you look at Nuns in Space, it just had that, but with two wheels. One was a small wheel or circle with Scooter trying to find a way to help the…like, what’s the problem with the nuns? How’s Scooter gonna help? Oh, that didn’t work; try this, try this. Oh, try that. It gives me a portal to Stan.
Stan actually gets to a world where it’s like okay, here’s a world that was normally an important part of space or whatever. Something happened there and it stopped being…the way of life was interrupted. Stan gets there at some point, usually after the way of life was interrupted, realizes oh, this isn’t the normal way of life. Oh, let me try to help you adjust or oh, there seems to be a problem now. Then it becomes…then…oh, and then Scooter’s here, and then we fix it. I don’t know. So, that’s it with Nuns and Space looking back, and thanks so much for listening. Thanks for being here every week with me, and goodnight everybody.
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