Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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The Opposite Show

Use all the standard TV clichés and formulas but stand them on their head.
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Hire as many hack tv series writers as you can find (preferably from the 70s and 80s) to write your scripts. Then send them away and do re-writes with your own twists and as many non sequiturs as you can manage.

Example 1. A B&W western where the grasping, villianous banker is foreclosing on the kindly (and attractive) young widow woman's ranch until a handsome, mysterious stranger rides into town. After all the usual plot conventions, the stranger ends up on the hook for the mortgage and the 5 kids while the banker and widow woman ride off into the sunset with Handsome Stranger left scratching his head and saying "WTF?"

Example 2. Similar to above but it turns out in the expected, conventional manner with the kindly (and attractive) young widow woman and Handsome Stranger jointly defeating the nasty banker whose bank then folds causing economic chaos and the ruination of the entire town.

Example 3. A drawing-room murder mystery where, towards the climax of the show, there is a commercial break. When the commercial break ends, a kid's afternoon show comes on instead. 12 minutes into the 'Mr. Squiggle Show', Mr. Squiggle (a marionette) announces: "The murderer was Dr. Phineas Phflatbottom and I know this because the handwriting on the fake suicide note was the same as on the prescription for Sally De Ceesed's sleeping pills."

The possiblities are endless. Old hardboiled detective shows à la "Mannix" or "Columbo" or sunny musicals like "Heidi" or "The Sound of Music" are all fair game. The main goal is to have viewers standing around the water cooler the next day saying "I was watching this show last night, when the weirdest thing happened..."

Once The Opposite Show (aka The WTF? Show) becomes known, it would be important to sprinkle in a few 'straight ones' where everything unfolds according to the formula and all loose ends are wrapped up neatly in 23 minutes. Just to keep'em guessing.

AusCan531, May 02 2012

Mr. Squiggle http://www.youtube....watch?v=HwNrG9a22nc
Stand-in for Hercule Poirot [AusCan531, May 02 2012]

[link]






       In an entirely different vein of wierd, 'Sealab 2021' was probably the ultimate WTF? show. They even sprinkled in the occasional straight episode, just as you suggest, but other than that it had no plot, no point, just crass and funny and bizarre. I won't even bother linking to some fansite or something, because you pretty much have to just watch the show to get what I mean.   

       Done cleverly, 'The Opposite Show' could be very funny. Without care, it would be yet another late-night cable TV misfire. I'll launch a non-sequitive bun as a show of faith that you'd get it right.   

       PS: example 2 reads like an O Henry story.
Alterother, May 02 2012
  

       I've never written a late-night cable TV misfire in my life.   

       <ahem> you mentioned something about a bun? <cough, cough>
AusCan531, May 02 2012
  

       For years, nobody had believed the young boy's claims that the family pet, an award-winning sheepdog, was actually a psychotic hellhound that terrorized the lad, often herding him into any available hole in the ground... "Is Timmy stuck in the well again ? Good boy, Lassie."   

       "Former Deputy Sheriff Fife was arrested on 217 counts of homicide after a landscaper, working on the boarding house property, started discovering the body parts"   

       Thomas Magnum was an amiable dupe, investigating "cases" dreamt up and orchestrated by Rick, TC & Higgins. That kept the handsome, mildly-retarded posterboy from accidentally tripping over the quite profitable arms-smuggling operation the other three were running out of the "Robin Masters Estate".   

       Ask any of the castaways: the Skipper wasn't referring to Gilligan when he talked about his <ahem> "little buddy".
FlyingToaster, May 02 2012
  

       Darn you [FT], you've got me whistling the tune to Mayberry RFD now.
AusCan531, May 02 2012
  

       Sorry, I got, er... distracted for a couple of minutes. Buns away!
Alterother, May 02 2012
  

       I was always a little worried about Gilligan's Island... and McHale's Navy. Shows about seamen.
UnaBubba, May 02 2012
  

       It will be a great surprise for that pizza boy to just deliver the pizza and get his change.
4whom, May 02 2012
  

       Heh! //surprise// Sp. "disapointment"
AusCan531, May 02 2012
  

       Roal Dahl used to present "Tales of the Unexpected",
pocmloc, May 02 2012
  

       Did anyone (in the UK) see "Silent Witness" at the weekend? This is nominally a show about the work of three forensic pathologists but suddenly veered off into a lot of supernatural weirdness, as if written by someone who half-remembers the plot of "The Exorcist".
hippo, May 02 2012
  

       [+] The Beaver turns out to be The Boston Strangler...
xandram, May 02 2012
  
      
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