Convert three seasons of “These People” into a feature film, shooting both an emotional spine that ties the story together and leads into a new third act. Note that the webseries employs this device to great effect in season two, with Jenny, Todd, and Chuck in the car on their way to collect their mother. This is the same idea, just on a larger scale.
A prologue (to be shot):
The Bennet family check into a terrible motel in the middle of nowhere. They are on a mission to find and confront the family patriarch. But it’s taken them some time to come to a decision. Adelaide, the youngest, has some questions about how this all got started. And she asks her Uncle Todd. Thus, we go back to:
Act One: Todd
(already exists as Season One of the webseries)
Todd Bennet, the oldest son, is pulled back into being “in charge” of his lunatic siblings when his mentally ill brother Simon calls him from the middle of nowhere. After trying to pawn Simon off on his sister Jenny, his mother Julia (Carolyn Hennesy, General Hospital) and ultimately Simon’s twin brother Chuck, Todd tries to have his brother committed by swindling Dr. Maher (Keith Powell, 30 Rock) the family shrink. When that fails, Todd realizes his brother needs much clearer medical attention. He abandons his plan to be in charge of the family, relinquishing control to his sister Jenny.
Connective Tissue: To be shot.
As Todd recounts the events of the first season of These People, he is confronted by his sister Jenny. A fight erupts and Adelaide now hears the story of what happened next, from her Aunt Jenny.
Act Two: Jenny and Chuck.
(already exists as Season Two and most of Season Three of the webseries)
Jenny takes over at the worst possible time. Her sham boyfriend Kip Stark (Ben Baur, Hunting Season) is about to come out of the closet and her plan to get pregnant for publicity isn’t going well. Conning reporter Kevin Pratt (Oscar Winner Jim Rash, Community), Jenny tries to land her largest role yet. Her antics break up her brother Todd’s budding relationship with Josh the family lawyer, (Jeremy Glazer, In the Clouds) ruins her relationship with her mother, and ultimately, drives the siblings to stay with Chuck and his wife (Amanda Walsh, Lost Girl) in Portland. The reunion could just be the thing the family needs. And just as they’re about to finally bond again, they find themselves ignoring the cries for help from their brother Simon, resulting in his death.
Care of the family is passed to Chuck. The family is devastated and unable to care for themselves any longer, Chuck tries to care for his mother by moving her to Portland and finally passing her back to Todd. The ensuing disaster that brings Todd back to his boyfriend Josh results in Julia’s decision: she needs to confront what started this whole problem in the first place: Dad. The problem is, nobody wanted to go on this trip. But now, here they are.
Connective Tissue: To be shot.
Adelaide is satisfied to know the story told up to the present, and that this is how the family ended up here. family get into the car the next morning. They’re headed to the final confrontation. They arrive at Dad’s house, leading us into:
Act Three: To be re-shot.
In the webseries, the family shows up at Dad’s house (played by Jim O’Heir, Parks and Recreation). The final showdown has never been as satisfying to us as we’d like. And we believe that reshooting this showdown and a third act resolution would draw out the emotion and comedy we’d been striving for. What’s missing from these scenes is what gets down to the heart of the matter, that the Bennet family can only function as a team. Convinced that this is their worst strength, it’s their encounter with their emotionally abusive father that drives the point home: they’re damaged goods and always will be. Not to be defeated, the Bennets set out for home, more united than ever.