Title: Ever After
Episode: 1×01: Pilot
Summary: How do you live happily ever after? For Maddie, it’s marrying Dylan; for Ethan, it’s figuring out what he feels about Gage; for Ben, it’s committing to Joseph. Of course, nothing is ever as simple as a fairy tale.
Character bible: mlj.com or livejournal
Notes: Written for . Opening credits by .
INT. A UNIVERSITY LECTURE HALL – DAY
At the head of the classroom is JOSEPH YORK (late 30s), the professor of the class. He is reading aloud from a textbook (Once Upon Our Time: Fairy Tales and Modern Life by Dr. Joseph York). His STUDENTS, about two dozen, listen with varying degrees of interest.
“What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.“
He closes the book and puts it aside on his desk.
Be glad I didn’t make you buy this.
The students chuckle.
Why did people tell fairy tales? Why do we still read them, retell them, recast them, deconstruct them, parody them and return to them? Those are the questions we’ll be exploring in this class. I don’t expect we’ll find a definitive answer, but in the process we’ll read some fantastic stories by amazing writers, watch some really great movies, and yes, watch some cartoons.
This class is about fairy tale structure and deconstruction, and why fairy tales are still told and retold even though we are so sophisticated now. If you’ve read certain manga, watched certain TV shows or ever seen a Disney film, you’ve been exposed to a fairy tales.
GK Chesterton wrote that quotation over a century ago. If you’ve read Neil Gaiman, and if you haven’t you are in for a treat because we’re going to read a few of his short stories this semester, you know he’s paraphrased this idea with his own approach to fairy tales. The important things about fairy tales aren’t the prince or the princess or even the fairies, but knowing that the dragon can be slain.
Fairy tales, in essence, teach us to be brave.
The bell rings, ending the class. Students begin gathering their belongings and picking up their backpacks.
For next time, be prepared to discuss your favorite fairy tales and their vital plot points. It doesn’t matter which fairy tales you use. And start the reading on the syllabus! If it’s on the syllabus it will be on the final!
He puts his books — his own book as well as a worn copy of Grimm’s — into a battered messenger bag. He picks up the messenger bag and walks through the halls of the building, jogs up some stairs, and goes into his office. His nameplate is on the door.
The office is barely maneuverable due to the sheer amount of books. They are stacked ten deep on the floor and fill every inch of a half-dozen bookcases. He makes his way to the desk and sits with a sigh, then smiles as he looks at the picture on his desk. It’s a picture of himself and BEN CRAWFORD, leaning against each other, both looking very happy.
There is a brisk knock on the door. Before Joseph can answer, AUBURN TODD (30s) pops into the office.
Okay, sweetie, there’s a about fifty requests to join your one o’clock class, twenty for the nine o’clock class, and eight for the graduate seminar —
No. I like to keep the classes small, and the graduate seminar only has twenty seats and every single one is taken.
— and the bookstore has sold out of the book you ordered for freshman composition —
It’s a seminal text! I ordered two hundred copies!
Well, you have three hundred students.
Small classes, Auburn. Small. Like — (demonstrates a small amount of space with his hands) small.
You know it and I know it, but administration has other ideas.
She perches on his desk and pats his shoulder.
I’ll order more books for freshman comp and let the hopefuls down easy. I still say you need to offer more sections of the fairy tale class.
And I still say two is plenty, particularly since the department wants me to write another book, which means I need to research and write and figure out what the damn subject of the book is —
He breaks off in mock despair. Auburn laughs and pats his shoulder again before hopping off his desk.
And have a life, which is more than some of us can accomplish. Speaking of, give Ben my love when you see him.
I will. You’re still coming to the wedding Saturday, right? You’ll see him then.
Wouldn’t miss it for the world, but you’ll still see him first.
She picks her way out of his office.
And this place is a fire hazard. I’m supposed to remind you every two months.
I consider myself reminded. See you later.
Auburn shuts the door behind her. Joseph sits for a moment, thinking, and then takes a notebook out of his messenger bag and writes “Ever After: the meaning of the happy ending” across the top of a blank page.
8 thoughts on “Ever After (pilot)”
This is really lovely. It has a great heart to it, and the emotions between everyone are very realistic. It’s a subtle, gentle show that I’d love watching with a good cup of tea.
Well done!! I can feel a lot of work went into this.
Thank you! These folks are really fun to write about.
I loved all the jokes about Dylan being Welsh, because Welsh vowels are so great. And I love stories where people are HAPPY and IN LOVE, so this is just FUN TIMES (though, uh, I suspect less fun times are coming?).
Very believable dialogue, excellent characters…and a great read. WELL DONE!
Thank you! GDL’s Welshness has completely won me over 😀 so I had to include that in a part written for him.
awww. this is really really lovely.
The important things about fairy tales aren’t the prince or the princess or even the fairies, but knowing that the dragon can be slain.
This drew me in and I really really came to care for these people.
<3 <3 <3
I’m so late in reading this, I know, but I just had to say how amazing it is! I’m definitely going to be bookmarking it to re-read again and again 🙂
Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it :).