Loose Screws – Featured Television Pilot Review (Available for Option)

Loose Screws

A successful psychiatrist finds himself losing his grip on reality – and turns to an old patient – a girl with a mysterious mathematical talent, that he used and betrayed years ago.

As of this writing, the average household has access to over 100 TV channels. Multiply that by 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week. That gives you a rough estimate of the number of TV shows on the air. For the mathematically challenged, that’s almost 17,000 shows. (We’re considering 30 minute sitcoms and reruns to be a wash, okay?)

Yet, how many of these are memorable?

Not that you can really blame the writers.  Or networks. There are just so many aspects involved in making a hit show that “clicks.” But when it does… the result is Visual Crack. Spectacular.

Think of shows that have captured the national imagination. The Sopranos. Breaking Bad. Then there are the metaphysical offerings: Twin Peaks. The X-Files. Lost. But what do the worlds of Tony Soprano and Dana Scully have in common? A fresh concept. An intriguing or mysterious premise. And characters that aren’t (yawn) cliché. Assemble those factors together, and the result is, well… magical.

It’s 2015 – a brand new year. Time for new talent, and new ideas. As 2014 fades away, STS is honored to offer up a TV pilot that we feel has all the right ingredients to be a major hit. The name of the series?

Loose Screws.

First, let’s meet the cast of characters. Dr. William Pritt – a Stanford educated shrink: currently stuck in the minor leagues, but looking to make it big. One of his patients is a fascinating case. Miriam Melzter, 16 – a maladjusted teen just a few crappy days short of suicide. And a gifted math savant… one that makes Rain Man look positively lame. She sees things in numbers that – aren’t easy to explain. And Pritt sees something in Miriam. Potential. And a way out. For him.

Flashforward 13 years. Pritt’s hit the big time. He’s one of two partners in the glitzy Manhattan Office of Kendorski and Pritt. K&P’s got a pretty elevated clientelle – rich and famous socialites. And politicians such as Kip Parkinson, a fat cat (literally) attempting to wriggle out of a gay sex scandal… by any means necessary. But Pritt’s got Parkinson figured out.   He’s heard all the lies and tricks before (he and his partner – Dr. Miles Kendorski – invented several of them!) Yes, Pritt’s got life figured out. Or at least, so it seems.

But Miles has discovered something about his partner. He picks up the phone to make a few calls. Cash in some favors – and change alliances…

On his way home through the Manhattan streets, Pruitt encounters a vision: a homeless family, begging for food. He blinks. They’re gone. And everyone’s staring right at him. Later, he sees Miriam on the train. But it’s just his imagination. Rattled to the core, Pritt stumbles to a news vendor. He grabs the nearest paper – and writes down a strange stream of code. Just a nonsensical series of numbers. Meaningless. At least to him.

Back at home, Pritt faces an icy reception from wife Janet (and teen son Sean). Especially when he mentions Miriam’s name – and lets slip that they once had an affair. The Homeless Family makes another appearance… leaving Pritt worried for his sanity.

Within twenty four hours, Miles betrays him… leaving Pritt with nowhere to turn. The beleagered shrink takes off in search of Miriam: the only person capable of decyphering his visions. That is, if she’ll talk to him.

But that’s just the icing on the cake. Loose Screws has far more in store underneath. It would be a sin to reveal too much; you won’t find further spoilers here. But here’s a hint of what’s to come: double dealings, secret societies, lots of buried history, and the question of what’s real vs. hallucinary – you won’t be able to turn your eyes away. And that’s what makes for great TV. Great characters thrown into a complicated world – that keeps you begging for more.

Ten years ago, a show like Loose Screws would have been impossible. Too gritty, too complex… too complicated. But with the rise of HBO, Showtime, Amazon and AMC, TV has reached its second Golden Age. The time is right for a show like this (and fully developed characters like this) to shine. It’s just a matter of what lucky network grabs it first….

About the writers:

Tim Westland – an award winning screenwriter, 2014 Page International Quarter Finalist and co-author of the acclaimed comic book series/graphic novel “Chasing The Dead”.  Tim is currently writing the adaptation of the novel, “Quantum Lens“, by New York Times Best Selling author Douglas E. Richards.

John Robbins – a 2014 Page Quarter Finalist, John resides in San Diego and can be reached at jpjrb1 “AT” gmail, or via website: http://www.johnnyrobbins.com.

Pages: 56

Budget: Not crazy. A standard city-based television budget should suffice.

jpjrb1 “AT” gmail AND Timwestland “AT” hotmail




All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.