This week’s game was a short session of Follow by Ben Robbins using the Championship quest as a team of synchronized freestyle canoeists. Our crew consisted of young hotshot Clancy, who seeks fame and fortune; Mel, a declining veteran who wants to teach these kids the right way to play; Lucille, our team captain out for the perfect routine; and Susan, a new player who struggles because she doesn’t know how to swim and fears the water. Our support team includes our manager Linley, team mascot Mr. Limpet, our driver and roadie Porter, and Lucille’s wife Cassandra.
Our story begins with the team preparing for the big competition. Clancy is always showing off his skills, but our Captain, Lucille, remains unimpressed and criticizes him for his lack of teamwork. Another time, Clancy is training with Susan and helps her when they need to get into the water. Back at the picnic area, Mel meets with Limpet and Linley and discuss the liabilities that Clancy and Susan present for the team. Training doesn’t go so well for the team and we lose that challenge.
On the day of the competition, Mel confronts Clancy about his showboating, which Clancy justifies as improved choreography. Mel explains how you have to develop synchronization before you build up the choreography. If he wants to make it big, he needs to make the team successful when he’ll be the centerpiece of the celebrations and promotions. Lucille and Clancy are chosen to represent the team in the pairs competition and begin working on their routine, where Clancy’s choreographer ambitions get a chance to shine.
On the bus back home, we think about all that happened at the championships. Lucille and Clancy’s pirate-themed duo event was a big sensation, and the team pulled through and finally did a clean routine. We worry over the loss of Susan, who quits the team to finally learn to swim, and the disappearance of Mr. Limpet, who swam off after the competition, looking remarkably like a fish.
We played Follow by Ben Robbins this week, forming a movement to advocate for werewolves’ civil rights. Our group consists of romantic idealist Fantina Lycanfyl and her child Kal, violent revolutionary Lupin Pires, armchair rebel and peacemaker Herbert Allen, experienced international legal advocate Regene and her documentarian friend Findal, Debbie Boland who doubts our group’s abilities, and the impatient true believer Victor Forthright.
We begin our quest to secure werewolves their rights by trying to organize a protest of an injustice. We think we’ve found the perfect moment when Lupin is fired because he couldn’t work one full moon night. Regene begins building a legal case and learning about the obstacles werewolves face in our society. Regene argues for legal action and creating a community support center, but Lupin wants to fight in the streets while Victor advocates for an immediate rally. In our meeting to settle on a plan of action, Fantina sees the value in both and Herbert tries to bring the two sides together. Eventually, we compromise by planning to hold a rally to raise funds and consciousnesses supporting a community center that can give werewolves a safe space to meet and seek legal and medical aid. However, the group fails to pull everything together in time for the date set, so Debbie decides we’re too disorganized to be effective and leaves the group.
Regene shares secret information with Fantina and Victor about famous pop star Irina Saari hiding her werewolf status, and together decide that it would help our cause if she could be convinced to reveal her true nature. Regene plans to meet with her alone to begin recruiting the star. Despite being sworn to secrecy, Fantina tells Kal, who in turn reveals the truth to the rest of the group and a considerable number of her friends at school. Kal and Lupin’s child (Lupito) form a fan club at school for Irina and Lupito gets his whole class into Irina’s music, while his father creates a major online “Werewolves for Irina” fan destination site. Herbert leads his pack of youths on a pilgrimage to follow Irina from concert to concert and keep up a howling section at all her shows. Regene decides now is the time to approach Irina and intercepts her when Irina is collecting the Wolvesbane Nectar needed for the transformation-suppression drug that both Irina and Regene use to keep their wolf-natures under control. After much discussion, Regene convinces Irina this could be good not only for all wolves but a professional coup for her. Soon after, Irina releases a new album called Secrets and begins a media tour during which she reveals her secret. Kal is so inspired that they decide to become a singer and leaves the group to follow that dream.
Finally, we decide to build out and open the community center, but the building Regene secured during our protest challenge is in desperate need of repairs. Knowing that it would take months to complete the restoration, we decide that the restoration itself can be the center’s first community-building project, like an old-style barn raising. In support, Herbert leads his pack door-to-door evangelizing for the center and asking for people’s help. Victor puts donation canisters in stores throughout the city, while Fantina and Lupin organize a bake sale at the local farmer’s market and Lupito leads a children’s talent show. Fantina is everywhere during the restoration, working on the kitchens, the roof, the bathrooms, and the decor. Regene runs into Irina working at the center one day, and they discuss when Regene might stop using the wolvesbane and reveal herself until they’re interrupted by Findal and his documentary camera. With the support of the community, we succeed in opening the community center to aid werewolves across the city.
In epilogues, we see Lupin settled at the community center, less violent and more happy than ever before. Victor practically lives at the community center and his family comes all the time. Findal completes and releases his documentary about our movement at film festivals and travels with Regene when she leaves for Madagascar to help the werewolves there. Fantina grows restless and begins to look for another cause to support, while Herbert, pleased with how peaceful we were, often brings his entire pack around to the community center to hang out and enjoy the newfound space.
Tonight we played Follow by Ben Robbins. The cities were getting too crowded for us. It was no longer possible to live a good life there. So we left the civilization we knew behind and found our way into a wild forest filled with tall, ancient trees. We are a settlement of over a hundred people and this place is our new colony, that we call The Arboretum.
We are lucky that upon reaching this area, Zack Granite, a survivalist that came to this area earlier, is actually eager to share his knowledge of the area and the know-how needed to survive without the comforts of civilization we left behind. The rest of us, are a little over our heads, but we are all excited for a new beginning. Leslie, the herbalist, is hoping to discover new healing techniques using the local plants and herbs. Shine, is very excited that we have left the issues of the capitalist run society behind and now we will be able to live in harmony with nature and one another. Edgar hopes that in this new environment he will have a strong connection to the land and will be able to spend a lot more time working an living with his family as he wants to setup a homestead.
After a couple of days of being in the forest, we decide that the first task at hand is to clear the land of the thick vines that grow in the areas where we want to build our shelters. Unfortunately, these vines are very tough and we do not have many tools with us. The night before we start the work, we gather by a firepit as we discuss our hopes of living here… and the logistics of the next day. We agree to divide the camp into two, one half will be in vine clearing duty while the other is in trench digging duty as we want to have easier access to water.
Edgar is working with his neighbor Jeane, who also left the city recently. They are trying to clear the vines in their plots and are surprised by how little help they are getting from the rest of the camp. Where is everyone? Edgar’s hands are all blistered and bloody from pulling the vines out of the ground. Yet, he is happy that his whole body is working and he is breathing fresh air all day and he has never slept so well,. Meanwhile Jeane, is regretting her decision of living the city and cannot stop complaining about all the hardships they are facing.
Meanwhile, Leslie is not digging an irrigation trench or helping the rest of the camp pull vines out. Instead, she is setting up her cave with a clay oven so she can create ceramics to sell to rest of the camp. While she is doing that, Landor, a photographer that has been taking photos of the area and the settlers, appears at her cave. He is excited to take photos of her and asks her to pose. Leslie is not amused and wonders how photography can be done in a sustainable fashion without the rest of the equipment that is needed. Landor confesses that he did bring with him chemicals to develop photos and he has a simple setup in a neighboring cave. Leslie warns him to be careful with that and to be aware of Shine as she will not tolerate having those dangerous substances at The Arboretum.
After six weeks of attempting to clear the land of vines, the land is still not clear. Many people in the camp kept on getting distracted by their personal projects and the sustained effort needed to pull the vines out of the ground instead of simply cutting them was never done. Exhausted and miserable, Jeane leaves the camp.
It is about this time that several people in the camp catch an unknown disease. At first they have a mild rash, but it is soon followed by blisters, swelling of the limbs and a light fever. But with limited access to water and the physical exertion needed to maintain ourselves fed in our rough camp, this is quite dangerous.
While at Leslie’s cave, Zach mentions that Shine has just started showing symptoms and brings her over so Leslie can get a better understanding of what the source of this disease might be. Shine explains she had been setting up a grey water system, had been weaving baskets with the vines, and had delivered food to the other side of the camp with twelve other camp members earlier that week. As Zach had had considerable contact with this group, he volunteers to round up all those that have the disease and be the quarantine leader while Leslie figures out the source and treatment of the disease.
Leslie then walks around camp interviewing people. She runs into Edgar who is fully covered in mud. He explains that he has rashes all over his body, but found out that the itchiness and pain goes away when covered in wet mud. Leslie is very worried as having all the skin and rashes covered in mud are likely to cause infections, so she brings Edgar to her cave to treat him.
Back at her cave, she is using different salves and herbs on different parts of Edgar’s body to see if any of them work on the blisters. And this is when Landor barges in into her cave again to show off the new woven baskets he has. He explains that he has kept on taking pictures of the camp… and noticed that the vines do not grow back in areas where he dropped the photograph developing chemicals.
After several trials, Leslie eventually finds a combination of honey and herbs that does cure the rashes and proceeds to apply it to the rest of those that are sick that have been under Zach’s care. The rest of the camp is now healed and The Arboretum starts to thrive… except Zach who received the treatment too late passes away.
Tonight online we played Follow by Ben Robbins using the Show quest. We were a group of boarding house tenants that were putting on a show as a fundraiser to save their home. Our fellowship consists of Clarence, the washed-up former star; Imogene, a delusional wanna-be star; Victor, the insecure costumer; Leena, the amateur make-up artist; and Mark, the pretentious author of the play. While full of spirit and enthusiasm to put this play together, the odds are stacked against the fellowship as they have a very limited budget and no one has real experience putting a play together.
Our story opens with Imogene approaching Mark, as she is rehearsing her lines and has trouble following the plot of the play. Mark insists that the issue is her as she has not immersed herself into the story and that is why she fails to see the link between frogs, light, demonic comas and exorcism that the play revolves around.
Meanwhile, young Victor is sent to speak to Lady Winthrope, a renowned patron of the arts, to procure some funding for the set and for the costumes of the play. Lady Winthrope wants to know more about this production to see if she is interested in sponsoring this endeavor, however Victor, who is very shy and insecure, struggles at explaining what the play is about. Luckily, he does manage to convince her that the play is a very avant-garde performance worth looking into.
Back at the boardinghouse, which happens to be a dilapidated Victorian mansion, Mark and Mickey, the stage hand, are in the living room, trying to figure out how to create a set. Mark is obsessed with having a water element in the middle of the living room, I mean, the stage. He wants something grandiose, reminiscing of the fountains at Lady Winthrope’s garden. Mickey manages to procure a tub and places it as directed, even though he is worried about getting the living room carpet wet and moldy. Mickey also gives some good plot ideas to Mark to give more direction to the play, but Mark dismisses his ideas.
The next day, Clarence, Leena and Mark are going over the lines once more. Clarence is disappointed by the lack of action his character sees during the 4th act. Mark reminds him that that is normal as his character is dead during that whole act and does not resuscitate until the 5th and final act. During the 4th act, he is supposed to only be off screen and howl from the grave at the end of each scene. Leena, who is filling up for Monica, suggests changing Clarence’s make-up during that act so he can be on stage… and she also does a great job at reading the lines, as she understands the game of light and darkness that the script calls for.
The next week, the troupe has to put together a rehearsal for Lady Winthrope as she comes to see the play. She is surprised by the very ‘creative’ decor that has been used to create the stage using drapes, mats and curtains based on what was available at the boarding-house.
Clarence and Imogene start the play with a very fiery scene where Imogene’s character demands more and more light… and Marilla who is backstage, obliges and brings her an ever increasing amount of candles. Clarence starts a monologue centered on darkness. But this is Imogene’s time to shine and she bursts back into the scene walking on a tightrope while holding candles on each hand and on her headband. The scene ends with Imogene falling into the tub, preventing any fire from spreading further.
The play continues with Leena and Clarence doing the awakening from the demonic comma scene. Clarence’s character is using light to awaken Leena’s character. Light, sparks, embers, ILLUMINATION! She awakes! But the darkness has been too much and is no longer herself. The darkness has consumed her soul and can no longer bear the sight of the light. Darkness, shadows, obscurity befall the stage. It turns out that Leena starts improvising her lines instead of reciting Mark’s verbose ones making it more enjoyable and fluid.
In the end Lady Winthrope is not impressed by the show and leaves the mansion as soon as she can as she feels like she wasted part of her life watching this absurdist performance and got her fine silk robes ruined by the splashes from the tub. Mark feels betrayed and leaves the boarding-house, as word got out that the better part of the play was the portion improvised by Leena.
The boarding house closes soon after as its financial situation became untenable and the show without the backing of Lady Winthrope was unable to raise many funds. The fellowship disbands but the members move on. Leena finds herself drawn into proper theater and becomes an acclaimed mainstream theater actress. Victor finds a friendly soul with Marilla, the daughter of the boarding house owner. Imogene joins a traveling circus where she can further develop her acrobatic (and play with fire in a safer environment). Clarence embraces slapstick comedy and creates a public improv troupe. Mark continues working on his masterpiece and is constantly approaching local theaters and troupes to perform his piece.
Tonight online, we played Follow by Ben Robbins using the Dragon quest in search of an alien creature with telepathic abilities terrorizing a small modern city, luring victims into back alleys and hideaways before killing and feeding on them. Our fellowship consists of Professor Emil Higgins, the lone scientist who had watched the crash of the alien’s ship but considered a crank; Colonel Uther of the US Marine Corp, who’s determined to hold up his code to protect the world; and Maximillian, a local who survived an attack by the alien thanks to luck and help from his neighbor, Justin Case.
Our story opens with Prof. Higgins interviewing Max and Justin about the attack and beginning to piece together information that could help them discover the alien’s weakness. The two men relate how Max was outside salting their sidewalk and driveways when this multi-tentacled creature appeared behind him. He threw the handful of rock salt in his hands into the creature’s face when he heard a psychic scream as he passed out and the creature came upon him. Inside his home, Justin saw the attack and raced outside. The creature was preoccupied with his face and slow to react, so Justin managed to drag Max into his garage and lock the door behind them. Eventually the creature left and they were safe.
At the scene of the attack, the professor finds a residue not unlike that found at other attack sites, a slimy gel that quickly dries out and desiccates into dust. Max remembers the rash on his hands from the slime after the attack. The area was not well-lit but out in the open, as if the creature is becoming more desperate and daring in its activities. Later the professor and the colonel review police surveillance footage showing the creature leaving the scene and walking unnoticed past a group of pedestrians. Does it have a way to disguise itself from human perception? Prof. Higgins conducts a series of experiments on the substance found at the site to discover that the mucus breaks down when subjected to the potassium from the salt, suggesting it’s toxic to the creature.
Col. Uther and Prof. Higgins concoct a plan to lure the creature into the open using the connection it has established with Max, turning him into bait. After discussing the extensive security measures they plan and all the firepower they’ll bring to the trap, Max is convinced to participate but with trepidation. The team deploys in a cul-de-sac that ends near the woods, with an armored car to serve as a secure bunker and snipers armed with salt injection weapons surrounding the area. Prof. Higgins sets up cameras everywhere to document the event. After Max loiters in the area for several hours, the alien appears in the guise of a tall woman walking toward him prompting the team to spring into action. The salt weapons coat the creature in chemicals, and it shrivels up until it becomes nothing but a pile of mucus. Will the video footage reveal enough that the professor can clear his name?
Tonight we played Follow by Ben Robbins with a group of people who had haphazardly fallen through a time portal into ancient Greece before the time of Socrates. Realizing our advanced knowledge and limited technology make us akin to gods, we decide to convince the populace to worship us rather than their traditional deities. Our fellowship includes bodybuilder and social media influencer Vlad Stronk, casino bum and con artist Ms. Ann Thrope, agitator and chaos agent Liesl, social activist and the mathematician whose calculations created the time portal Zane, an inventor and businessman calling himself Edison, and the artificial lifeform he invented named Grumpus. Other people who passed through the portal are Dr. Johnson, Mary Martin (no relation), CEO Dave, Lizzy the idler, and Marta the product hype maniac.
We start by trying to undermine the people’s attachment to the old gods who stand in our way and who we must supplant. Edison begins by showing the Greeks how to build elaborate aqueducts to bring fresh water to their homes and their fields, which turns some’s thoughts away from the importance of sacrificial offerings. Stronk organizes the first ProteinCorp Games to show how powerful he is by lifting a man he claims is a son of Hercules while the man is lifting weights. Thorpe takes a picture of Lizzy with her handheld and convinces onlookers she has used it to take over Lizzy’s body in a shakedown of the peasantry, threatening to come back and do the same to them if they don’t cough up the proper tribute. During a public debate about whether and how much grain to release from the communal silos, Liesl sows discord by heckling debaters, encouraging selfishness, and starting a grain riot when she has her followers open the grain gates and start a dash for the grain. Grumpus participates in a parade honoring us, but his float (and his alone) is intercepted by priests of the old gods who try to disrupt his progress, but Grumpus wins a drinking contest against one priest and with his great strength, walks away unscathed. Through all this, Zane and Dr. Johnson have been attempting to better the people by teaching them advanced mathematics and the things it can make possible, but the constant parades, con jobs, protection scams, athletic games, aqueduct construction, and grain riots interrupt their every effort. In the end, Lizzy dies during the grain riots when she is too laid back about getting out of the way of the onrushing crowds, and we fail to convince people to stop worshiping their traditional gods.
In retribution, we decide to destroy a city as an example to the people of our power and the consequences of defying we gods who live among them. We start with a scene of Zane and Edison brainstorming approaches and options, then follow it with a montage of Edison constructing a beautiful machine for knocking down fortifications that consists of an elaborate scooping shovel built around a team of oxen that we call the Oxdozer. Meanwhile, Vlad works with Dr. Johnson to create a series of catapults for firing his team of megajocks into the city’s political amphitheater where they slaughter the assembled leaders. Liesl uses the Oxdozers to knock down the city’s temple, encourages and starts a round of looting, and drives the survivors toward the ships in the bay, saying she will allow them to leave, but then begins fire-bombing the fleeing ship using the catapults when they do. Thrope meanwhile makes a hot air balloon and begins dropping sweets and other goodies on the people of another town to announce our arrival and sow the seeds for our next conversion. Unfortunately, our efforts may lay waste to a city but have no impact on the worshipping habits of the local populace.
Zane decides to leave us behind and becomes a wandering monk, wise to the ways of the universe and advocate for social justice wherever they go. Vlad decides that instead of godhood to seek worldly power and goes to Sparta where his self-discipline and amazing abs will make him their natural leader, and immediately begins to teach them the tricks of the media influencer trade. Ms. Ann Thrope basically continues what she has always done, duping people for money and keeping one step ahead of the law. Liesl gives up on the Greeks and moves north to live among the barbarian tribes who better appreciate her chaotic lifestyle. Grumpus had wanted to find acceptance and love, but decides he must settle for fear and takes up piracy. Edison finds a small island to the west and builds an elaborate palace festooned with mechanical wonders that comes to be known as Atlantis, which Grumpus proceeds to sink as revenge against the creator who never acknowledged his humanity.
In a near future in which companies vie even more fiercely for control of our world than they do today, using Follow by Ben Robbins, we form DreamWorks, Inc. in a heist to steal the plot of next year’s Disney blockbuster, so we can throw together our own hackneyed clone in time to beat them to market. Of course the secret is well-guarded and Disney is notoriously vindictive, but we plan to break into their CEO’s dreams, steal the plot, and get away anyway.
Our primary crew consists of Billy the ambitious producer and planner who orchestrates our team; Neev the director who wants to go straight and start making small, independent character-driven films; his pal Vladimir the hardened Ukrainian hit-man brought in for muscle; Rogin an unlucky criminal who just wants to get through one job without screwing up; and our dream tech specialists: Geti a natural dream-diver who wants to make a name for themselves, and Mina the thrill-seeking psychic who’s determined to bring Disney down for past and current crimes. Our company also has actors, accountants, gofers, lawyers, fixers, spies, and other assorted criminals.
Our story begins when Neev and Billy meet up with Borsley, our inside man who works for the Disney CEO. He gives us important insight into the boss man’s habits and activities that we can use against him. Geti shows off their dream rig to Rogin and the intern Pip, and imparts important information about the right way to wire up a fear capacitor. Mina joins Billy at the airport in welcoming Vladimir to Los Angeles, and the Ukrainian takes everything they say to indicate the need for boom boom boom on the job. Rogin goes to his old mentor Leon seeking advice on how not to screw up this time and plans to write everything down on his hand with a sharpie. Billy takes Rogin to meet Borsley again so Rogin can better get into his role as a tech investor when he meets the CEO and primes his mind to think about the movie. The night before the job, Vladimir takes half the crew out to a Ukrainian club for vodka and to make sure all the right people are armed.
In the second act, Geti and Mina dive into the CEO’s mind and extract the data, but Mina pushes too hard in search of evidence to destroy Disney and a small army of men in SWAT gear arrive at the hotel. Vlad goes to make a distraction while Billy watching overhead calls for everyone to follow their exit protocols pronto. But Mina is still freelancing and stops off at a safe in the suite with Pip and Leon to get the documents she needs. Pip foolishly livestreams the safe cracking and snaps a selfie of them wrapped in purloined jewels. Rogin sits quietly at the bar with our lawyer/fixer Lana who assures him that our route out is to sit out the raid and wait for it to get quiet. Meanwhile, Billy meets Geti on the roof with a waiting chopper and sends Vlad back inside to take care of the wild cards Mina, Pip, and Leon when he sees the streaming safecracking distraction. When Vladimir goes downstairs with Neev, he immediately shoots at the group, but Pip dives in front of the bullet to save Mina. When he gets closer Mina reveals that they are cousins and Vlad takes Neev aside so they can kill Leon without Mina noticing. Neev leads the group into a room and calls room service and the front desk in order to get uniforms to disguise everyone in, but when they arrive, he shoots them before they can get their clothes off, so they’re ruined as disguise material.
In the Epilogue, we see Rogin sitting in the bar as the police come in and arrest him with Lana watching. We also see Mina, Neev, and Vladimir jump out the window, land in a diving pool, and scuttle away to a hideout. At the police station, Rogin is interrogated and refuses to tell the police what they want to know, thereby revealing everything the police need to know in the process. So, everyone is scooped up and brought in. Neev is jailed for the murder of the room service personnel and is working on a screenplay from his cell. Geti takes a plea deal in exchange for helping the police obtain dream confessions from perpetrators. Mina goes to prison for her role in the heist, while Billy manages to plea down his charges and goes free to become a YouTube filmmaker. Will he produce Neev’s screenplay? Vlad is caught and eventually plots to break himself, Neev, and Mina out of prison. He escapes with them to Kazakstan with the authorities hot on their tail. He says goodbye to the pair and sends them away. He gleefully cackles as he turns toward the approaching cops and pulls the pin on two grenades. We fade to black after the exploding fireball fills the screen.
Tonight we played Follow by Ben Robbins and crafted a story about a team of researchers in the 1920s at a private institute in the suburbs trying to continue the research of Nikola Tesla into wireless electricity. We started by failing to convince our backers that our invention would work. Later, we also failed at avoiding the Edison smear campaign despite having created a riot at a Tesla event and accidentally killed a volunteer from the audience while demonstrating the power our army of electric squirrels can produce. Finally, our renowned leader decided the best way to deal with the electrocution side effects of our invention was to sell it as a weapon to the War Department, who jumped at the chance to destroy an enemy at a distance. Unfortunately, this did nothing to return power to the people, so our quest failed abysmally.
We actually had two sessions of Follow by Ben Robbins going tonight, each “Putting on a Show” that reunites the stars of an old TV program. At the second table, our reunion was for a show from 25 years ago about high schoolers in space, Star School Holiday Special. Our cast consisted of Steve Dixon, the arrogant star who’d had a tumultuous but real career post-show; Arthur Collins, the youngest of the bunch who’d been humiliated by Steve during shooting into complete seclusion after the show; River Winding, the show’s conniver and troublemaker turned New Age hippie; and “Peter” Rabbit, who had spent many of the intervening years in and out of rehab and now was a 12-step spokesperson. The difficulties in putting together this reunion was our mutually acrimonious departure from the original show and interference from network executives.
First, we tried to cut 20 minutes from the show’s runtime to get it into the hour-long slot we’d been given. When Steve kept insisting that his musical number couldn’t be cut, his contract made it difficult to force his hand. Peter and Arthur hatched a plan with the old showrunner, Buddy Strom, for the footage of Steve to be sped up to super speed to meet the runtime requirements and (secretly) to embarrass him. However, when the production assistant Alex was caught speeding up the footage, Steve had her fired and we failed to shorten the runtime.
Next, we tried to promote the show at the Thanksgiving Day Parade broadcast, but Steve was refusing to appear with the rest of the cast and had too contentious a history to go before critics alone. But River convinced Steve that coming down to the level of the float with the others as he sings his song would help the show and, hence, Steve’s career. This spurred debate among the group about whether they ought to forgive Steve his (many) past transgressions. In the end, Steve joined them on the show circuit, even appearing on Ellen’s show despite their past bad blood.
Finally, they must perform the show, which was complicated by the fact that the pre-recorded footage was lost, requiring them to perform it live. The gang decides to forgive Steve for the past if he’ll agree to help them in the present by joining him as equals for the space walk dance number in the shows finale, and the show goes off successfully. Will the crew get greenlit for a new season? Stranger things have happened.
It had been over 17 years since the Teen Sitcom ‘Kids on Bikes’ was cancelled, when a reunion show was put togeteher by the cast to finally produce and air the season 6 finale on Netflix.
This effort was spearheaded by Chloe Watson, a visionary actor, now turned producer, who wanted to challenge the audience and make them think, Max Doug, a washed up actor who wanted to show the world he still had it, and Dennis Richardson, the one actor who had remained succesful after the show and was seeking even more fame.
Putting together this final episode was a daunting task as the cast members had left the original production on bad terms and their relationship had hit further lows afterwards. Dennis ended up marrying Bronson, Chloe’s ex-husband and on-scene flame during the original show. Dennis and Max were also at odds as Dennis had ‘stolen’ some of the spotlight from Max, and Max never recovered.
Another complication the team faced, was that the script was left as-is since the show was cancelled. Which meant that it was written to be played by teenage actors, not grown adults.
The first step to get the production going was to produce a catchy musical number. This was very important as if done right, it could bring much needed funds to the project as it was a product placement by Coca-Cola for its new product, Cocaccino, ‘half the size, twice the sugar’. Maya, the contact from Coca Cola, wanted a happy song that showcased how this new product made people happy. Unfortunately this clashed with Chloe’s vision and made it very jarring considering the show started on a somber note with the death of one of the teachers. The musical number did get created, but not to the liking of Coca Cola, who pulled out of the show after seeing it.
The team then wanted to build up some excitement in the media by providing a sneak preview to critics. Unfortunately, with the funds from Coca Cola no longer available, the cast had to practice in questionable locations, such as Denis and Branson’s house. Using Dennis’ contacts, they managed to put together a gala in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria though. While the event was a mess, especially because Max could not get into the building as he was persona non-grata due to his antics some years back, the show ended up getting lots of publicity due to viral videos of the gala taking over the internet as it was seen as very ironic how these 30 year olds were trying to breath life into a teen sitcom.
Finally, the cast got around producing the episode. The success of the sneak preview brought them much needed funds. Enough to get some studio space… but only enough to shoot the episode in one weekend. Here, the old script caused issues. One scene in particular turned very problematic as Chloe was supposed to catch Tiny Teddy who was falling from a high chair. Originally, Tiny Teddy was a baby on the show, but he was now a 17 year old football player.
The episode was produced and put on Netflix. Unfortunately, it was a huge failure that had no followers. Word has it it became a cult classic among stoners, but it never got enough views on the platform.
Dennis and Max did not make up. Max continued being a has-been with emotional problems. The one that had some success afterwards was Chloe, who received an award for her documentary “Adults on Bikes” that showcased the struggles the team faced producing the season finale.