A TELEPLAY BY: AMAN KHANGURA & MAND PASKUSKI
Workplace | Comedy | Drama
When a struggling local community center is on the brink of being sold, a disgraced Olympic medalist returns home to save it and rediscover his love of the game.
A mocku-mentary parody about life working at a struggling Community Center, "LONG SHOT" offers a glimpse into the world of the A.R.C. The story revolves around sought after new recruit, Olympic Medalist, Beny Balkina, a single out-of-work disgraced athlete looking for promise in the world of his past. A team of misfits must band together to save the Center from being absorbed by a neighbouring high school: Yale Prep High where it just so happens, Beny's biggest rival Jack Stackler is head coach. Perserveringly, Beny must live up to his reputation and spearhead the fight to stay afloat. Charming, witty, inspiring, Long Shot is the pEp talk before the big game, the luck of the rabbit foot and the story we look to for humour and hope.
Much like "The Office" U.S. and "Ted Lasso" we envision this show bridging the gap between these two wonderful worlds. With the camera always shadowing our main characters we get that Office feel immediately coupled with the dynamic fast paced energy that Lasso carries throughout the season. Set in a small somewhat sleepy town, the color scheme should feel very natural and authentic to day to day life.
Each episode must carry with it a new crisis, drama or conflict that must be resolved within the episode itself, while also building that crescendo of tension for the overall main issue at hand...: The A.R.C. being bought by Yale Prep High).
BENY BALKINA (30's), Our flawed hero. A professional athlete who made it all the way to the Olympics only to cost his team the gold medal. They settled for silver but he's never been able to live down the shame of his past mistake. He's handsome, charming, he likes dogs, is nice to the elderly and all around makes for a pretty great guy except for that massive chip on his shoulder. Beny is all of us at our core. He offers us a bittersweet perspective that bends with the challenges he faces. Over the season Beny goes through a series of changes, both internal and external that amount to a gradual shift in overall demeanour and disposition. By the end of seaon one, it's as if he's returned to his old self again and the chip on his shoulder alleviates the more time he spends with Maeve and the A.R.C. team. This doesn't last, for at the end of the season when he loses the bet to Stackler and the reality of the rec center being sold sets in, he doubts himself, his talent and his place here all over again. To make matters worse, he's fallen desperately in love with Maeve, who on the cliffhanger, tells him she's quit.
MAEVE (30's), A.R.C's Intelligent, stunning, talented, ball-busting queen. She is beautiful yes and we'll notice that first but then we'll get to know her and truthfully, what's not to love? Great sarcastic sense of humour, sharp as a tack and elegant in that effortless easy way most people envy. It's no wonder she never stays single or in one place for too long. However, her judgement when it comes to relationships has never been quite on point and she generally finds herself in relationships she's better off without. For all her quirks, it's plain to see, she's truly a catch. Through the season, Maeve's guard stays up. She moved to this town for reasons that she has no interest divulging to anyone especially her co-workers - a series of bad relationships, two failed careers and a wounded ego to console. Her relationship with the center, like most of her relationship with the center, like most of her relationships, is complicated. We watch Maeve grow accustomed to The A.R.C. and the people within it and slowly start to see Stackler for the man he really is. By the end of the season she's begun to have serious doubts about the longevity of her relationship and her future in this town. Though there's feelings for Beny, her fight or flight response takes the reins.
JACK STACKLER (30's-40's), is jock-strap soup in a can. Gross, misogynistic, aggressive, every woman's red-flagged nightmare. Truth is, when Beny rode a scholarship to the big leagues, Jack felt as though he stole his glory. He masks this through bullying and flinging around his crotch-forward-can-do-attitude whenever and wherever he can. In season one he's our main pain in the ass and makes Beny's life harder every chance he gets. Firstly, when they make a bet. He taunts Beny and The A.R.C. team in their attempts to save the centre and train a group of "nerds" how to be athletes. Behind Maeve's back we get glimpses into his true character motives and learn of his attempts to sabotage The A.R.C. at every turn. He is our biggest rival, the one to beat and ultimately, that jerk we've all been up against. By the end of the season, things seem to just be getting better and better for Jack, he's won his bet against Beny, he's won the girl and The A.R.C. is very nearly grounds to be his new training facility.
RANDALL (40's), is General Manager of The A.R.C. and as such is the "responsible" one. By his own definition he's a "lifer" and has been coming to this rec center since he was a kid with his dad. It was a gradual ascent to GM over a span of years that he earned fair and square and he'll be the first to tell you how proud he is of that. To him, this place is everything: Work, Home, Life -- there's no separation. He lives and breathes for this place and this place only. From episode to episode we see him struggle through the challenges of managing a centre that is collapsing at a scary pace. The more things fall apart the more he unravels trying to hold it all together. It is only around the mid-season mark where he learns to relinquish some control and lean on his team for support. It's hard to explain, but we'll try anyway: Randall is someone who never much entertained the ideals of romance, especially a culturally unconventional one, so he's remained single for the majority of his adult life. This means all of Jett's "subtle" advances are continually lost on him until a fateful moment at the A.R.C.'s Jingle Balls Fundraiser, when mistletoe plays wing-man to an innocent kiss. Jett doesn't know but for Randall it is the sexual awakening he had no idea he was ever searching for. This little kiss opens a Pandora's box of repressed emotions that paves the way for many delightfully awkward and charming moments in season two.
JETT (30's), is Randall's assistant. He is the drama, the full on telenovela melodrama and he won't be shy to admit it. Bold, cheeky and a true Abuela's boy, Jett is Gretchen Wieners with a twist (and better hair). Gossip too, and of all things, if you're looking for information you need not look further than Jett. He is our window into all the relationships within the A.R.C. and their constant purpose. His purpose? The man of his dreams: Randall. Jett might seem like your typical flirt but in reality he's battling some pretty serious heart pains, though he hides them well with glitter and sarcasm. Gladys and Jett's friendship is one that carries throughout the season in a truly grounded and real way. They discover major events before the rest of the team, one of those events presenting itself in a later episode where they must decide whether or not to expose Mindy, knowing it will hurt one of their friends. All in all and throughout the series, Jett is the lovable, loyal, best friend we all wish we had, a true ride or die.
GLADYS (20's), is the tiniest, mightiest, most indifferent person you will ever meet. Representing the majority of Gen Z, she possesses the chill, un-phased demeanour of a girl growing up in a world designed for total nihilism. She doesn't talk much but when she does its words worth hearing. Hired only a few months back as the centre's lifeguard, she's the newest edition to the A.R.C. team. At work, she enjoys spending her time hanging with the more elderly members, especially Mrs. Tubman, and teaching them the new trends (Tik Tok, Vaping, Pronouns and how to use them etc.). Overall, she'll front like she couldn't care less but the truth behind the curtain is she loves this job just as much as the rest. At the beginning of the series Gladys is someone who seems rather two dimensional until we start to peel back her layers to reveal she has been harbouring a big secret: She might not be as young as she claims. It's a long story but in short, after a rocky attempt at a higher education she returned home with no diploma and a new persona. Beny is the only one who uncovers this secret and we get to watch as their bond forms out of a mutual trust and understanding. The clues are there, though this secret isn't revealed until much later in the series to both the A.R.C. team and our audience.
ARTURO (70's), is the voice of reason. Ironically, he doesn't speak for half the season. He is our lesson in verbal and non verbal communication, signs signals and codes and the ways in which people relay important information. It's not like he can't talk but after his wife of forty-five years passed on, he hasn't felt much like doing anything, much less carry on a conversation. In the pilot, Beny and he bond over a game of checkers and a lengthy monologue about losing and playing the game. It's a defining moment for them both, making a choice to continue to play in life and learning to let go and move on. If anyone knows what that looks like, it's Arturo and it's a touch of foreshadowing that exists for us from the get-go. Arturo will come to be a teacher, not only to Beny but everyone in the place, he will grow to become a beloved pillar in this institution and soon graduate to mentor at large. He is our "Patches O'Houlihan" our "Ted Lasso" (aged up a touch), our "Dumbledore."
MINDY McCAINE (50's), appears to us only in the form of voice. Like "David Wallace" from The Office, or "Charlie" from Charlie's Angels, we mostly only hear her and rarely ever see her. She's running for mayor of Aberdeen so that means she's rather busy. One of her main orders of business is getting this Community Centre up and running in a glory that would shame her running opponents. It's made clear half way through the third episode that her hand is to the fire and if the center fails, well, so does her campaign. Spoiler alert, this is all a lie. She's all about the politics. Her campaign actually relies on the centre failing and being absorbed by her wealthy friends at Yale Prep High. Did we say friends? We meant she's sleeping with Jack Stackler. She is your classic small town "Karen" representative only concerned with numero uno: herself. Her rise up the political ladder means bolstering her name among the town's various rich white constituents whose support will only come from a show of leadership, did we say leadership? We meant money. Throughout season one, her ambition to undermine the A.R.C. team while maintaining a squeaky clean facade becomes a silent ticking bomb for our main characters to uncover and combat. Something smells fishy but it's not coming from the hot tub!
THE BOYS: RAYMOND, ROHAN, KAYDEN (All 14), the boys are part of our B-Story. They first met in grade three ESL class after their parents emigrated outcasts bonded them in a way that needs no explanation. They're brothers from other mothers. Forever Dungeons and Dragons is collectively their passion and when they found the vacant room at the rec centre they jumped at the chance to create a clubhouse behind its red door. With their parents working long hours and their siblings wreaking havoc on the daily, this room has been a home away from home for them, to have fun and get down and nerdy. Their importance comes fairly early on into season one when Beny is challenged by Stackler in a bet to form an unbeatable volleyball squad. Beny ends up recruiting them and ultimately, season to season grows fonder and fonder, like an older brother. We get to watch these boys gorw into puberty on camera, which surely is never an easy thing but the charm of it can't be denied. Much in the way that "Manny or Alex" from Modern Family win our hearts the older they get, we too will feel protective over these boys like they're our little brothers and we're cheering them on from the sidelines or bleachers. Just before the big showdown, halfway through season one an unexpected new arrival stokes the competition's stake flames. A NEW GIRL, (15) just as nerdy as them but with a power serve like Serena Williams. This new arrival throws these young boys for a loop, a hormonal, horrible, love-punch-drunk-ish loop. Rarely have we seen young characters in this mocku-mentary style of filmmaking.
(From Left to Right)
Lathrop Walker, Erin Lee Smith, Randy Alvarenga, Shelby Shill, Mark Jeremy Waldstein, Kevin Leung, Ryan Sanders, Ana Ravedutti, Frank Lawler.