Cambrian Explosion

She had an idea for a tv show about two deer running through the woods. The deer were telepathic of course and though they were running from a hunter, they had a long, silent discussion about human ontology, which neither deer is sure we have.


And that’s the whole show? he asked. How is that a show?


She shrugged. There’s drama, characters, and an idea. How is that not a show?

She typed up the pilot and he edited it. One thing is that she kept switching the names of the two deer around, with the browner deer sometimes being identified as Flo and sometimes as Lucy. And vice versa, naturally.


I wanted that, she said. That’s part of the show.


He sadly lowered his gaze. How is that part of the show?


It’s the plot.


She sealed up the pilot and sent it to David Simon. She used all of the stamps left in the house. He wanted to say that David Simon wrote tv, he didn’t produce it, but he was sure she had an answer to that as well.


In six months, David Simon called her. He wanted to discuss the show’s setting. He felt that the deer should run through a field of tall grass and shrubs, rather than a forest. Otherwise, David had no notes.


What’s the name of this show? he asked, thoroughly confused, deeply chagrined. Is it still untitled?


No. Cambrian Explosion.


He yelped. How is that the name of a show?


That’s when you went from a little of something to a whole lot of something—the explosion. That’s the show’s emotional heart.


This hurt as much as anything else, and he hurt a lot, but he was beginning to see that maybe she was right. This was the golden age of everything.


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