Glass Houses

Here is my pitch letter for a TV show. If any incredibly rich and influential TV persons read my blog (yea, right) thay please understand this would be the best show ever. My friend, extraordinary artist
CARL FERRERO and I are going to turn it into a graphic novel...

Glass Houses

On the edge of Manhattan’s rapidly gentrifying West Village stand the Phang Towers – two sleek, 8-story structures that have become most coveted address of the city. Created by an internationally celebrated architect Norman Phang, the towers have a “skin” of wall-to-wall glass, so that they float in the air like two sharp translucent teeth. They audaciously gleam during the day, and alluringly glow at night.

Every floor was bought up immediately (for a cool 5 million each) by the most wealthy and famous in the city: a rock star couple, an academy award winning actress, two self-made millionaire teenagers, a retired fashion designer, recently divorced wife of an internet mogul, and others. It’s celebrities behind glass.

On the first floor is “First Floor,” a four star restaurant. Housed in Tower One’s penthouse is “Clear,” a deluxe spa and yoga studio, where the rich seek serenity and an escape from the pressure that comes with their exhausting Affluenza. The restaurant and spa staff, (including the harried, cell-phone wielding building Concierge, Tony Testa,) work around the clock to make sure that they can satisfy their residents every request, conceal their perverse peccadilloes, and endure their celebrity-tantrums without being hit by a flying Blackberry. We will follow the lives of both the served and the servers: the personal chefs, waiters, assistants and massage therapists who keep their clients perfectly coiffed, organically fed, and sexually satisfied.

Glass Houses is a viciously comedic soap opera about The Other Side: those people who can afford to buy 5 million dollar transparent homes. It’s a modern satire that skewers the puzzling new American luxury economy -- an “Upstairs Downstairs” in the Richard Meier buildings. It’s a subject ripe for comedy: since every month another large glassy tower of luxury apartments seems to go up not only in Manhattan, but in many metropolitan centers – leading the one-bank-account, debt-ridden populace below to look up and say to themselves, “Who the hell can afford to live in that?”

The towers seem like a mazelike supperealist painting, that sometimes dizzies the eye. Strange, surprising scenes unfold as imagery and light bounces off the gleaming facades, giving everything an air of irrationality. The gossipy intrigue, the affairs, the plots and doublecrosses – are taken to a perverted extreme by the fact that everyone can see into everyone else’s apartment. In this menagerie of windows, reflections and reflections of reflections, characters peer into each other’s lives and nefarious plotlines can spin out of control by a misconstrued ricochet of light. You may see someone walking into someone else’s apartment, a naked body, a murder, only to discover it is a reflection of a movie on someone’s giant plasma screen. Or is it?

The distinction between unreal and real may be blurring, but the dividing line between wealthy and poor has never been clearer. Glass Houses is a much-needed comedic look at our preposterous times, satirizing the ballooning real estate and luxury-clogged excess of today’s New York City.

CHARACTERS, by floor

Phang Tower One

Top Floor Penthouse: Edwardo Estrano – This ageless, surgeried latin psychic mega-mogul built his company from one small botanica in Mexico into a huge international business. A cross between Mr. Rourke from Fantasy Island and Miss Madrigal from Tales of the City, he is the omniscient force of the Phang Towers. He hosts lavish holiday parties and glowers bewitchedly at everyone with all-knowing eyes.

Number Seven -- Madeline Direct, a conceptual artist and photographer whose oblique self portraits from the 80s auction for 8 million at Sotheby’s. Moody, quiet and voyeuristic, she makes hidden video recordings as she spies other people’s apartments.

Number Six: The Taylor Twins. Two 14 year old fashion icons who make millions of dollars off their multiplatform merchandising industry of teen girl clothes, perfume, accessories. They have been celebrities since they were infants, having appeared on a kitschy family television show called “The Terrible Twos” about twins that can’t stay out of trouble. Now they have a Fortune 500 company and serious shopping addiction. They disowned their parents and have no one to tell them to go to bed.

Number Five -- Drew Denton, a tragic, aged fashion designer who still feels as though he has to maintain that he is heterosexual.

Number Four – Patricia Snow, an academy award winning actress with a terrible lovelife, who dates one actor or country music star or basketball player after another, and feels trapped in her life. Her problems make her thin and emotionally jagged, which provides tears for her demanding roles.

Number Three – Lion, a sexy-at-50 British rock star and his gorgeous wife Stella, who are yoga devotees and relentlessly on the prowl for kinky threeways.

Number Two: Norman Phang’s architecture and design office, in which is scattered bizarre and preposterous overdesigned furniture and undulating models of upcoming projects being planned across the world.

Phang Tower Two.

Penthouse: Clear Spa – This high end yoga studio and spa, uses only natural artisinal products and tinkles with windchimes and expensive preciousness. It’s owner, Nolle, is a yoga guru and masseuse who preaches kindness and ultimate peace, especially, it seems, to a list of rich women who line up to take his private classes. His healing touch massage is apparently to die for.

Number Seven: A ghostly floor with no occupants, at Norman Phang’s request. He keeps it vacant, with the lights lit up, for a mysterious reason he refuses to discuss. Madeline Direct is fascinated and tries to uncover the truth.

Number Six – Lizette Hamill. This aged actress just divorced her Internet Mogul husband and is having a bit of an identity crisis as she tries to break back into the industry she left behind for “true love.” She got the apartment in a bitter palimony suit. She has a sullen teenage son, Walker, who she lets smoke pot on the balcony.

Number Five – Liam Nailer, a hot hunk A List actor who has a wife and kids back in Australia, and loves to go out on the town in his adopted city, with one or many of his close, close male friends. He constantly walks around his apartment in his boxer shorts, with the window shades open.

Number Four – Shaz, a multiplatinum selling rapper and hiphop producer who grew up in the Bronx.

Number Three -- Wanda Ross, A mid-40s publishing firm executive having an affair with Ralph Klonick, the City Police Commisioner who, while supporting a wife and three kids, is extorting money from the city’s Homeland Security Budget to pay the rent. And what is the rent, you may ask? $125,000 dollars a month.

Number Two – A coke-snorting Hedge fund analyst whose vaporous wealth is tied up in an Enron-like maze of investments and shares of “Futures” stock. He’s 27 but acts 16, riding a skateboard through the halls, windsurfing all day.

First Floor

The ground floor of the towers adjoin to form First Floor -- a restaurant and bar owned by a Calvin Spaglonini, a loud, large restauranteur who wears shorts everywhere and never takes off his white apron smeared with 100 dollar entrees. His staff are all aspiring singers and actors, including: Andrew, a very cute, sincere gay pianist who is looking for love and a steady gig. Coco, a sexy modern day Pat Benatar rocker who is the lead singer of the band Future in Plastics and her hot, skinhead husband Kelly, the band’s lead guitarist. Sara, a brassy Jewish stand up comedian with red hair and a hilarious mouth that sometimes gets her into trouble, and Jorge, a hardworking busboy from Mexico who has a wife and two kids to feed in Bay Ridge, but has drop-dead model looks that may take him down a tempting path.

At the front door stand two high security doormen who operate the lobby like it’s a terrorist checkpoint. At the front desk awaits the Phang Towers Concierge Tony Testa, a fast talking celebrity personal assistant expert who never has less than three cellphones in his hand at the same time. At the beginning of every episode, he and his front desk staff, Andi and Jeffrey, get a call from one of the residents for the most outrageous items and spend the remainder of the episode in a heart-stopping rush to satisfy their bizarre requests, whether it be crocodile moonboots, pink-frosted cupcakes from Portugal, or the entire first season of Rhoda in DVD.

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