Clare Higgins & Julie Fassnacht – 2019 Half-Hour Finalists
Crash & Burn
Trout, Montana isn't known for much -- besides a four-story fiberglass fish. But that's about to change when middle-school misfits Denny, Rob and Oliver try to crack a local cold case, and get way in over their heads.
Los Angeles transplants Clare and Julie both hail from Michigan: Clare from Ann Arbor, and Julie from Rochester Hills. Their shared, sheltered midwestern lives finally drew them together in their twenties, when they quickly agreed (seriously, there may have been a handshake involved) to write a show about middle-school kids getting into lots of trouble.
Crash & Burn is a coming-of-age heist comedy that reads like End of the Fucking World, a more grounded Stranger Things, or the little sister of Freaks and Geeks. Our young characters react in different ways to their scrape with the law: some feign bravery, while others are total pansies. But no matter the method, this small crime changes each of the kids in unshakeable ways. It’s like what they say about war, maybe: your true self, and your true bonds, are revealed in times of hardship. Our pilot is like that, but funny, and with arson.
We love our show because it lives and dies with character. We’re interested in flawed, young people constantly trying to do right, look cool, or just keep their head above water, and constantly coming up short. We’re even more interested when those people find each other, building meaningful friendships that define who they are and who they want to become.
We wanted Crash & Burn to speak to the comedy of adolescence in that way, but also to explore the core truths of pre-teendom. We haven’t seen enough shows that unearth the raw vulnerability of that age: middle school is a difficult time of constant uncertainty, mixed with a little remaining adventure. Our kids haven’t given up the fun of childhood for bra-straps and braces just yet – no chance. They’ve got important potential murderers to track down.
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