Netflix’s Living With Yourself

Those sound a lot like subject matter to me. But, subject matter and issues (don’t quote me) seem to show up together a lot. So let’s run with this.

Oh no!

We can’t have Threat/Skill as a thematic combo!

We have a couple of choices here.

We can pick one of the dynamic pairs associated with Threat or Skill (since most thematic arguments are usually explored with point/counterpoint) and see if that helps us think.

Or, we can look to the issues below each one and see if that helps us think.

I’ll let you choose…

I know. That’s why I was asking if he felt good about the problem elements under threat. :smile:

I think Threat / Security (more like insecurity) are strong for OS.

Fact and Fantasy are there too.

The whole pitch is kind of this imaginary, dream world where we’re all a big family, when really it’s for a company run by a guy who sold an innocent kid out to Nazis so he could get more food.

I’ll have to wait until I can look at elements again though.

Okay. Looking at the elements chart over a coffee this morning, I think I have a better idea of things now.

I’d put Miles in Experience / Skill and the OS in Threat / Security.

That puts new Miles in Desire with a drive of Ending. He doesn’t want his “old life” to end. That feels strong.

I think we kind of covered the issues, but what I think is really strong here are the Expectation and Determination elements.

Miles has all the expectations of what his life should have been, he’s falling short of expectations at work. He moves to realizing that it’s not about all of that, he can just be happy on his own terms and be there for his wife. He determines his own happiness.

OS Solution of Determination feels strong too. They can’t determine who the father is. They’re stuck together. They have to come together for the family. (Two Dads and one Mom? How _progress_ive. :wink:)

Then you have a relationship problem of trust (trusting each other to keep up their end of the deal, betrayals of trust)

I admit, I’m finding it harder and harder to remember examples, but that feels like a nice arrangement.

What do you guys think?

ETA: If you’re away from your computer, this storyform is the same as Spider-verse.

I like a lot of what you said, especially [quote=“glennbecker, post:161, topic:2652”]
OS Solution of Determination feels strong too. They can’t determine who the father is

So now we’re going to have to have a conversation, because my gut took me the other direction:

I started by putting New Miles into Psychology>Being>Ability because it’s his ability to do things with such ease that makes him such a foil for Old Miles.

This forces Old Miles into Activity>Doing>Skill, which also felt good because we know Miles has it in him (he’s been nominated for the Golden Pencil before) but he’s having trouble accessing it. It also seemed to fit with his sperm test: does he have the potential to be a father?

I want to go back and add that I also have these choices that we’ve never talked about:
• Change (he goes from being a lump on a log to someone who can destroy a credenza)
• Male (If I send New Miles to work, then I can write my play)
• Optionlock (They are clearly trying out arrangements to see what will work.)
• Good (They all smile and hug after the Mileses got their anger out with a fistfight. I’m not 100% on this)

I don’t have •Success• chosen because… what’s the Story Goal again? I have an idea, but we haven’t addressed it, and this is where I think the show falters. I suspect this will be •Success•, but we’ll get there.

Anyway, all of this prevents me from choosing OS Issue>Threat.

I’m down to four storyforms now.

In the OS, I like the feel of Process/Result because:
• The problem seems like it comes from the screwed up results from the spa. And,
• Old Miles (who I see as Protagonist) is trying to figure out a Process by which he can benefit from the existence of the New Miles.

But I don’t like Effect/Cause in the Problem/Solution spots.

I should add that the reason I haven’t picked Success is that I don’t think Old Miles achieved his goal of figuring out how to live with New Miles.

Unless “we destroy the credenza together” is representing something like destroying the old family unit (Kate + Miles) and ushering in a new era.

I mean, I do think that’s what they’re saying with that. But I don’t see how this actually solves their problem—I don’t feel convinced they know how to live together.

I think it might be better to think of it as moving forward together. They don’t know where it’s going or how it’s going to work, but stopping the fighting, backstabbing and lies and they are choosing to move forward together as a family.

I started coming around to Expectation in the OS when I thought about the backstory episode. I think you mentioned that the marriage was more OS than RS. That episode is all about setting up all these great expectations for the future that don’t end up panning out. We’ll move to suburbs, I’ll become a big shot writer, we’ll start our family and make this the baby room.

I could see the crucial elements both ways

  • Old Miles wants to figure out a process to benefit from New Miles. New Miles is actually getting the results
  • Old Miles just expects that New Miles is doing what he’s saying and that he’ll reap all the benefits. New Miles is determined to steal the wife away and get his old life back.

I do like Accurate / Non-Accurate for Miles symptom and response. Anytime things aren’t going exactly how he wants he lashes out.

I don’t think destroying the credenza is a MC Change thing. He takes out his aggression on inanimate objects throughout the show (the lightbulb, the matchstick eiffel tower, the credenza). Plus that feels more like a Be-er to Do-er change to me.

Also, the reason he can’t let new Miles leave is because the company expects him to deliver this pitch that he can’t understand.

Reading back over the thread and this jumped out. This really feels like the moment between Miles and his Dad in Spider-verse. That “I don’t care who you are or what you do, as long as you’re happy” moment.

I also remembered the wanna-be CEO guy and his high standards for marble tiles setting the wife off. Wasn’t that kind of a “grow up, we don’t always get what we want” kind of moment? She goes to the dating site because her needs aren’t being met.

Can you think of any Cause/Effect or Expectation examples @greg? Or did you have a strong feeling one way or the other?

@greg @glennbecker

Guys, if he is a Change character and his reaction to finding out that New Miles slept with Kate… is it possible that Old Miles changes into a Do-er?

That makes him a Start character.

I’ve always felt strongly about start, so that would be good.

I feel like we made a pretty convincing case for Doer though. :grin:

I know he lies to his wife about the money, he keeps telling Kate he’ll go to the clinic and then doesn’t, he pretends to be one of the farmers, there’s all the stuff with him not writing. Is watching porn instead of working a be-er thing? :smile:

Hmm, I don’t know. Do you have a good Be-er argument, @MWollaeger ?

I don’t. One might exist, but I don’t want to go back and watch the show to find it!

Ha! I hear ya. I know @Greg was pushing for be-er initially. Maybe he has some examples.

I thought the suicide attempt was a good Be-er / Ending thing with New Miles.

He’s grown in his motivation of Ending from not wanting his old life to end, to breaking up the marriage, to just wanting to end it all. But he can’t bring himself to do it. He keeps thinking of the mess he’s going to leave. So, then he tries to get old Miles to lose his sh-t and do it for him. (Preconscious consequence?)

Then old Miles is unable to do it. They smash the credenza. I think this is more of an RS moment. Then there’s that moment of, what are we going to do now? We’re at a standstill.

It’s not until the wife says she’s pregnant and they can’t determine who is the father that they all come together. I think the change is Old Miles reacts the same way to the news as New Miles. He’s excited and supportive. He’s determined to make it work.

You still get the Skill / Ability issues as counterpoints (maybe that’s one reason the story feels wonky)

I don’t see Proven / Unproven as strongly for new Miles.

This is all assuming we’re good with my previous arguments. :slight_smile:

I’m not finding a lot to say regarding the problem level.

Might this still be prior to having changed?

That’s my feeling as well.

Using Jim’s premise idea, the story would be something like “Stop trying to meet expectations and you can move forward together.”

Does that feel like it’s in the ballpark?

This is the issue I’m running into. I feel like there is a bunch of Result/Process stuff, I like the Determination/Expectation, but since I don’t feel like it all comes together, I don’t care to suss it out much.

Basically, I feel like the show declares a Success/Good ending, without really earning it. Like the baby is some kind of magic bean that just works.

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I’m getting burnt out too. Are you guys ready to call it?

I’m good with that. Thanks for taking a look with me!

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No problem! It was fun and educational. Maybe Jim or others can weigh in down the line if they finish.

Thanks for being the Dramatica Sherpa again, @MWollaeger.

100% ready to call it. Thanks, guys.

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So I’m not expecting anyone to join back in, but I am coming back to this one just to offer some thoughts on be-ing.

  1. Miles preference is not to kill the fly, but to sit down and try to come up with an idea for his pitch. He only kills the fly when the lady tells him he’s got fifteen minutes. And then he sarcastically says ‘you’re welcome’ adapting himself to his environment by asserting that he should be more appreciated.

  2. I think it could be argued that breaking the light bulb isn’t meant to show Miles as a go-getter, but as someone who responds to the environment-that is, adapts himself to his environment-with anger. Breaking the light bulb was an action, sure. But he didn’t do anything to fix the light, he did something to make it worse because he’s the type of guy to be angry or depressed about his environment rather than changing the environment, rather than trying another bulb or going to the store for a new fixture… And breaking the lightbulb, by the way, doesn’t really change the environment because it was technically already broken.

  3. When he stops the car to ask for help, he says “You and I are going to be friends” not in an attempt to do something about his problem, but in an attempt to be like Dan, to adapt himself to his environment. A do-er surely would have preferred to slide into the backseat first.

I think many, but not all, of his scenes are meant to show that he responds to problems by first getting angry or depressed even if he ‘do-es’ things in anger or sadness. That is, he’s adapting his mood to his environment. And when we look at his whole story and not just individual scenes, we see that his is the story of a guy who used to engage with others but has responded to his environment by giving up these things in favor of a general depression. That is, his personal story is that of a man who has taken up responding to the world by being a worse version of himself. That is the justification that needs to be torn down.