General Question

iwannamakemovies's avatar

How accurate does a show have to be?

Asked by iwannamakemovies (233points) March 23rd, 2011

I’m writing a web series about teens living in a foster home. It’s a comedy, and intended for males 11–18, and kids in foster care.

I asked about the pilot on Yahoo Answers. And my pilot ended with the newly-fostered twins ringing the doorbell. Then in the next episode, the teens already in the home greet them. Then a girl in foster care said:
“Children in foster care don’t ‘ring the doorbell”. The CPS worker does that, while the kids remain in the car. During that time, CPS will do a quick review of the home to be sure everything is as it should be. After that quick inspection will the kids be invited in, and introduced. They won’t have “luggage”. Kids in foster care travel using black leaf bags provided too them by CPS case workers. The introduction isn’t like meeting the family of friends. It’s not all smiles and welcome. It’s a passing off from CPS to foster parent – nothing more.”

So how accurate should the show be with the fostering experience?

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17 Answers

filmfann's avatar

If you want the show to be edgy, it should be accurate.
btw, you might want to have it take place in a group home. The kids would have to be trouble, though.

iwannamakemovies's avatar

what do you mean by group home?

filmfann's avatar

In California, there are foster homes, which are like adoptive families, and Group Homes, which are like half-way houses for troubled kids.
Most of the time, when a kid makes it into Foster Care, they are already fairly damaged, and they often become child offenders. Those kids aren’t wanted by the Foster families, so they end up in Group homes.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I agree that it should be pretty accurate if you want to target people actually in that situation. I’ve stopped watching so many medical shows since becoming a nurse because of inaccuracies. They just stand out so much to me now that I can’t really enjoy the shows like I use too.

iwannamakemovies's avatar

@filmfann they’re relatively good kids, just with terrible pasts. I think a normal home would be most suitable. Thanks anyways :)

creative1's avatar

From a foster parent perspective try to make it as real as possible so people can understand just what these kids go through and how they really are treated and how their effects are treated like trash being put in a trash bag instead of a suitcase.

iwannamakemovies's avatar

well, it’s a comedy, so i dont want it to be too harsh

zenvelo's avatar

The group home thing was a comedy called Fish(TV_series) in the late 70s.

creative1's avatar

You are able to show the reality of how they are treated but still have the comedic lines in there.

creative1's avatar

A suggestion is to talk to some kids that have either aged out of the system or have been adopted out of fostercare and were taken at the age in which you are portraying so you can get a feel from the kids what they say. Because I am sure there were funny times but they are going to tell you what is wrong about how this or that looks in your film because they lived it,

iwannamakemovies's avatar

This home is only run by one laid-back foster parent, who also treats the schizophrenic character; who is named Ethan; terribly, because Ethan comes off as “sketchy.”

comicalmayhem's avatar

As accurate as possible or you’ll start pissing people off who actually know what goes on in a foster home. Such as a foster kid or foster parent.

Meego's avatar

You do remember the movie “The Orphan” right? Look on Wikipedia under Orphan film then click on reception to read the reviews.
The viewing audience probably thinks differently, at the age group your talking about they don’t really care about the background, it is mainly parents you need to make happy, my 16y girl is addicted to Disney, the least like reality it is the better you’ll do…Harry Potter anyone?
I also need to add, my husband had a terrible experience in foster care, I’m not going to go into details my husband passed away at the age of 40 but it’s not funny, and your story line isn’t funny either, no matter how much you juice it up, what are you anyways a kenny VS Spenny director
Help us all!

comicalmayhem's avatar

what i dont get is why do all foster kids who had a bad experience think this is a comedy about abuse… im pretty sure there are some foster kids who aren’t abused. Cox is a pedophile. Yeah, that doesn’t mean that he’s gonna rape the kids, it means that he’ll imply sexual urges to them but they still have each other that push eachother through the day. We’ll probably have an episode where he’s arrested and replaced. And we can make it somewhat a drama… most comedies are actually ‘dramadies’ (Scrubs, The Office, Community, etc…). The foster home part is bascially an excuse to gather the characters under one roof. They’ll have their dramatic backgrounds of how they got there, but the show’s about their comedy driven experience there. I know this because I’m working on the web series with him.

Kardamom's avatar

If it’s a sitcom, you can take a few “dramatic lapses” from reality. But be consisitent with whatever you said, showed or presented in the first place. There are actually jobs on movie and tv sets that are responsible for “consistency.”

If it’s more of a drama, take more time to make sure that what you are presenting is technically accurate (NCIS, Law and Order), or else people who have been involved with these situations will be ringing your phone and e-mailing you and threatening you in court if you get it wrong.

Know your subject matter as best as you can. Hire consultants if you have to. Do your homework.

Pay attention to Star Trek fanatics. Those people (oh God, I’m one of those people, yikes!) will remember everything you say, present, show, surmise, guess at, with regards to dialogue, costumes, names, dates, past history of characters etc.

glasseggplant's avatar

It all depends on what they are saying.

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