TV SERIES PITCH
An animated comedy about all of the god damn slugs that live in absolute bliss, destroying a family’s determined effort to save the Earth by tending a garden.
The Robertson family have pledged to lower their carbon footprint, and they’ve ripped out a large swath of lawn to build a vegetable and flower garden.
They try, so hard, to live in oneness with nature. They mean well! But they fail, miserably, thanks to all of the god damn slugs.
Slugs are terrestrial molluscs that thrive in gardens. They have two eyes bobbling around at the end of antennae like stalks, they have no limbs, and they secrete a film of mucus for protection (constantly, both to propel themselves around and as a defence mechanism).
Slugs can be a serious plant pest, and they cause massive damage to human attempts at agriculture.
Slugs are also slimy and gross and arguably the most disgusting creatures on the planet Earth.
The slugs cause the Robertsons to wonder. Is there a God?
There can’t be! Not with all of these god damned slugs.
And just look at them! Except for when they roll themselves up into balls when threatened, slugs seem to live in perpetual nirvana, regardless of their surroundings. They don’t seem perturbed in the slightest by the challenges of life. As long as they have a little moisture, they thrive, gorging themselves on the bounty of a garden. These slugs are completely oblivious to the Robertson family’s existence.
As the story begins, the Robertson’s attempt at gardening brings them joy and harmony, creating a deep sense of connection with the Earth, nature, and the greater cosmos. But, time after time, the slugs disrupt this notion, and consume everything that the family attempts to grow.
After the slugs demolish an entire strawberry crop, the Robertsons snap and, one by one, they begin to hunt and kill all of the slugs.
The Robertsons are engaged in the constant struggle to live authentic and purposeful lives under the fear of global climate catastrophe. But these god damn slugs prove to be the ultimate challenge to a family’s understanding and acceptance of their purpose and place in the natural world.
God Damn Slugs is a dark comedy that zooms in and out between a brightly coloured psychedelically inspired micro universe of a garden, and the macro world of humans on a planet orbiting a star in infinite space.
Humans and slugs live on two separate planes of existence. They live on a common planet, sure, but their perceptions of this world are not in any way in sync. The humans in ‘God Damn Slugs’ are oblivious to a dialogue taking place amongst the creatures in the garden, and the slugs are oblivious to the wider world that exists above and beyond the plants they consume in their immediate surroundings.
The Robertson family have wonderful intentions. But their lifestyle, and many of their decisions, lead to horrible consequences for the environment. Their failed efforts and hypocrisy are the big joke here. The series offers a playful take on anthropomorphizing the slug world, while poking fun at humanity’s contributions and reactions to climate crisis.
Much of the humour in this series comes from the simple existence of gross disgusting god damn slugs, and the bizarre biological functions of these creatures that use their constant stream of mucus slime as a means of both transportation, courtship and defence. These god damn slugs also consume faeces as a regular part of their diet. Ew! On the slug level, human concepts, like manners, appropriateness and shame, simply do not exist. When presented with a slug as a piece of evidence, how can one possibly argue that the universe is designed by a divine intelligence?
Nature is a wonder! The diversity of family units and values that are expressed in nature challenge our human perceptions of traditional family values. This is not just subversive comedy. It’s science and nature facts. The diverse expression of gender identity and sexual behaviour in slugs reflects our society’s current conversation on these subjects. All slugs are hermaphrodites! And if you like true facts, you dirty pervert, you just may be interested to know that it is not uncommon for two slugs to get their penises tangled and interlocked during intercourse. They free themselves by eating off their genitalia.
Let’s not judge, people.
But c’mon. Gross!
Slugs might be cursed, but perhaps they are not evil. They are supposedly a valuable part of the ecological food chain, and a vital component of the decomposition process that transforms decaying organic matter into nutritious soil that sustains all life in the garden.
‘God Damn Slugs’ is a twisted family comedy that uses the natural world, and the desire to save the environment, to create an original story world that is part ‘A Bugs Life’, part ‘Bob’s Burgers’, and part instructional guide for how to support a healthy planet.
The story mostly takes place at the Robertson family residence.
Live, love, laugh! The Robertson’s do so in a beautifully decorated home and garden that features many such inspirational signs, painted on wood and stone and placed mindfully.
Although located in the middle of vast suburban sprawl, their gardening efforts have transformed their yard into a thriving green space, lush and teeming with life.
The Robertsons, a healthy and financially secure family of four, are keen to save the environment.
EMMA ROBERTSON is a loving Mom, spouse, freelance writer and blogger. Her writing profiles list her passions as yoga, meditation, gardening, cooking, travel and family. ‘Whole Mind Body Life!’, her new YouTube channel, just hit 50,000 subscribers! She is mostly vegetarian, but will occasionally eat ethically sourced seafood. Emma meticulously researches her consumer choices and is an avid online shopper. She is a firm believer in ‘The Secret’, the law of attraction. Emma has taken an online pledge to lower her carbon footprint and intends to document her journey and post the experience on her social media channels. Everything she publishes online looks beautiful and is perfectly presented.
DAN ROBERTSON, Dad, has yet to find his bliss. He’s unhappy moving from sales job to sales job, and does not feel that he is a productive member of society. Seeing his wife’s success with her online business, he’s inspired to pursue a new passion: “Suburban Homesteading”. He starts his own online video channel, filled with tips on various topics, none of which he has much skill, knowledge or experience with. Science was never Dan’s strongest subject in school. And he is a really shitty carpenter. His pursuit of this ill advised new career choice challenges the family’s finances. Dan would love to be a vegetarian, but he is unable to resist the temptation of eating meat. That said, he would definitely consider himself to be “woke”. Raised in the judaeo christian tradition, Dan struggles with his belief in God after confronting the concept and existence of slugs. His therapist insists that the slugs are not the cause of his depression. Dan is not convinced. Everything Dan publishes online is sloppily produced and full of fails.
DELILAH ROBERTSON is a young teenager. An intelligent independent thinker, she loves to read and learn. Passionate and empowered she wants to figure out and understand the world. At first she sweetly follows her parents along on all of their gardening and environmental projects. Overtime she gradually grows to question and challenge the hypocrisy of her family’s intentions, actions, and lifestyle.
DYLAN ROBERTSON is a preteen boy who does not give a shit about gardening or the natural world. He would much rather be inside, plugged-in and navigating a virtual video game garden than actually being outside. Screen-time is a perpetual conflict in the Robertson household. Since the Robertson parents are often on their own screens, creating content for their website and social media feeds, it’s a challenge to enforce family rules. Dylan is often dragged outside kicking and screaming.
GAIA – The Robertson family dog. Gaia loves being outside. Could not care less about slugs.
ARION – A medium sized slug. Brown on top, bright orange on the bottom. Arion is a bright and energetic average joe: your every day garden variety slug. Loves life in the garden. Dies.
BOOGER – Green. Has a particular voracious nutritional and sexual appetite. Booger is particularly adapt at excreting a perpetual snotty torrent of slime. Dies.
BLACKIE BLACK BLACK – He’s a big black slug. Super friendly! Dies.
ANNA BANANA – A massive slug. Super long and bright yellow with brown spots. Moves and talks slowly, even for a slug. Dies.
SHELLY – A shy snail. Basically a slug, but with a spiralling shell on it’s back. Quickly retreats when spooked. The slugs are envious of the protective armour the shell provides. Did you know that when you crush a snail that the shell fragments add valuable calcium to the garden soil? Dies.
HARVEY – The retired machinist who lives next door to the Robertson family. Harvey loves power tools and has no concerns about breaking the peace and silence of the neighbourhood. He and the Robertsons get along reasonably well, although their conversations often tend to be passive aggressive critiques of each others’ behaviour and world views. He advocates killing all slugs. His preferred method is generous applications of poison. But he’s not adverse to mowing slugs into mulch with a lawn mower, eviscerating them with a weed whacker, or simply gutting them with a trowel while digging their macerated bodies into the garden soil. Kill ‘em all!
STELLAR J – A bright blue bird, Supper chatty. Drops in on the slugs and talks up a storm. The Robertsons love J, and always feed him and are trying to befriend and tame him. Stellar J has a low opinion of humans.
Unlike the slugs, Stellar J and a number of the other garden creatures are able to perceive and interact with the human world.
The ‘God Damn Slugs’ stories are developed to feature a large cast of different garden creature characters, including insects that live side by side with the slugs, birds that swoop down from time to time, a racoon family that comes by at night, and a snake (who, if hungry, will eat slugs).
It’s Springtime! The Robertson garden emerges with life. The family works and sings together, enjoying the full splendour of nature. The slugs help themselves to a buffet of the Robertson’s carefully cultivated seedlings. The Robertson family face a quandary! They want to respect and care for every creature on earth, and seek harmony and oneness with nature. But the slugs have caused too much damage and are destroying all of their gardening efforts. The Robertsons opt for a compassionate solution: gather up the slugs one by one and move them to another location in the garden.
It’s party time, and the slugs feast and live it up at another garden buffet. The Robertsons compost, and struggle with the challenge of how to manage the slugs without causing harm to the environment. They explore non-lethal methods of slug removal.
The slugs are loving the beer “traps” that the Robertsons have carefully placed throughout the garden. The slugs live it up, drinking and partying in the garden even more. The Robertsons plant potatoes. The slugs quickly develop alcoholism.
The Robertsons build a chicken coop, with the hopes the chickens will solve the slug problem. The slugs struggle with alcoholism and depression. But their perspectives brighten when they stumble across a patch of psilocybin mushrooms and get super high.
The beer traps have failed, the chickens have no interest in eating slugs as planned, the slugs continue to eat and eat, growing bigger and bigger. The Robertsons have had it. In a fit of rage, Mr. Robertson violently murders a slug.
The slugs eat most of the sunflowers. The Robertsons begin to kill more and more slugs. The slugs aren’t bothered, but they are mildly curious about what happened to some of their friends and family that have now vanished from the garden.
The butterflies and humming birds return, boasting non-stop about the jet setting life and how wonderful it is to winter Mexico. The slugs are not impressed. The arrival of other summer garden creatures, like dragonflies and mosquitoes, transform the garden into a place buzzing with life. A bat flies into the Robertson house and the family must confront another of God’s creatures that they secretly despise.
The Robertson family decides to kick their environmental activism up a notch. They prepare to join a protest march. The slugs chill and lounge in the shade all day.
The Robertsons build a rain water catchment and irrigation system. A slug gets stuck in the hair of the Robertson family dog, Gaia. When she is brought inside the slug becomes trapped inside the Robertsons house and must escape or die.
On a hot day, two slugs go for a walk. Only one lives to tell the tale of how they left a slimy meandering trail across such a long stretch of sidewalk. The Robertsons try bee keeping.
A dry spell is broken by a rainy day. The slugs come out and rejoice. The rain catchment Emma installed works great! Dan’s is a complete fail.
The slugs congregate. The Robertson family dog has taken a massive dump on the lawn! The slugs have a raucous feast, and the Robertsons, as well as many of the other garden creatures, are disgusted.
The Robertsons have successfully coaxed Dylan outside, recruiting him for slug removal duty. He takes to the challenge with a passion and creativity that they have not seen before. Now they are concerned that his enthusiasm for slug killing may turn him into a serial killer.
It’s mating time! The slugs get it on. Young slugs go through awkward first time sexual interactions as hermaphrodites. The Robertsons are fascinated and gather around and watch.
Autumn. Leaves begin to fall and plants and animals prepare for migratory travel and hibernation. The slugs have no idea what winter is, or that they will soon all die. Days grow shorter and colder. The rain does not stop.
Winter has come. The Robertsons celebrate a warm and cozy Christmas by a fire. Delilah addresses the shocking environmental cost of their celebrations, undoing all of their gardening efforts. In the cold of night, with few exceptions, everything in the garden dies.
Spring arrives. Hope renews. Life goes on.
Each season of ‘God Damn Slugs’ features an opportunity to renew in the never ending cycle of life and death of a garden.
This is a series that offers many story options for expanding into multiple seasons, with an introduction of new slug characters in a new year of gardening (with new slugs and the same Robertson family, or new slugs living in another family’s garden). Or the same slug characters can be reincarnated, either as slugs again or as a supposed higher level of garden creature. Or the slugs steady diet of hallucinogenic mushrooms can cause them to evolve higher levels of intelligence, yet filling them with the desire to fight back against the human aggression. Life, the struggle for survival, inevitable death, an infinite revolution. There is no end to the high tales and drama that take place in a garden bed.