Sequels are Stupid….Part II
In case any of you were wondering, I write this column for a reason. Beyond just amusing myself with witty banter and inane observations, I use TRUTH: In 1000 Words or Less to draw people to my website, www.waitingfortoday.com, in hopes that they will peruse excerpts from my best-selling debut novel, Waiting for Today, and perhaps even purchase a copy or two. I have been told that this is how self-promotion works.
That this whole blog thing has taken off like it has, that people actually return week after week to read what I will write next, is as surprising to me as anyone else. The faithful readership I have developed in publishing this column each Thursday should also prove advantageous when I am ready to publish my second novel, tentatively entitled, Take the Long Way Home. That’s right- my second novel should be available sometime next year. Thanks for asking.
The first question I usually get when I inform folks that I am working on book #2 is, “So is it a sequel to Waiting for Today?” I must admit I never really know how to answer this question other than to ask them if they actually finished my first novel. I guess I’m just not sure where they would want or expect this story to go. Is Waiting for Today 2 the story of how Jacob decides to walk away from his son and newfound love for Angie only to join a dance troupe of gypsies from the Balkans that travels the country smoking home-rolled cigarettes and helping people to reevaluate their mundane, superficial lives? Does Jacob go through a gender identity crisis only to renounce his birth condition by having a transgender surgery and then joining a convent on the southern shores of Sicily? Or should this sequel be the tale of how Finnegan struggles to come to peace with the father he never knew but always hated for giving him a name that got him beat up mercilessly and repeatedly throughout his teenage years? No, somehow I just don’t see it.
Perhaps part of the reason I balk at the mere thought of a proposed sequel to Waiting for Today is that sequels are lame. Seriously, outside of Godfather Part II, tell me another sequel was that anywhere near as good as the original. I’ll wait. The fact of the matter is that most sequels lack the originality and sense of higher purpose that served as the catalyst for the incipient work. Instead, the author or screenwriter, hoping to cash in on the success of the original, totes out the same tired themes or jokes and repackages them with mind-numbing redundancy. You all saw The Matrix sequels, right? Then you know exactly what I mean.
Which got me to thinking about sequels that could have but should have never been made. Sure Hollywood is more than happy to trot out yet another sequel so that they can circumvent the need for coming up with demiurgic ideas of their own, but even those overpaid blowhards had the good sense to be sure that these questionable plot lines never made it to the big screen.
Titanic 2: Going Down With the Ship. In this overdone but satisfying take on the original, the iconic ship still sinks, but this time Kate Winslet drowns while orally-satisfying Leonardo DiCaprio.
Friday the 13th, Part 35. To be honest, I am not even sure what number they are on in this film series that has been around longer than Dick Clark, but in this less than glorious finale, Jason simply dies of old age.
The Mid-Afternoon Brunch Club. In this hardly long-awaited sequel to the 1980’s Brat Pack classic The Breakfast Club from director John Hughes, the only man whose obsession with young people rivals that of the late Michael Jackson, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwold, Emilio Estevez, and Ally Sheedy reunite to discuss what happened to their once-promising acting careers.
Ferris Bueller’s Days Off. No longer able to accept any accountability for his actions after years of somehow skating from any consequences for his behavior, Ferris is fired from his job as a parking valet after his boss catches him skipping work by recognizing Ferris’s buttocks on the big screen at Wrigley Field when he moons the entire New York Mets bullpen.
Brokeback Mountain 2. Inspired by the changing attitudes towards gay rights over the past decades, Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal win over a small town in remote Wyoming by opening a highly successful dinner theater and cabaret.
No Country for Even Older, Grumpier Men. Forced to change his diabolical ways after a near brush with death, Javier Bardem finds gainful employment as a gas station attendant who specializes in filling tires to their proper air pressure.
Steve Yzerman and Me. Returning to the backdrop of Roger and Me, his expose on the pernicious impacts of capitalism as seen through the prism of the auto industry in Michigan, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore goes back to Detroit to discover that the American government, having given up on the city once and for all and having decided to finally just cut its losses, has ceded the entire municipality to Canada. Moore learns the French term for “scumbag”.
Eight. In a sequel to thriller Seven, Brad Pitt invents another deadly sin: douchebaggery.
And finally, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Part II. Charlie fights to keep the legendary sweets company afloat despite surging legal costs to fend off numerous lawsuits filed against founder Willy Wonka from the families of children harmed or killed during tours of the once-prominent chocolate factory. Fortunately for Charlie and the empire he has inherited from yet another creepy bachelor with a strange obsession with young children, obesity in America has gone through the roof, leading to record profits as millions of American youth actually come to believe that sugar is one of the essential nutrients and vitamins.
Steven Craig is the author of the best-selling novel WAITING FOR TODAY, as well as numerous published poems, short stories, and dramatic works. Read his blog TRUTH: in 1000 Words or Less every THURSDAY at www.waitingfortoday.com
Side note: I want to thank my loyal readership for your interest and support in reading my column each Thursday. As you all eagerly await the publication of my second novel, tentatively titled, Take the Long Way Home, I would like to urge you to check out my uncle Geoffrey’s novel, Scudder’s Gorge. Available in all formats at Amazon or Barnes and Noble, Scudder’s Gorge is a remarkable historical novel that explores the nature of love and violence in the lens of just what we are capable of doing to our fellow human beings. It is a truly exceptional work, and family or no family, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Please find it at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AL3GR70/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1