I’ve been strangely quiet on these pages about Special Relativity since it premiered, especially considering that for months I wouldn’t shut up about it. I guess now that it’s out in the world I’ve been too busy being terrified about it — not terrified that people will hate it, but terrified that its existence won’t even register in people’s brains long enough for them to hate it. Because I know that if people take 24 minutes to listen to the first episode, they can’t possibly hate it. I will now tell you how I know.
See, the great irony of being a scriptwriter is that, if you’re lucky enough for your idea to actually become a finished show, it’s almost always kind of disappointing. That’s because the final product can never live up to what you envisioned as you created it. But in my almost 20-year career, the first episode of Special Relativity is the only project I’ve worked on — in radio, TV, games, theater, anything — that came out better than I imagined. It’s better than what I’d been hearing in my head for years.
For that I have to give the credit to the cast, whose performances are so good that I would’ve had to willfully sabotaged the editing to make a bad show. I’m listing their names again here, because every one of them is pitch-perfect: Alex Borstein, Dee Bradley Baker, James Urbaniak, Ted Travelstead, Alyssa Potter, Andréa Moser, and Tom X. Chao. I want people to hear the show because it’s a felony to let those performances go to waste.
There’s a moment in the final scene which I won’t spoil but which when you hear you’ll feel a click in your brain, just like I did. That click comes from Alex Borstein’s effortless performance, suddenly not able to efface itself anymore, reaching over and closing that circuit in your consciousness that only electrifies when you’ve just experienced a tour de force. Don’t you want to hear that?
Well, I guess I like the show, because I just typed four paragraphs when I’d only intended to write a three-sentence set-up for a link to its review in the Los Angeles Times. Remarkably, the paper’s TV critic Robert Lloyd selected Special Relativity as a TV pick last week, despite it not being on TV or even having any pictures. He calls it “all sound and comedy… filled with evocative scenes and memorable characters, and of course praises its “crackerjack cast.” “Please, may I have some more?” he asks. I sure hope so.