Thursday, December 9, 2010

A letter to Edward McGuire regarding 'Junior MasterLawman'

Dear Edward Joseph McGuire AM,

I write to you in your capacity as de facto programming director for Channel Nine, with what I consider to be the most exciting television opportunity since the second season of William Cosby’s ‘Kids Say the Darndest Things’.

With some considerable degree of interest, I have observed your ongoing stoush with your rivals at Channel 10 over the past few years. I applauded when you answered Channel Ten’s introduction of ‘Californication’ with Charlie Sheen’s irrepressible ‘Two and a Half Men’. I gasped at your audacity when Ten’s ‘Bondi Rescue’ found itself up against Charlie Sheen’s laugh-a-minute ‘Two and a Half Men’. And I marvelled at the way that you undermined Channel Ten’s gritty Australian drama series ‘Good News Week’ with yet another round of Charlie Sheen’s half hour long laugh-fest ‘Two and a Half Men’.

As I write this you are, however, possibly at your lowest ebb. Indeed, you may feel that no amount of cocaine and prostitute fuelled family comedy will undo the damage wrought on your brand by Channel Ten’s incredibly successful ‘MasterChef’ and ‘Junior MasterChef’ franchises.

Fear not, Mr McGuire. Unlike Ricky Ponting when he considers who to throw the ball to or the voters of Myanmar, you have options available to you.

You are all too familiar with concepts I have previously pitched to your station including “Sea Shanty Singing Bee with Uncle Bullstrode” and “Summer Clerks Gone Wild” but one option that is available to you may just change the paradigm of Australian television: ‘Junior MasterLawman[1]’. Twelve contestants, aged between 8 and 14 compete to win Australia’s most coveted young professional title ‘Junior MasterLawman’. Each week, contestants will be challenged to perform a feat of lawmanship, to be marked by a celebrity panel comprised of Matt Preston, Mike Whitney[2] and a full bench of the Supreme Court of New South Wales Court of Appeal. My thumbnail sketch of likely challenges, in increasing order of complexity/difficulty, include:
- completing an ASIC form 312;
- completing an ASIC form 484;
- drafting a design and construction contract in relation to a piece of major strategic infrastructure between the hours of 10pm and 5am on limited instructions and with a crippling hangover;
- entering into a sham divorce settlement to protect the contestant’s assets from the skeletal hand of the ATO, evading ATO process for more than 3 years and ultimately declaring bankruptcy, at all times without paying a cent towards public coffers;
- appearing in a High Court of Australia special leave application against Bret Walker SC;
- explaining the rationale behind, and operation of, the Personal Property Securities Act, with a particular focus on joint-venture cross charges.

A youngster discovers, too late, the dangers of the contra proferentem rule

One can instantly imagine families across the nation crowding around the television set every Sunday night, wondering if little Johnny will remember to include a subrogation clause or whether plucky little Jess from Launcestion will ever remember ambiguitas verborum patens nulla verificatione excluditur!

Obviously the merchandising possibilities are limitless. It is not unreasonable to expect glossy hard cover books entitled “Comfort Drafting with Justice Hammerschlag” or “Whitelocke and Preston: the Perfect Food and Deed Poll Pairings” to cover the coffee tables of a Nation that cannot get enough of the show or its unlikely, rapscallion stars.

You are a simple man, Mr McGuire, and no doubt your mind is spinning at the obvious commercial possibilities presented by Junior MasterLawman. I will allow you a moment to pause and reflect.

Agreed, an amazing idea.

If you are interested in pursuing this matter further, please contact me at the address below:

T Bullstrode Whitelocke KC
Mosman, NSW 2088

[1] © T Bullstrode Whitelocke 2010
[2] Mr Whitney has confirmed that he would ‘appear at the opening of an envelope’ and that he would be willing to wear his referee’s uniform from ‘Gladiators’ if required.

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