2006-11-13 12:03:45 ET|
Alright. Produce a sitcom that focuses on a few friends living in the big city. Make it one of those light-hearted, feel-good, bull-shit sort of jobs. Then, around season three, one of them gets cancer. Hey, that's normal. They always try to throw a tear-jerker somewhere in the middle especially when they feel the ratings are down. It's cliche. Except this time, the cancer spreads - another friend gets it halfway through the season. Oh, what a terrible thing! Two friends afflicted with the disease! Still it's such a common thing. No one expects any connection. Until they all start getting it. One by one.
At this point it's no longer a sitcom. It's a drama. What few laughs remained are hollowed out by the pained but otherwise dead and emotionless eyes of the cancer stricken friends. The remainder of the season is just plain grief.
During the season finale, their tumours take over.
Season four premiers with the sound of popcorn. It is the sound of the tumours breaking free, ripping, popping through the flesh, exploding blood and organs sending out liquid waves of blood and malignant tissue. It infects anything it touches. The cancer has become fully parasitic.
That's the first fifteen minutes. Just blood, torso tumour explosions, and non-stop shrieking. The next quarter hour is the terrified faces of the inadvertent victims - doctors, nurses, family members as they suddenly start to sprout skin tumours. The last shot is of a wall, covered in blood. The wall, a usually inanimate object, has started to sprout tumours too.
The star of season four isn't human. It's the infection. The cancer is an evolved one, a fully autonomous organism. It's feeding off anything around it, biological or not, slowly assimilating organic and inorganic matter. Whole streets, buildings, blocks are taken over. It's terraforming the territory. It's making what is ours its.
The individual tumours begin to join up, molding, and merging, and gelling into one incongruous, conglomerated mass. Soon nothing remains of the city except for one tremendous megatumour. It is the queen. It sprouts children. Cancerous larvae are spit out, mucuous covered and otherworldly. They grow and adapt fast. Their growth is the speed of cancer. They have no constant form, no recognizable organs, but every so often a vaguely human feature floats up to the top. A wrecked mouth, lips inverted, teeth on the outside with tufts of hair where the gums should be. Wheezing, coughing, and every so often something that sounds like a distant laugh.
Season five is a sitcom once more.