A taste of my imaginary spec script for the Lizzie McGuire reboot, should it ever happen.
Hire me, Disney!
|Allison Driskill||Aug 5, 2019|
Lizzie McGuire, a landmark TV show for many millennials and the inspiration for one of my worst ideas ever, might be getting a reboot. Allegedly. And better to write this reboot than someone who sunk two years of her life analyzing every episode?
I have ideas, people. First off, it shouldn’t be for kids like Raven’s House. I’m sure that it’s fine, but today’s youth has no attachment to Lizzie or reason to relate to Hilary Duff. This is not for the children. No, this project should be a nostalgic gift to the adults who survived Y2K, the ones who lose their minds at a mere picture of the actors together nowadays.
So for that reason, I propose that it be a made-for-TV movie or miniseries (maybe 5 episodes) so the story is self-contained. No need for multiple seasons like Fuller House has had for some reason. All this project needs to do is hit those nostalgia buttons in a way that doesn’t feel too pandering and update the characters in a way that feels realistic. It should capture the feel of the show — warm lighting, stylized costuming, zippy editing choices with lots of flashbacks and cutscenes — and then end on a satisfying note. That’s all we need!
Here are two scenes that I wrote. I realized after doing so that I’m basically just writing Lizzie McGuire fan fiction, and that doesn’t feel great but I’m going to cling to my label of a “spec script.” I will write the rest if Disney hires me!! Let’s start the campaign now! #LetAllisonWriteTheUnconfirmedLizzieReboot
Untitled Lizzie McGuire Reboot Project
Lizzie McGuire’s apartment in L.A. It’s beautiful — more tasteful than the pattern explosions of her tween years, but with enough color and personality to avoid any possibility of being labeled “basic.” The camera pans past her immaculate vision board, her color-coded notebooks, and a stack of mail to reach LIZZIE taking a selfie video with her phone and holding up an eyeshadow palette.
LIZZIE: Okay, guys, that’s it for me today, I promise to put up a longer video later this week after I’ve tried this out! Thank you again to Urban Decay for the hookup, I just literally got this in the mail and had to make a quick video with a shoutout and I can’t wait to try it! Okay! Bye, guys!
Lizzie pauses for a second to upload the video to her Instagram stories and wanders back over to the mail. She sifts through it listlessly until she gets to something that makes her jaw drop.
cutscene of CARTOON LIZZIE reacting in shock. She’s designed more like a digital icon now, a bit like a Bitmoji, in an updated outfit.
CARTOON LIZZIE: There is no way that this is what I think this is.
Lizzie rips the envelope open, scans its contents, then immediately dials MIRANDA. Split screen on Miranda’s face. She appears to be outside.
MIRANDA: Lizzie? Oh my God, I was just thinking about you!
Lizzie is so thrown off by the sweetness of this response that she softens for a second.
LIZZIE: Aw. Really?
MIRANDA: Yeah, I’m listening to Lizz-o and I thought “I should FaceTime Lizz-ie soon” and then you call me out of the blue!
LIZZIE: Amazing! Okay, listen —
MIRANDA: Like who calls without even texting first? What year is it? Such a throwback.
LIZZIE: Stop it. Listen. Miranda Sanchez. My best and dearest friend.
MIRANDA: Mother of Dragons. The first of her house.
LIZZIE: Sure. I have a favor to ask.
MIRANDA: I already told you my opinion. Don’t get bangs again. You always grow them out.
LIZZIE: It’s not that! Listen to me! Are you sitting down?
Miranda looks down as the camera pans out to reveal she is slacklining in Central Park, New York.
LIZZIE: I just got an invite to the Sanders-Craft wedding.
Miranda leaps from the slackline.
LIZZIE: I KNOW.
MIRANDA: I thought that was in like, a week?
LIZZIE: It is! SOMEONE DROPPED OUT. Listen to this note she included:
cutscene of KATE SANDERS reading over her handwritten note to include in the wedding invitation. She seems to realize the situation is awkward, but powers through and stuffs it in the envelope anyway.
Note that this can be reworked to a voiceover if Ashley Brillault (understandably) does not really want to be on camera again for the first time in over a decade, but is feeling like a good sport and wants to participate.
KATE: Heyyyyyy Lizzie! Long time no see, girl! Love your Insta!!!! You keep forgetting to follow me back, lol. But I’m sure you’ve seen on Facebook that Ethan and I are getting married on the 10th, and we would LOVE to have you there!! I know it’s sooo last-minute but Brooke Baker went into labor early and so she and her hubby had to cancel even though I told her she should just let someone else take care of it for a night? But she was like “my stitches won’t be healed by then, I had a C-section.” Kind of selfish since we already ordered the food and stuff! Anyway I was scrolling through Insta and thought that I should TOTALLY invite my old friend Lizzie! Please come!! Our hashtag is #sandcraftedlove
MIRANDA: Oh. My God. She’s inviting you for clout.
LIZZIE: She is, right?
MIRANDA: Oh, she totally is. She wants you to show up and post it your billion followers so her stupid event-planning business will get a boost.
cutscene of Cartoon Lizzie floating on a sea of “likes”
CARTOON LIZZIE: Well well well. Who’s popular now?
LIZZIE (beaming): Mirandaaaaa, stop. I only have like 800K.
MIRANDA: Wait. Lizzie. Wait.
MIRANDA: You said you were calling…to ask for a favor….
LIZZIE (now coy): Yeah, I mean, it says I get a plus one?
LIZZIE: Come on, it will be so over-the-top. I have to see it. They’ve been wedding-planning for years. Kate’s whole LIFE has been leading up to this mess. Ethan proposed at our 10-year-reunion, and you remember how bananas THAT was.
flashback in the style of the TV series, in which still images flash rapidly by. In the first, Ethan with a guitar is down on one knee in a high school auditorium. In the second, Ethan has put on sunglasses, dropped the guitar, and appears to be rapping. In the third, backup dancers do the running man behind them as Kate, sobbing, says yes.
MIRANDA: Oh man…the bridesmaids dresses are gonna be so tacky….
LIZZIE: Exactly! It will be hilarious! Plus I missssss yoooou!
MIRANDA: Wait, so I guess this means you and Josh are off-again.
LIZZIE: Of course. For good this time. You didn’t know?
MIRANDA: How would I know?!?
LIZZIE: I subtweeted him! How could you not pick up on the shade?
MIRANDA: Oooh, I’m off social media right now. I’m doing a 30-day Internet detox.
LIZZIE: 1. Ew. 2. You can at least open it once a week to see what your BEST FRIEND is up to. I’d show up on your “In case you missed it.” 3. This is besides the point, are you free or not?
MIRANDA: I mean, I’m free…my show just closed, so I’m in between gigs right now…
LIZZIE: Okay. You’re in. It’s done! I’m deciding for you.
MIRANDA: ….I kinda think I’m in.
LIZZIE: YESSSS. I’ll look up flights right now. This is gonna be the best!!
She hangs up and only Miranda is left on screen. She sighs, mounts her bicycle and sings along to herself as she rides out of the park.
MIRANDA: It ain’t my fault that I’m out here lookin’ cute…
So there will be some kind of title sequence here. I’m picturing Lizzie packing a bag in her chic L.A. apartment, Miranda packing in her hipster Brooklyn apartment, and maybe some shots of Kate and Ethan wedding planning thrown in. OBVIOUSLY it’s set to a cover of the original theme song by Charli XCX.
We’re in a super-trendy coffee shop. There’s Edison bulbs and shit. The camera is focused on a stack of photos of middle-school Lizzie and Miranda is on the table. V.O. MIRANDA: “Can you believe we used to dress like this?” Pan out to reveal the 2 of them in equally absurd outfits, just updated for now. Miranda’s ensemble is NYC street style with clear Man Repeller influences. Lizzie is in a Yeezy tracksuit with clear plastic heels and hologram nails.
LIZZIE: It’s tragic. We’ve had such a glow-up, though. Love your look.
MIRANDA: Thank you! (gesturing to various clothing items and accessories) Flea market, Urban Outfitters, Etsy, dumpster dive.
LIZZIE: Ew, Miranda!
MIRANDA: Oh, Dumpster Dive is the name of a vintage shop in Soho. It’s very bougie.
Lizzie takes a picture of one of the photographs with her phone.
LIZZIE: I’m so glad my mom saved these. They’re perfect for a #tbt.
A barista calls out “Vanilla latte for Lizzie, small black coffee for Miranda!” The girls stand to get their drinks, revealing more of the coffee shop. People are on laptops around the large space, and a sleek sign says “The Bean.”
LIZZIE: I can’t believe how much this place has changed.
MIRANDA: I know, I came here last Christmas when I was home with Alex and I couldn’t believe it.
LIZZIE: Boy Alex or Girl Alex?
MIRANDA: Girl Alex.
LIZZIE: Oooh, I liked her.
MIRANDA: Boy Alex and I broke up last summer, and Girl Alex and I broke up in the spring.
MIRANDA: So you and I are just two single girls in our hometown. For a wedding.
cutscene of Cartoon Lizzie grimacing and adding “…for someone we don’t even LIKE. Who’s marrying someone we both used to crush on.”
LIZZIE: Well, it sounds bad when you say it like that.
MIRANDA: It’s…only mildly pathetic.
LIZZIE: Now I just have to run into that paperboy I dated in middle school and it will be officially depressing.
MIRANDA: We could always call Gordo up!
MIRANDA: Stop it, you guys were best friends forever. From birth.
LIZZIE: I know, but then we dated. And it was like “You just don’t GET Terrence Malick films” and “Father John Misty’s a genius.” Like just let me jam out to Carly Rae Jepsen in PEACE.
MIRANDA: Oh my God, she’s so good.
LIZZIE: So good!!
MIRANDA: Okay, but I still talk to Gordo, and I think he’s mellowing out.
LIZZIE: Has his sense of fashion improved?
MIRANDA: You don’t have to get back together, obviously, but we can still be friends. It’s insane that we don’t even have a group chat anymore. Look — let’s take a selfie at the old Digital Bean — or the Bean, or whatever — and send it to him. As a peace offering.
Cartoon Lizzie: “Is being home again just making me nostalgic for the good old days?”
LIZZIE: …you know what? Okay. Let’s hit up old Gordo. For old times’ sake.
Miranda takes a photo of them together then stares at her phone as she uploads it to a new group chat.
LIZZIE: You know who I’ve kind of wanted to say hi to? Mr. Dig. I feel like he’s probably still hanging around teaching whatever anyone needs him to, and I always thought he was so -
MIRANDA: He’s here.
LIZZIE: Mr. Dig?
MIRANDA: No. Gordo!! He’s in town. He says he’s actually right nearby, randomly!
LIZZIE: Oh my God, we have to get out of here.
LIZZIE: This is going to be so awkward!
MIRANDA: Lizzie, we’re here for the Sanders-Craft wedding. You signed up for awkward.
Both of their phones ping with a notification.
LIZZIE: “I’m right outside?!” Stalker much?!
MIRANDA: Lizzie, we sent him our location. Besides, I told you — I think he’s changed.
Enter GORDO. He’s changed all right. He’s now played by the guy who played Chase Matthews on Zoey 101, because there’s no way on earth Adam Lamberg will be involved with this. Awkward hellos and hugs are exchanged.
GORDO: So….what are you guys up to?
LIZZIE: We were probably just leaving, actually.
Gordo stares at their full cups of coffee, which are not in to-go cups.
GORDO: Okay. Uh, me too. Do you guys need a ride?
LIZZIE: We were probably just gonna walk. Like we walk everywhere? How do you think we got here when we were like 12?
GORDO: Huh, I guess I always kind of glossed over those details.
MIRANDA: A ride would be lovely, Gordo. We’re heading back to Lizzie’s parents’ place.
LIZZIE: I was actually looking forward to walking. You know, in L.A. you have to drive everywhere, and —
GORDO: Lizzie, you’re wearing heels. Knowing you, you’re probably gonna twist an ankle as soon as you walk out the door.
LIZZIE (seething): David, you know I have been taking pilates classes for years to improve my balance!!
GORDO: All right, all right! I’m sorry. I was just joking. But I know you’re sensitive about your….falling.
LIZZIE (calming down): Yeah. Well. Thank you for apologizing. That’s…new.
GORDO: Yeah, well I’ve been taking…therapy… while you’ve been in pilates.
MIRANDA: I see this lady in Astoria who does palm readings and tarots but also teaches hot yoga in her living room.
Lizzie and Gordo process this information.
MIRANDA: I’ve gotten a lot of crystals from her. And some CBD stuff.
Lizzie expects Gordo to tell Miranda she’s an idiot for believing in that stuff, but he laughs instead.
GORDO: Good for you. I feel like that goes with your vibe.
MIRANDA: My chakras, et cetera.
GORDO: Of course.
Lizzie is pleasantly surprised.
LIZZIE: Gordo, we’ll take you up on that ride. I’m sure my parents would love to see you again.
The three of them exit the coffee shop.