This is my story of an original pilot of a show that shouldn't be...
It all started with me on Amazon. All I was looking for was a good movie to get, but as I was scrolling down, I see a mysterious VHS tape for sale. It said:
"TEENV Early Pilot Pitch
ANIMATION TEST 1 [5/19/97]
DECLINED PLEASE DESTROY - GEO G."
I was interested, since TeenV was my favorite show since I was a teenager when it came out, and I remember reading online there was the pilot pitch of the show available, so I thought, 'Cool! I'm gonna watch the original pilot of TeenV!' But it wasn't cool. It was the pilot BEFORE the aired demo on Fox in November of 1997. So I brought for $1.99. When it arrived after eight days, I opened the package and put the tape into my VCR player. All was about to change with one button on the remote called PLAY. It appeared that it was actually a full episode rather than a few tests.
The tape began with a black title card that read "A TEEN'S LIFE © 1997 by Gingo Animation, LLC." but there is a bit creepy music. I already believed that "A Teen's Life" was the early title of TeenV. Then it fades to Geoff, Davy, Lana, Penny and Sean sitting in the couch, watching TV. The animation quality was very poor and the characters were barely recognizable and they looked very odd. Geoff looked very rough, as did some other characters. I thought this was because it was a very early unaired pilot pitch, but then I noticed things out of place: Davy doesn't really sound like his voice actor, Tom Kenny, it sounds like a high-pitch voice like the characters from South Park.
"Hey guys, let's go shopping", said Geoff as he belted out the door with his friends. They went to a mall and walked inside of the mall with a walking animation like in the actual show. There was no sound either, and no people in the background for that matter, as Geoff, Davy, Lana, Penny and Sean silently walked in a loop, like out of the Flintstones cartoon. I heard a splatter sound and laughter from my TV. It was a very good quality laughter though, not a cartoon laugh from the actual show. Then I heard the teens scream, suddenly, they ran to the right. Grodi Shelby was chasing them, which I thought was funny, so I laughed. Text came up on the screen saying: "STOP LAUGHING. IT'S NOT FUNNY." I was scared then, how did it know I was laughing...?
Then Grodi began to punch Geoff in the face and he put his hands around Geoff's neck. The sky turned darker, and there were sounds of people screaming and saying "NO!". It was like a nightmare, it just kept going on. You could also hear Geoff crying for his mom. Eventually, you could hear an ambulance arrive. But in the background you could see fire, and you could see gigantic horses chasing people.
The doctors were carrying Geoff's body onto a stretcher. The nightmare moved onto a gravesite where it was a cloudy day and there was a church bell ringing and there were gravestones. Remember that this was all animated. A faint organ could be heard. The scary part is that there were pages missing from the script that were lying on my bed seconds ago. It cut to static and then it resumed to an early version of the first episode "Pilot" where the teens meet Kathy for the first time. It was all muted and the sky was dark instead of usual blue.
None of this episode made any sense, and nothing fit together. It cut back to static where it showed Geoff sitting on his bed, crying for some reason. The crying didn't sound like cartoon, it sounded so realistic if his voice actor was crying in pain.
I looked back at the script to find some information on the very early, unaired pilot episode of TeenV. The cast sheet was missing most of the characters, and had characters that either were deleted from the final pilot episode, appeared in the future episodes, or from another show.
For example, Homer and Bart Simpson were in the castlist (no sign of Marge, Lisa and Maggie though). It mentioned other characters like Jack Binaski, Mayor Pucksbottom, Mr. Hison, and a character called Cuddly Penguin.
Near the top of the list was the scariest name of all, it read "DIE" in capital letters. I looked back at the TV and it was now browsing through a dark game store. The store was closed and the camera was moving back and forth at all the aisles. Some of the games didn't even exist yet, such as a game called "Satan's Adventure", and a sale for Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii. I froze in shock at the latter, because the Wii wasn't even invented yet, nor was Super Smash Bros. Brawl in development (or so I thought). It then for some reason cut to a scary scene where Geoff is jumping out the window and he would make a hyper-realistic crunching noise and double over in pain as if he broke his legs.
Then it faded to black and this text appeared: "Geoff Delmer has fallen and broke 8 bones. He died in the hospital due to internal bleeding."
I found the part about the broken bones unsurprising since this episode seemed to want to take a realistic approach, but the part about dying from internal bleeding struck with confusion. How could you die from some broken bones by bleeding internally? That's when this text appeared... "A later autopsy revealed that he had instead committed suicide by overdosing on hospital medication, and the internal bleeding was a cover up caused by him first beating himself half to death before ingesting the medication."
I was at a loss for words, this appeared.
"His friend Davy Olsen committed suicide a week later by means of hanging inside the main spire of his house, and Lana Cooper had gone missing." Suddenly the tape ended and there were no credits.
I took the tape out from the VCR.
"What the hell did I just watch?" I thought to myself. "Was this really made by Geo G., or was this a homemade episode?" I didn't know that day, and I still don't know today. But I do know where this tape is now. It's in the trash.