No, he hasn’t asked me. (I wish!) But let’s help him out anyway. But you need to maintain the structure of the show.
Typical Structure: 2 sets of guest for each half
Who should the guest be?
What type and stage of MLCers: Do they have kids at home? grown…?
I’d like to see the first half couple in the early stages where the MLCer is living with the alienator–or at least bit living at home, and where there is Monster spew. I would like the next couple to be representative of early stage previous couple at a later stage and I would like Dr. Phil to point this out. Elaine and Miles qualify for this stage.
People will see the early stage couple, with the Monster spew–video or audio from home would be needed–and believe the situation to be hopeless. The couple in the later half would be the example of Hope and would need to verify the situational parallels.
In the audience I would like to see a former guest or guest couple. It could be an MLCer who came through his crisis and regrets, but the marriage did not survive, or a couple who came through together. As former guests, viewers may recall the situation and see the changes. A clip of the original episode would helpful. I’d like to see an MLC expert–okay, I’d like to be the MLC expert–and another couple (if not the expert) that came through the crisis and who are joyfully married.
As far as contact types I think a Boomerang will be the only type of MLCer in the early stages who will agree to participate–and most of them will not, but a Boomerang is more likely than an Off-n-On or a Vanisher.
Okay, now with more freedom to change the structure–the time limit stays–how would you redesign the show?
Me, I don’t know. I still think it is vital to have actual couples in need who have video or audio examples of Monster. A panel of experts might be interesting to us, but the general viewer needs to direct examples. Even if Sweetheart and I had children during the crisis, I don’t think the devastation and trauma would come through since it is in the past. We would be sitting there happy and our story would be anecdotal. People learn from experience and direct observation. The raw pain of a couple in crisis is palpable and thus has more power. The reconciled couple are also important, but without an in-crisis example, that reconciled couple, people will think they are a rare exception.
Is there a way to have more guests or show more examples without losing the focus on the couples in need? Maybe there could be a few other couples or even individual Standers without their MLCers in the audience who are not on stage. Their situations could be glossed over in video or audio or even a few emails could be read and viewed. But to me this would still need to be minor relative to the portion given to the on-stage guests.
So do you have any thoughts or ideas you’d like to share?