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Parkerisms

Parkerisms from fans

Send us your favorite Parkerisms!

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Miss Parker: Sydney’s missing when he’s here.

Miss Parker: So, by giving me the rest of what you know, it doesn’t make you anymore less despicable than you already are, right?

Miss Parker:  Above board my cute little ass.

Miss Parker: It’s official, I’m in Hell!

Jarod: They say it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Do you believe that’s true?

Miss Parker: If you’re lonely, call a 900 number.

Miss Parker  [To Sydney and Broots]: While Algernon is out there picking flowers and you two ponder your navels, I’m left with bupkis.

Miss Parker: Cancel clever. Jarod’s just annoying.

Miss Parker : You’ve got quite a set, showing up here.

Miss Parker: Just can’t trust a man with a stolen thumb.

Sydney: I’m impressed. How do you know so much about Greek lore?

Miss Parker: I did a lot of frat boys in college.

Miss Parker: You shouldn’t underestimate Jarod. And you shouldn’t ever underestimate me. And the next time you send me into a building that’s gonna explode, it had better blow. Because if it doesn’t, it’s gonna be your gray matter they’ll be mopping up with a toothbrush.

Miss Parker: If I find out anything has happened to our father, and you knew about it, there won’t be enough spare body parts in Blue Cove to piece your sorry ass back together.

Miss Parker [To Broots’ daughter Debbie]: These are the house rules: no running, no playing, no feet on the furniture, and no noise, which includes crying and whining. Be invisible and we’ll get along just fine.

Giuseppe: So full of anger.

Miss Parker: That’s my religion.

Giuseppe: Forgive yourself, Parker. If you don’t, you will surely be damned to a life of eternal suffering.

 Miss Parker: God forgives…I don’t.

Miss Parker: [phone rings] What?

Jarod: Well, well, well, long time no see. And how’s life treating you?

Miss Parker: Like he caught me in bed with his wife.

Miss Parker: Twitch and I’ll be washing grey matter off the walls.

Michael: You still have that look in your eyes. Half invitation, half intimidation.

Miss Parker: So which one do you want?

Michael: Don’t tempt me Parker. (showing her his wedding ring)

Miss Parker: Too late…

Broots: It’s like he vanished into a black hole.

Miss Parker: Kind of like your personal life?

Miss Parker: Last time I saw that look, Bambi’s mother was in my crosshairs.

Miss Parker: If you’re thinking of jumping, I suggest you go up on the roof and do it right!

Jarod: Little-known fact: lobsters make wonderful pets.

Miss Parker: Yeah, it was great hearing it scream when I threw it in the boiling water.

Miss Parker: That’s when people actually meet instead of typing to each other on a computer keyboard.

Miss Parker: There’s one less vacancy in hell.

Miss Parker: Sydney, step back. I wouldn’t want you to get brain matter all over your new suit.

Miss Parker [To Broots]: Just how hard did you fall on your head when you fell off the turnip truck?

Miss Parker: Do I look like I drive a mini-van?

Miss Parker: Jarod’s not just a man. He’s a Pretender. A human chameleon. A genius who can literally become anyone that he wants to be.

Miss Parker [Answers Phone]: WHAT?!

Miss Parker: You run, I chase. That choice was made for us a long time ago.

Miss Parker: Get something straight. Broots may be an idiot, but he’s my idiot. The only one who terrorizes him is me. You pull a gun on me? No big deal ’cause I know you don’t have the rocks to pull the trigger. But the next time you mess with one of my team I’ll put a bullet right in your blonde bonnet.

Brigitte: And they said you weren’t a bitch.

Miss Parker: They were being kind.

Miss Parker [Regarding a nicotine patch]: The only way that thing is going to help is if I roll it up and smoke it!

Miss Parker: I’d trade a dozen Ferragamos for one Jarod any day.

Miss Parker [To Raines]: This kindness crap may slay them at the parish potluck but it ain’t cutting with me.

Miss Parker: It would give me great satisfaction to perform his autopsy… alive.

Miss Parker: You look like you need to change your pamper.

Miss Parker: I have a gun and I’ll use it.

Sydney: New experiences keep my psychiatric skills finely tuned.

Miss Parker: Not to mention that slam-bang wit.

Miss Parker: I need a drink. A big one.

Sydney: Interesting.

Miss Parker: It’s a dead flower Sydney, not the Shroud of Turin.

Miss Parker: You’re Toto at best Broots.

Miss Parker: Score one for Captain Kangaroo.

Broots: I found something bizarre.
Miss Parker: What, like hair on your head?

Sydney [Re: Broots]: How do you think he will hold up? Miss Parker: Before or after he wets his pants?

Miss Parker: A clue about my emotions Syd- happiness is not one of them.

Munchkin: Okay, let me hear it one more time! There’s no place…

Miss Parker: We’ve said it three times already!

Munchkin: I know, but I gotta hear it with the shoes clicking.

Miss Parker: You’re gonna hear it with the clicking of my .9 millimeter if you don’t open the damn door!

THE CHASE BEGINS!

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Rebirth

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Saving Luke

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Miss Parker: I can’t believe you weren’t spawned under some rock instead of being born of the same flesh and blood I came from. As much as I hate to admit it, Broots is more of a brother to me than you’ll ever be. I won’t throw him out like a piece of garbage.

ANDREA PARKER [To Steve and Craig when she walked in at her audition for the role of Miss Parker]: “My name’s all over this script already.”  And it was…

Miss Parker: Either of you munchkins break into song, I’ll drop a house on you. Let’s go find out what our little flying monkey is up to.

Miss Parker [To Lyle]: What’s the flavor of the day, little brother? Mail-order mamas from Malaysia or cannibal quiche from the Kalahari?

Broots: Uh, Miss Parker, that’s a wall!
Miss Parker: Yeah, and this is a rental!

Broots: Uh, well…it’s kind of embarrassing. I’ve never been in this kind of place before.
Miss Parker: Right, and I’m the president of the PTA.

Miss Parker: This is no stress disorder, Syd. It’s Chernobyl of the brain!

Miss Parker: Cousin It woke up and remembered he was Liberace.

Miss Parker [To Lyle]: Why don’t you shove your nine fingers where the sun don’t shine?

Miss Parker: Oh yes, he often reminisces about playing tonsil-hockey with you behind the barn after the Saturday night hootenanny.

Miss Parker: Make up your mind, Sydney. Be a scientist or a mommy. You can’t be both.

Miss Parker: Cute. Not funny, but cute.

Mr. Lyle: You are beautiful, when you’re angry.
Miss Parker: You’ve never seen me angry.

Broots: Miss Parker! (Hugs Miss Parker)
Miss Parker: Do you want me to hurt you?

Sydney: The Centre wants him alive.
Miss Parker: Preferably.

Miss Parker: If he starts singing ‘The Rain in Spain’ I’m gonna pass out.

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Jarodisms

Jarodisms

Jarodisms from fans

Send us your Jarodism

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Jarod: My mother is on this island. I have reason to believe she’s in danger. Now is not the time to play Centre bounty hunter!

Sydney: Do you know where you’ll go? Jarod: I have a good idea. Catch me if you can.

Jarod: Looks like another dead end.

Miss Parker: I know all I need to know.

Jarod: Do you? After all the deceit and all the betrayal we’ve both experienced, how do you know what the truth is?

Miss Parker: Fenigor had no reason to lie.

Jarod: Then you’re going to have to shoot me, because I’m going to find out the truth.

Hawk: Go to hell.

Jarod: You first.

Jarod Narrating: Second thoughts can be dangerous, but it quickly dawned on me that leaving Argyle and Dog would be like, well it would be like leaving two wounded animals in a trap. It just wasn’t in me.

Jarod: She felt consumed by a great void, a dark and silent abyss as terrifying as the grand palace around her. But somewhere in the chilling blackness she caught a glimpse of a light. She remembered a time, the precocious little girl with a heart full of fire, a soul inflamed by passion and a smile that could melt winter into spring. But the light was gone, the flame had died. Her past was taken from her by the soldiers of the great palace. She would continue searching, hoping to rekindle the fire. Until then, she would always be the Saddest Little Valentine.

Miss Parker: Got one. Magua Airport, Morocco. Can you make that?

Jarod: I better.

Parker: Don’t get Kwai Chang on me, Jarod.

Jarod: Ooh, I love that guy, wandering the earth, helping people.

Young Jarod: My mom’s gone too. I talk to her though. Her voice is inside me just like your mother’s is inside you.

Miss Parker: You look surprised to be here.

Jarod: Well, I’m surprised I’m still alive.

Miss Parker: Dead men tell no tales.

Jarod: I’m assuming since we’re here, this has nothing to do with Centre business.

Sydney: It was his grandfather’s. I thought Nicholas might like a piece of his past.

Jarod: It’s important to know who your family is, who you are. Give it back to him.

Jarod Narrating: Argyle’s situation put into focus for me something that I think I’ve known for a long time. That until I find my family, helping people like Benny and Argyle is the next best thing.

Jarod: The Centre wants us to believe that finding the truth is a mistake, that looking for answers about who we really are is futile, and finding any kind of …connection outside their control is wrong. I know you don’t want to hear this, but you can feel it. You’ve been a Centre prisoner all these years, just like me. And with every discovery, you find you- you’re every bit the outcast. Just like me.

Miss Parker: Why is it that the one person that I’ve been trained to distrust, to hate, to capture…is always with me during the most difficult moments of my life?

Jarod: Maybe…it’s supposed to be that way.

Jarod: I was stolen from my parents as a child and I was raised by a place called the Centre. Think hell, with nicer furniture.

Jarod: I’ll tell you about the powers that be. When they can’t get to you they go after the people that you love. That what they did to Neil. The PTB’s try to rip these people out of your life, your guts right along with them. But that’s where they make their mistake because the people that you love may be your weakness, but they’re also your strength. They keep you fighting. They keep you one step ahead of the demons who breathe fire into your soul.

Jarod: You spend way too much time in cemeteries, Miss Parker.

Jarod: It’s a crazy world.

Sydney: You’re not. You’re just lost Jarod.

Jarod: For now. But somewhere out there I’ll find my way. I’ll find out who I am.

Miss Parker: How is it that this guy was still alive and I didn’t know about it?

Jarod: Well, I guess that Daddy keeps some secrets from you. Did he tell you about those letters?

Jarod: Trust your heart Miss Parker. Don’t let them take away your happiness.

Jarod: You think you can bribe me?

Lyle: Jarod, it’s not a bribe.

Jarod: Mr. Lyle, do you want your last breath on his planet to be a lie?

Lyle: So is this how it’s gonna be? An execution without a trial?

Jarod: You didn’t give my brother a trial.

Lyle: I didn’t. It was self-defense.

Jarod: So is this.

Parker: I never- I never told Tommy that I loved him.

Jarod: And now your heart and your mind are raging a war against each other.

Parker: I would trade everything for one minute with him. Just to say those words and have him hear them.

Jarod: Tell him. Let your heart win the war.

Jarod: Why is Mr. Lyle tailing me?

Miss Parker: Mr. Lyle?

Jarod: Yes. He chased me through Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Although, I don’t see much hitchhiking in his future.

Mr. Parker: Give and take. For a cause bigger than both of us. Oh hell, I don’t expect you to understand it, but in the end it does all add up.

Jarod: You steal children. You create them. How does that add up?

Jarod: I thought it took blood to bond people. But I’ve learned it also takes something else. It takes love.

Jarod: That’s the wonderful thing about life, Miss Parker. If you change the story, the ending is up to you.

Jarod: Look under the tree next to you. I left you a little present. Don’t stop searching for those missing pieces, Miss Parker. If you do, you’ll never find what you’re looking for.

Jarod: I guess as much as we’d both like to deny it, we’re just two pieces of the same puzzle.

Jarod: How do you face your past Sydney?

Jarod: It’s too late! If we’re lucky, this train will slow down enough for us to jump off but I can’t stop the explosion. This is your brother Miss Parker, our brother. It could be a beginning, don’t make it an end.

Raines: Flight crew’s dead, and the controls are damaged! What the hell do we do now?

Jarod: Well, I would suggest that you un-cuff the one person who can fly this thing and save your life!

Jarod: I’m a little confused about something. Now, if Santa Claus were to deliver a present to every child on Earth, he’d have to visit 830 homes a second. Which would mean his reindeer would have to travel about 700 miles per second and he’d have 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh, to crawl down the chimney, to pass out the presents and to eat cookies and milk. And for a middle-aged, overweight man, that’s quite a feat.

Jarod: My mother wore it. I could smell it when she tucked me in bed at night. Maybe that’s a lie. Because I can barely remember even if I had a mother. The ingredients in perfume, they’re known as notes, did you know that? The perfumer, he acts as composer. Now me, I always went for the heart. Some people, they could only smell the top notes. I went deeper, searched for the soul. Perfume. Sparkling citrus notes like lemon! Dark, resonant notes like balsam.

Miss Parker: I can’t let you leave Jarod, you know that.

Jarod: Is this what your mother would have done?

Jarod: Aside from the chipped molar, sounds like you survived. Miss Parker: No thanks to you. Jarod: Well, actually, everything you needed was there all along. All you had to do was open your eyes and see. Miss Parker: What exactly was it I was supposed to see? Jarod: That survival comes down to knowing the difference between your friends and your enemies. Miss Parker: I suppose you’re trying to tell me that Lyle is my enemy and you’re my friend. Jarod: Maybe. And you have to be willing to do whatever it takes to survive. You can sure bet that Lyle will.

Miss Parker: “P-47.” What does that mean to you?

Jarod: Nothing- yet.

Jarod: It’s okay. You know, when I was your age, I never left the house either. I stayed in for about 30 years. It’s a long story. When I got out, I realized what I was missing. Trees, fresh air, sunlight. Life’s a gift. Nothing is worth missing out on it.

Miss Parker: The vent. How was it down there?

Jarod: Let’s just say I’m hoping my next pretend isn’t as a sewer worker.

Sydney: Jarod this is getting serious. They brought in Miss Parker.

Jarod: Uh oh. Well you’d better watch your back too, Sydney.

Jarod: Now, you’ve already met Edna, who despite being locked in an asylum for decades by her loving husband, Mr. Raines, is an amazing historian of the Centre. Edna knows things about your mother, Miss Parker. Things she won’t tell to anyone but you. She wouldn’t even tell me. Edna wants to come home, but she can’t. There’s an army of Sweepers out there looking for her. She told me her redemption will be to tell you what she knows before they catch her. So you better hurry. Be careful. And know that Edna said no matter what happens, she wants you to keep digging. That the secret your mother wanted to tell you when you were little is buried out there, and you need to find it.

Jarod Narrating: I was suddenly face-to-face with my toughest pretend- becoming Argyle’s friend.

Jarod: I don’t know exactly what happened. But I do know that I’m sure of one thing. Love transcends death. That the people we love touch our lives even after they’re gone.

Jarod: You might want to strip search this one. She could be palming chips.

Miss Parker: Oh you bastard.

Jarod: Just doing my job, Ma’am. Head of Security, you know.

Miss Parker: I will get you.

Jarod: You wanna bet?

Jarod: Trust your inner sense Miss Parker. I do.

Miss Parker: What?

Jarod: How well do you know your father?

Miss Parker: Better than you know yours.

Jarod: Yes, well, I’m working on that one.

Jarod: Here, take my seat.

Daniel: No, no.

Jarod: Look, I’m not in a hurry. It’s not like anybody’s chasing me… today. Take it.

Jarod Narrating: There are certain times in life when you need to think with your heart, not your head. This wasn’t one of those times, but I thought it was, so I made the following mistake.

Argyle: Please?

Jarod: Get in.

Jarod: You miss her?

Miss Parker: Yes.

Jarod: She misses you too.

Miss Parker: How can you be so sure?

Jarod: Read the card.

“HER VOICE IS INSIDE YOU.”

Miss Parker: And what exactly am I looking for?

Jarod: Missing pieces, Miss Parker. Missing pieces.

Jarod: Valentine’s Day. Specifically, Cupid. A corpulent infant who happens to be an archer goes around shooting arrows into people, and suddenly they’re in love?

Foreman: That’s about it.

Jarod: And to show that love people buy each other chocolates and other sweets. Do they want to be fat like the infant?

Jarod: So let me get this straight. This starts out as a part of this, but then you punch it out and then you sell it as a separate product?

Waitress: I think you got it. Donut. Donut hole.

Jarod: I don’t mean to belabor a point, but if the hole is here, why do you call this the hole?

Miss Parker: My father kept you in the Centre your entire life Jarod. Why would you want to help him?

Jarod: Because if he dies, my answers die with him. And so do yours.

Jarod: Love can change people Miss Parker.

Jarod: No. It’s Champs de Nuit.

[He sits at the piano and begins playing Debussy’s “Clair de la Lune,” speaking somewhat manically as he plays.]

Melina: If you’re so interested in teenagers, maybe you should become a school counselor.

Jarod: I already tried that once. I mean, the hours were great, but… the food was terrible.

Jarod: It’s not exactly the monks’ brandy, but Ocee says it’s good for emotional upheaval.

Miss Parker: Can she back a truckload of it up to my house?

Jarod: Let the storm rage outside, Miss Parker…not inside you.

Nia: And before the Rangers?

Jarod: Test pilot, thoracic surgeon, lieutenant commander on a destroyer. The usual.

Jarod: Your gun won’t work. I took the firing pin out last night.

Parker: I sleep with this under my pillow.

Jarod: And you drool out of the left corner of your mouth.

Jarod: You know something? You’re right I don’t have the heart to kill. Or the hate. Have fun rotting in prison.

Jarod: Let me ask you a question. Did you ever love her? Because what little affection you’ve given her over the years, she craves.

Eve: None of this was real?

Jarod: Nothing. Except your confession. And that’s a lifetime of real.

Miss Parker: Why did you save my life?

Jarod: Because I still remember the little girl who gave me my first kiss.

Jarod: And how is Igor?

Miss Parker: He’d better not snore.

Jarod: Oh, it’s not the noise he makes that keeps you up. It’s those sharp toenails.

Argyle: Mona’s the one.

Jarod: You spent six minutes with her.

Miss Parker: So, what are you trying to tell me?

Jarod: That you have to see people for what they are.

Miss Parker: Keep my eyes open.

Jarod: To all possibilities because in the end we all get what we deserve.

Jarod: According to the odds your chances of winning the jackpot are one in thirteen million nine hundred and eighty-three thousand, eight hundred and sixteen. That’s the same odds as… getting hit by lighting in a submarine.

Ethan: I’m glad you’re alive.

Miss Parker: I’m glad you’re alive too.

Jarod: Don’t you know that nobody dies at the Centre?

Miss Parker: What?

Jarod: At least we put one family back together.

Miss Parker: While mine got ripped apart again.

Jarod: I know the feeling.

Miss Parker: You know, Jarod, maybe Lyle’s right. Maybe the world is changing.

Jarod: It doesn’t seem to matter how much it changes. It’s still the same for us. We’re still alone in it.

Jarod: You were right in putting your trust in your mother. She knew the importance of family. Of helping people. If she kept any secrets from you, it was to protect you.

Miss Parker: Protect me from what?

Jarod: The truth. Keep searching, Miss Parker. But remember. You can’t believe everything you see. After all, life is a mirage. Sometimes the things that scare you the most can be the things that save your life.

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Saving Luke

saving luke

Rebirth

rebirth

Jarod: It doesn’t have to be this way. New blood for the Centre. Your mother would be so proud of you.

Miss Parker: Save it!

Jarod: I saw your face when Angelo gave up his last treatment for Davy.

Jarod’s voice: Hello, Sydney, Broots, and, as always, Miss Parker. I assume since you’re listening to this recording you’ve figured out my current location. I realize things got a little fishy along the way, but you realize timing is everything in the run-for-your-life business. I won’t keep you longer than necessary. I realize you have a plane to catch. I just ask two things. First, bring along the wax head; I think you’ll find it enlightening. And second, don’t forget to buckle your seatbelts. Happy landings!

Miss Parker: How could a man destroy his family just for his pursuit of greed and power?

Jarod: Why don’t you ask your father?

Jarod: Lyle, you have to choose carefully!

Miss Parker: In other words, guess?

Jarod: And pray that he’s right.

A Note from Jarod: “There’s no place like home. Everyone deserves one. So why don’t you leave me alone and let me find mine?”

Jarod: Miss Parker reached out to help someone.

Miss Parker: Spare me.

Jarod: Your mother would be very proud of you.

Miss Parker: You put on quite a show today. Sydney taught you well.

Jarod: Sydney taught me to believe that you can be anything you want to be.

Jarod: It’s so good to see you, the real you.

Angelo: It’s good to be me. Thank you Jarod.

Louis: Hey. That lady with the legs? She throws a wicked right hook.

Jarod: It’s difficult to distinguish between her bite and her bark.

Jarod: Maybe it’s time you gave yourself that gift he never gave you- the truth.

Miss Parker: I hope you find your mother.

Jarod: And what about…us?

Miss Parker: You run. I chase. That choice was made for us a long time ago.

Jarod: Maybe that is the Parker curse.

Anne: I had a dream last night. My son came to me, and he said it would be all right. He said he didn’t want me to be alone anymore. Does that sound crazy?

Jarod: It sounds perfect.

Jarod: Love can change people Miss Parker.

Miss Parker: Hello Jarod.

Jarod: With instincts like that, you’ll catch me yet.

Miss Parker: Not if you keep throwing me off the trail.

Jarod: Oh, I didn’t throw you off, I just put you on a different one.

Miss Parker: Is that all you do Jarod? Dig up the past?

Jarod: That’s easy for you to say. You have one. Although, it’s not quite what you thought it was, is it?

Jarod: That is what they do. They kill anyone who’s remotely interested in the truth. And then they take away the people that we love the most.

Miss Parker: Why?

Jarod: To control us. To use us to do their dirty work.

Luther: You’re not even a doctor!

Jarod: Technically, you’re right, but I do enjoy that ER program.

Jarod: That is what they do. They kill anyone who’s remotely interested in the truth. And then they take away the people that we love the most.

Miss Parker: Why?

Jarod: To control us. To use us to do their dirty work.

Jarod: Karma…ain’t it a bitch?

Zoe: Where you headed?

Jarod: Nowhere. Anywhere. I’ve already been somewhere.

Jarod: If you don’t question you don’t learn.

Jarod: I’m not big on brides in black leather. Although there is a certain enjoyable irony in it.

Miss Parker: Funny, I’m not seeing it.

Broots: Why are you doing this?

Jarod: Doing what?

Broots: I try and catch you every day. I mean it’s my job. But, why are you helping me?

Jarod: Because… I respect you.

Broots: Me?

Jarod: I can only hope that one day I will be half the father that you are.

Jarod: I’d just hate to see anyone miss a turning point when one is staring them right in the face.

Jarod: Intimidating, isn’t it? I took it off this rancher in Montana who was abusing his cattle. I know, you’re thinking it’s not the same thing. And you’re right. The cattle didn’t deserve it. Shall we make that phone call?

Jarod: Patience has never been one of your virtues has it, Miss Parker?

Miss Parker: You got quite a set showing up here.

Jarod: Well, even you wouldn’t pull a gun in a bank

Dr. Goetz: Who’s Sydney?

Jarod: Pavlov to my dog, provider, protector, patriarch. He created me.

[Elvis Impersonator] Bernie: You think it’s easy being the idol of millions?Jarod: I would guess – no.

Miss Parker: Jarod? I think you should tell us where you are, we can protect you from him.

Jarod: Although I really do appreciate your concern, I’ve gotten sort of used to taking care of myself. Well, I really gotta go; I’m late for work. Ciao!

Jarod: I recommend the Monte Cristo. You can’t beat a sandwich with syrup. It is a little bit fattening. What the hey, you could stand to put on a few pounds.

Miss Parker: How would you know?

Jarod: Oh, you never know who might be peeking over your transom. Ah, ah, ah- setting back the bathroom scale three pounds, that’s cheating.

Sheriff: Those are Cam’s kids.

Jarod: I had them brought in.

Sheriff: To get under his skin?

Jarod: To get into his heart.

Jarod: Sometimes, the risks we take are worth it. Well, I’ll see you next time on “The Feud.”

Jarod: Look, I know you’re angry but there’s more important things in life than vengeance. Let me show you how good it feels to save a life instead of trying to destroy one.

Jarod: I try to be strong, but sometimes all I see is darkness, fragments of who I am. Will I ever feel whole?

Sydney: I don’t know Jarod. I hope so.

Jarod: Me too.

Miss Parker: So Jarod, why the YMCA?

Jarod: I was watching retro night on VH1. And they were doing the 70s, which as you know I missed. There was this singing group that was extolling the virtues of staying at the Y. So here I am.

Miss Parker: Cute, not funny, but cute.

Broots: Hey, I can’t talk to you about this. We’re – we’re supposed to be trying to catch you!

Jarod: I know where you live, Mr. Broots.

Ethan: It seems like Miss Parker’s always watching you and following you.

Jarod: Your half sister. She’s quite a consistent piece of work, I’ll give her that.

Ethan: She wants you back, you know?

Jarod: Some things never change.

Genesis

The Genesis of the Pretender

In 1996, the Pretender was born, long before there were books and graphic novels in the works. If you have just arrived, get to know a little bit of the history behind the Pretender Universe.

 
 Read our story below.

Start here: how it all started
1. how it all started
From genesis to DOA
4. from genesis to D.O.A.
2. let there be light
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The Pretender Novels
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1. how it all started
Start here: how it all started
Jarod
Young Jarod

We love The Pretender. It has always been the most passionate expression of our life’s work. We hope our feelings have been reflected in the stories so far — and the ones yet to come. The creation and series were labors of love – the story of which we are thrilled to be continuing now in novels, graphic novels and eventually on film again. So forgive us if we ramble as we put down overall thoughts about the background and origin of the series.

2. Let there be light

What if there was a hero who could be anyone he wanted to be?

Miss Parker

We often like to say that we were there when they turned the lights ‘on’ at the beginning of The Pretender and we will be there to turn them ‘off’ at the end (but with your support we think that won’t be for a very long time).

The Genesis for The Pretender started something like this – we were sitting at a bar one day (it was happy hour, can you tell?) and one of us looked at the other and said, “What if there was a hero who could be anyone he wanted to be?” And the other answered, “Yeah, but didn’t know who he was?”

It was that simple.

But of course nothing of quality or worth having is really that simple, and years of sweat, blood, passion and happy hours followed until the idea of tP truly jelled.

Three ingredients of thousands were also thrown into the mix we called tP.

First, we’d always been fascinated by something we’d read about once called the CIA Genius Project. We’d gladly link you to the article, but it’s since vanished from sight. The upshot of the project and what was so inspiring was the fact that the CIA recruited prodigies from grade and middle schools across the U.S. and brought them into headquarters for special educational exercises. In the morning the kids would attend classes like Trigonometry, Biology, and the like, and then in the afternoon they had them work on brainstorming games like, Stealth Invasion Techniques and Thermonuclear War Simulation. There was no mention of how long recess lasted.

Second, we were both fans of the movie The Great Imposter, and the book by the same name, at Amazon.com, which is the true story of Ferdinand Waldo Demara, Jr. a man who ‘pretended’ to be people he wasn’t. We found his exploits fascinating.

Third, we both also loved the television show The Fugitive – TV Series. The series was about a good man on the run being pursued while searching for a deeply emotional and personal truth while at the same time helped others along his way. The creator of that show, Roy Huggins was one of our heroes. He was a television genius and we are proud to have paid him just a bit of homage in our series.

We did evolve one aspect of what he did though, and that was in the characterizations for our pursers.

Unlike The Fugitive’s Inspector Gerard, we wanted the people who were chasing Jarod to be multi-dimensional human beings who had personal attachments to him. We created Miss Parker and Sydney with the idea that if they both had interesting pasts and strong emotional ties to Jarod then their pursuit of him would cause them inner and mutual conflict as they story progressed.

And are we glad we did that.

So after years of talking and countless happy hours later, we came up with the story of Jarod and the rest is truly history. One that changed our lives.

We walked out of the happy hours into the light of the future and boy was it bright.

3. The Pilot

Under the best of circumstances, it is a hell of an experience to write the first episode of a series.
So many people to please- the studio, the network, etc.- that it’s impossible to please them all.

Under the best of circumstances, it is a hell of an experience to write the first episode of a series.

So many people to please- the studio, the network, etc.- that it’s impossible to please them all.

So we decided that the pilot script for this series couldn’t survive in that system, so we wrote it on spec. For those who don’t know, a spec script is one writers write without having pitched it to or being paid by a network to write it.
Very few series get their start this way (Desperate Housewives, written by a long time and dear friend, Marc Cherry, being one of the few we know of).

The great thing about a spec script is there is no interference – the creators can do what ever they want and that is exactly what we did with tP.

One of our primary motivations with The Pretender pilot script was to change our perception in the TV industry. Hollywood loves to pigeonhole writers. Work on a cop show – you’re a cop show writer. Write Sci-Fi, you’re on the SF list for life. After years of bouncing from one list to the next, we decided to create a series for which there was no list, was no pigeonhole – a script no one had read before and one we dared the reader to be able to put down.

Each scene was designed so that the reader/viewer was so hooked in that they couldn’t possible ‘click’ the remote and leave the story for something else. Every scene, every act break and even the last words and image of the story were designed to make you say – what’s going to happen next?

Up until that time, not a lot of scripts were written that way.

We love the idea of not only respecting the intelligence of the audience, but challenging them with fresh storytelling and mysteries they have to pay attention to and solve, instead of the characters merely solving them for them.

The script was fast paced and written in a way that, by the very end, you were forced to ask yourself – What the hell just happened? Was that guy really not a doctor? Who are those people after him? Was he lost or stolen or bought? And where is his mom and dad? Oh and of course – Was Miss Parker’s skirt really that short?”

Once finished, the script was sent to the four major networks (at that time there were only four) and to their credit, NBC was the first to say, “can we have a meeting about this?” That experience deserves its own story and will be saved for another time, maybe its own book, if anyone’s interested.

At the meeting, they told us they loved the script and if we would rewrite it and tell them who exactly all the characters were, what exactly the Centre was, exactly what Jarod’s origins were, how exactly he was able to be a Pretender, and essentially answer all the questions we posed – they would buy our script and make the pilot.

We looked at each other and said something few if any in Hollywood say; “You can keep your money, cause if we answer all those questions right now – there is no series.”

Silence. Stunned silence.

We stood to leave, all the while feeling like we were going to faint (since Hollywood also likes to pay well and we were walking away from it). Meanwhile, they were thinking they were going to faint, since nobody in Hollywood passes up so much money. And then to their credit the NBC executive said “Wait – we want to make it.”

As a side note – the two executives we met with that day both went on to stellar careers. Steve McPherson went on to run ABC (and was the man responsible for buying Desperate Housewives as a spec), the other was David Nevins who went on to run Imagine Television overseeing hits like 24 and who now, as of this writing, is running Showtime).

4. from genesis to D.O.A.

We’re not going to tell you the story of producing the pilot on these pages. That too is part of the story for another time – if and when you guys want to hear it. What we will say is, as hard as a pilot is to write and sell and get a network to green light, it’s even harder to produce (akin to landing on D-Day during a hurricane).

But the long and short of it is, after surviving what was also a story of epic proportions that caused at least one of us to start losing large quantities of hair, we ended up with a pilot that NBC didn’t know what to do with.

After all the hard work of writing and producing this work of passion, we were literally dead on arrival – NBC literally walking out of the first cut – because they just ‘didn’t get it’ and felt they’d made a big mistake.

The problem was, The Pretender wasn’t like anything else. It didn’t fit into a mold NBC was comfortable with. It was safer not to program it.

 

Not willing to give up on tP or the network, the two of us re-cut the show exactly how we thought it would work best – all of which is another amazing story. Hell, maybe we should just write the definitive guide book to The Pretender and tell the whole story. With literally only minutes to spare, we turned in our final cut and promptly went looking for our next job.

Then something happened, something wonderful.

NBC, who had already paid for the testing, let real people watch The Pretender. Then they tested it again. And again.

Then all of a sudden we received an interesting phone call.

It was from a very excited David Nevins telling us they had tested the show over and over – and that “America loves The Pretender – and we don’t know why.”

Got to love the honesty of a network exec smelling a hit.

NBC was ecstatic. The Pretender in front of live audiences had tested higher than their current hit, E.R. had as a pilot.

In fact, it tested higher than any pilot they had produced for over 30 years – since Bonanza.

Saturday night was to be rebuilt, with The Pretender as the tent pole series after its debut in the coveted Thursday E.R. time slot.

And the rest, as they say, is all a part of the bizarre history of TV.

The next five years of our lives were a wonderful thrill ride working with some of the most amazing people we have ever had the opportunity to know. Every day was a blessing and we are thrilled that one day many years ago at a happy hour bar one of us looked to the other and said – “What if…”

NBC was ecstatic. The Pretender in front of live audiences had tested higher than their current hit, E.R. had as a pilot.

In fact, it tested higher than any pilot they had produced for over 30 years – since Bonanza.

Saturday night was to be rebuilt, with The Pretender as the tent pole series after its debut in the coveted Thursday E.R. time slot.

And the rest, as they say, is all a part of the bizarre history of TV.

The next five years of our lives were a wonderful thrill ride working with some of the most amazing people we have ever had the opportunity to know. Every day was a blessing and we are thrilled that one day many years ago at a happy hour bar one of us looked to the other and said – “What if…”

Jarod as Pilot

Life is a gift.

There are Pretenders among us, geniuses with the ability to become anyone they want to be. In 1983 a corporation known as The Centre isolated a young Pretender named Jarod and exploited his genius for their ‘research. Then, one day, their Pretender ran away… 2nd edition with a special foreword from Michael T. Weiss, who played Jarod on the TV show!

More info →

The second in the exciting Pretender series of novels, Saving Luke is an edge-of-your-seat mystery thriller about Jarod, a child prodigy, stolen and raised by a clandestine organization that exploited his gift for their nefarious activities.

More info →

read what Jarod and Miss Parker have to say
Parkerisms from fans
Jarodisms from fans

The Pilot

the_pilot

 

Sydney always said my brain is my most powerful weapon.  Which, if true, certainly did not explain how I found myself a pilot, in the cockpit of the Centre’s Gulfstream with Flying for Dummies on my lap.  Getting into a dogfight with the Emtrex jet was not how I envisioned escaping this situation, but as I learned early on in Pretending, sometimes improvisation trumps even the greatest intelligence.

Find out how Jarod landed in that sticky situation… and whether or not he got out alive in the Pretender: Saving Luke, coming soon!

WHO IS THE WOMAN AT THE TRAIN STATION?

Who is the woman at the train station?

womastation

A bullet whizzed by Jarod’s ear shattering the front leg of the stallion. Horse and rider cartwheeled, coming to rest with the broken stallion atop her leg. Jarod pulled up. She struggled, to no avail. She knew she was trapped and shot him an urgent look. “Jarod! Go!” “I’m not leaving.” Jarod cried, twirling his frenzied stallion in a circle. “They’ll get you!” She looked at the onrushing Jeep then back to the frightened boy. “It’s not me they want. It’s not me they need.” She spoke calmly. “Get to the trestle, hop the train. She’ll be waiting for you in Dover where we discussed.” “Who is she?” Jarod pleaded. “Someone who loves you, Jarod.” Find out who she is in SAVING LUKE coming very, very soon… In the meantime, who do you think it might be?

Who is the woman at the station?

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