The Word Processor of the Gods
Screenplay By: Michael McDowell
Story By: Stephen King
Directed By: Michael Gornick
Struggling writer Richard Hagstrom (Bruce Davison), who is plagued by financial troubles and his abusive family, receives a homemade computer sent by his beloved deceased nephew prior to his death that has the ability to change reality.
This episode provides examples of:
- Asshole Victim: Richard's wife and son aren't exactly nice people, so little tears are shed when Richard "deletes" them from existence.
- Richard's brother also falls under this category. Between his alcoholism and Richard's not-so-fond description, he wasn't the nicest guy when he was alive.
- Big Brother Bully: According to Richard, his brother used to do every horrible thing conceivable to him when he was alive. That alone tells you he wasn't a good person in life.
- Deceased Parents Are the Best: Played with. It's more like "Deceased Sister-in-Law and Nephews are the best". Richard's nephew was a bright and promising prodigy, and the boy's mother was beautiful as she was kind.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Richard no longer has to put up with a reality where the girl of his dreams married and had a family with his abusive brother, and his own wife and kid are no better. Thanks to the Word Processor, he's married to that wonderful woman, and her genius son is their own son now.
- Establishing Character Moment:
- Richard tries to ask his son Seth to help out with heavy boxes like any father would a willing, strong-backed son. Instead, whilst occupied with practicing his guitar, Seth loudly grouses "Later!"
- Whilst Richard's away, his wife Adelina complains about the costly funeral arrangements of Richard's brother, nephew, and sister-in-law, instead of treating it sensitively like the tragedy it is. She also implies she only married Richard for the prospect of his book-writing career, showing she's a Gold Digger as well as a cheapskate.
- Kick the Dog: When Richard kindly points out to Adelina that today is his birthday out of hope she might throw him a bone, she instead snidely teases that if he makes a wish, he'll get money.
- Like Mother Like Son: Whenever Seth's guitar practice blows out the circuits, he likes to call out "BINGO!" Given his mother spends all her nights at Bingo, it's little wonder where he got it from.
- Parental Substitute: Richard's nephew may have been born to an alcoholic father, but he viewed Richard more like a father than any man.
- Rewriting Reality: The word processor that Richard comes in possession of has the power to make whatever's typed into it a reality, and to make it disappear when it's deleted.