The Valley of the Tools Episode 1

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic


Disgraced former reality star Rob Altmire tries to revitalize his career with the help of the journalist who destroyed it, Whitney Stone. The two collaborate on a project, and enlist some of
Hollywood's least successful people to make it happen.

Submitted: April 04, 2018

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Submitted: April 04, 2018

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THE VALLEY OF THE TOOLS

 

“TWO SHOES”

 

TV-MA DLS

 

“With the heartbreak open, so much you can't hide. Put on a little makeup, makeup, make sure they get your good side, good side”

  • Adam Ant

 

(We start with a shot of an ashtray, emanating smoke, on the railing of Rob Altmire’s Hollywood home, overlooking the valley. We slowly zoom out as we hear the clicking of Netflix surfing in the background. Eventually, we zoom past Rob’s pool, and his sliding glass door, into his living room, where he is sitting on the couch, donning a beard, wearing a white robe with “Robert Altmire I” stitched into it, and his feet are resting on his coffee table, covered in crushed up beer cans, cigarette packs, and Chinese takeout containers. Rob is sorting through Netflix on his Smart TV, with a remote. He eventually starts shaking his head, and throws the remote out of his open sliding glass door, where it then slides into his pool)

 

ROB: Fuck. (Rob painstakingly stands up, takes a pack of Camels out of his robe pocket, and find that they’re wet. Pissed, he throws them on the floor) I need to get a tarp for that goddamn pool. (Rob walks over to his fridge, and opens it, to see one can of beer left. He takes it, and cracks it open, as he hears his front door open) Hello? (A pink-haired woman wearing transparent Ray-Bans, a white button-up shirt walks in and stares at Rob) …What? Did you join the Manson family? I have a doorbell, you know.

 

JUNE: Sorry, I was afraid you might be too dead to answer the door.

 

ROB: Jesus, June, I’m not Layne Staley. (Rob walks out from his kitchen sipping on a beer) Although, I did sneak him out of rehab one time.

 

JUNE: You need to stop, this. This is gross. This is unhygienic.

 

(Rob leans on his couch)

 

ROB: This is pretty much how I’ve always lived. As my publicist, your job is to go to great lengths to publicize how much of a rock star lifestyle I lead.

 

JUNE: Rob, I’m literally afraid to find out whether your heart, lungs or liver goes out first.

 

ROB: It’s a race to the finish.

 

JUNE: You need to stop moping and rehabilitate-

 

ROB: NO! No rehab!

 

JUNE: No, of course not. Rehabilitate your image, is what I was going to say.

 

ROB: Oh. Good, because Layne Staley is not around to repay the favor.

 

JUNE: Poor taste. (Rob shrugs, and sips his beer) You need to set up an interview where you apologize for your past behavior, and pledge to become a new man. An advocate, even.

 

ROB: Why not a press conference?

 

JUNE: No, it seems too, self-involved.

 

ROB: Yes, that’s why I want it.

 

JUNE: Rob, it’s not about you! It’s about women!

 

ROB: They have me on ONE THING! I tried to sleep with a co-star, and I made some comments to women that they felt uncomfortable with.

 

JUNE: And do you regret it?

 

ROB: Of course I do! But it doesn’t matter what I say, they’ve convinced themselves I’m a monster!
 

JUNE: Rob, I want to hear you say why you regret it. I need to hear that, I think.

 

(Rob sighs)

 

ROB: …Because, I know that if somebody talked that way to my half-sister, or my cousin, I would want to murder them.

 

JUNE: …You shouldn’t need female relatives to understand that, but, fine.

 

ROB: I know! Okay? I suck! But I’m not Harvey Weinstein! I’m not Kevin Spacey, or Bill Cosby! I think I should have a second chance, and I’ll gladly put on the “Time’s Up” pendant, and march, like those kids in Washington!

 

JUNE: Do you actually read the news? That march is about gun violence-

 

ROB: Whatever it is, I know I can be better.

 

JUNE: Okay. Then I’ll set up an interview with Rolling Stone, and you can apologize, and pledge to become an advocate-

 

ROB: No, get me an interview with Whitney Stone.

 

JUNE: …Rob, you can’t be serious. She’s the reason your career is over. (Rob glares at June) Temporarily!
 

ROB: That’s why I need to sit down with her.

 

JUNE: Rob-

 

ROB: Do it!
 

(Rob puts down his beer, fishes a single cigarette out of his robe pocket, puts it in his mouth, and lights it, as he walks onto his balcony. June purses her lips, and takes out her phone. Cut to Whitney Stone, at her desk at the very busy offices of BuzzFeed News, their Los Angeles branch, reading something. A man wearing flannel, in his mid-30s, walks over to Whitney)

 

MATT: Hey, Whitney, Diego is covering Jeff Tambor’s son’s pool party, so I want you to take up the story about Kim K’s new dog, if you don’t mind, okay?

 

(Matt beams)

 

WHITNEY: Well, actually, Matt, I was thinking, you know, since the Rob Altmire story-

 

MATT: Whitney, I’d really love to chat, I really would, but, my goodness, that fresh pot of coffee in the break room smells divine! (Matt winks, and pats Whitney on the shoulder, and starts walking away) Clara, is that Donut Shop?

 

(Matt exits screen left, as Whitney sighs and turns back to her computer. Hannah comes in, holding a bag from Einstein’s Bagels)

 

HANNAH: Hey, babe, I brought you lunch.

 

(Whitney turns to Hannah)

 

WHITNEY: Oh, thank Christ for you, girl.

 

(Whitney kisses Hannah and grabs the bag. She pulls out an everything bagel with cream cheese and puts it on her desk)

 

HANNAH: You’re welcome. How’s the day been, so far?

 

WHITNEY: Matt has me on some stupid bullshit, but look at this.

 

(Whitney points to her monitor, as Hannah kneels down to see what’s there)

 

HANNAH: Oh my Gosh.

 

WHITNEY: Can you believe this? What is he trying to pull?

 

HANNAH: I don’t know, maybe, you can ask him at the interview.

 

WHITNEY: Wait, do you really think I should accept this offer?

 

HANNAH: Whitney, he’s offering you an interview opportunity, probably to clear the air about his reputation. That’s bound to get a ton of clicks.

 

WHITNEY: But at what cost? I mean, this asshole obviously wants to rehabilitate his image! Why would I want to help him do that?

 

HANNAH: Alright, fine, don’t. Then, you’ll never get Matt’s office, or the ping-pong table and mud bath within it.

 

(Whitney looks over to Matt’s office, to see him covered in mud, as he plays ping-pong with a hapless intern. The ball whiffles past the scared intern, who drops to the ground and covers his face)

 

MATT: Ooohh, man, you can’t last FIVE SECONDS, Mark! C’mon, another friendly game, get up. Stop cryinh.

 

(Cut back to Whitney & Hannah)

 

HANNAH: Listen, if he wants to rehabilitate his image in the interview, don’t let him.

 

(Hannah kisses Whitney on the cheek)

 

HANNAH: Love you.

 

WHITNEY: Love you, too.

 

(Hannah walks away, as Whitney turns back to her computer. Cut to Rob on his balcony, exhaling cigarette smoke, and examining the LA skyline in his robe. June walks out onto the balcony)

 

JUNE: She said “yes”, Rob.

 

(Rob puts out his cigarette and turns to June)

 

ROB: Huh. (June nods) Fuck. (“Goody Two Shoes” by Adam Ant begins playing as we cut to Rob, the following day, hurriedly putting on collared shirt, and then a sweater, and then jeans. Cut to him getting ready in the mirror. He combs his hair, straightens his collar, splashes some water on his face, and dries off his face with a towel. Cut to him walking out of his bedroom with a garbage bag, he hurries over to his coffee table, and shovels the beers, cigarette packs, and Chinese take-out into the bag. He then looks up to see Whitney standing in his living room, as the song abruptly ends) AH! Christ!
 

WHITNEY: Sorry, Gilberta let me in.

 

(A Latina maid walks over holding her purse)

 

GILBERTA: Have a good afternoon, Mr. Altmire.

 

ROB: No, YOU have a great afternoon, Gilberta. (Rob smiles and laughs, as Gilberta nods and walks out the front door) I pay her, a lot, and she loves it, she would do it for free, but, she doesn’t, to be clear.

 

WHITNEY: Relax, Rob. Let’s sit down, after you throw that away.

(Rob nods, and walks into his kitchen to stuff the bag in his pantry. Rob sits down on the end of his couch, as Whitney sits down in a love seat cattycorner to him. Whitney puts her phone down on the coffee table)

 

ROB: Thanks for, doing this.

 

WHITNEY: How could I pass it up?

 

ROB: Do you want something? Like, a box of water? (Rob takes out a boxed carton of water) I use cartons because it’s better for the environment. Remember to get that.

 

WHITNEY: Rob, please listen to me. Just be yourself. It’ll make you seem a lot less fake.

 

(Rob takes a swig of the boxed water, and puts it down)

 

ROB: …Less fake? Is that the goal in Hollywood?

 

(Whitney laughs, but then quickly catches herself, clears her throat, and looks stern. She reaches down to her phone and presses record)

 

WHITNEY: Hi, I’m Whitney Stone, with BuzzFeed News, and I’m here with Rob Altmire, alternate host of HQ Trivia, and former reality show super star. Over two months ago, I published an article that ruined his career, and now, here I am, for an exclusive one-on-one interview. Rob, how have you been since you were fired from TBS?

 

ROB: I’ve had a lot of time to think about things, Whitney.

 

WHITNEY: Okay, and what is it you’ve thought about?

 

ROB: Well, I’ve thought about, for one, what my privilege, as a man, has done to blind me to women’s boundaries. What I saw as harmless flirting, was not harmless, it was harassment. It was, inexcusable.

 

WHITNEY: …Okay, and what do you have to see to the women who’ve come out against you?

 

ROB: I apologize. I feel terribly, and I want to take the lessons I’ve learned, and stand by all of you as an advocate.

 

WHITNEY: Advocate for what, exactly?

 

ROB: The right of women to feel safe in the workplace. From verbal harassment, and definitely physical harassment. Equal pay for equal work. A female Superman, too. I want that.

 

WHITNEY: Isn’t that Wonder Woman? Kind of?

 

ROB: No, I mean, a legit Super Man that is a woman. “Woman Man”, might be a good name for her, but I’ve just been toying around with that.

 

WHITNEY: Uh-huh. Mr. Altmire, I’m a little surprised, I have to say.

 

ROB: Well, I want everyone to know how much I’ve thought about this.

 

WHITNEY: What do you see as your next career move?

 

ROB: I don’t know, I have HQ Trivia, but for now, I want to focus on advocacy and activism.

 

WHITNEY: Oh. Well, I mean, there’s a reproductive rights march on Sepulveda in a few weeks, you could-

 

ROB: I RSVP’d for the Facebook event this morning.

 

WHITNEY: …Wow. Okay, well, thank you, Mr. Altmire, for joining me.

 

ROB: Is that all?

 

WHITNEY: Yeah, I think I have all I need. (Whitney and Rob shake hands, and then relinquish. Whitney turns off her recorder. She then checks her phone) Look at that, you did RSVP for the Sepulveda March.

 

ROB: My word is my bond. (Rob holds up the boxed water carton) You sure you don’t want some?

 

WHITNEY: No, really, I’m not thirsty.

 

ROB: There’s actually whiskey in here, I don’t drink that much water.

 

(Whitney chuckles)

 

WHITNEY: I mean…hey, I called in sick to do this interview, why the hell not? (Rob hands Whitney the carton, and she takes a swig) My God, that’s strong.

 

ROB: it’ll put some hair on your… (Whitney squints) head?

 

WHITNEY: Nice save.

 

ROB: I’m still getting used to the feminist stuff, I’m new.

 

WHITNEY: Did your publicist tell you to do this?

 

(Whitney hands the carton back to Rob)

 

ROB: I’m not gonna lie, she thought it would be good for my image, but, hell, with this administration, and its attack on women, I’ve had enough either way.

 

WHITNEY: Huh. I almost think you’re sincere.

 

ROB: Thank, you?

 

WHITNEY: But, the reality shows you’ve starred in the past three or four years have ALL been misogynistic. One of them was literally called “Penis Envy”.

 

ROB: You mean the one where five women competed to win a life-sized castor mold of my member, in the form of a strap-on?

 

WHITNEY: I think so. You had a lot of shows like that, it’s hard to keep track.

 

ROB: I mean, it seems like you’ve watched at least some of them.

 

WHITNEY: Well, you know…for research, and stuff.

 

(Rob chuckles)

 

ROB: Okay. (Rob hands the carton back to Whitney, who takes a swig) Do you watch reality shows, at all?

 

(Rob takes out a pack of cigarettes)

 

WHITNEY: I mean, no, not really. Sorry, can I be a bitch and ask you not to smoke in your own house?

 

(Rob smiles, and puts them away)

 

ROB: You can be a bitch anytime you’d like. (Whitney giggles and takes another swig) So, you don’t watch any reality TV?

 

WHITNEY: I mean, I guess I like Ru Paul’s Drag Race. And Next Top Model. And Big Brother. And Top Chef, Shark Tank, and The Bachelor-

 

(Rob laughs)

 

ROB: is that all?

 

WHITNEY: It’s not even close to done.

 

(They both laugh, as Whitney hands the carton back to Rob)

 

ROB: So, why the jihad then?

 

(Rob takes a swig)

 

WHITNEY: Because, I just wish there was a reality show with a feminist perspective. A reality show where, women aren’t fighting over men, or with each other, but fighting for something that matters.

 

ROB: …Okay, then, create it.

 

WHITNEY: What? No, I’m a, reporter.

 

ROB: For BuzzFeed.

 

WHITNEY: We have a news division, and a listicle division, okay? We broke the Steele Dossier, you know!

 

ROB: And yet, over a year later, there’s no pee tape, no impeachment, and Trump is filling his White House with an insane Gold Prospector dying to bomb Iran and North Korea.

 

WHITNEY: Who’d you vote for?

 

ROB: Gary Johnson.

 

(Whitney stands up)

 

WHITNEY: You know, I was starting to think you weren’t so bad, but of course, you blew that up by insulting my profession!
 

(Rob stands up)

 

ROB: Whitney, I’m just saying that if you want to create a more progressive reality show, you shouldn’t wait for someone else to do it! Let’s do it together!

 

(Whitney scoffs)

 

WHITNEY: You want to go into business with me!?

 

ROB: I want to advocate for women, that’s what I said in the interview! And I want to do it by doing what I do bet, attention whoring for money!
 

(Whitney scoffs)

 

WHITNEY: I have a full-time job!

 

ROB: Fine. Then work there until Jeff Bezos buys you and kicks you to the curb. Or, swallows you whole like the snake he is.

 

WHITNEY: I-I-I can’t throw away my career on something that might not even work! Just to save your reputation! How would make ME look?

 

ROB: Alright. Fine. Forget it. (Rob finishes off his carton of Whiskey and throws it across the room. He then takes out another carton of “boxed water”, which has been formed into a bong, complete with a bowl full of marijuana. He takes out his lighter) Thanks for the interview.

 

(Rob lights the bowl and inhales. Whitney shakes her head, grabs her phone and walks out of the house. Cut to Whitney sitting on her couch, holding a beer, watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race on her television. Ru Paul is facing a stage full of drag queens)

 

RU PAUL: Condragulations, Asia. You’re safe.

 

WHITNEY: Not in Trump’s America, you’re not!

 

(Whitney crushes up the beer bottle and tosses it neatly in a nearby recycle bin. Hannah walks in with an LA Weekly tote bag in hand)

 

HANNAH: How’d it go?

 

(Hannah sits down next to Whitney and kisses her)

 

WHITNEY: It went really well, actually. He’s kind of cool, is that, like, sacrilege to say?

 

HANNAH: Babe, he’s charming in person, but just peel back that apple skin, and you’ve got a delicious, ripe apple. I mean, a bad apple.

 

WHITNEY: He says I should start a feminist reality show with him.

 

HANNAH: What? Really?

 

WHITNEY: Yeah, he says I should stop hoping that someone does that, and I should just do it.

 

HANNAH: With him?

 

WHITNEY: He seemed sincere about wanting to advocate for women.

 

HANNAH: No offense, Whitney, but, are you drunk?

 

WHITNEY: Yes, actually. Thanks to him.

 

HANNAH: Jesus! Whitney, he harassed me, remember? Don’t go into business with him, plus, you have a career!

 

WHITNEY: I know. I probably won’t do it.

 

HANNAH: You better not. I work at LA Weekly because of you!

 

(Hannah gets up and walks into the bedroom)

 

WHITNEY: What does THAT mean!? (Hannah shuts the door. Whitney gets a cell phone call. She looks at the caller ID, and it’s Matt, her boss) Goddamnit. And I’m drunk! (Whitney answers) Hello?

 

MATT: (On the phone) Ms. Stone! How are you feeling?

 

WHITNEY: Fairy vine.

 

(Whitney hiccups)

 

MATT: Perfect, how’s the Rob Altmire beat?

 

WHITNEY: What?

 

MATT: I heard you were able to slink over to Rob Altmire’s house in your robe, surely holding a box of tissues- (Cut to Matt behind his desk, reading an article on his laptop entitled “WHITNEY THE ALTMIRE SLAYER MAKES VOYAGE TO ROB’S LAIR?!” with a paparazzi picture of her entering Rob’s house, through his gate) oh wait, no, you weren’t wearing sick clothes, you were wearing a fabulous robin’s egg blouse and magnificent wedges.

 

WHITNEY: Sir, I didn’t mean to-

 

MATT: I hate to use this tone with you, Whitney, but there is ZERO chance we’re running your interview. Your obsession with Rob Altmire ends HERE.

 

(Matt hangs up. Whitney puts the phone down, and then throws it across the room. Whitney huffs. Then she looks back at the TV, and sees the credits to Ru Paul’s drag race scrolling down)

 

VOICE OVER: Next up on VH1, it’s a brand-new episode of “Women On Display”, where ten unknown, unseen men watch women in their most private moments and rate them 1-10, and whoever wins, get $50,000 to spend on a dream wedding!

 

(Whitney turns off the TV, and stares at the phone. Cut to Rob, sitting naked in bed, next to a random, sleeping blonde woman. Rob is smoking a cigarette and staring at the ceiling. He then gets a phone call, from Whitney. He quickly answers it)

 

ROB: Hel- (He has a coughing fit, as he quickly puts his cigarette out) hello?

 

WHITNEY: I’m in.

 

ROB: Oh. Okay, great.

 

WHITNEY: Meet me at Starbucks at around noon tomorrow and we’ll discuss the details.

 

ROB: Starbucks? Whitney, there’s like, a hundred Starbucks in Los Angeles-

 

WHITNEY: The one closest to my house! By God.

 

(Whitney hangs up. Rob puts his phone down)

 

ROB: Wow.

 

BLONDE WOMAN: What?

 

ROB: Nothing. Now, I’m not paying you to sleep, so, please, collect your money from my counter, and exit stage…the front of my house.

 

(The prostitute stands up slowly)

 

PROSTITUTE: Be sure to rate me well on the app.

 

ROB: Sooner you leave, the better rating you’ll get.

 

(The prostitute smirks, collects her clothes, and walks out of the room. Cut to Rob and Whitney sitting across from each other in a Starbucks. Rob has a coffee, and Whitney has a caramel macchiato)

 

WHITNEY: Okay, so I’m going to be the producer, so I’ll handle the boring stuff.

 

ROB: Thank God.

 

WHITNEY: Thank me. And you will handle hiring and casting, alright?

 

ROB: Perfect.

 

WHITNEY: We’re gonna need a director.

 

ROB: Okay.

 

(Cut to Miles Grothman, a heavyset gentleman with grey hair and a mustache, sitting in his bed, while the shower runs in his bathroom. He gets a call)

 

MILES: Rob, how are you, ya son of a bitch?

 

ROB: (On the phone) Miles, I’m creating a reality show, and I need a director.

 

MILES: Whoa, whoa, Robert, I’ve directed “Horny Vikings Say ‘Let Them Eat Beefcake’” and other exploitation fare, but never a, reality show!
 

ROB: Miles, it’s reality television, it IS exploitation fare!

 

(A transgender woman comes out of the bathroom wearing a towel)

 

TRANSGENDER WOMAN: Miles?

 

MILES: Hold on, Robert. (He puts the phone to his chest) Yes, Raquel?

 

RAQUEL: Look, I only slept with you so I could get the part in “Poonlight”, but since your funding was pulled-

 

MILES: I never promised the role to you! I didn’t even know you wanted it!
 

RAQUEL: I’m gonna go.

 

MILES: But you’re the only woman I’ve ever slept with!
 

RAQUEL: …I know. But it’s because my dick is big, right?

 

(Miles nods)

 

MILES: Yes!
 

RAQUEL: …Goodbye.

 

(Raquel gathers her clothes, and leaves. Miles puts the phone back to his ear)

 

MILES …I’ll do it.

 

(Cut back to Whitney & Rob at the Starbucks)

 

WHITNEY: We’re gonna need actors & actresses, (Whitney clears her throat) I mean, “contestants”.

 

ROB: I could see if David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez are available?

 

WHITNEY: Shut up. Shut up forever!

 

(Rob chuckles. Cut to Luther Moon, an 35-year old African-American actor, walking into his studio apartment wearing a waiter’s uniform. He takes off his Chili’s shirt, and throws it on the couch, which he then sinks into, and sighs. He gets a call, and answers it)

 

LUTHER: What is it, Rob?

 

ROB: (On the phone) I have a role for you, Luth.

 

LUTHER: I told you not to call me that, but, holy shit, what is it? I’ll take it!
 

(Cut to a shot of a dressing room door with a star on it that reads “BACKLASH BONNIE”. A man with cargo shorts, a polo shirt, and sunglasses comes in carrying mail, while Backlash Bonnie puts on make-up in the mirror)

 

MAIL GUY: Honey, you’ve got like, twelve letters here.

 

BONNIE: Come on, sugar, spit it out.

 

MAIL GUY: There’s some fan mail, a letter from Rob Altmire, and the rest are threatening letters from Michael Cohen.

 

(Bonnie turns to the mail guy)

 

BONNIE: Wait, what?

 

MAIL GUY: Yeah, Cohen’s been hounding-

 

BONNIE: No, did you say “Rob Altmire”?

 

MAIL GUY: Yeah?

 

BONNIE: Give it here. (Mail guy tosses it to Bonnie, and she slams it down) WALK THE FUCK OVER AND GIVE IT, ASS CLOWN!
 

MAIL GUY: I’m so sorry, ma’am.

 

BONNIE: PICK IT UP, FRANK! (Frank bends down and hands it to Bonnie. He then quickly shuffles out of the room. Bonnie starts reading it, as the camera pulls in on her) Huh.

 

(Cut to McKenzie Park, a young theatre actress, acting in a small theatre at a small LA playhouse. She is dressed as a Queen, while a young blonde actor kneels by as her serf. Rob is in the audience)

 

MCKENZIE: No, I shan’t think so, dumb old serf, for you are not worthy of love.

 

SERF: Oh my, your Majesty. Methinks you’ve learned quite a whole lot of nothing from this ordeal.

 

MCKENZIE: I do remain vain, my darling. It’s in my royal blood.

 

(The curtains close, and the audience claps. But, Rob stands up. Cut to McKenzie standing outside the theatre, out of costume, now in a hoodie, smoking a cigarette. Rob comes outside with an unlit cigarette in his mouth, holding a lighter)

 

ROB: You were great, but- (Rob takes out the cigarette) that play is horribly written.

 

MCKENZIE: What do you want?

 

ROB: This isn’t a personal visit, McKenzie. (Rob lights his cigarette and exhales the smoke) I have a part for you. On TV.

 

MCKENZIE: What do I have to do for it? It’s been a year, Rob, get over it.

 

ROB: You don’t have to do anything, it’s yours.

 

(McKenzie puts out her cigarette on the ground and stomps it out. She smiles)

 

MCKENZIE: Really? What is it? An AMC period drama? A dystopian Hulu drama? A Showtime drama about nudists?

 

ROB: …Well…

 

(Cut to McKenzie, Miles, Bonnie and Luther sitting around a conference table, with Whitney and Rob sitting at the head of the table. A tub of champagne is on the table, as is a plate of lobster)

 

WHITNEY: So, this is the crew, huh?

 

ROB: Yes, ma’am. Let’s dig in!

 

(Rob reaches for the tub of champagne, but Whitney grabs his hand)

 

WHITNEY: Could you four excuse the casting director and I for a minute?

 

MILES: You are excused, sweetheart, don’t worry.

 

WHITNEY: …LEAVE!
 

MILES: Oh.

 

(They all get up, and leave the room, shutting the door behind them. Whitney turns to Rob)

 

WHITNEY: What the hell!?

 

ROB: What?! I did exactly what you said!
 

WHITNEY: You got me- (Whitney holds up papers) an exploitation director, a porn actress, and two nobody actors, whose top billings are car commercials and a play about incest!

 

ROB: Whitney! We have no money! Did you expect me to bring in Terrence Malick?!

 

WHITNEY: Why that director!?

 

ROB: Did you really think I’d get Rupert Friend for the role!?

 

WHITNEY: These are super random people!

 

ROB: I got what I could get. Miles doesn’t direct misogynistic exploitation, it’s mostly gay exploitation.

 

(Whitney sighs)

 

WHITNEY: Okay, well, what about Backlash Bonnie?

 

ROB: …She’s one of my favorites!
 

WHITNEY: You’re gross!
 

ROB: What!?

 

WHITNEY: Why did I trust you to hire, or cast? In fact, why did I even go into business with you!?

 

ROB: Whitney. (Rob puts his hand on her shoulder) This a cabinet of enemies. Or, enemy. And we’re in the trenches. And you can hear marching in the distance, you know the enemy’s taking position, but you’re not sure where. So, you ask your enemy where the enemy is. And he knows damn well, because he’s the enemy!

 

WHITNEY: This is not a good metaphor!
 

(Whitney pushes Rob’s hand off her shoulder)

 

ROB: Whitney, these TV execs want to know you can get a cast together, that doesn’t mean we have to stick with these assholes once we get a deal.

 

(Whitney breathes in deeply)

 

WHITNEY: That’s…true.

 

ROB: See?

 

WHITNEY: But there’s still one problem.

 

ROB: What?

 

WHITNEY: We don’t have a show idea.

 

(Rob sits back and rubs his temple)

 

ROB: Fuck, I forgot about that. (Cut to Rob’s living room. Rob, Whitney, June and Miles are there. Whitney, June and Miles are there while Rob is standing up with a white board propped on a chair. He’s holding an expo marker. The board says “Stone-Altmire Production Mizz-eeting, 3-29-2018”) Okay, we need ideas. First of all, for a production company name, because Stone-Altmire is boring s fuck.

 

JUNE: Altmire-Stone sounds better, I think.

 

ROB: I love it.

 

WHITNEY: Whatever, you can have it, as long as it’s not dumb.

 

ROB: Okay, so that’s our first decision. Productive meeting so far, gals. (Rob erases “Stone-Altmire” and writes “ALTMIRE-Stone” in its place) Alright, now, show ideas?

 

WHITNEY: Well-

 

JUNE: You had one, right, Rob?

 

ROB: Oh, I don’t know if that’s, finished-

 

JUNE: No, Rob, go ahead, tell her.

 

WHITNEY: Is she your-? Is she your hype man?

 

ROB: Whoa, nice gendered term, there, Whitney.

 

WHITNEY: Just shut up and make your pitch.

 

ROB: Okay, so it’s called “Hot Box”. And there’s four women who are put into a room that gets progressively hotter as time goes on-

 

JUNE: Oh yeah, it’s just sweltering in there by the end-

 

ROB: Yes-

 

MILES: I assume, at that point, the clothes have to come off?

 

ROB: Well, I don’t want to lean on that-

 

WHITNEY: Are you-?

 

ROB: So, they have to work together, using their feminine wit, to break out of that room, and a series of rooms, using clues, and puzzles, until finally, they break out of the whole damn building!
 

JUNE: Oh, I love this part.

 

WHITNEY: (To June) Please stop!
 

ROB: And once they get out, they are rewarded with one HUNK of a male stripper, popping out of a treasure chest.

 

MILES: YOWZA! (June and Miles stand up and applaud, and Rob bows, as Whitney sits there, appalled. June and Miles sit down, as does Rob) What? You don’t like?

 

WHITNEY: No! This is sexist, this is just an excuse to see sweaty, bare, tits and ass!
 

MILES: Well, for me, it’s an excuse to see beefcake, but I guess I’m not your target demographic.

 

WHITNEY: No, you’re not, my target demographic is women! Hear my pitch for a second. Okay. How about we get a group of aspiring businesswomen, let’s say, fourteen to eighteen of them, split into teams, who compete over the course of a season, and they’re each given a task, where they have to sell something, or raise money for charity, or something like that, and then each episode, one of them is eliminated based on their performance, and the opinion of the- oh, shit, this is just The Apprentice, isn’t it?

 

(Whitney starts rubbing her temples, followed by a short silence)

 

JUNE: We could compete with Roseanne.

 

(Rob scoots closer to Whitney, and she looks up at him)

 

ROB: Whitney, your target demographic should be men and women, I mean, not to mansplain, but-

 

WHITNEY: You are, but, go on.

 

ROB: Women already know that they’re intelligent, and worth more than a pair of ass and tits. But imagine men tuning in to see T&A and finding a show about a group of intelligent young women working together to solve problems. And then being rewarded with supple ass.

 

MILES: Oh, stop it, stop it, please! Can we make the male stripper an alien sex robot?

 

ROB: We’ll talk about it, Miles.

 

WHITNEY: …I guess you’re right. It does have the benefit of the “female gaze” more than the “male gaze”.

 

ROB: …Right…the gaze?

 

(Cut to Whitney driving home, listening to NPR on her radio)

 

NPR: You’re listening to KPCC, public radio for Southern California, I’m Alex Cohen. President Trump announced via Twitter today that he would be firing his Veteran’s Affairs Secretary, David Shulkin. Shulkin had been plagued by accusations of misuse of federal funds. Trump nominated White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson to replace him, because, and I quote, “I like that fuckin’ guy”. This marks the, let’s say, 400th high profile departure from this administration since it began fourteen months ago, the most recent departures being National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Tillerson was replaced by CIA director Mike Pompeo, and McMaster was replaced by former U.N. Ambassador and extremely hawkish foreign policy ideologue John Bolton. Mr. Bolton reportedly got the job in part because he “pinky-promised” the President that he wouldn’t start any new wars. Mr. Bolton starts in his position on April 9th. This is NPR.

 

(Whitney pulls into her driveway and gets out. She walks into her home, to see Hannah drinking coffee and looking out the window)

 

WHITNEY: Babe?

 

(Hannah turns around)

 

HANNAH: Hey.

 

WHITNEY: Are you alright?

 

HANNAH: Yeah, I’m just…I have a favor to ask you.

 

WHITNEY: …Okay.

 

(Whitney and Hannah sit down)

 

HANNAH: Remember growing up in West Virginia?

 

WHITNEY: Oh, Jesus, I’d rather not.

 

HANNAH: Come on, just picture it.

 

WHITNEY: Hannah, don’t start talkin’ about West Virginia, or I’ll get my accent back. Damnit, see I’m already dropping my G’s.

 

HANNAH: What did you want to be?

 

WHITNEY: I wanted to be an investigative journalist, exactly what I am now. Or was, until like, two days ago.

 

HANNAH: Well, I wanted to be an actress.

 

WHITNEY: But, I thought you didn’t want that anymore?

 

HANNAH: I don’t, but, I want to help you out with your show. I know I was mad at you for accepting, but, I’ll always trust that whatever you want to do is the right thing to do.

 

WHITNEY: So, you want to act in it?

 

HANNAH: Yes, or, be a “contestant”.

 

WHITNEY: …But, babe, you’re not an actress.

 

HANNAH: it’s reality TV, come on, you don’t need to be a good actor, and also, there’s technically not supposed to be actors!
 

WHITNEY: Girl.

 

HANNAH: I know, but, I want to help out!
 

WHITNEY: Hannah, it’s too, nepotistic. And you have a job.

 

HANNAH: I can do both.

 

WHITNEY: Well, if you want to help, you can be a writer. We need plenty of those, and you’re great at it.

 

(Hannah swallows and nods)

 

HANNAH: Okay. Thank you.

 

WHITNEY: No problem. This’ll be fun.

 

(Whitney smiles and kisses Hannah. She then gets up and goes to the kitchen, as Hannah looks down, dejected. Cut to Rob, Whitney & Miles at a swanky Hollywood party in someone’s mansion. Men & women in suits abound, pouring drink and making merry, as popular music plays. Rob, Whitney, Hannah & Miles are sitting on a couch in the living room of this house, while partygoers socialize, and drink around them. They are all holding drinks)

 

ROB: Okay, so this is where it all happens. This party is chock FULL of television executives. And you have to reach into their fly, and pull out money.

 

MILES: Wait, are we doing pick pocketing? Because I am SO down, I haven’t done that since I was a teen!

 

WHITNEY: He means metaphorically, Miles.

 

ROB: I’ll take the lead on this, being the most attractive on here, but, we’re gonna need the soft sell too, so we need to all deploy at once.

 

WHITNEY: Please don’t count down.

 

ROB: Three, two-

 

WHITNEY: Of course.

 

ROB: One, GO!

 

(Rob & Miles disperse, but Whitney stays and sips her drink)

 

WHITNEY: I will go when I decide to go, using my own agency, thank you! (Whitney scoffs, and sips her drink again) Alright, I better go.

 

(Whitney gets up and walks to the left. Cut to Whitney speaking with Thom Sherman and Kelly Kahl, the co-Presidents of CBS entertainment, who are enjoying cocktails while sitting on a couch)

 

WHITNEY: So, this isn’t one of those bullshit, patriarchal, some man gets the girl, “some men calm the hysterical woman down as they pull each other’s hair out” horseshit-

 

THOM: (Bored) Is that right?

 

WHITNEY: This is about women, getting together, and solving problems, and that’s what CBS needs.

 

KELLY: It sounds-

 

WHITNEY: Because right now you have that crypto-sexist Pablum “The Big Bang Theory”, and honestly, it’s not even crypto-sexist, it’s straight up sexist these days. It’s lazy sexism.

 

THOM: What’s the name of your show again?

 

WHITNEY: And ANOTHER thing about Big Bang Theory!

 

(Cut to Miles speaking with Channing Dungey & James Goldston, the co-Presidents of ABC, over at a bar, being manned by a gruff looking older gentleman)

 

MILES: So, listen, boys, and girl, this show will be so chock full of tits, that ABC viewers will need to get larger TVs, let me tell ya, we’re talking C-cups, or, or, D-cups, those are the big ones, right?

 

JAMES: Yeah.

 

MILES: Okay, yeah, so that’s what we’re talking, also, it’s feminist, I almost forgot to mention that-

 

CHANNING: Wait, what’s your name again?

 

MILES: I’m, uh, Miles Grothman.

 

CHANNING: Oh my God, you’re that sleazy exploitation director, right!?

 

MILES: I don’t know about sleazy-

 

(Channing elbows James)

 

CHANNING: James, remember his magnum opus, “Chicks on Motor Dyke-les”?!

 

(James laughs)

 

JAMES: Holy shit, that was from like, twenty years ago! That’s the film I first came to!

 

(Channing laughs)

 

CHANNING: I bet you did!
 

MILES: First came to? Aren’t you, like, fifty?

 

JAMES: Miles, no disrespect, but no one in their RIGHT MIND would work with you after that last film you did.

 

MILES: Hey, you know, I’ve taken some hits, but these two hairy legs are still standing. They call me the Tarantula.

 

CHANNING: I’m sorry, Miles, I’m a practical woman, and I can’t imagine touching anything you’re associated with. I don’t know where it’s been.

 

(Channing and James walk away, laughing. Miles slams his fist on the bar)

 

BARTENDER: (German accent) Can I help you?

 

MILES: I’ll have a gimlet.

 

(The Bartender makes him a gimlet and hands it to him)

 

BARTENDER: On the house.

 

MILES: Thanks. (Miles smiles at him) Let’s say I knock down your Berlin wall, huh?

 

BARTENDER: What does that mean?

 

MILES: What? You come in here, you give me a free drink, and you don’t expect the sexy talk?

 

BARTENDER: Please, don’t be like everyone else here, son.

 

MILES: What do you mean?

 

BARTENDER: All these people…they’re tools. It’s like there’s a whole valley of them. And you have to look beyond it.

 

(Miles looks out at the party, and everyone dancing, drinking, and making out. Then he locates Rob speaking intimately with attractive female FOX executive Dana Walden across the room. They clink their glasses. Cut to them)

 

ROB: So, you live in Brentwood?

 

DANA: Yes, I do.

 

ROB: Property values must have skyrocketed when you moved in.

 

(Dana chuckles)

 

DANA: What happened when you moved to Bel-Air?

 

ROB: Let’s just say my house will be a combination museum slash tomb one day.

 

(Dana chuckles)

 

DANA: My God, I’m not sure if you’re arrogant or wildly insecure.

 

ROB: My soul has plenty of room for both. And, uh…my house has plenty of room for two, as well. In fact, it has room for a lot people, I have a really big house.

 

DANA: Robert, I’m a married woman.

 

ROB: …You’re right. Just, do me a favor. (Rob takes out a spare key with his address, “2302 Stradella Road, Los Angeles, CA 90077” tagged onto it) If I accidentally leave my spare key here, go ahead and return it to me.

 

(Rob smiles, and puts the key on the couch, as he leaves the house party. Dana glances down at the keys and picks them up to look at them. Cut to Whitney drunkenly talking at HBO programming director Casey Bloys)

 

WHITNEY: All I’m saying is, it’s time for women to have a shot, you know what I mean? You’re the programming director, why aren’t you a woman?

 

CASEY: I-I don’t know, did you say Rob Altmire is involved?

 

WHITNEY: Kind of. I think he wants to show he can be an ally of women, and I actually think he means it. And I never thought I’d say that.

 

CASEY: Sorry, Ms. Stone, but HBO could never hire Mr. Altmire.

 

WHITNEY: Listen, I’m not a liar, the situation may be dire, but I can vouch for Mr. Altmire!

 

CASEY: No, you don’t understand, HBO is owned by Time Warner.

 

WHITNEY: …So?

 

CASEY: Time Warner owns TBS, the very station that fired Rob Altmire. Time Warner also owns TNT, CNN, TCM, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, TruTV, The CW, Cinemax- do I really need to go on? I doubt you could find a single network in here that could work with Rob Altmire. They’re all Time Warner. Even The CW is jointly owned by CBS and Time Warner.

 

WHITNEY: …Oh, shit. (Whitney walks away, and finds Miles sitting on a couch, drinking a Gimlet by himself. She sits next to him) Hey, Miles.

 

MILES: …Any luck?

 

WHITNEY: No. Casey Blowjob from HBO told me Time Warner owns almost every channel in here. They can’t work with Rob, because Time Warner owns TBS.

 

MILES: …What about CBS? They were here, right?

 

WHITNEY: They own half of the CW, with Time Warner. Wait, wasn’t ABC here?

 

MILES: …No, I think they left early.

 

(MTV CEO Philippe Dauman walks over to them)

 

PHILIPPE: But MTV’s still here!
 

WHITNEY: Go away, MTV.

 

PHILIPPE: Alright, then.

 

(Philippe sadly walks away)

 

MILES: I guess people just don’t want smut anymore.

 

WHITNEY: Yeah, which is good, because we’re not trying to make…  (Miles looks at Whitney with a “are you serious?” type face) …where’s Rob?

 

MILES: …I thought he was with you?

 

(Cut to Rob smoking a cigarette on his balcony, with his tie loosened. He hears his front door unlock, and quickly puts the cigarette out with his foot. He walks into the foyer to see Dana Walden come in and closes his front door)
 

ROB: Oh, did I forget that?

 

(Dana smiles and starts making out with Rob, they collapse onto his couch, as “Goodie Two Shoes” by Adam Ant comes back on, as Rob removes Dana’s jacket, and eventually begins kissing her neck. Cut to the two of them in Rob’s bed, having vaginal sex, with Dana moaning. We pan over to Rob’s phone, on his bedside table, which is vibrating and displaying Whitney’s name and picture. The song cuts out, as we cut back to Whitney and Miles at the party. Whitney is on the phone, looking frustrated)

 

WHITNEY: Fuck! (Whitney throws the phone outside) Bastard abandoned us.

 

MILES: Hey, that puts him in league with God.

 

WHITNEY: Why did I ever trust him?

 

MILES: It’s not just him, sweetheart, it’s everyone in this dump. LA is a cesspool. I thought I was the Anglerfish, but I’m just another minnow.

 

(Whitney looks at Miles)

 

WHITNEY: What are you talking about?

 

MILES: If you fire Rob, you might as well fire me. ABC didn’t want to work with my kind, and I doubt anyone else would neither.

 

(Whitney sighs, and shakes her head)

 

WHITNEY: Let’s just go, I’ll disembowel Rob in the morning, and then if necessary, I’ll bury us all in a tomb for three.

 

(Whitney stands up, along with Miles, and walks out of the party. Cut to outside the party, where Whitney and Miles are standing, while some of those around them smoke cigarettes and talk)

 

MILES: You really think we’re done for?

 

WHITNEY: We’ll see. (Whitney’s Uber pulls up) That’s me. I’ll see you soon.

 

(Whitney runs to her Uber, and gets in. It then drives away. Miles sighs, as Logo TV President Chris McCarthy walks over with a cigarette it in his mouth. He has a “Logo TV” logo on his jacket)

 

CHRIS: Hey there. Do you have a light?

 

(Miles smiles, takes a lighter out of his pocket and lights Chris’ cigarette. Cut to Whitney in the back of an Uber, with NPR playing on the radio up front)

 

NPR: (British accent) This is the BBC World Service, I’m Jennifer Chesternutter. It was confirmed on Tuesday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in Beijing for an official state visit. This is the first time Xi Jinping has left the country to meet with a foreign leader in his six year-reign. Analysts say China may be aiming to solidify its place as a power player in the upcoming negotiations between Kim Jong Un and American President Donald Trump over North Korea’s nuclear program. A location and a date for this meeting has yet to be set, but oddsmakers are betting it will be at high noon at the OK Corral in Seoul, South Korea. BBC News.

 

(Cut to the Uber pulling up to Whitney’s house. Whitney gets out and closes the door and approaches her house. She opens the front door, and sees Hannah slouching on the couch, watching TV while eating Ruffles)

 

WHITNEY: Oh. Hannah, you’re up late. It’s like, 3am.

 

HANNAH: I couldn’t sleep. So worried about what story I’m gonna write for the LA Weekly. Do you know what your story for BuzzFeed is- oh, right, no, you quit.

 

WHITNEY: If you wanna quit LA Weekly to write for the show full-time, you can, but, I honestly don’t think there’s going to be a show.

 

(Hannah stands up)

 

HANNAH: Makes no difference to me, I guess.

 

(Hannah walks into the bedroom. Whitney, confused, walks into the living room and looks at the TV)

 

WHITNEY: …Why were you watching After Earth on demand?!

 

(Whitney waits for a response, but then just sits down, goes to her DVR, and plays the latest episode of America’s Next Top Model. Cut to Rob waking up in bed, the following morning. He looks to his bathroom, and hears the sink running)

 

ROB: …Dana?

 

(Dana walks out of the bathroom, wearing her clothes, and holding her shoes and earrings)

 

DANA: Yeah?

 

ROB: …Why’d you end up coming last night?

 

(Dana sits on the edge of her bed to put her shoes on)

 

DANA: I mean, it was almost physically impossible not to-

 

ROB: No, like, for real, why?

 

(Dana puts her last shoe on, and then starts putting her earrings on in the mirror)

 

DANA: …I don’t know, Rob, because you’re so magnetic, and irresistible. Are you happy?

 

ROB: Thank you, but I want to know the real reason. I’ve had people return that key and leave right after.

 

(Dana puts her last earring on and faces Rob)

 

DANA: It was a combination of boredom, and…no, it was almost all boredom.

 

ROB: …So, I’m exciting?

 

DANA: …Yes, Rob. More so than I thought. Can I go?

 

ROB: One more question.

 

DANA: Uh-huh.

 

ROB: Whitney Stone and I are teaming up to make a feminist reality show, about groups of women using their wit to solve problems. We need a network. Would FOX be-?

 

DANA: Yeah, I can do that.

 

ROB: …Oh? Really?

 

DANA: Yeah, it sounds like a good idea.

 

ROB: Even with, my?

 

DANA: Rob, we’ve employed far worse people.

 

(Rob chuckles)

 

ROB: …Will I see you again?

 

(Dana shrugs)

 

DANA: Probably.

 

(Dana smiles and leaves. Rob smiles, shakes his head, and pumps his fist. He gets a call from Whitney on his cell phone. He picks up)

 

ROB: Hey, Whitney, I’m glad you called-

 

(Cut to Whitney in her living room, on the phone)

 

WHITNEY: You lying son of a bitch, I can’t BELIEVE I ever trusted you!

 

ROB: Whitney, listen-

 

WHITNEY: You abandoned us there with a bunch of Time Warner assholes we can’t even work with!
 

ROB: Whitney, please-

 

WHITNEY: And Sumner Redstone from Viacom creepily whispered his last words into my ear, and the son of a bitch wasn’t even dying! It was a false alarm!

 

ROB: You have to listen-

 

WHITNEY: It turns out, he owns a controlling stake in CBS, which has a partnership with Time Warner, so we couldn’t even get on goddamn MTV, even if we wanted to!
 

ROB: WHITNEY, I GOT DANA WALDEN FROM FOX TO SAY “YES” THIS MORNING!

 

(Whitney pauses)

 

WHITNEY: What? Really?!

 

ROB: Yeah.

 

WHITNEY: Oh! (Pause) Oh. I see.

 

ROB: Congratulations.

 

WHITNEY: Congratulations to you.

 

ROB: We’ll talk about details soon.

 

WHITNEY: Rob, I don’t want to hear about it!
 

ROB: Details of the deal, Whitney.

 

WHITNEY: Oh. Of course. Goodbye. (Whitney hangs up, and turns to Hannah, who’s right behind her) It’s done. We’re in, at FOX.

 

(“Goody Goody Two Shoes” by Adam Ant comes back on as Hannah wipes away tears and runs over to hug Whitney. Cut to Miles asleep in his bed, with Logo TV President Chris McCarthy cuddling with him. Cut to Rob walking onto his balcony with a lit cigarette in his mouth, wearing a robe and wife beater. He shrugs, and leaps into the pool. Cut to an underwater shot of him floating in water, his eyes closed, and his cigarette extinguished. We cut to credits, as “Goody Goody Two Shoes” by Adam Ant continues to play)

 

THE END


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