The Valley of the Tools Episode 2

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


Rob is conflicted about staying with Dana while she haggles for more funding for "The Box" from the network. Whitney is aggravated by her parents’ request for money when she already has to go out
of pocket for the FOX show. McKenzie is nervous when she invites her authoritarian mother to lunch to tell her and her dad that she’s abandoning theatre to pursue fame on a reality show.

Submitted: April 26, 2018

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Submitted: April 26, 2018

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THE VALLEY OF THE TOOLS

 

“NEXT”

 

TV-MA DL

 

“Me, I really would have liked A little touch of tenderness. Maybe a word, a smile, an hour of happiness, But, no, no, next, next”

  • Jacques Brel

 

(We start with a shot of a digital clock sitting on an end table, displaying “2:04 PM MON APR 16”. Cut to a male psychologist with his legs crossed, with a pad on his lap. He writes down “too much cologne” on his pad. We pan over to Rob lying down on the couch, staring at the ceiling)

 

DR. MCMURPHY: …So you said you were worried?

 

ROB: …I was…not anymore, though. I thought the world might end over the weekend, you know, the Syria strike, and the Russia stuff.

 

DR. MCMURPHY: But, it didn’t.

 

ROB: Nope, Russia just took it, I guess. I suppose they don’t want to die just like everyone else.

 

DR. MCMURPHY: …Do you mind if I open a window?

 

ROB: Why?

 

DR. MCMURPHY: …I’m just gonna open a window.

 

(McMurphy gets up, walks over to the window in his office, and opens it. Rob takes out a pack of cigarettes)

 

ROB: As long as we’re opening windows-

 

DR. MCMURPHY: No, Rob, the building doesn’t allow it.

 

(Rob shakes his head and throws the pack on the coffee table, as Dr. McMurphy sits back down)

 

ROB: I don’t know what I’m doing, Doctor McMurphy.

 

DR. MCMURPHY: How do you mean?

 

ROB: I’m sleeping with the woman who is most responsible for our show getting picked up. If that is found out, we’re ruined.

 

DR. MCMURPHY: And, she’s married.

 

ROB: Which means it might get found out, yeah!

 

DR. MCMURPHY: That’s the risk you took. And why is that?

 

ROB: Because sex is the only way I know how to communicate. I’m like a, monkey, jumping from rope to rope, in the jungle.

 

DR. MCMURPHY: …Do jungles just have ropes hanging everywhere?

 

ROB: I already got scorned for having consensual sex with a colleague, so this just seems like, bad shit for me to be getting involved with.

 

DR. MCMURPHY: But she’s above you this time, right?

 

ROB: Yeah, but…the tabloids won’t care about nuances. They’ll just want juicy details, like my dick size, completely ignoring the fact that I made that information public a long time ago, and no one gave a shit!
 

DR. MCMURPHY: Do you have feelings for Dana?

 

ROB: …I do. I thought she was just gonna be a one-night stand, but…apparently not. But at the same time, I don’t think it’s worth the risk.

 

DR. MCMURPHY: I see. Do you want to break it off?

 

ROB: …Should I?

 

DR. MCMURPHY: That’s up to you.

 

(Rob stares at the ceiling. Cut to Rob driving in his Porsche 911, while listening to NPR)

 

NPR: After the FBI raid on President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen last week, and the revelation that he is under FBI investigation, questions have lingered over who his other clients are. Today, at the order of a Judge, his third client was revealed to be FOX anchor Sean Hannity, a fact which Mr. Hannity never disclosed while defending him on television. NPR reached out to Mr. Hannity for comment, but Hannity referred all queries to his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

 

ROB: Why the fuck am I listening to NPR?

 

(Rob uses his hands-free phone to call Dana. It rings for a second, and then Dana picks up, her voice coming over the speaker)

 

DANA: (Over the phone) Yes, hello, my colleague, Mr. Altmire-

 

ROB: Dana, I need to talk to you in person.

 

DANA: Perfect! So do I. (Cut to Dana in a pants suit, driving her car down South Beverly Glen boulevard) Let’s meet at your place.

 

ROB: Okay, I’m on my way back from Beverly Hills.

 

DANA: See you in twenty minutes.

 

(Dana hangs up. Cut to Rob hanging up. He then puts on an R& B station. Cut to Rob walking into his house to see Dana sitting on his couch)

 

ROB: Dana, I’m glad you stopped by.

 

(Dana stands up)

 

DANA: Yes, though I wish the circumstances were different.

 

(Rob furrows his brow)

 

ROB: Really?

 

DANA: I’m afraid so, have a seat.

 

ROB: Oh. (Rob cautiously sits down) You have something to tell me?

 

DANA: Yeah.

 

ROB: Well, that makes things easier.

 

DANA: What do you mean?

 

ROB: Nothing, just, go ahead.

 

DANA: Well…unfortunately, FOX is only going to give you guys half of the budget you requested for each episode of The Box.

 

ROB: …Oh.

 

DANA: Yeah, so, that’s $200,000 per episode, as opposed to the 400k that you guys asked for. That’s a shoe-string budget, even for a reality show.

 

ROB: …You couldn’t talk them into it?

 

DANA: I’m only one person, Rob. I’m sorry.

 

ROB: …Well, then…is the business portion of this visit over yet, or?

 

(Dana smiles and walks over to start making out with Rob. Cut to the two of them lying in bed next to each other, naked. Dana turns to Rob)

 

DANA: …Hmm, I live for moments like this.

 

ROB: Like what?

 

DANA: …Nothing…

 

ROB: No, tell me.

 

DANA: …It doesn’t matter.

 

ROB: …You can tell me what’s on your mind. I can’t always be the center of attention.

 

DANA: That’s a bunch of horse shit.

 

(Rob chuckles)

 

ROB: …Maybe there’s another way to get FOX to give us what we want?

 

DANA: …I thought the business portion was over?

 

(Dana sits up, and Rob hurriedly sits up too as she takes a sip of water)

 

ROB: It is, but I just had a thought. Whitney’s SO is at LA Weekly, you’re saying we couldn’t get her to publish an Op-Ed shaming FOX for under-funding an important, feminist project like this?

 

DANA: I’m not saying anything! But I don’t know if FOX is gonna love your producer’s girlfriend trashing them in public.

 

ROB: Shen she’ll kick it over to another writer, and we can at least pressure them a little bit! This is far less than what we need, Dana.

 

DANA: …Do what you need to, I guess.

 

(Dana gets up, and walks into the bathroom)

 

ROB: Dana, I didn’t mean to-

 

(Dana closes the bathroom door. Cut to Whitney sitting in her office, speaking with Rob, who is leaning against her doorframe, holding a tall boy PBR)

WHITNEY: You really want me to put Hannah in that position?

 

ROB: I mean, hey, you’re used to it, so-

 

WHITNEY: Fuck you.

 

(Rob chuckles, and sips his drink)

 

ROB: It doesn’t have to trace back to her, Whitney, ask her to throw it to some writer trying to get discovered!

 

WHITNEY: Fine.

 

ROB: Keep killin’ it, starlet!

 

(Rob raises his beer to Whitney, and she smiles facetiously, as he walks away. Whitney then gets a phone call. She checks her cell phone to see the caller ID “Father”. Whitney slumps down in her chair, and rolls her eyes. She puts the phone on her desk, and watches as it vibrates. She then shakes her head and picks up)

 

WHITNEY: …Yes, dad?

 

JEROME: (On the phone, southern accent) Precious? Is that you? Or did I get your BFF?

 

WHITNEY: You mean my girlfriend?

 

(Cut to Whitney’s father, Jerome, standing in front of an abandoned Whiskey distillery, called “Stone Family Whisky”, where the windows are boarded up)

 

JEROME: I’m gonna say “imaginary friend”, does that work, sweetheart?

 

WHITNEY: What do you want, dad?

 

JEROME: Honey, I need help.  Ever since the distillery fell apart, there ain’t no bread in West Virginia for a workin’ man to sop up.

 

WHITNEY: What about the-?

 

JEROME: Job where ya suck oil from the ground and spit it into a vat? I didn’t get it! Some Chinese musta got it!
 

WHITNEY: That is not what I was gonna say!

 

JEROME: Whitney, baby, I know you turned us down before, but we’re family! We deserve better!

 

WHITNEY: Dad, I wish I could help, I really do, but, I may have to go out-of-pocket for my reality show, so I don’t think I can help you out just this moment.

 

JEROME: Whitney, think about what you’re doin’-

 

WHITNEY: Goodbye, love you!

 

(Whitney hangs up, and slams her phone on the table. Hannah walks in holding a bag of Chipotle)

 

HANNAH: What was that about?

 

WHITNEY: (Slight southern twang) Nothin’, don’t worry about it.

 

HANNAH: Whoa.

 

WHITNEY: What?

 

HANNAH: You have…your accent is back!
 

WHITNEY: Are you sure-? Oh my God, it is! What the fuck?

 

HANNAH: I thought you practiced for, like, months to get rid of it!
 

WHITNEY: Close the door!
 

(Hannah closes the door and sits down)

 

HANNAH: What happened?

 

WHITNEY: I just got off the phone with my pa, and he wanted money again, ‘cause of the distillery-

 

HANNAH: Your “pa”?

 

WHITNEY: Shit!

 

(Whitney stands up, and starts pacing around the office)

 

HANNAH: Why do you still have it? Just go back!
 

WHITNEY: No, it ain’t that easy. I have to- I’m gonna, leave for the day. (Whitney grabs her coat and purse, and kisses Hannah on the cheek) Love you.

 

(Whitney leaves the office, and Hannah sits there, confused and concerned. Cut to Whitney driving home, listening to NPR)

 

NPR: In an exclusive interview with former FBI director James Comey on Sunday, the fired FBI chief said Trump struck him as a person of “above average intelligence”, but said he was “morally unfit” for office.

 

WHITNEY: Above average intelligence, huh? Maybe the RNC is right, maybe Comey does have a credibility issue.

 

NPR: In other news, former first lady Barbara Bush passed away Tuesday evening, leaving behind her husband, former President George H.W. Bush, and her son, former President George W. Bu-

 

(Whitney changes the radio several stations over, to a country station, where “Drinking Problem” by Midland is playing)

 

WHITNEY: (Singing, with accent) People say I gotta drinkin’ problem. That ain’t no reason to stop! People say I got a- (Whitney’s eyes bulge, as she turns off the radio and the camera does an extreme close-up of her face) WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING!? I...I don’t, whatever, I must be hungry, and tired. Tired and hungry. Let me get some good, clean, organic L.A. food. (Whitney pulls into an unknown drive-thru. She is waiting behind a red truck, who is ordering at the speaker) Fuck, fuck, fuck, hurry up!

 

(Whitney honks. Cut to the truck ahead of her, which has Trey Goodlatte sitting in the front seat, with Colleen in the passenger’s)

 

TREY: Alright, I didn’t know you were having a pregnancy CRAVING, woman, god!
 

COLLEEN: Well, I am.

 

(Trey turns to Colleen)

 

TREY: …Hold on, what?

 

(Trey moves forward, and Whitney pulls up to the speaker)

 

WHITNEY: Excuse me, could I have an organic kale smoothie served in a wooden cup, with a side of gluten-free corn nibbles?

 

SPEAKER: Excuse me, ma’am, this is “Crazy Jimmy’s Fries & Grits”!

 

(Zoom out to reveal Whitney is in the drive-thru at Crazy Jimmy’s Fries & Grits)

 

WHITNEY: (Southern accent) SHOOT! How did this happen!?

 

SPEAKER: I don’t know, are you from West Virginia, by the way?

 

WHITNEY: HELL NO! I need to get out of here. (Whitney is about to back up, but a car pulls up behind her, and still a line of cars in front of her, and a curb is keeping her from getting out) Oh, heck. Fine, do you have any healthy options?

 

SPEAKER: We don’t have any options besides fries and grits here, ma’am. I mean, technically, it’s vegetarian, so.

 

WHITNEY: I’ll take a bag of fries and grits then.

 

SPEAKER: That’ll be $12.50, pull up to the second window.

 

WHITNEY: I hate L.A.

 

(Whitney pulls up. Cut to Hannah looking in the mirror of her bathroom, holding a piece of paper. She clears her throat)

 

HANNAH: I am the very model of a modern Major-General, I've information vegetable, animal, and mineral, I know the kings of England, and I quote the fights historical. From Marathon to Waterloo, in order categorical; I'm very well acquainted, too, with matters mathematical, I understand equations, both the simple and quadratical, about binomial theorem I'm teeming with a lot o' news, with many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse.

 

(Whitney walks in, holding a bag of Crazy Jimmy’s Fries & Grits, and wearing a West Virginia Mountaineers cap)

 

WHITNEY: Hey.

 

(Hannah turns around)

 

HANNAH: What in the hell happened to you!?

 

WHITNEY: (Southern accent) I’m a hick again.

 

HANNAH: What?

 

(Whitney sits on the bathroom counter)

 

WHITNEY: After nine years of learning to get rid of my accent, it has returned somethin’ fierce.

 

HANNAH: Whitney.

 

WHITNEY: What?

 

HANNAH: What happened?

 

WHITNEY: My goddamn parents called me! Beggin’ for money, as usual. You want moonshine?

 

(Whitney offers Hannah a jar of moonshine she produces)

 

HANNAH: I’d refuse, but these are actually kind of “in” right now.

 

(Hannah takes a swig)

 

WHITNEY: Oh, and by the way, we need someone at LA Weekly to write a story shitting on FOX for not givin’ us enough funding. ‘Cause of feminazism or whatever.

 

HANNAH: Are you sure that’s ethical?

 

WHITNEY: I don’t know, do a Potter Box and get back to me. Damn, girl.

 

(Whitney schleps out of the room. Cut to a pilot’s uniform laid out on a bed, in a studio apartment. A young, black-haired man emerges from the bathroom wearing dress pants and dress shoes only. He walks over to the uniform laid out, and smiles. He begins to put it on. McKenzie walks into the apartment holding a box of donuts)

 

MCKENZIE: Kevin?

 

KEVIN: Yeah, I’m right here. As you can see.

 

MCKENZIE: Hi, my cute little boy.

 

(McKenzie goes over and kisses Kevin)

 

KEVIN: I’m not little, but I appreciate your compliment for what it’s worth.

 

MCKENZIE: And?

 

KEVIN: Thank you for putting out my uniform.

 

MCKENZIE: You’re welcome!
 

(McKenzie puts the donuts on the dresser)

 

KEVIN: It must’ve taken a lot of effort to put a piece of clothing on a surface.

 

MCKENZIE: Fuck you!

 

(Kevin chuckles as he straightens his tie)

 

KEVIN: What are those?

 

MCKENZIE: Donuts. Chocolate, pepper, and glazed, I think.

 

KEVIN: You’re not gonna butter up your parents that easily- did you say one of them was “pepper”?

 

MCKENZIE: It’s a process, okay? I have to ease them into the conversation.

 

KEVIN: Like, what? A donut covered in pepper?

 

MCKENZIE: Who knows how they’ll react?

 

KEVIN: They’ll probably hate your guts and disown you.

 

MCKENZIE: Don’t act like that’s not possible.

 

(Kevin walks over and kisses McKenzie’s forehead)

 

KEVIN: I gotta go.

 

MCKENZIE: I’m getting work, I’m in a show on network TV now, why would they be upset?

 

KEVIN: Because they’re your parents.

 

(McKenzie sighs)

 

MCKENZIE: Go pierce the sky, my love.

 

(Kevin chuckles)

 

KEVIN: Love you.

 

MCKENZIE: Love you too. (Kevin kisses McKenzie on the lips, grabs his jacket, and leaves. McKenzie pulls out a pack of American Spirits, takes out a cigarette, places it firmly between her lips, and lights it. She exhales the smoke and puts her lighter away, as she stares into the distance. Cut to McKenzie driving on the 405, nervously smoking a cigarette, as “My Shot” from Hamilton plays on her stereo. He bobs her head to it, half-heartedly. Cut to McKenzie walking into a restaurant “The Muffled Quack”. She walks over to the maître d’) I’m Park, party of three.

 

MAITRE D: Okay, one second. (She checks the computer) Sheila and Cory?

 

MCKENZIE: Yes!

 

MAITRE D: Alright, one minute. (A busboy comes over to the Maitre D, and she whispers) Please, clean duck blood off of table seventeen.

 

(The busboy nods and walks away)

 

MCKENZIE: What was-?

 

MAITRE D: Just a few minutes, and we’ll be ready to go.

 

(Cut to McKenzie sitting at a table, as waiters busily zip around the restaurant, and a pianist is off in the corner, serenely tickling the ivories. McKenzie tries to stand up straight, and then she uses her tongue to fish gunk out of her teeth. She then smells her shirt, and takes out a bottle of perfume, and sprays it on her shirt, neck and wrists. She then puts that away, and smells herself, and shrugs. She then begins nervously tapping on the table. She then checks her phone, and there’s a CNN notification reading “Nikki Haley Slams White House on Russia Sanctions: “With All Due Respect, I Don’t Get Confused”, but the camera zooms in on the time, which reads 6:11 PM Tuesday, April 17th”. She closes her phone. She rubs her eyes for a few seconds, and then looks at her phone again. It says “6:28 PM Tuesday, April 17th”. She shakes her head and begins nervously tapping her foot. A waiter comes over)
 

WAITER: Hi, I’m Frank, I’ll be your waiter tonight, do you want to go ahead and order a drink while you wait?

 

MCKENZIE: Sure, I’ll have two Whiskey sours- no, I shouldn’t be sloshed by the time they get here, I’ll have a Sunny D.

 

FRANK: We don’t-

 

MCKENZIE: With vodka!

 

FRANK: I can do that.

 

(Frank walks away. McKenzie gets a text, and looks at her phone. Her father, listed in the phone as “DADMAU5”, texted her “hitting traffic on the 405! Sorry”. McKenzie sighs, and pulls out her cigarettes, and begins to stand up. Then, she gets sent another text from her dad. It reads “be there in about ten minutes”. McKenzie sits down, and puts away her pack. She then looks over and notices the pianist is now playing something grim and foreboding. She furrows her brow, and the pianist slowly turns to her. She then looks away, and starts shaking her head. She looks at the time, it’s now 6:30 PM. She picks up her phone, and calls Kevin. Cut to Kevin in his car, wearing his pilot’s uniform, driving, and smoking a cigarette)

 

NPR: Ambassador Haley was responding to a comment made by White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow, saying Haley had “momentary confusion” about the timing of the sanctions. Kudlow has now apologized to Haley, saying, and I quote, “cocaine is a hell of a drug”.

 

(Kevin gets called, so he picks up the phone and turns down the radio)

 

KEVIN: What do you want?

 

MCKENZIE: (On the phone) Not your bullshit right now. (Cut to McKenzie) You’re off, right?

 

KEVIN: (On the phone) Yes?

 

MCKENZIE: You need to be at the dinner, I need a human shield, and I could think of no better candidate.

 

(Cut to Kevin)

 

KEVIN: I don’t want to sacrifice anything for anyone, that’s why I’m trying to become a commercial pilot. Babe, they’re never going to be pleased, so just be yourself.

 

(Cut to McKenzie)

 

MCKENZIE: That’s SUPER FUCKING EASY TO SAY, when you’re becoming a PILOT, and your parents are both extremely fucking PROUD OF YOU!

 

(Everyone in the restaurant looks at her, and the piano player begins playing rapidly, and tumultuously, as he stares at her. McKenzie looks around, and mouths “sorry”, before returning to the conversation. Cut to Kevin, who looks scared)

 

KEVIN: …What’s the place called?

 

(Cut to Dana sitting in a meeting of FOX programming executives. FOX executive Gary Newman is looking at a laptop. He turns it around, and shows the LA Weekly article “FOX Gives Women In Reality TV Fifty Cents on the Dollar” by Amelia Del Rey)

 

GARY: Can you believe this garbage?! 85,000 retweets in the past TWO HOURS!

 

DANA: People love to be outraged.

 

FOX EXECUTIVE: Why is why we should’ve done my Syrian refugee sitcom idea!
 

DANA: That’s not what I meant.

 

GARY: What are we supposed to do? This is a high-risk operation!

 

DANA: Well, hey, there’s an article about the show now, so maybe we could skate off publicity, and give it a little more money.

 

GARY: How much more?!

 

DANA: I don’t know, throw ‘em around $140,000 more, and I think this will go away.

 

(Gary sighs, and sits back, to shake his head)

 

GARY: …I hate the modern world. Fine. (Dana smiles and writes that down) What’s next?

 

FOX EXECUTIVE: So, the teen refugee accidentally invites two girls to his forced marriage ceremony-

 

GARY: Dude, shut up.

 

(Cut to Rob being filmed, in a suit, doing HQ Trivia, in front of a green screen)

 

ROB: And the answer is… The Two Noble Kinsmen, and we have 870 winners, woo! Congrats, you all get like five dollars. Just to be clear, I have a lot more money than that, and I don’t gotta compete for it. It’s all guaranteed. Alright. Good night, H-Cuties.

 

DIRECTOR: CUT!

 

(Rob walks away from the camera, and takes his pack of cigarettes out. Dana walks in, startling him)

 

ROB: Christ.

 

DANA: Hi, Mr. Altmire, I need to talk to you about some, official business.

 

ROB: …Yes, of course.

 

(Rus walks over to Rob)

 

RUS: Rob, can I speak to you for a second?

 

ROB: Nah, I’m good, fam, I’ll see you tomorrow.

 

RUS: You’re not scheduled for-

 

ROB: Let’s talk business, Mrs. Walden. (Rob and Dana walk out. Cut to Rob and Dana walking into Rob’s house. Dana closes the door behind them) I cannot believe it, that ACTUALLY convinced them?!

 

DANA: It was your idea!

 

(Dana sits on the couch)

 

ROB: Yeah, but you brought that shit home! That shit was languishing in a back alley, with a case of black lung, and a dream, and you nurtured it into a Transformer!
 

(Dana laughs)

 

DANA: I just told him the article got us attention, and we should capitalize on it.

 

ROB: I want you very badly.

 

(Dana giggles, and extends her hand)

 

DANA: Lead the way.

 

ROB: You don’t want to do it on the balcony? (Dana laughs and shakes her head. Rob grabs Dana’s hand, and leads her laughing into the bedroom, shutting the door behind them. Cut to Rob sitting on the couch in Dr. McMurphy’s office) So, that was last week. We’re still very much involved.

 

DR. MCMURPHY: Is it because of the show?

 

ROB: No, but that didn’t make it easier. I fuck bitches all the time, okay, Doctor? I’m sorry, I fornicate with bitches.

 

DR. MCMURPHY: You should still be sorry.

 

ROB: But, I actually have feelings for her. And I don’t like that, at all.

 

DR. MCMURPHY: I have a feeling, another person also won’t like that, at all.

 

ROB: Whitney? I told you, she’s a lesbian, I didn’t believe it either, but it checks out.

 

DR. MCMURPHY: No, her husband.

 

ROB: …Yeah, I feel you.

 

DR. MCMURPHY: I’m rarely this direct, Rob. But if you don’t break if off, you’re risking both of your careers.

 

(Cut to Rob, Whitney, Hannah, Miles, Bonnie, and Luther sitting in a conference room for a meeting. Whitney is wearing a tacky, bejeweled sweater, and has her hair up in a bun, chewing gum, and sipping on a straw coming out of a two-liter bottle of Dr. Thunder)

 

WHITNEY: Alright, so, production probably begins in a couple weeks. (Sip) But, we need some fuckin’ money first, so what’s the dealio with that, ya goober?

 

ROB: FOX agreed to pay 85% of the cash, on Friday.

 

WHITNEY: And you’re not tellin’ me until now?!

 

ROB: In my defense, I thought Earth Day became, like, I don’t know, Earth Week. And we got it off. For Earth.

 

WHITNEY: That’s retarded, I’m sorry.

 

BONNIE: Whoa, that’s not okay, Whitney.

 

WHITNEY: I’m sorry, I’m goin’ through some things.

 

HANNAH: Yeah, we are too. This stupid phase of yours.

 

WHITNEY: Y’all realize this was my whole damn life until I moved to LA?

 

HANNAH: Yes, well, your whole damn life sucked then.

 

LUTHER: Whitney, when I moved from Chicago, I tried to drop my Midwest accent as much as I could.

 

WHITNEY: Really? Let me hear it.

 

LUTHER: (Sounds like a white, midwestern mom) Oh, ya know, just rolling in these streets, eh? I’m trying to stack the money until it gets sky-high, ya know? We weren’t supposed to make it past twenty-five-

 

WHITNEY: You, you sounded like that?

 

LUTHER: (Regular voice) Swear to God. Imagine me moving through the trap, with that fuckin’ accent.

 

ROB: What Luther’s trying to say is, you need to reinstall that fake, LA Whitney that we know and are fooled by the most.

 

WHITNEY: I can’t turn it off and on like Luther can! Ain’t how it works! My parents want money, and I ain’t got shit I want to give ‘em! What does that say about me as a daughter?!

 

(Whitney takes a deep breath, and sits back)

 

ROB: …Whitney, FOX is paying 85% of what we need. We don’t need to go out of pocket anymore, we can make it work. Be a true Angeleno. Throw money at the problem.

 

(Whitney looks at Rob, and nods. Cut to Whitney and Hannah holding hands, and walking up to their house)

 

HANNAH: I think you’re doing the right thing.

 

WHITNEY: I hope so.

 

(Whitney unlocks the door, and the two walk in to see Jerome & Liz Stone in the house. Jerome is in the kitchen, eating chips, while Liz is flipping through channels. Liz is an overweight woman in a moo-moo, and tacky, fake Jewelry)

 

HANNAH: Holy FUCK!
 

WHITNEY: OH MY GOD, WHAT ARE YOU TWO DOING HERE!?

 

(Liz turns off the TV, and stands up)

 

LIZ: Oh, I’m sorry, Ms. Princess, did we break and enter into your castle?

 

WHITNEY: No, just my house. You broke and entered into my house!
 

(Jerome exits the kitchen, into the living room)

 

JEROME: I can’t believe we had to come here at all, darlin’.

 

WHITNEY: You guys need money, but you can afford a fucking plane ticket?!
 

JEROME: We took hundreds of Ubers to get here, missy!
 

HANNAH: That might be more expensive, let me check the math on that.

 

(Hannah takes out her phone, and begins doing calculations)

 

WHITNEY: The fuck do you want? Because ambushing me is not the way to get it.

 

LIZ: Do we really gotta beg our own child?

 

WHITNEY: Yes, you do.

 

JEROME: We provided EVERYTHING for you!
 

HANNAH: Does anyone know the average price of an Uber?

 

LIZ: And we are prepared to take up squatter’s rights until we get what we want!

 

WHITNEY: Wha-? Squatter’s rights?!

 

HANNAH: I’m assuming you guys didn’t tip?

 

(Liz, and Jerome both go over and sit down on the couch)

 

JEROME: Try and move us.

 

(Liz shakes her head. Whitney shakes her head angrily, and storms off to the bedroom. Hannah puts away her cell phone, and chases after her)

 

HANNAH: Babe! (Whitney rushes into their bedroom, and locks the door behind her, as Hannah tries to get it open) Honey, come on! (Whitney drops on her bed, and screams into her pillow) Please don’t- (Whitney takes her phone, plugs it into the stereo by the bed, and starts blasting “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood) Oh, my God, babe, DO YOU REALLY THINK THEY KNOW WHAT CONSTITUTES “SQUATTER’S RIGHTS”?!

 

(Cut to McKenzie finishing her Sunny D & vodka, as Kevin walks over wearing his pilot uniform)

 

KEVIN: Hey.

 

(McKenzie breathes a sigh of relief)

 

MCKENZIE: You’re a lifesaver.

 

(McKenzie stands up and kisses Kevin. Kevin sits down)

 

KEVIN: I can be a nice guy when I’m berated into it.

 

MCKENZIE: You couldn’t change?

 

KEVIN: I’m sure your parents will love the pilot look.

 

MCKENZIE: You’re right, I’m sorry, this’ll go great.

 

(McKenzie sits down, as Sheila, a severe looking blonde woman with glasses, and Cory, a bashful-looking brunette man with circular glasses, walk over to the table)

 

CORY: McKenzie!

 

(McKenzie stands up)

 

MCKENZIE: Oh, it’s so good to see you, father-san!
 

(McKenzie goes over and hugs Cory)

 

CORY: And you as well, Daughter-san.

 

(Kevin stands up)

 

KEVIN: I think that’s cultural appropriation. (Turns to Sheila, and extends his hand) Hi, Mrs. Park, great to finally meet you.

 

(Cory and McKenzie detach, and Sheila looks at Kevin)

 

SHEILA: McKenzie, you did not mention that Kevin was going to be here.

 

MCKENZIE: Do you have a problem with that, mom?

 

SHEILA: You know I don’t like surprises, McKenzie.

 

CORY: She does not, indeed.

 

KEVIN: …Let’s sit down, huh? (They all sit down) Should I get a bottle? Or is it not that kind of dinner?

 

SHEILA: What’s this all about, McKenzie?

 

MCKENZIE: Well, I wanted to spend a nice evening with my amazing parents, but, yes, there is some good news I want to share with you guys first.

 

CORY: Oh, good, see? It’s not going to be so bad, Sheila.

 

SHEILA: Spit it out, then.

 

(Frank comes back)

 

FRANK: Hi, could I get anyone something to drink?

 

KEVIN: I’ll have an Amaretto Sour, and a bite stick.

 

FRANK: Okay, and you, ma’am?

 

MCKENZIE: I’m good, just water.

 

CORY: Same here.

 

SHEILA: Please leave.

 

FRANK: Okay, I’ll be back later.

 

(Frank walks away)

 

MCKENZIE: Mom, dad, I got a job. On television.

 

(Cory smiles and looks over at Sheila)

 

CORY: You hear that, Sheila? That’s great- (Cory looks at McKenzie) what is it, AMC? Showtime? HBO?

 

SHEILA: Is it porn, honey?

 

KEVIN: Not quite.

 

MCKENZIE: Uh, no, it’s actually a, reality show, on FOX.

 

(Sheila shakes her head, and leans back. Cory loses his smile and looks down)

 

CORY: Oh.

 

MCKENZIE: I know what you’re thinking, but it’s just a jumping-off point-

 

SHEILA: Yeah, jumping off a building. With your ass flapping in the wind, for all to see.

 

KEVIN: Actually, the FCC doesn’t allow such things-

 

SHEILA: Shut up, Kevin.

 

CORY: Sheila.

 

MCKENZIE: Mom!
 

SHEILA: I can’t believe you would degrade yourself like this, McKenzie!

 

MCKENZIE: Dad, are you gonna let her talk to me like this?

 

CORY: Look, sweetheart, I know you want to be huge, but you don’t want this. How many reality show stars do you know who went on to work with David Lynch?

 

MCKENZIE: Dad, you turned down that job offer from McCann Erickson years ago, and your paintings STILL barely sell. Why can’t I try to get a boost in life?!

 

CORY: Why would you bring that up?

 

SHEILA: She can’t STAND the thought of being like her parents. We do okay, you know! We can afford to live in Los Angeles and replace our entire house every couple of years!
 

(Frank comes over and places Kevin’s Amaretto Sour in front of him, and gives McKenzie and Cory their waters)

 

FRANK: There you go, are you guys ready to order?

 

KEVIN: Go away, Frank.

 

FRANK: Yes sir.

 

(Frank walks away)

 

MCKENZIE: How is it possible that you’re not proud of me? I’m going to be on NETWORK TELEVISION! And it’s a FEMINIST reality show, it’s not some Kardashian trash!
 

SHEILA: Oh, please! Those rapacious thugs at FOX are going to march your ass around in front of that camera barely wearing anything, they’ll reduce you to the eye candy you clearly want to be!
 

KEVIN: Now, hold on a minute! I’m not gonna sit here while you talk to the love of my life like this!

 

MCKENZIE: Kevin.

 

KEVIN: No! Hold on! SHE’S trying to make it, she gets a big break, and all you do is shit on her and essentially call her a whore!? Fuck that! She doesn’t need that in her life!
 

SHEILA: How dare you, young man!
 

KEVIN: Yeah, how dare I!

 

CORY: Sheila, he’s just trying to defend his girlfriend-

 

KEVIN: Oh, and YOU! You coward. Can’t even defend McKenzie when she’s your daughter AND your best friend? Well, I can’t speak for her, but I’m not gonna sit here and take this, so, bye.

 

(Kevin stands up, and puts a cigarette in his mouth, and walks away from the table. Sheila stands up)

 

SHEILA: GET BACK HERE AND APOLOGIZE, YOU STREET URCHIN!

 

(McKenzie glares at them as she gets up, and leaves the restaurant)

 

CORY: McKenzie! (Cory sighs, as Sheila sits down) They didn’t even pay for their drinks.

 

(Cut to Kevin smoking a cigarette outside the restaurant. McKenzie walks out and sees him. She starts making out with him, and he throws his cigarette down, and puts it out with his foot. Cut to them making out in the back of McKenzie’s car, as McKenzie unties Kevin’s tie, and unbuttons his shirt. Cut to Rob pacing around his living room, smoking a cigarette)

 

ROB: (Whispering) I’m sorry, Dana, it’s just too risky…no, I’m sorry, Dana, but you need to leave, no, KILL! No, LEAVE your husband first. No! None of that works! I’m sorry, Dana, I like you a lot, but this could ruin both our lives. Maybe in a future life we can be together. Wait, do I believe in reincarnation? I need to check with my publicist on that. Or, hold on. (Rob opens up the drawer on his coffee table, and searches through a bunch of magazines until he finds a copy of “Buddhism Monthly” from January 2016 that features a picture of Rob staring into the distance, with the blurb “Reality TV Star Rob Altmire: ‘I Believe in Reincarnation’” on it) Ah, okay, well, there you go. (A knock is heard at the door) Coming!
 

(Rob walks over to the door, and opens it, to see Dana carrying an overnight bag)

 

DANA: Hey.

 

ROB: Hey, I’m glad you came by, come in and have a seat. What’s in that bag, drugs? I’m down for drugs, but maybe later.

 

DANA: It’s actually an overnight bag. I forgot to tell you. But Matt’s out of town for a business trip, and, well, I hope it’s not too forward for me to ask if I can spend a night or two here.

 

(Rob is standing there with his mouth agape, clearly turned on)

 

ROB: …No, of course, it’s no problem at all.

 

DANA: Great.

 

(Dana walks in, and Rob closes the door, and looks at her. Dana sits on the couch)

 

DANA: Can we watch Bob’s Burgers? I greenlit that show seven years ago and have yet to watch a single episode. And I’m tired of hearing about how great it is.

 

(Rob sits next to Dana)

 

ROB: Don’t worry, that shit’s overrated.

 

DANA: Should I cancel it?

 

ROB: No, it still has a huge fanbase. It’s just overrated.

 

DANA: If there was one FOX show you’d want me to cancel, what would it be?

 

ROB: Do I have, like, a final say?

 

DANA: Of course not. But, convince me.

 

ROB: …Never been a huge Simpsons fan.

 

DANA: Okay, we’re done here.

 

(Rob smiles, and puts his arm around Dana’s shoulder)

 

ROB: Do you want something to drink?

 

DANA: What do you have that’s not booze?

 

ROB: …Do you want something to eat?

 

DANA: What do you have that’s not meat?

 

(Rob takes out his pack of cigarettes)

 

ROB: Do you want one?

 

DANA: I don’t smoke. You shouldn’t either, it’s really bad for you.

 

ROB: My doctor said my lungs are really strong, and I could probably delay quitting for several more decades.

 

DANA: He did not!
 

ROB: He sure did.

 

DANA: What’s your doctor’s name?

 

ROB: Ronny Jackson, I think. (Dana scoffs and shakes her head. Rob kisses Dana on the mouth and looks at her) We’re taking a huge risk here, you know.

 

DANA: …I know.

 

ROB: And yet, I just don’t give a fuck.

 

(Dana smiles and starts making out with Rob. Cut to Whitney walking out of her room to see her parents sitting on her couch, watching Fox & Friends. Jerome is chewing tobacco, while Liz is drinking a Diet Coke. Whitney looks exhausted, and has bags under her eyes and a grimace on her face)

 

STEVE DOOCY: It is shaping up to be the 461st straight day of success for the Trump Administration! Mike Pompeo is expected to be confirmed by the full Senate to be our next Secretary of State, we go to war with Iran next month, and we find peace with North Korea too, Kanye West, and probably the rest of the black community too, are on Trump’s side now, and the state visit with the French President this week could not have gone better! I mean, they couldn’t keep their hands off each other!
 

BRIAN KILMEADE: I think it’s a French thing.

 

(Whitney goes over and turns off the TV)

 

JEROME: Whoa, what the hell are you doin’?

 

WHITNEY: You two want to squat here? Fine. Go ahead. I’m not giving you a goddamn dime! But if you want shelter, it’s right here for you. I’m not going to kick my own parents out. We’ll see how you enjoy LA culture and my lesbian hijinks!

 

LIZ: Honey, we ain’t askin’ for much!
 

WHITNEY: Well, good, because I’m not giving you much. Have fun on these couches.

 

(Hannah walks in)

 

HANNAH: Honey, you ready to go?

 

(Whitney pulls Hannah in and makes out with her for ten long seconds, as Jerome and Liz cringe, and try to look away. Whitney then looks at her parents, as Hannah stands there, dazed and shocked)

 

WHITNEY: I’m an Angeleno now. You guys can’t take that away from me.

 

(Whitney and Hannah hold hands as they exit the house. Jerome and Liz look at one another)

 

LIZ: Mission accomplished.

 

(Jerome and Liz chest bump)

 

JEROME: Do you want some more Diet Coke?

 

(Liz turns the TV back on)

 

LIZ: You know it, babe!

 

(Cut to McKenzie walking out of her bathroom at her & Kevin’s studio apartment. Kevin is lounging in bed, but McKenzie is fully dressed)

 

MCKENZIE: Well, it’s time for me to go.

 

KEVIN: Already?

 

MCKENZIE: Yeah, babe, I’m sorry. (McKenzie sits down on the bed, and clutches Kevin’s hand) Thanks for standing up for me last night.

 

KEVIN: Yeah, that took a lot of courage on my part. I’m pretty brave, huh?

 

MCKENZIE: Please just accept the compliment quietly.

 

KEVIN: I think I’m gonna bask in it, actually.

 

(McKenzie chuckles and shakes her head)

 

MCKENZIE: Do you have to fly today?

 

KEVIN: No, not today. What do you have to do today?

 

MCKENZIE: I don’t know, but our first big production meeting is in just over a week.

 

KEVIN: Well, good luck.

 

(Kevin kisses McKenzie on the mouth. Cut to Whitney, Rob, McKenzie, Miles, Bonnie, Luther, and Hannah sitting around the conference table)

 

WHITNEY: Alright everyone, welcome to our first big production meeting, for “The Box”. This has been my brain child for nearly a month now, and now it’s time for it to become a “brain man”. Or, rather, “brain woman”.

 

MILES: What happened to your accent and hick-ish ways?

 

WHITNEY: That old Whitney is officially dead. Murdered by her own, dyke hand. (Whitney holds up her hand) Now- (She puts her hand down) I need to hear progress. Robert Altmire, our casting director & studio guarantor, how are things coming along?

 

ROB: Well, I’ve rented the studio space for the month of May, so we should get started very soon on that. I’ve hired our host, Marla Feck.

 

BONNIE: Excuse me, I go by “Backlash Bonnie”, buster.

 

ROB: Of course, my bad. I first saw your name as credits in “Barney”, so, I forget what you go by now.

 

HANNAH: Isn’t she like, 24 years younger than you are? Why did you see her in “Barney”?

 

ROB: Ryan loved that show as a kid, but don’t tell anyone that.

 

HANNAH: Who’s Ryan?

 

WHITNEY: ANYWAY, what about the other contestants?

 

ROB: We’re casting right now. But one of them is McKenzie Park, of course.

 

(McKenzie smiles, closes her eyes, and makes a peace sign)

 

WHITNEY: Great. (McKenzie puts her hand down) And our beefcake prize at the end?

 

ROB: Luther Moon, of course.

 

LUTHER: Here I am.

 

WHITNEY: Are you gonna have beefcake by the time we start shooting?

 

LUTHER: I’m working on it. (Luther clears his throat) I’ve been takin’ walks.

 

(Whitney begrudgingly nods her head)

 

WHITNEY: Okay. Miles, how about you?

 

MILES: I’ve ordered the camera equipment, I got myself a director’s chair, I looked up how to white balance, and compose shots, and what an F-stop is.

 

WHITNEY: And what about craft services?

 

MILES: My buddy Georgio is bringing Ritz. (Miles nudges Luther with his elbow) Hmmmm, am I right?

 

WHITNEY: Jesus Christ, okay, Hannah? How’s the script for the first episode going?

 

HANNAH: I was thinking McKenzie and one of the other contestants could fight over who’s better at math, just to keep the feminist angle strong.

 

MILES: Maybe they could mud wrestle over who’s better at math. And maybe Luther could join in, huh?

 

(Miles nudges Luther)

 

LUTHER: Stop touchin’ me, man.

 

WHITNEY: We’ll think about it.

 

ROB: I’ll certainly be thinking about it. A lot.

 

WHITNEY: Thanks, Rob. McKenzie, how do you feel?

 

MCKENZIE: Incredibly excited. America’s going to see me on TV!

 

WHITNEY: You’re out white contestant, so I hope you don’t mind competing against an Asian, a Middle Eastern, a Latina and a disabled black, gay woman.

 

MCKENZIE: Of, course not, why would I mind?

 

WHITNEY: Good, we just have to cover our bases, write that down, Rob.

 

(Rob writes it down)

 

ROB: Forced diversity, got it.

 

WHITNEY: Alright, so, finally, we should talk about the network. We’ve gotten our 85% funding, but are there any other challenges or roadblocks from the network we should be aware of, Rob?

 

ROB: …What?

 

WHITNEY: …Any challenges or roadblocks from the network we should know about?

 

(Cut to an extreme close-up of Rob’s nervous face)

 

ROB: …Not that I know of, nope.

 

(Rob smiles nervously. “Next” by Scott Walker plays as we go to credits)

 

THE END


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