The Valley of the Tools Episode 12

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


Rob has to deal with the constant sexual tension between him and his new assistant, McKenzie Park, Whitney has a hard time finding a new studio after MGM drops out, so she hits the party circuit
and Miles, feeling less and less valued by the day, follows a lead for a studio at his club

Submitted: July 24, 2018

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Submitted: July 24, 2018

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THE VALLEY OF THE TOOLS

 

“TRANSFER”

 

TV-MA DLSV

 

“Here's a man who lives a life of danger. Everywhere he goes, he stays - a stranger”

  • Laurie Anderson

 

(We open a on a rusty playground, teeming with rambunctious children. The paint is chipped and worn. The playground sits beside a run-down elementary school. “LEWI BURG ELEMENTARY SCHOOL” is emblazoned across the side of the school. The lower third reads “LEWISBERG, WEST VIRGINIA, 1999” as we focus in on an eight-year old Whitney Stone sitting on a see-saw, as she watches a seven-year old brunette girl emerge from an enclosed slide, giggling. Whitney sees her and smiles. The girl climbs back up the ladder and goes down the slide again. And a third time. And a fourth time. Finally, she goes over to the swings and starts swinging. Whitney gets up from the see-saw and climbs up the ladder. She gets in the enclosed slide but holds on, so she won’t slide down. She waits. A chubby, dirty looking nine-year old in a striped shirt walks over and looks down at Whitney)

 

KID: (Southern accent) What are you doing?

 

WHITNEY: (Southern accent) None of your business.

 

KID: Are you retarded or something?

 

WHITNEY: NO! I’m just waiting!
 

KID: For what? To get be crushed by my fat ass?

 

WHITNEY: Glad you admit it.

 

KID: Get bent! What, are you waiting for Marietta to go down the slide again!?

 

WHITNEY: No. No, I’m not. She’s a girl, idiot.

 

KID: Yeah. And girls can’t vote. Must suck, huh?

 

WHITNEY: That’s not true, our textbooks are just out of date, retard.

 

KID: Want me to push you down the slide, lesbo?

 

WHITNEY: SHUT UP, DANNY!

 

(Whitney gets out of the slide)

 

DANNY: Oh no! Don’t crush me with your dyke strength!

 

(Whitney pushes Danny off the platform and he lands on his back, and appears to be seriously injured. He’s crying. Whitney gasps and peers off the side)

 

WHITNEY: Are you okay!?

 

(A teacher rushes to his aide as kids stop what they’re doing and crowd the scene)

 

TEACHER: Danny, what happened?!

 

DANNY: That bitch pushed me off!

 

(The teacher looks where Danny is pointing, right at Whitney)

 

WHITNEY: I didn’t mean to! (Crying) I’m sorry!

 

TEACHER: Someone go to the town telephone and call 9-1-1. How about you, Triston? (Triston nods and goes on his way. The teacher looks up) As for you, Ms. Stone…

 

(The camera slowly zooms in on Whitney’s frightened visage. Cut to nineteen years later, modern day Los Angeles. Whitney is sitting in her office on the phone while Bonnie sits in front of her desk, taking notes)

 

WHITNEY: Yes. Well, I just wanted to congratulate you on your anniversary- twenty-two years is a long time, especially for a third wife. (Whitney chuckles) Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Yeah- well, I got your number from a friend, when he told me that you had an anniversary coming up, and I was like, “oh, I’m a fan of his work, so…” (Whitney looks to Bonnie. She gives her an unenthusiastic thumbs-up) no, it’s not a ploy to get you to- sorry? (Beat) Oh, yes, yes, I’m aware of that, but I’m not trying to- okay, bye.

 

(Whitney slams the phone on the receiver)

 

BONNIE: What happened?

 

WHITNEY: We’ve really limited our options for new studios- we can’t work with Warner Brothers because they’re part of Warner Media, which owns TBS, and TBS fired Rob. And now we can’t work with any studio related to 21st Century Fox, because they cancelled us.

 

BONNIE: What major studios does that leave us with?

 

WHITNEY: Excluding MGM for obvious reasons, we’re left with Sony Pictures Television, Paramount, Universal and United Artists.

 

BONNIE: …Isn’t UA owned by MGM now?

 

WHITNEY: Shit, I think you’re right. (Whitney picks up a copy of the Hollywood Reporter) I really need to start reading these trades more often.

 

BONNIE: Yeah, I read about that while taking a shit the other day, the trades are pretty interesting, actually.

 

(Whitney nods)

 

WHITNEY: Good to have you on board, Bonnie. (Whitney leans back in her chair) Now we have three major studios to choose from.

 

BONNIE: Why do we need a major studio?

 

WHITNEY: Because we HAD a major studio, until McKenzie fucked it up. I’m not going to settle for “My Mom’s Basement Productions” after we had MGM. People need to take us seriously.

 

BONNIE: Yeah, I guess so. But McKenzie isn’t entirely to blame here, your parents beat up MGM’s VP of television-

 

WHITNEY: Shhh. Stop talking. (Beat) We need to change our strategy on this. It’s time to network. Get Rob in here.

 

BONNIE: Sure.

 

(Bonnie gets up, leaves Whitney’s office and goes into McKenzie’s office)

 

MCKENZIE: Hey!
 

BONNIE: Is he in?

 

MCKENZIE: Yeah. He’s a little drunk, though.

 

BONNIE: I’d be worried if he wasn’t. (McKenzie smiles and Bonnie enters Rob’s office. Rob is sitting on his desk holding a flask. Rob looks over) Having fun?

 

ROB: Always. (Rob puts the flask in his desk drawer) What’s up?

 

BONNIE: Whitney wants to see you.

 

ROB: Okay. (Rob follows Bonnie into Whitney’s office, and they both sit down in front of her) Hi.

 

WHITNEY: Do you know any upcoming industry parties where we can troll for studios?

 

ROB: Yeah, there’s a party at Amy Powell’s house tomorrow night, I was gonna go to it and do that.

 

WHITNEY: Amy Powell?

 

BONNIE: She’s the head of Paramount Television.

 

WHITNEY: Do you want my job, or-?

 

BONNIE: Hell no.

 

WHITNEY: When were you gonna tell me about this?

 

ROB: Well…it’s just that, last time we went to a party looking to network, you…kinda just yelled at everyone.

 

WHITNEY: And you were such a charmer?

 

ROB: Yeah, I mean, I got one of them to fuck me.

 

BONNIE: Well, hopefully that doesn’t happen tonight.

 

ROB: Yeah.

 

WHITNEY: Can you get Hannah and I in?

 

ROB: Probably. I’ll let you know.

 

WHITNEY: Thanks.

 

(Rob stands up and leaves)

 

BONNIE: …What are the odds that he hasn’t cheated on Lilly?

 

WHITNEY: Zero percent.

 

(Bonnie laughs. Cut to Rob entering McKenzie’s office)

 

ROB: Hey, can we try Amy Powell?

 

MCKENZIE: Sure!

 

ROB: Thanks.

 

(Rob turns to leave)

 

MCKENZIE: Wait! Before you go- (Rob turns to McKenzie as McKenzie pulls out a license plate frame) I noticed your car’s plate frame had broken, so I got you a new one.

 

(McKenzie walks over and hands it to Rob. Rob looks at it)

 

ROB: (Cold, unemotional) …Thanks.

 

(Rob quickly leaves. McKenzie looks disappointed. Cut to Rob and Lilly sitting across from each other at a picnic table in the outdoor patio area of a bar. Lilly has an Amaretto sour while Rob is nursing a glass of Jim Beam and a cigarette)

 

LILLY: …Where are those goddamn quesadillas?

 

(Rob blows smoke)

 

ROB: How was work?

 

LILLY: Don’t even ask.

 

ROB: Okay, I’ll tell you about my day.

 

LILLY: I don’t want to hear that either.

 

ROB: What do you want to hear?

 

LILLY: The sounds of my brains splattering against that young couple over there.

 

ROB: Do you hate your job that much?

 

LILLY: Yes! Do you know what it’s like to have to deal with drunk smokers hitting on you all the time?

 

ROB: I don’t know, I mean, sometimes it works out great. (Lilly rolls her eyes) Sorry.

 

LILLY: No, you’re right, it did, in this instance, but most of the time-

 

(A drunken bro, shaved head, mid-20s, comes over with a beer and cigarette in hand and his fellow bro standing beside him)

 

DRUNKEN BRO: Yo, you’re that Indian chick who sells the cigarettes!
 

LILLY: See?!

 

ROB: Indian?

 

LILLY: I’m not Indian, you fucking idiot, the cigarettes are just made by Indian- I mean, Native Americans.

 

ROB: Are they?

 

LILLY: Well, I don’t know, actually.

 

DRUNKEN BRO: There’s an Indian on the box, okay? Jump off my dick.

 

ROB: Yeah, and Lucky Charms are made by Leprechauns and Frosted Flakes are shat out by tigers, get out of here, dude.

 

DRUNKEN BRO: No respect. Never buying Spirits again. Let’s go, fellow bro.

 

FELLOW BRO: Yes, sir.

 

(The bro leaves, followed dutifully by his fellow bro)

 

LILLY: I want a new path. Maybe I should work in the industry.

 

ROB: …Really?

 

LILLY: Yeah, why not? Bring me in tomorrow, show me around the office. Show me how things work.

 

ROB: Are you sure? It’s a pretty hard industry to get into, high barriers to entry.

 

LILLY: I just want to see how it works.

 

(Rob nods)

 

ROB: …Alright, sure.

 

LILLY: …Thanks, babe.

 

(Lilly puts her hand on the table. Rob puts his cigarette out and grips Lilly’s hand as they stare at each other. Cut to Rob and Lilly walking into the office. Whitney is reading the LA times while Ryan sits at reception)

 

WHITNEY: Did you hear about this treason summit?

 

ROB: Yeah, I did. Damn traitor.

 

RYAN: It’s not treason, we’re not at war with Russia.

 

ROB: They attacked our election.

 

RYAN: With hacked e-mails and Facebook memes?

 

ROB: Yes! Pearl Harbor shit.

 

RYAN: Didn’t you vote for Trump?

 

ROB: What? No.

 

RYAN: I thought you did for some reason. I remember you singing about it on Election Day.

 

ROB: …Singing?

 

RYAN: Yeah, there this whole musical sequence-

 

ROB: That was in your head, bro.

 

RYAN: I could’ve sworn-

 

LILLY: Oh, by the way, men, I’m here.

 

WHITNEY: Hi, Lilly. I’m not a man.

 

LILLY: But you try to be like one so you can feel “equal”, right?

 

WHITNEY: Do I do that?

 

LILLY: Yeah, it’s why you have sex with women.

 

(Whitney looks to Rob)

 

WHITNEY: She’s fun.

 

(Whitney walks into her office)

 

ROB: Thanks, babe.

 

LILLY: Sorry.

 

RYAN: What are you doing here?

 

LILLY: Rob is showing me around.

 

ROB: This is reception. Ryan takes calls, reads scripts and does coverage here.

 

LILLY: Coverage?

 

RYAN: I read scripts, summarize them, and critique them. Like this piece of- (Ryan holds up a script) shit by Rob’s brother.

 

ROB: It’s a piece of shit? How far in are you?

 

RYAN: Five pages.

 

ROB: Okay, go ahead and throw it away. (Ryan unceremoniously throws it in the trash as Rob and Lilly walk away) Sometimes, you have to humor people. Other times, you have boring creative meetings. (Rob walks into his office to find Hannah, Luther and Miles waiting) That you are super sorry for being late to.

 

HANNAH: Can we start, then?

 

ROB: No, we’ll pick this up at 11:30, okay?

 

(Hannah, Luther and Miles sigh and get up to leave. Luther closes the door behind them)

 

LILLY: What happens in those meetings?

 

ROB: We debate and come up with a direction for the shows we’re writing, or they’re pitching what writers would be good for which show, so we can open up a writer’s room.

 

LILLY: Do they pitch ideas too?

 

ROB: Sometimes. I also have plenty of ideas, but the world isn’t ready for them.

 

LILLY: This is a feminist production company, right? Is it like, a female superhero who’s had an abortion or something?

 

ROB: No, but that’s great, let me write that down-

 

(Rob jots the idea down)

 

LILLY: Hey! I own that! That’s copyright ME, 2018, all rights reserved!

 

MCKENZIE: (Offscreen) Rob! Amy Powell called at around ten to let you know you could bring Whitney and Hannah to her party tonight!
 

ROB: Thanks!

 

LILLY: Hey, show me what an assistant does.

 

ROB: Oh, I don’t think that’s necessary, you don’t want to be an assistant-

 

LILLY: Hey, I said I’d start low-level. What’s lower than that chick’s job?

 

MCKENZIE: (Offscreen) Nothing.

 

(Lilly points in McKenzie’s direction)

 

ROB: Heh. Okay.

 

(Rob and Lilly walk into McKenzie’s office. McKenzie stands up and extends her hand. Rob is clearly uncomfortable)

 

MCKENZIE: Hi, good to see you again.

 

LILLY: We don’t need to shake hands if we’ve met, right?

 

(McKenzie pulls her hand back)

 

MCKENZIE: You’re right, that’s silly of me. How are you?

 

LILLY: Good. So, what do you do?

 

MCKENZIE: Well, the most important job of an assistant is to anticipate and fulfill all your boss’ needs and desires. (Lilly nods, Rob cringes) All business-related, of course.

 

(Rob nods)

 

LILLY: Yeah, I don’t- I don’t think that needed to be said.

 

ROB: You’d be surprised. Lot of perverts out there.

 

(Whitney comes in)

 

WHITNEY: Hey, sorry to interrupt, can I see you for a minute, Rob?

 

ROB: Uh, can it wait?

 

LILLY: No, babe, go ahead, I’m set.

 

(Rob looks at Lilly with great concern, and then back at Whitney)

 

ROB: …Okay, then.

 

(Rob follows Whitney out of the room)

 

LILLY: That was weird.

 

MCKENZIE: Seemed pretty normal to me, but, my English teacher always told me I was super oblivious, so.

 

LILLY: She said that to you-

 

MCKENZIE: Anyway, you’re supposed to take notes on his meetings, take his calls, set up his lunches, manage his schedule, listen to him whenever he starts talking at you!

 

(McKenzie laughs, but Lilly doesn’t)

 

LILLY: Uh-huh.

 

MCKENZIE: And, yeah, that’s the long and short of it. Not that complicated, but harder than it sounds.

 

LILLY: Sounds pretty easy,

 

MCKENZIE: But harder than it sounds!
 

LILLY: Eh.

 

MCKENZIE: I’m working for Rob, Lilly.

 

LILLY: Fair point.

 

MCKENZIE: Are you looking to get into the industry?

 

LILLY: Yeah. I hate my current job.

 

MCKENZIE: And what is that?

 

(Lilly sits down and sighs)

 

LILLY: I sell cigarettes to people, at bars.

 

MCKENZIE: Oh! (McKenzie pulls a pack of American Spirits out of her purse) You sell these?

 

LILLY: Yep. I’m one of those guys.

 

MCKENZIE: Well, if it’s any consolation, I am a proud victim of your company.

 

(Lilly chuckles as McKenzie puts a cigarette behind her ear)

 

LILLY: Makes me feel pretty shitty, to be honest. Selling poison.

 

MCKENZIE: Well, we’re selling poison, too. It’s like, mind poison.

 

LILLY: Well, I’d rather sell that than what I’m selling now.

 

MCKENZIE: How long have you and Rob been together?

 

LILLY: Hmm…since, maybe early June?

 

(McKenzie has a barely perceptible realization on her face)

 

MCKENZIE: Oh. Wow. Longer than I thought.

 

LILLY: Feels like a long time.

 

(McKenzie awkwardly fake laughs)

 

MCKENZIE: Yep!
 

LILLY: I’m kidding, he’s really cool. Even if he is kind of a prick sometimes.

 

MCKENZIE: HA! Who isn’t?

 

(Cut to Whitney talking to Rob in her office, showing him a stock photo of a woman in a dress on one iPad and a stock photo of a woman in a pants suit on the other)

 

WHITNEY: Should it be a dress or a pants suit? What kind of look should I go for?

 

ROB: THIS is why you called me in here?

 

WHITNEY: YES! This is a very important way to make an impression! Now, tell me, dress or pants suit?

 

ROB: Do you own that dress? Do you own that pants suit?

 

WHITNEY: No, they’re just-

 

ROB: What? Stock photos? Images for me to review?

 

WHITNEY: Yeah! So you can make an informed decision!
 

ROB: I know what a fucking dress looks like! AND a pants suit!

 

(Whitney tosses the iPads on her desk)

 

WHITNEY: Well, MAYBE if your girlfriend didn’t make me self-conscious about my masculinity!
 

ROB: Why do you have TWO iPads?!

 

WHITNEY: I mean, does she make you feel insecure about YOUR-

 

ROB: Yeah, actually, she does! Just, go to the party, be yourself, although not to this frightening extent, and then you’ll be fine. I have to go.

 

(Rob leaves Whitney’s office and walks back into McKenzie’s office. McKenzie shoots up from her chair)

 

MCKENZIE: Rob! You’re back! Bonding time was a great success!

 

(Lilly stands up)

 

ROB: It was?

 

LILLY: Sure. Can we talk for a second?

 

ROB: Okay.

 

(McKenzie waves goodbye, and once they go into Rob’s office, McKenzie grabs a cigarette and puts it in her mouth)

 

MCKENZIE: Thank God. (McKenzie walks past Ryan) Take Rob’s calls.

 

RYAN: Uh-huh.

 

(McKenzie exits the office. Cut to Rob’s office. Rob and Lilly are sitting on Rob’s desk facing one another)

 

ROB: So…what’d you think?

 

LILLY: …I want to work here.

 

ROB: …Oh.

 

LILLY: Yeah. I can start at the bottom.

 

ROB: Lilly, we have both assistant positions filled, and the only thing lower is intern. Which is an unpaid position.

 

LILLY: I can do that! And I’ll work at a Starbucks or something for money. But I can’t sell cancer anymore. I want to do something that…only kind of harms the world.

 

ROB: Lilly, even if we had a position for you, we don’t do nepotism here, it’s not ethical-

 

(Hannah pokes her head in)

 

HANNAH: Hey, Rob, I’m gonna head to Starbucks and get a cappuccino for my girlfriend, do you want anything?

 

ROB: Yeah, I’ll take a mocha Frappuccino.

 

HANNAH: Cool.

 

(Hannah ducks out. Lilly stares at Rob like “seriously”?)

 

ROB: Okay, fine, point taken, but, we’re not even two months into this relationship, and I don’t want to ruin it through over-exposure. People have always told me I’m so powerful and intoxicating, they can only take me in small doses, or else they’ll die of ecstasy.

 

LILLY: I don’t think that’s what they meant.

 

ROB: You get what I’m saying, though, right?

 

LILLY: …Yeah, I suppose…

 

ROB: Tell you what. At the party tonight, we’re finding you a job.

 

LILLY: For real?

 

ROB: For real.

 

(Lilly puts her hand on Rob’s shoulder)

LILLY: Thanks. You’re alright.

 

ROB: You are, too.

 

(Rob kisses Lilly)

 

LILLY: Your mouth is gross.

 

ROB: You’re not gonna make me quit smoking, are you? (Cut to Rob sitting behind his desk, with Hannah, Miles and Luther sitting before him, while Lilly sits on the window sill) Okay, so, Lilly’s gonna sit in on our meeting today, capiche?

 

HANNAH: I didn’t know you were Italian.

 

LILLY: His pubes sure are.

 

LUTHER: Can we get to the meeting?

 

MILES: We could stay on this topic for at least a little while longer, right?

 

ROB: I’m cool with it. I have a lot to be proud of.

 

HANNAH: NOPE! Let’s get started.

 

ROB: Fine, Hannah, what do you got?

 

HANNAH: Astro-Manda is progressing. At a, frustratingly slow clip. But, progressing.

 

ROB: Lilly and I were talking about that maybe Astro-Manda should’ve had an abortion. You know. For feminism and stuff.

 

HANNAH: Right, but…it’s a kid’s show, isn’t it?

 

LILLY: I’ve known some kids who’ve had abortions.

 

HANNAH: Let’s table that one, okay?

 

ROB: Alright. Miles?

 

MILES: Yeah, so, I have a pitch.

 

ROB: Really? Okay. (Sigh) Go ahead.

 

MILES: It’s a show-

 

LILLY: Good start.

 

MILES: And there’s this Japanese family, and they have sex robots. But the sex robots are tired of getting fucked all the time. So they organize with other sex robots to rebel against their masters, and eventually, sex robots take over Tokyo. (Beat) Thoughts?

 

ROB: …As much as I love the idea of a sex robot, we shouldn’t do that idea. For so many different reasons, that I won’t get into them.

 

MILES: Come on, it’s like a human trafficking metaphor, it’s feminist-

 

ROB: No. Luther?

 

LUTHER: Yeah, so I was thinking-

 

(Camera closes in on Miles looking disappointed as Luther’s talking becomes incomprehensible. Cut to Miles grabbing a Diet Coke out of the break room fridge. He then walks by Whitney’s office, and stops dead in his tracks to listen to Whitney and Rob’s conversation)

 

ROB: (Offscreen) You need to stop freaking out.

 

WHITNEY: (Offscreen) Why?! What makes us stand out?

 

ROB: To potential studios?

 

WHITNEY: Yeah!
 

ROB: We’ve got-

 

WHITNEY: What do we have going for us? Miles?! Come on!

 

ROB: Not him, but there’s me!
 

(Miles shakes his head and keeps walking)

 

WHITNEY: Shut up!
 

(Miles walks by reception)

 

RYAN: Hey, Miles!

 

(Miles turns to Ryan)

 

MILES: What’s up?

 

RYAN: How are you?

 

MILES: I’m okay, man, my pitch didn’t-

 

RYAN: Cool, cool, so, club open tonight?

 

MILES: Yeah?

 

RYAN: Will drugs be provided? Or do I have to bring them?

 

MILES: (Disappointed) …It’s BYOD.

 

RYAN: Damnit. Okay, I’ll call Luther’s friends.

 

(Luther walks by)

 

LUTHER: They’re not my friends!
 

(Miles rolls his eyes as Lilly walks up to reception)

 

LILLY: Hey, Ryan.

 

RYAN: What’s up, Lilly? Still with Rob?

 

LILLY: Yeah.

 

RYAN: Lame.

 

LILLY: I know. We’re going to a fancy Hollywood Party to scout out studios tonight.

 

MILES: Really?

 

LILLY: Yeah.

 

MILES: Do you think I could get in?

 

LILLY: Excuse me?

 

MILES: Do you think I could-

 

LILLY: I heard you, I just wanted to give you an opportunity to change what you said. No, you can’t get in. I’m sorry. (Lilly looks toward Ryan) What are you reading?

 

(Miles bites his lip and walks away. Cut to Miles sitting at his kitchen table at his club, Shortsight, while music throbs and ravers jump in his living room. He’s nursing a cocktail by himself while flipping through a trade magazine. He’s getting frustrated, as he sees nothing of interest to him. He tosses the trade aside and sips his cocktail. He looks over at the other side of his kitchen. A man in his mid-thirties, attractive man in a red V-neck is sipping gin & tonic. Miles smiles and approaches. He sits down beside him)

 

MILES: I don’t think I’ve seen you around.

 

MAN: I’ve never come here before. I guess you have.

 

MILES: Yes, I’ve been coming here for five years now. I’m Miles Grothman, this is my house.

 

MAN: Oh! (The man shakes Miles’ hand) I’m Clark Shaw, this is my new home.

 

(Miles laughs)

 

MILES: Well, it’s not always like this. Although people keep demanding I open earlier and earlier. Pretty soon it’ll be like Black Friday, with a line around the block.

 

CLARK: Must mean they like it here. It has all the independence and care-free attitude of a college house party, with all the depraved gayness of an LA gay club.

 

MILES: Please tell me you put that on Yelp.

 

(Clark and Miles laugh. Cut to Whitney coming out of her closet wearing a pants suit. Hannah is standing by, wearing a dress)

 

HANNAH: …I think whatever we wear, we should match.

 

WHITNEY: So, you don’t like it?

 

HANNAH: No, I’m just saying, if you wear a dress, I should wear a dress.

 

WHITNEY: And since you’re already wearing a dress, I should wear a dress.

 

HANNAH: I can change, but…

 

WHITNEY: No, it’s fine. I’ll wear a goddamn dress.

 

(Whitney goes back into her closet)

 

HANNAH: I love you!
 

WHITNEY: (Offscreen) Love you too. It just sucks, you know? I have to march in there and schmooze with a bunch of white men, getting their approval like a good little girl.

 

HANNAH: You don’t have to go over the top with praise, you can just-

 

WHITNEY: It makes me wanna puke! I don’t suffer fools, but I have to in there, and one by one, fellate them just to save my business.  (Whitney comes out wearing a red dress) Is this good?

 

HANNAH: Yes.

 

WHITNEY: Does this look like the stock photos I sent you?

 

HANNAH: No?

 

WHITNEY: Okay, good.

 

HANNAH: I would go with different shoes, though.

 

(Whitney sighs and walks into the closet)

 

WHITNEY: (Offscreen) I don’t take bullshit.

 

HANNAH: Not even for the sake of your business? Why is that?

 

(Whitney comes out wearing better shoes)

 

WHITNEY: Remember that story I told you? About the kid I sent to the hospital?

 

HANNAH: Yeah?

 

WHITNEY: I felt terribly about what happened to him. For a while. But he bullied me so much after that, that he made me not regret it.

 

HANNAH: …Do you know what he does now?

 

WHITNEY: He died in a coal mining accident eight years ago.

 

HANNAH: Jesus!
 

WHITNEY: I know. That, I obviously didn’t want to happen.

 

HANNAH: Yeah!
 

(Cut to Whitney and Hannah pulling up to a mansion gate. A valet in a cummerbund awaits. They get out of the car)

 

WHITNEY: Hi. (They walk up to the man) We’re here for Amy Powell’s party.

 

VALET: Names?

 

WHITNEY: Whitney Stone and Hannah Delaney.

 

(The valet presses the “OPEN” button and the gate begins to open. Whitney hands him the keys)

 

VALET: Enjoy your party, ladies.

 

HANNAH: Thank you!
 

(The valet gets in Whitney’s car and drives off. They walk up to an impressive estate. They enter the party, teeming with fancy people dressed in “business-casual” party attire. Servants with finger foods and drinks whiz about, popular songs play at a medium volume and conversation booms. Whitney and Hannah awkwardly mill about, until they run into Elizabeth Moss, who is wearing a dress and holding a cocktail)

 

WHITNEY: Oh my God! Elizabeth Moss, right?

 

ELIZABETH MOSS: Hi! Do I know you guys?

 

HANNAH: No, but we love you- we’ve been meaning to watch the Handmaid’s Tale for, so long!
 

WHITNEY: SO long!
 

ELIZABETH: Oh. That’s nice.

 

WHITNEY: Sorry, that’s not the best we could come up with- we loved you in Mad Men.

 

HANNAH: You were my favorite character, definitely.

 

ELIZABETH: Thanks. Are you guys in the industry?

 

WHITNEY: Yes. We’re at a production company that works with- (Ahem) worked with MGM.

 

(Rob, Lilly and David Boreanaz come over)

 

ROB: I see you’ve found Elizabeth.

 

ELIZABETH: Rob!!

 

(Elizabeth hugs Rob, to Whitney and Hannah’s shock)

 

ROB: Hey, Liz, how are you?

 

ELIZABETH: So good to see you! (Elizabeth relinquishes Rob) Rob and I met at the Church of Scientology a few years back-

 

LILLY: Really?!

 

ROB: I dabbled. Okay? Is it so hard to imagine me as a man of faith?

 

HANNAH: No, actually.

 

WHITNEY: Holy shit, that’s David Boreanaz!

 

DAVID BOREANAZ: Holy shit, it’s me!
 

(David laughs and shakes Whitney’s hand)

 

WHITNEY: I mean, Buffy, Angel, Bones, SEAL Team, what’s next?

 

DAVID: Who knows? I have boundless potential.

 

ROB: I know David, because he introduced me to Charisma Carpenter.

 

DAVID: That was not Charisma Carpenter, dude-

 

ROB: THEN WHO DID I SLEEP WITH!? (Rob composes himself) Sorry.

 

LILLY: Really?

 

ROB: (To Lilly) Babe, it was way before I met you. (To Whitney) Okay. This is fun, but, Whitney, we should-

 

WHITNEY: Yes! As much as we’d love to stay and chat with Elizabeth Moss and David fucking Boreanaz, we have to…try the punch.

 

ELIZABETH: Nice to meet you all. (To Rob) Let’s have a game night, Rob!

 

ROB: That’d be great, wouldn’t it, Lilly?

 

LILLY: Hell fucking yes.

 

DAVID: Nice meeting you guys.

 

(David and Elizabeth walk away)

 

HANNAH: Alright, gang, let’s split up.

 

LILLY: Ugh. Just, stop.

 

ROB: We’ll take this side of the room, you take that one.

 

WHITNEY: Got it.

 

(Rob and Lilly go to the left, Whitney and Hannah go to the right. Cut to several besuited TV executives nursing cocktails and talking while lounging on couches)

 

TELEVISION EXECUTIVE: Here’s the thing, you put people like Roseanne Barr on air because the Trumpies watch television, but you take them off because the liberals use the internet.

 

TELEVISION EXECUTIVE 2: Maybe we should just not put them on to begin with.

 

TELEVISION EXECUTIVE: Possibly.

 

(Rob and Lilly sit down)

 

ROB: How’s this meeting of the minds? (Rob laughs) You guys look like a million bucks and are probably worth that too!
 

(Rob laughs again)

 

TELEVISION EXECUTIVE: I’m worth twenty million.

 

ROB: Great, I’m Rob Altmire, as you probably know, and this is my girlfriend Lilly.

 

LILLY: S’up?

 

(Rob shakes the TV executive’s hand)

 

TELEVISION EXECUTIVE: Jason Clodfelter. Pleasure to meet you.

 

TELEVISION EXECUTIVE 2: Jeff Frost. Pleasure.

 

(Jeff shakes Rob and Lilly’s hands)

 

TELEVISION EXECUTIVE 3: Chris Parnell. Good to meet you.

 

(Chris shakes Rob and then Lilly’s hands)

 

LILLY: Chris Parnell? Are you related to-?

 

CHRIS: Nope.

 

(Chris releases Lilly’s hand)

 

ROB: So, you’re all from Sony Pictures TV, right? (They nod) Well, you’ve probably already heard of Altmire-Stone Productions-

 

JASON: Not at all.

 

ROB: Hold on, now, let me jog your memory. They made The Box.

 

CHRIS: …And The Box is?

 

ROB: It’s fine! Just call me when you remember on the way home. (Rob smiles) We have a couple buns in the oven right now, but MGM dropped out of both of them. We need a new studio.

 

JEFF: Oh yeah, didn’t your CEO tie up Max Kisbye in her attic or something?

 

(The executives laugh)

 

ROB: No, it was her parents, and that’s not the straw that broke the- you know what? This is clearly useless. Do you want to hire Lilly?

 

(Lilly smiles and waves. Cut to Whitney and Hannah standing around Paramount TV executives Amy Powell, Mark Levenstein, Max Taylor and Erynn Baldwin as they sip cocktails on the balcony overlooking Los Angeles)

 

AMY POWELL: All I’m saying is that Micronesian people can suck it.

 

MARK LEVENSTEIN: Hey, did you guys hear about-

 

WHITNEY: I did. MGM dropped out of Altmire-Stone’s projects.

 

MARK: No, I was gonna talk about Trump pardoning white terrorists-

 

WHITNEY: I was also horrified by MGM’s decision. Luckily, I think Paramount won’t make the same decision. Hi. I’m Whitney Stone from Altmire-Stone Productions.

 

(Whitney extends her hand. Amy Powell shakes it)

 

AMY: Wow. You’re as strong as a Lithuanian.

 

WHITNEY: Thank, you. (Amy relinquishes Whitney’s hand) Amy, have you ever read Astro-Manda?

 

AMY: Yes, I read that all the time when I was a kid.

 

ERYNN: I liked it too, yeah.

 

WHITNEY: Well. We are planning to make it a TV show.

 

HANNAH: It’s gonna be for all the young girls out there who think they can’t go to space. We’re gonna let them know, they can.

 

AMY: I’m not sure if Astro-Manda works as a TV show honestly.

 

ERYNN: Yeah, I mean, is it animated?

 

WHITNEY: No, it’s live-action, that’s the best part-

 

AMY: That might be the worst part.

 

ERYNN: Yeah.

 

AMY: That would be really expensive, and it might limit its appeal to young girls.

 

WHITNEY: Just LISTEN! Okay!? (Hannah gulps) Astro-Manda bounds across the universe, fighting crime on every planet where she sees it. She was dispatched by the Galactic Order of Police to fulfill this duty. She has no boyfriend anywhere, just herself. She makes it through each night, sleeping alone in galactic hotel after galactic hotel. The human drama of her loneliness won’t come through in cartoon. It can only come through in live action.

 

MAX TAYLOR: …I would want a male love interest.

 

(They all voice agreement)

 

WHITNEY: GODDAMN YOU PEOPLE!
 

(Whitney hoofs away)

 

HANNAH: Whitney!! (Whitney walks inside and grabs Whitney’s shoulder) Whitney!
 

(Whitney turns around)

 

WHITNEY: What!?

 

HANNAH: You have to calm down, or this will never work!
 

WHITNEY: These people are impossible, Hannah! Can’t put up with their shit anymore!
 

HANNAH: You’ve been here for twenty minutes.

 

WHITNEY: (Slight accent) Yeah, don’t that say somethin’? (Whitney recalibrates, no accent) Doesn’t that say something?

 

HANNAH: See? There you go. Speak softly, carry a big stick.

 

(Whitney pulls pepper spray out of her purse)

 

WHITNEY: (Whispering) Like this?

 

HANNAH: No! Not like that! (Whitney puts her pepper spray back) Look, Rob’s an asshole, right?

 

WHITNEY: Yes.

 

HANNAH: But he knows how to charm. That’s why he’s Facebook friends with Dianne Feinstein and Elizabeth Moss.

 

WHITNEY: I suppose.

 

HANNAH: You have to charm them. Tell a joke. Be self-deprecating. And above all, listen.

 

(Whitney gives a deep breath)

 

WHITNEY: Okay. I’ll try.

 

HANNAH: Yeah. Try it out on someone unimportant, just as a practice run. Like David Spade over there.

 

WHITNEY: Okay. Be right back.

 

(Whitney walks offscreen. Cut to Miles and Clark sitting at the kitchen table, four drinks in, and laughing. There are still partiers in the club, but it’s dying down a bit)

 

CLARK: And I never saw that Wizard of Oz again.

 

MILES: Your parents porking in the other room ruined that movie for you?

 

CLARK: For-ever.

 

(Miles laughs)

 

MILES: I didn’t think anything could ruin that movie, but that could do it.

 

CLARK: Are you sure?

 

MILES: Nope.

 

(Clark laughs)

 

CLARK: Where do your parents live?

 

(Miles pauses for a second)

 

MILES: (Casually) …I don’t know.

 

(Clark leans in)

 

CLARK: (Whispering) Do these people ever leave?

 

(Miles smiles and stands up)

 

MILES: ATTENTION, SHORTSIGHTERS!!! THE CLUB IS CLOSING EARLY DUE TO A GAS LEAK! SO, GET THE FUCK OUT!

 

(The clubbers run out the door in a panic as Miles throws Clark against the wall and starts making out with him. Clark takes his shirt off and begins unbuckling Miles’ belt. Cut to Rob and Lilly sitting on a couch, next to Pearlana Igbokwe of Universal Television)

 

ROB: (Drunk) Listen, listen, madame, I’m very, very fond of your company, and I know most of your shows air on NBC, but…goddamn, this Susan B. Anthony shit we have going, is bomb. You know “bomb”? It’s like slang-

 

LILLY: Can I be your assistant?

 

PEARLANA: I’m gonna go talk to David Spade.

 

(Pearlana gets up and walks away)

 

ROB: That’s not a good sign.

 

(Cut to Whitney and Hannah speaking with Jerry DiCanio from Universal Television. He has a mustache, tux and is nursing a whiskey sour. Clearly tipsy)

 

WHITNEY: So, Mr. DiCanio, we’re aiming for an under-tapped market of women who want to see shows about empowered women. That’s why we have Astro-Manda and the Susan B. Anthony miniseries in development-

 

JERRY DICANIO: I love powerful women.

 

(Whitney nods)

 

WHITNEY: That’s good, I think you’d like-

 

JERRY: Very- (Jerry takes a step closer) powerful.

 

HANNAH: Uh-oh.

 

WHITNEY: Sir?

 

(Jerry grabs Whitney’s thighs and pulls her close)

 

JERRY: How bad you want this?

 

(Whitney pushes him away)

 

WHITNEY: Get the FUCK off me!

 

JERRY: Not that badly, I guess.

 

HANNAH: She has a girlfriend, you pig!

 

JERRY: I don’t mind.

 

(Jerry comes towards them, but Rob comes over and gets in between him and them)

 

ROB: Take a fucking walk.

 

JERRY: Oh, how deliciously ironic is this. Are you defending their honor, or yours?

 

(Jerry smiles and pats Rob on the cheek. He walks away)

 

ROB: (To Jerry) FUCK A BOAR, ASSHOLE! (To Whitney and Hannah) Man, has that guy read a newspaper in the last year?

 

WHITNEY: Thanks for white-knighting us, Rob.

 

HANNAH: Yes, our frail woman bodies would’ve withered under the crushing weight of his cat-calls if you hadn’t come along.

 

ROB: Come on, I was only trying to-

 

WHITNEY: Repair your reputation?

 

(Whitney and Hannah walk away, as Rob throws up his arms in disbelief. Lilly comes over)

 

LILLY: What was that about?

 

ROB: …Nothing. Let’s just…drink ourselves infertile.

 

LILLY: Roger that.

 

(Rob and Lilly walk away. Cut to Rob and Lilly sitting on a white couch, each drinking straight from a bottle of whiskey. A tall, skinny, British brunette in her early 30s sits down next to them with a beer bottle in hand)

 

BRITISH WOMAN: (British accent) You’ve given up as well?

 

ROB: I’ve given up on this party. What have you given up on-?

 

(Rob hesitates as he looks over at Chelsea. Chelsea looks back, knowingly)

 

BRITISH WOMAN: Selling my show. Can I see that? (Lilly hands her the bottle and she takes a swig and hands it back to Lilly) Name’s Chelsea. Chelsea Weber.

 

ROB: Right. Chelsea, is it?

 

(Chelsea smirks)

 

CHELSEA: Yeah.

 

LILLY: Where you from?

 

ROB: (Bad British accent) And from whence do you originate?

 

LILLY: Babe. Don’t do that.

 

CHELSEA: I’m from Liverpool.

 

ROB: That’s a city? I thought it was just a soccer team.

 

CHELSEA: It’s football.

 

ROB: It thought it was “futbol”.

 

LILLY: Not in English. Rob.

 

ROB: And you’re in the industry, I, uh, assume?

 

CHELSEA: Yes, I’m an assistant to Amy Reisenbach at CBS Studios.

 

ROB: CBS Studios still- I mean, oh, CBS Studios, huh?

 

CHELSEA: Yeah. It’s quite rewarding, actually. (Chelsea takes a swig) And it keeps getting more rewarding the more decades you’re there, I guess.

 

LILLY: I know the feeling. I’ve been trying to make it in the industry for, well over a day.

 

CHELSEA: Well, honey. If you want to be in the industry, an assisting job is a great get. What’s your experience?

 

LILLY: …I sold cigarettes for the past couple years.

 

(Chelsea nods and looks at Rob. Rob’s look is uncomfortable, yet inscrutable)

 

CHELSEA: Meghan Lyvers, the VP of TV, needs a new assistant. I’ll put in a good word for you.

 

LILLY: …Whoa, really?

 

CHELSEA: Yes. I wish somebody had given me a leg up when I was just starting out, after all.

 

ROB: Wow. What an unprovoked act of kindness from a complete stranger. Thank you, madame.

 

LILLY: Dude, stop calling people “madams”.

 

(Cut to the party clearing out. People are walking on Powell front lawn- including Whitney and Hannah. Hannah is helping Whitney along)

 

WHITNEY: This was all such bullshit.

 

HANNAH: I know, sweetie.

 

WHITNEY: Everyone here SUCKS. Everyone in this industry SUCKS!

 

HANNAH: I know, baby, they’re all bad.

 

(Jerry DiCanio walks by)

 

JERRY: But they do what it takes.

 

HANNAH: Honey-

 

WHITNEY: FUCK YOU!
 

(Whitney kicks Jerry in the back, and he falls flat on his face. All the other executives stop dead in their tracks and gasp)

 

JERRY: YOU BITCH!

 

(Jerry rolls over to face Whitney)

 

HANNAH: Whitney, come on- she’s just drunk, everyone!
 

(Two executives help up Jerry)

 

JERRY: I’LL RUIN YOUUUUUUU!!!

 

(Rob, Lilly and Chelsea come by)

 

WHITNEY: I’D LIKE TO SEE YOU TRY, COACH Z!!!

 

(Whitney tries to lunge for DiCanio, but Hannah and Lilly holds her back. Two other TV executives hold DiCanio back)

 

ROB: (To Chelsea, whispering) Why’d you do this?

 

CHELSEA: (To Rob, whispering) I don’t mind doing favors for an old friend.

 

ROB: Yeah, but why keep that from Lilly?

 

CHELSEA: Perhaps you should ask yourself the same question.

 

(Chelsea pats Rob on the back as Whitney is calmed down and starts walking towards the valet area. Cut to Miles lying in bed the next morning. He hears Clark showering in the next room. He smiles and turns over. He sees Clark’s phone, wallet and a key card. He looks at the key card- it’s for CBS Studios. The shower stops, and Clark emerges from the bathroom with his towel wrapped around his waist)

 

CLARK: I take it you slept well. It’s noon.

 

(Miles smiles and sits up)

 

MILES: Work was cancelled today because my bosses won’t be there.

 

(Clark throws his towel aside, and slips into some jeans)

 

CLARK: I thought you were your own boss.

 

MILES: I work at a production company in Beverly Hills. This is just my night job. Speaking of which, I hope nobody stole that tip jar from last night.

 

(Clark sits next to Miles and puts his hand on his leg)

 

CLARK: This was fun. We should do it again.

 

MILES: …We should. (Miles smiles) You work for CBS Studios?

 

CLARK: Uh-huh.

 

MILES: …I have a proposition for you.

 

(Cut to Whitney on her laptop, reading the news. The headline reads “TRUMP REVERSES HIS REVERSAL ON HIS PREVIOUS REVERSAL ON RUSSIAN MEDDLING, INVITES PUTIN TO WH”. Rob barges into Whitney’s office, wearing sunglasses and holding a cigarette behind his ear. He plops down on her couch and holds his head)

 

ROB: Ohhh…that party was too much…

 

WHITNEY: The party was Tuesday night, it’s Thursday.

 

ROB: I know, but I partied hard as fuck last night, too.

 

(Rob puts his feet on Whitney’s coffee table. Whitney whistles)

 

WHITNEY: HEY!

 

(Rob takes his feet off)

 

ROB: Sorry, Ms. West Virginia.

 

WHITNEY: Why are you in here?

 

ROB: I thought you might need some cheering up.

 

(Rob gets up and plops a headline from Access Hollywood on her desk- “AMY POWELL FIRED FROM PARAMOUNT FOR INSENSITIVE COMMENTS”. Whitney smirks)

 

WHITNEY: Yeah. That’s kinda nice.

 

ROB: I got the hint something might happen when she told me I’m “pretty cool for a Dane”.

 

WHITNEY: Are you Danish in any way?

 

ROB: No. (Whitney nods) So, what are we gonna do about studios?

 

WHITNEY: I don’t know. Maybe we could’ve gotten one if you didn’t spend the night trying to get your girlfriend a job.

 

(Rob furrows his brow. Whitney turns the laptop around and shows Lilly Green’s Facebook post- “Got hired by CBS Studios for an assistant job today. Finally, ready to move on with my miserable life, hopefully on to greener pastures now. Maybe onto more misery, who knows?”)

 

ROB: It’s a coincidence.

 

WHITNEY: No.

 

ROB: I’m sorry! But, hey, maybe we could use that connection to get CBS Studios on board.

 

WHITNEY: That’s true. BONNIE!

 

(Miles comes in)

 

MILES: Oh, good, I’m not late.

 

ROB: Miles? What are you-?

 

BONNIE: (OS) YES?

 

WHITNEY: Can you get me Amy Reisenbach from CBS Studios?

 

BONNIE: Actually, she’s calling right now- (To Amy) Whitney’s Stone’s Office. One moment please. (Bonnie puts her on hold) Should I put her through?

 

WHITNEY: Wait, why is she calling- AND WHY ARE YOU HERE?!

 

MILES: I had sex with a CBS Studios executive Tuesday night. Twice. After he showered his supple body yesterday morning, I sealed the deal. CBS Studios is interested in our properties.

 

WHITNEY: …Are you serious?

 

(Miles nods)

 

ROB: Fuck you!

 

MILES: What?

 

ROB: We bust our ass all night, and you stick your dick in somebody and suddenly you’re the savior?

 

WHITNEY: Like, we’re indebted to you?

 

ROB: We’ll talk about this later, just get the hell out of here.

 

(Miles angrily shakes his head and walks out)

 

BONNIE: Whitney?

 

WHITNEY: Put her through.

 

(We cut to a shot of Bonnie’s finger taking Amy off hold)

 

BONNIE: Please hold for Whitney.

 

(Bonnie then transfers the call. Cut to black)

 

THE END


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