Wednesday, May 17, 2006
I Hate Television (1-1-2)
Lon – Company president, kind of a doofus - 50-ish
Rita – Field labor scheduling, manic depressive, somewhat whorish – early 20s
Jake – Hotshot TV producer, dresses like a star, looks like Jake Busey, wears too much cologne – early 30s
Steve – Parts & inventory, curmudgeonly, grumpy, sarcastic, somewhat handsome, smokes too much - late 20s
Christine – Wife of the president, does all the finance, major alcoholic, cheerful - early 40s
Jimmy - Project manager, son of the president, ex-jock, gets angry easily - late 20s
Others at the conference table – undefined at this point
[Season 1, Episode 1, Scene 2 – Setting: In the Vibrant, Inc. conference room, at an oval table, ten chairs are filled. The camera crew has arrived, and they’ve already set up tripods with cameras. Accessory cameramen with handheld steadicams are also filming, panning over the self-conscious employees. Lon, the company president, sits at the head of the table and begins the meeting.]
Lon: Are we all here?
Vibrant employees: A jilted chorus of enthusiastic confirmations and a few mumbled “I guess” answers.
Lon: Though you’ve all heard about this from one another, let’s go ahead and formalize this with an introduction. These men with the cameras are from Scorpion Entertainment. Rita heard about their tryouts on the radio and came to me. We decided to invite them here to check us out. They make reality shows. Jake, care to add to that?
Jake. Hi everybody. I’m Jake Ryman. I’m the leader of this motley gang. As Lon mentioned, we’re filming today at several small companies in the Chicago area. Scorpion’s goal with this particular reality show is this: We want to capture the reality of white collar office life. We want to show the workers as they actually are. This means showing the petty grudges, the stress, the eccentricities, the hiring and firings, the sudden deadlines, the big sale, the crushing defeat, all that stuff. We’re checking out about ten companies today, and we’re gonna pick one or two, depending on what we find. How does that sound?
Rita: What’s it gonna take to get you to pick us? (She smiles flirtatiously)
Jake: Instinct. Pure instinct. If you guys are dynamic and exciting, it’ll be you. Today we’re just gonna eavesdrop, spy around a bit. Maybe you can tell us where the best action is happening, Rita. (Jake smiles and gives her his sexy stare.)
Steve: Suppose somebody ain’t a team player. Suppose this guy thinks this is ridiculous and wants no part of it. Would that put the kibosh on this company’s chances altogether?
(Everybody in the room glares at Steve, imploring him the shut his trap)
Jake: It might kill your company’s chances, yeah. I imagine this guy must be you. Not a TV fan, I take it? That’s cool, I understand. But hey, I’ll play your game. Suppose this person exists, and took that stance, and we decided to film here at Vibrant anyways. First of all, we wouldn’t be able to use any footage of this guy, ‘cause he wouldn’t sign the waiver. His name couldn’t be spoken on air, either. We’d bleep it out, or… Better yet, we could have everybody in the company start calling him THAT GUY. Listen to it in your head. “When is THAT GUY getting here? He’s an hour late. THAT GUY fucked up the order, and now we have to spend eight hundred bucks sending technicians back to site XYZ. THAT GUY keeps farting in the cafeteria.” Has a nice ring to it, right? But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. If we pick Vibrant, we’ll cross that bridge then. You’ll come around. They all do.
Jimmy: Oooookay Steve, dude. Stop that. You’re punching holes in our boat already? Teamwork, man, teamwork.
Steve: Gang rape takes teamwork, too, Jimmy.
Jimmy: Stop! Please?
Steve: Right. So, uh… Jake, right? Jake. What shows have you inflicted upon the masses? Let’s hear your resume. And why small companies? What’s the angle there?
Jake: I did a lot of shows. How about the skydiving marriage proposal show? See that one? I also made the divorce show where people had to eat dog food and walk barefoot on glass to claim more of the split assets. I wanted to televise the executions of death row inmates, but there were too many legal obstacles. But the show that really made Scorpion a respected name in the reality field was the one about the ex-cons working in flower delivery.
Jake: Now, for the second part of your question. Larger companies and corporations don’t want to risk bad PR, and too many people are involved. With a small company like yours, it’s far simpler to get everybody on board, cross the T’s, dot the I’s, and get the show on the air without too many legal hoops to jump through.
Steve: Do you have any STDs?
Jake: Excuse me?
Steve: You know, sexually transmitted diseases. With all the gladhanding, buttfucking, and reacharounding you guys do in the process of lowering the collective intelligence of America and it’s culture, I figure you get pretty itchy down there.
Jake: I’m not going to dignify that with a response. Lon, can we excuse this guy?
Lon: Everybody at this table is an important and respected part of this company. I don’t want to shun anyone or cause a fracture in our morale. Steve, instead of making snide remarks, would you care to politely express your concerns?
Steve: Hmm. Yes. Yes I would. As you may have guessed, I can’t stand most television shows. Reality shows, in particular, I find to be degrading and sad. All sorts of people humiliate themselves on the air for a shot at fifteen minutes of fame. I like working for this company, and it would bother me a lot if we became water cooler fodder. We’re inviting these people to turn us into a punchline. I don’t like it. I don’t trust them.
Jake: I promise we won’t manipulate you. If you look bad on the show, it’ll be because you behaved poorly, not because we edited you or used misdirection to imply something. We don’t need to manufacture drama, it materializes out of thin air, like magic. This show will be magic, just like my other shows, and I guarantee we’ll get good ratings. Everything will be up front, no bullshit. You have my word.
Steve: I think I just shit my pants. 4:03 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
I Hate Television (1-1-1)
The Slush Bucket #5
Breathe Part Two
Breathe Part One