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Girl With Self-Imposed, Melodramatic Issues: S01E01.
Season 1 Episode 1: Welcome to the Madhouse
INT – RANDOM PSEUDO-HIP CAFÉ – DAY
Music: We Used to be Friends by the Dandy Warhols
LYRICS: A long time ago
Business is as usual in Random Pseudo-hip café: university students are tinkering away on their laptops, kids in uniform are congregating and making a racket, and the air-con is always non-eixstent. Our screwed up heroine, Nancy, is sitting across the table from her soon-to-be ex-boyfriend. He’s looking fidgety while she calmly stares back at him with a stoic expression on her face.
SOON-TO-BE EX-BOYFRIEND: Look, I don’t know what’s supposed to work, but this isn’t exactly functional.
The camera goes for a close-up on soon-to-be ex-boyfriend’s uncomfortable face. He heaves a sigh and evades Nancy’s glare.
SOON-TO-BE EX-BOYFRIEND: I just don’t think I’m ready for this, after what happened with my last relationship. It’s…complicated. I’m busy, you know? I don’t have time for you. I can’t make you happy. I just want you to be happy. You know that, don’t you?
Soon-to-be ex-boyfriend yammers on. The camera goes for a close-up on Nancy’s face: she’s stoic still, but now she’s frowning a little.
NANCY VOICEOVER: Right. Why don’t you toss me another one of your endless clichés while you’re at it? You think you’re the only one who’s busy? Who died and made you King of the World?
Nancy forces a smile. She scoops up her laptop and hoists her bag over her shoulder.
NANCY: I’m gonna go. See you around.
Without a second glance at soon-to-be ex-boyfriend who is now officially Ex-Boyfriend, Nancy hurries out of the café. She swipes at her eyes. The camera pulls back to reveal:
EXT – ABC LANE – DAY
NANCY VOICEOVER: So there it is. The break-up I saw hurtling towards me at top speed, one which, incidentally, I initiated. They say be careful of what you wish for; now I wish I’d listened.
FLASHBACK: INT – NANCY’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
Nancy lies in bed in the dark, trying to fall asleep. Her eyes are wide open as thoughts run through her mind. She looks perturbed by something, a nagging thought that refuses to go away. Finally, she sits up and reaches for her cellphone. She presses a few buttons, and the camera goes for a close-up on her display screen: “It’s sad how mutually exclusive our lives are. I think we need to talk.”
Nancy sends the text message. She leans her head back into the pillow, sighs, and closes her eyes.
FLASHBACK: INT – RANDOM PSEDUO-HIP CAFÉ – DAY
We’re taken back to where we first met Nancy. She seems to be at a loss as she looks at every single object in her vicinity but soon-to-be ex-boyfriend. Finally, she trains her gaze on him.
NANCY: This…casual dating thing. I don’t think it’s working.
The camera goes for a close-up on soon-to-be ex-boyfriend’s face. He looks very uncomfortable. A minute of silence ensues as Nancy stares blankly into space, her eyes trained on a random spot on the nearest slab of concrete. Soon-to-be ex-boyfriend does the same. And finally, soon-to-be ex-boyfriend exhales.
SOON-TO-BE EX-BOYFRIEND: I’m going for Option 2.
EXT – A BUS STOP – DAY
NANCY VOICEOVER: What can I possibly say? It sucks to be me? I completely understand why you’re dumping me? Am I supposed to be magnanimous and pretend it’s all fine and dandy?
From the corner of her eye she spots Ex-Boyfriend walking in her direction. Nancy looks away and swallows. The camera focuses on Ex-Boyfriend, who sees Nancy sitting at the bus stop, and quickly walks in the opposite direction.
NANCY VOICEOVER: Let the cold war begin.
INT – NANCY’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
Nancy’s mother knocks on her daughter’s bedroom door. She turns the doorknob but it’s locked.
NANCY’S MOTHER: Nancy, dinner’s ready. Can you come out?
Camera cuts to:
INT- NANCY’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
Nancy has been crying. She’s sitting in front of her laptop, her fingers flying in all directions as she hits furiously at the keypad. The camera cuts to her laptop screen, revealing a diary entry on MS Word. Nancy sniffs and reaches for a tissue.
NANCY VOICEOVER: Is everything okay? No, Mom. Everything isn’t okay. Do you want me to count the ways in which my life sucks?
The clattering stops. Nancy stares out of her window, and heaves a heavy sigh. She resumes her typing. The camera focuses on her laptop screen: “Fuck him to hell.”
EXT – LAW SCHOOL – DAY
Music: Heart-Shaped Box by Nirvana
LYRICS: Hey, wait
Nancy gets out of a yellow Xterra and slams the door, heading for the lecture theatre.
NANCY VOICEOVER: Law school. Another thorn in my ass. If it weren’t for the fact that it’s more employable than what I really want to do, I wouldn’t even be here. Hate me for being an ungrateful little bitch, but after what I’ve been through, I think I have the right to gripe.
Nancy walks past a flyer tacked onto a wall, and slows down to take a look. It says, “LAW BASH @ CLUB PEACHES N CRÈME. $12 ONLY. ONE FREE DRINK. THE PERFECT WAY TO START YOUR LIFE AT LAW SCHOOL!”
Close up on Nancy’s face. She rolls her eyes.
INT – LECTURE THEATRE – DAY
Nancy is on MSN. The camera zooms in on her laptop screen, revealing an instant message session with her friend Kerry. It reads, “I’m so sorry for not getting to you earlier. I hate that one of my best friends is in such turmoil and I’m so slow on the uptake. I hope you’re not too down about it all, because I know you and I know you deserve better. If he can’t see that, he can and should just take a hike. Fuck him, okay?”
Close-up on Nancy’s face, a vague smile in the form of an upward tug of a corner of her mouth.
NANCY VOICEOVER: [typing] Oh, gross, I don’t want to. It’s fine, K. I’m giving you a hug right now.
A pair of arms snake around Nancy’s shoulders, enveloping her in a hug. She turns to her left. It’s her friend, Raina.
RAINA: You’re gonna be okay.
Nancy smiles and returns the hug.
INT – CLASSROOM – DAY
A class is in session. The camera pans the room, revealing 12 students, 1 teacher and a whiteboard. Nancy sits in the front row, slouched in her seat, pretending to be paying attention.
TEACHER: Is there consideration when one promises to do something which one was contracted to do? Anyone? Has anyone done the readings?
TEACHER: Nancy. Can you explain the case of Stilk and Myrick?
The camera zooms in slowly on Nancy’s face. She’s looking downwards, purportedly at her laptop screen, but her mind is miles away from the classroom.
NANCY VOICEOVER: Am I usually such a bad student? No. I’m sorry, Teach, but due to extenuating circumstances that have since taken over this joke that is my life I failed to read your very exciting case. Um, wait – I meant cases. At the rate I’m going it’s in everyone’s best interest for me to drop out of law school and stop wasting my parents’ money on tuition that doesn’t benefit me in one way or another. And here I go, being a selfish little bitch again. I think I officially hate myself now. Well, if this is any consolation at all, I don’t think I’m the only one.
INT – NANCY’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
Music: All They Do is Talk by Earlimart
LYRICS: If they come in just to meet you
Nancy is lying on her bed. Only her study lamp is on; the rest of the room is dark.
NANCY VOICEOVER: A day later and I still feel the stab in the gut. Or the heart. Or maybe it’s both. And I keep imagining scenarios in which I have the final say, where I deliver scathing, cutting punchlines devised to make him hurt as much as me. But they are random snippets at best, with no beginning or end.
Cut to: Scenario Number 1.
NANCY VOICEOVER: This takes place a few months later.
INT – UNIVERSITY, CANTEEN – DAY
EX-BOYFRIEND: I never knew you could be so damn childish. Drop the “I am so eternally scarred” act for crying out loud! I didn’t even do you that much damage!
Nancy starts to walk away, but Ex-Boyfriend grabs her arm.
EX-BOYFRIEND: I never thought I’d ever say this, but you know what? I hate you too.
Nancy yanks her arm out of Ex-Boyfriend’s grip, and walks away.
Cut to: Scenario Number 2.
NANCY VOICE-OVER: This, during one of our dates.
INT – FANCY RESTAURANT – NIGHT
Ex-boyfriend is cutting up a piece of steak, while Nancy sips on her iced coffee.
EX-BOYFRIEND: I hate criminal lawyers.
Cut to: Scenario Number 3.
NANCY VOICEOVER: A month later, after I hooked up with some hot guy.
INT – SHOPPING CENTRE – DAY
Music: Have A Nice Day by Stereophonics
LYRICS: Lie around all day
Nancy walks hand-in-hand with Current Boyfriend. The Shopping Centre is an old complex, fitted with too-white fluorescent lightings. There are random patches of dubious-looking stains on the walls. Nevertheless, Nancy and Current Boyfriend are laughing and talking, looking – dare we say it? – quite happy.
CURRENT BOYFRIEND: Hey, do you think this thing with us will ever get more normal?
Nancy drags a bewildered Current Boyfriend into the said store. She picks up a mega mug with cartoonish cow prints on it against a dark blue background.
NANCY: Man, I’ve always wanted one of these! It’s perfect for my latest obsession with iced coffee and vanilla. And look at the cows! Aren’t they just soooo adorable?
Nancy begins to proceed to the cashier, but Current Boyfriend takes the mug from her hand and smiles.
CURRENT BOYFRIEND: I got it.
They walk – hand-in-hand – to the cashier. Nancy is beaming. Current Boyfriend puts the mug down on the counter. The cashier takes it. Nancy casually looks at the cashier – and her smile immediately vanishes. It’s Ex-Boyfriend, and they make eye contact.
NANCY: [under her breath] Oh, fuck.
Ex-boyfriend is looking uncomfortable (we’re starting to think he doesn’t have any other facial expressions). He glances at Current Boyfriend, then at Nancy again, and finally he clears his throat and scans the mug. Nancy tugs on Current Boyfriend’s sleeve.
NANCY: Hey, I’m waiting outside.
Without waiting for a reply Nancy exits the store. A few minutes later Current Boyfriend emerges from the store, new purchase in hand. He hands it to Nancy.
CURRENT BOYFRIEND: Here you go. Happy?
Without waiting for a reply (again), Nancy walks away, leaving poor Current Boyfriend staring after her in bewilderment (again).
Cut to: Present.
INT – NANCY’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
Music: Feel So Free by Ivy
LYRICS: Ask me again
A look of resoluteness briefly crossed Nancy’s face. She gets up from her bed and opens her laptop cover. The camera zooms in on her screen as she types this URL into the address bar: “http://ilivenearyou.com”.
NANCY VOICEOVER: The Bard hit the nail pretty hard on the head: Hell hath known no fury like a woman scorned. No more playing nice. From now onwards, I’m getting my own back.
The camera pulls back for a long-range shot of Nancy on her laptop. Ivy’s Feel So Free continues playing in the background, its haunting melody foreshadowing the destruction that is to come. Fade to black. End.
Reactions from the online community:
BADTVSUCKS: What the hell is up with this retard? So some guy dumped her - GET OVER IT! To paraphrase Madison Sinclair from Veronica Mars, "Oh my god, you got dumped. You are like, so scarred for life!"
DOWNWITHBADTV: I second that, BADTVSUCKS. This is reading like a very bad attempt by some pathetic loser to dramatise her equally pathetic life. Why did I just waste 30 minutes of my life watching that stupid dribble?
BADTVKILLSPUPPIES: I second and third the preceding opinions. Nancy's voiceovers are total rip-offs of Veronica Mars' voiceovers. Who the hell is this writer trying to kid? She's obviously a huge VM fan, but plagiarising VM does not equal show of fervent support. Get another day job, Loser.
IHATEBADTV: Oh my god. Just when I thought nothing would get worse than The O.C. I bemoan the death of quality television.
GETRIDOFBADTVFORWORLDPEACESSAKE: I am still trying to get my mind around the fact that this piece of self-gratifying dribble even made it past the executive room. That is all I have to say.
BADTVRUINSYOURHEALTH: Huh? Some spoilt ass got dumped and goes online...to do what? And what the hell is ilivenearyou.com? That's the lamest single-seeking-single website I've ever heard of.
BADTVMAKESYOUFAT: Just watching 30 minutes of that piece of trash has caused me to gain 5 pounds. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
BADTVISWORSETHANTHEPLAGUE: How in the world did this whiny little bitch get into law school? Talk about unrealistic! I foresee the cancellation of this joke of a soap opera-wannabe after this ridiculous episode.
And on and on they go.
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Disclaimer 3: This is styled after format of the Veronica Mars Pilot transcript because I couldn't find any (read: Veronica Mars) actual teleplays, and I was too lazy to dig up my Romeo & Juliet screenplay for a more realistic format. Whatever.
Disclaimer 4: To Veronica Mars, I'm sorry for stealing a couple of your lines. And uh, stealing the music used on your show. In fact, with the exception of Nirvana's Heart-Shaped Box, all the songs were used on your show. Oops.
Disclaimer 5: To Chuck Palahniuk, I'm sorry for the plagiarism too.
Disclaimer 6: I am aware that the first episode of a TV show is usually called "Pilot". Yes, I know that. What has that got to do with me?
Disclaimer 7: Save for the first one, I'm probably using the word 'disclaimer' wrongly. Again, whatevever.