So I wrote a TV pilot last year…

Here it is. I never finished it, but looking back, maybe I should have. Let me know what y’all think. (Kind of long, sorry)

INT. A SUBURBAN LIVING ROOM-TURNED LOBBY – 2:00 P.M.

 

MICHAEL 0’HARE sits in a comfortable chair, casually reading a worn copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He is in his early-to-mid-thirties, on the good-looking side of average, though he has a slightly worn-down feel to him. FRANCINE LEVINE hums in her kitchen as she bakes, evoking nothing if not the image of a kindly grandmother. Both are pointedly ignoring the faint and muffled sounds of heated argument coming from the other room.

 

Just then, LILY VERNER enters the room. Rapidly approaching forty, she is in fierce denial, dressing just slightly too young for her age. However, she exudes confidence as she enters the room, sitting across from Michael.

 

After an awkward silence…

 

LILY

So, uh, you here for the big 2 o’clock meeting?

 

MICHAEL

Yeah, but I have no idea what it’s about. Or what’s going on back there. They’ve been going at it for at least half an hour.

 

Lily grimaces, then pulls out her phone to check e-mail. She keeps glancing at Michael, as though she knows him somehow.

 

LILY

You – are you – I mean… are you Little Mikey O’Hare?

 

CUT TO A SCENE FROM “SHARING IS CARING” A LATE-80S/EARLY-90S SITCOM.

 

NARRATOR

Previously on “Sharing Is Caring”…

 

YOUNG GIRL #1

I love Mikey!

 

YOUNG GIRL #2

Well I love Mikey too!

 

YOUNG MICHAEL

Don’t worry ladies, there’s enough Mikey to go around!

 

BOTH GIRLS

Well… OK!

 

BACK TO THE LIVING ROOM

 

MICHAEL

That’s me. But, uh, they just call me Michael now.

 

LILY

Right. Of course. I’m so sorry. I just – I loved your show. I always thought you were so cute. What have you been up to?

 

MICHAEL

You know. Child star. Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. And rehab. Then college. And now I teach drama to high schoolers.

 

LILY

So what are you doing here? Wait, wait, let me guess. Seeing their little eyes light up during a performance inspired you to return to Hollywood and start your comeback!

 

CUT TO A HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM.

 

Michael is standing at the front of the room taking roll. He looks at the list, then at the class, and then back at the list.

 

MICHAEL

OK, seriously guys? In this ONE class, we’ve got an Addison, a Madison, a Madison, a Meggan, a Morgan, a Madison, and another Madison? Really? How am I supposed to handle that?

 

GIRL #1

You could… call us by our first and middle names?

 

Michael looks back at the list, checking middle names. He then looks back at the class.

 

MICHAEL

That would be a great idea… Abby? – if they weren’t all named Madison Grace. Seriously? All right. Well, it looks like I’m just gonna have to call you all by your last names. Which you may also do to me. I am Mr. O’Hare, and this is Theatre Arts.

 

A TEENAGE JERK raises his hand. Michael signals him the go-ahead.

 

TEENAGE JERK

Are you like, Michael O’Hare? Didn’t you used to be famous like thirty years ago?

 

MICHAEL

Well, I did star in a television series about twenty years ago, yes.

 

TEENAGE JERK

So, is that why you think you’re qualified to be our teacher?

 

MICHAEL

Well, no, I think I’m qualified because I went to coll—

 

 

 

MEAN GIRL

Yeah, my parents said the only reason you got that job was because your mom slept with the producer, and that once you lost your baby fat, all that was left was a sad wannabe and a bunch of drugs.

 

Michael begins to lose his composure as children begin ridiculing him, one after the other, voices overlapping to form a chorus of shame. Finally he runs out of the classroom.

 

BACK TO THE LIVING ROOM

 

MICHAEL

…Something like that.

 

Her curiosity satisfied, Lily leans back and re-focuses on her phone. As she does, KERI OBOYE enters the room. A highly attractive black woman of twenty-five, she has a no-nonsense demeanor and a not-so-subtle “get out of my way” attitude. She dismisses Lily, but seems to take an interest in Michael. He, however, is now looking at Lily with the same curiosity she exhibited earlier.

 

MICHAEL

Wait a minute. You’re Lily Verner! Oh my god! You were the best part of “Desires!”

 

CUT TO A SCENE FROM THE LATE-90S SOAP OPERA, DESIRES.

 

SEXY LADY WHISPER

Desires!

 

STEAMY LATINO MAN

Well Ramona? Is the baby mine, or his?

 

STEAMY WHITE MAN

If it’s mine, there’s a chance it will have my debilitating disease. But if it’s his, it will be hunted by the mafia for its father’s crimes!

 

STEAMY LATINO MAN

So? Who is the father?!

 

LILY

There is no father!

 

Everyone gets a close up of their reactions, faces frozen in horror and confusion.

 

LILY

It… is my clone!

 

BACK TO THE LIVING ROOM

 

 

MICHAEL

Not – not that I ever watch soap operas. In the teachers’ lounge. During breaks…

 

As Lily smiles, Keri stands up and sits next to Michael. She is clearly interested in him.

 

LILY

But that was a long time ago. I took some time off to try to find myself again. Now I’m back and looking for a new agent. I had to fire my last one.

 

MICHAEL

Creative differences?

 

FLASH TO LILY’S HOME

 

She is on the phone with her agent. A stack of scripts is next to her. She is livid.

 

LILY

Yes Nigel, I got the scripts. No, I don’t want to do any of them. Why not? WHY NOT? Because I am a WOMAN. A YOUNG woman. I am NOT a mother. And I am CERTAINLY not a mother of some mass-produced tween starlet for a CHILDREN’S NETWORK! No I will NOT calm down! YOU calm down! Either you find me a script that DOESN’T involve me playing a mom – even a HOT mom – or YOU’RE FIRED!

 

BACK TO THE LIVING ROOM

 

LILY

Something like that.

 

As the conversation ends, everyone goes back to awkward silence until CONNOR MONROE enters. Not yet twenty, the former model is stunningly good looking. Despite his attractiveness, there is something innocent and almost shy about him. He self-consciously sits as far away from the group as possible. Keri, meanwhile, looks as though she is about to have a seizure. She leans in conspiratorially to Michael and Lily.

 

KERI

Oh my God you guys. Do you know who that is?

 

Michael and Lily look at each other in confusion.

 

BOTH

Uhhhhh…

 

KERI

It’s Connor Monroe!

 

The older two continue to look at Keri blankly, not understanding the cause of her almost giddy disposition. Keri is clearly frustrated by their ignorance.

 

KERI

Connor. Monroe? Come ON you guys he’s only THE face (and body) of that new cologne – Breathless. Oh, come on don’t tell me you’ve never seen him. He’s on that huge billboard downtown!

 

LILY

I… keep my eyes on the road?

 

MICHAEL

Yeah, I live in the suburbs. I almost never go downtown.

 

KERI

Yeah, I get it, you’re both old. And boring. I’m Keri by the way. I used to be in med school, but then I–

 

LILY

Realized you didn’t want to be a doctor

 

MICHAEL

And that you had always secretly dreamed of being an actress

 

LILY

Or a model

 

MICHAEL

Or a singer

 

LILY

So you moved out to L.A. with a spring in your step and a dream in your heart to make it big!

 

MICHAEL

Let me guess. You were studying… pathogens… and it wasn’t clicking, and you had a nervous breakdown?

 

LILY

No, no, it was pharmacology, failed a test for the first time, and shamefacedly withdrew from the school.

 

CUT TO KERI’S MED SCHOOL

INT. A LIBRARY – LATE AT NIGHT

 

A study group silently yet frantically pours over notebooks, textbooks, computers, and flashcards. Signs of stress are everywhere. The nervous head-scratching. The silent talking to oneself. The pencil and foot tapping. The tension is palpable. Keri begins rocking back and forth, talking to herself – quietly at first, but growing louder.

 

KERI

I hate this. Hate this. Hate this.

 

FRIEND #1

Dude. Chill out.

 

KERI

I can’t. I can’t chill out. Chilling means relaxing. Relaxing means not caring. Not caring means failing. Failing means losing. Losing means –

 

LEROY

Shhhh!

 

KERI

Don’t you tell me to “shhhh,” LEROY. I didn’t tell you to “shhhh” when you and Shelly were –

 

KATHY

WHAT. You were with Shelly? SHELLY?!?

 

KERI

Oh please. Who hasn’t been with Shelly?

 

SHELLY

WHAT? Who do you think you are?

 

KERI

I think I’m the girl who has to leave her apartment every night for four hours because her roommate feels the need to hook up with Leroy. And Cameron. And Mark. And —

 

BEN

WHAT. Mark? MARK? My BOYFRIEND MARK?!?

 

The library group devolves into a mob of righteous – and not so righteous – anger, with everyone shouting over each other, gesturing wildly. As physical violence begins to become inevitable, Keri rises to her feet, a scream of “teen girl tantrum” proportions issuing from her lungs. Silence falls around her, and she takes a moment to find her calm center. With all eyes on her, she regally declares.

 

KERI

I… am done.

 

LEROY

Done?

 

KERI

Done. With all of this. If anyone is interested, I will be burning by notes and books in the parking lot.

 

 

EXT. THE PARKING LOT – LATE AT NIGHT.

 

The study group has devolved – almost literally – into a pagan bacchanalia. Alcohol is flowing and tribal music is blasting, as the group dances drunkenly around a fire fueled by academia.

 

BACK TO THE LIVING ROOM

 

KERI

Something like that. Anyway, that guy is HOT and I’m going to ask him to sit with us.

 

She gets up to talk to Connor, full of confidence and bravado. Lily and Michael, meanwhile, smile to themselves as they watch.

 

MICHAEL

What is this, high school lunch?

 

KERI

I know, right? But that poor kid. Can you imagine, twenty years old and millions of people have seen you in your underwear? What do you think that does to a kid?

 

CUT TO MICHAEL’S CHILDHOOD

INT. A MANSION – NIGHT

 

Teenage Michael is in the middle of a licentious party, surrounded by other rich young stars. Rock music is blaring as teenagers party hard. Many shots ensue of Michael dancing on a table, ripping his shirt, doing a keg stand, and generally being debauched.

 

MICHAEL

It… must be awful.

 

Just then, Keri is back, with a sheepish Connor in tow. He does not seem to want to sit with them, but he is clearly no match for Keri’s strong will.

 

KERI

Guys… this is Connor. Connor, this is Michael and… umm… what was your name again?

 

LILY

Lily. Nice to meet you.

 

As Connor and Keri take their seats, Lily continues, obviously trying to put the boy at ease.

 

LILY (CONT’D)

So, Connor, Keri tells us you are a model. That must be fun?

 

CONNOR

Yeah, it is. I mean, it’s kind of all I know. I’ve been doing it since I was a baby.

 

MICHAEL

Really?

 

CONNOR

Yeah. I mean, my parents got me into it. And then when I turned fourteen, they sent me here.

 

LILY

Alone?

 

CONNOR

Well I lived with a bunch of other guys, and we had like managers and housekeepers and tutors and stuff.

 

KERI

That must have been awesome!

 

CUT TO CONNOR’S PAD

INT. A HIP LOFT – MORNING

 

Half-dressed models run around trying to get ready. They are fighting over space at the mirror in the bathroom. Others are eating a pitifully small breakfast, while the rest get dressed in stylish clothes. A bleary-eyed Connor walks out of his room to the kitchen, obviously confused.

 

CONNOR

Ummmm, is there a shoot I don’t know about or something?

 

MODEL #1

No?

 

CONNOR

Then… why’s everyone getting all dressed up?

 

MODEL #1

They’re not. They’re just getting dressed. Duh.

 

BACK TO THE LIVING ROOM

 

CONNOR

Yeah, it was great.

 

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One Response to So I wrote a TV pilot last year…

  1. Benjamite says:

    The characters are interesting, Ian, and I like the “Do you know who that is?” way of setting them up (with the flashbacks then adding a twist to their reputation). I want to see the full thing, for sure.

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