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Episode One
"How Henry Crawford lost and then found his own true self" (1)


 

In a world of glitter and glamour, beauty and more,
of amnesia, intrigues and catfights galore,
live these famous young people who
don't behave as one would normally do.
They scheme, plot and trick with out a second thought
and who knows what ordeals their corruption has brought.

So, back for more, eh? I know the feeling. You see one episode of a soap opera, and you're not able to let it go. The storyline draws you in, and there is nothing you can do about it. This would explain the strange feeling of excitement you feel as the opening credits brush past you like a whirl wind. You notice that they look rather different, but that the music is the same.

After the credits have ended, there is always room for another song, that's a little calmer, mostly one that's rather well known. For this episode, Maddie chose U2's "One" because it's her favourite song of all time, and because, this being episode nr. 1, it sounded rather appropriate. If you have the song on CD, put it on now. Now.

 


Perfect Happiness

"Let's see, car keys, hairbrush, make-up, ... Yes, I've got everything." Emma checked her purse to see if she had everything with her. "Oh, the script!" She ran back to her bedroom and grabbed the script that was lying on her dresser. Suddenly somebody in the bed was moving, and a head appeared from under the duvet. George's hair was terribly messed up, and he had a very lazy grin on his face.

"Where are you going?" he asked.

"I told you yesterday, I've got an audition." Emma replied sweetly.

"Oh!" was the disappointed answer. "But you don't really need to go..."

"Yes, I do!" Emma laughed "I haven't had a part in ages, and you know that's all your fault, mister."

George relented. "Okay, I suppose I can let you go. But not without a kiss."

Emma leant forward to peck him on his cheek, but he sprang up and pulled her back into the bed, to her great amusement. "No, George, please, let me go, you're messing up my hair! Please no!" But she kept giggling, and already knew that she had lost.

The average soap viewer now realises that things can never stay this way. And why is that, you ask? Because they are happy. They can't be! Big soap no-no! Is it not an unwritten rule in soap land that no couple can ever be allowed to be genuinely happy? That they can have only one month (two episodes or so) of perfect bliss, but after that they are thrown back in the ring with the rest of the poor saps? True, but we still have to be creative.

What will it be? Unwanted pregnancy, an evil twin or sibling, adultery,...? The only certainty we have now is that there MUST be something that will mess things up between George and Emma.



"A rodeo in a bar, puh-lease!"

"The Pothole, on Hollywood Boulevard, run by Franz Churchill, must be the gaudiest place I have ever seen. It was completely dressed up in country style, even the waitresses were wearing cowboyboots and suede jackets. The place was virtually deserted when we visited. The music of Garth Brooks blasting through the speakers, was an ordeal, I grant you, but it was nothing
compared to the crowd of yokels squaredancing or having a ball on the motorised bull. A rodeo in a bar, puh-lease! I am giving the Pothole one star out of five, and that is only because I am in a good mood today."
Jack Potter ---- Hollywood 1999

"Franz!" Frank cried indignantly. "Franz! How could they do that to me?!"

"Man, this bites. I've never seen a review this bad." Harriet said.

"And what are the odds of them crashing our party just on Country Night?"

"I'd say the odds are pretty high, considering the fact that we have one every two weeks."

"Hey, no need to get sarcastic. And what is wrong with Country Night, may I ask? It happens to sell very well in America. You know, that guy with the big hat is the biggest seller in the USA."

"Hmmm, maybe, but I do not think that Los Angeles is ready for him. I think we need something more spectacular, something very glamourous, like... Disco Evening, or..."

"Glam Rock Night!"

________________________________

Mr. Viagra

A little café of no consequence is the usual lunching place of Richard and William. Since Will moved to the Los Angeles area, he and Richard had the opportunity to meet regularly and eat together as they did when they were in high school. Le Petit Chou is the name and it's conveniently located three miles from William Darcy's new mansion in Austenville. At a corner table, Darcy waited for his cousin at length and as he was about to leave, saw him walking jauntily to the table.

"Glad you could fit me into your hectic schedule, Richard," reproached William playfully. He rose from his seat to give his cousin a light hug and gestured to the waitress to take their orders.

Richard silently laughed and looked more cheerful than ever. William suspected something.

"What? Have you ordered a stripper for my birthday party on next Monday? Why do you look like you are hiding something?" William became concerned that his cousin was up to no good.

William's comment passed over Richard's head as if nothing was said. He continued to grin broadly and tap his fingers on the table with restrained excitement. The waitress promptly took their orders and William began to become curious of his cousin's cheerful attitude.

"Isn't it a beautiful day? The sun is shinning, as always, the visibility of smog appears thinner, and my car is spotted with bird droppings. Fantastic, simply and utterly gorgeous! I heard that--"

"Rich, what the bloody hell is wrong with you? Never have I seen you this happy during lunch on a Monday. You sound as if you've had sex."

"Ah, no Will. It is something much, much better. I have met someone."

This comment sat in Will's mind for a moment till he pursued Richard's remark.

"You've met someone? I thought you were playing the fields. Checking all the video games till you decided to spend all your quarters on one. I mean, is it serious?"

Richard took a gulp of his water and nodded, "William, she, she… she is perfect; a goddess from San Francisco. In reality, we have known each other for quite awhile. Only recently did we start seeing one other romantically. I think it is serious. Will, I want you to meet her. Of course you will meet her on Saturday, but--"

"Saturday? Then do you mean that she works at hiLA?"

"Yes, she's the co-anchor,
Elizabeth Bennet."

"Who ordered the 'Gary Cooper' on rye?" The waitress interrupted the conversation.

________________


"I did," Richard said. A smile played on his lips that caused the waitress to blush.

"And you must be the 'Clark Gable Pasta'?"

"Yes, I am. Thank you," William Darcy said curtly. He was more interested in this 'goddess' that Richard praised.

"You're welcome. Oh!-- I have seen you before. Where have I seen you?" she squinted at Will's face and looked at the ceiling for inspiration.

"I am sure you have! My cousin is a very famous man!" Richard grinned widely and leaned in his wooden chair. "Why don't you tell her about your commercial?"

"Richard… stop there," Will's face grew hot and tense.

"Oh Darcy, it's not that bad! Tracy, lovely name," he read her name tag on her blouse and continued, "one year ago my cousin was asked to do a commercial for a friend. He obliged and after the agreement was settled, learned what he would be endorsing."

This heightened the waitress's interest and caused her to ask, "What was it?"

"Richard…" Will warned.

Richard ignored Will's presence, "It was a drug."

"What drug?"

"Viagra."

The waitress covered her mouth and gasped out loudly, "The impotence drug?"

"Not so loud!" Will whispered. He cradled his face in his hands and began to moan ruefully.

"The very one." replied Richard.

The waitress addressed Will, "But you look so healthy. I would have never known. And so young!"

"I … I am not…" Will paused for a delicate word.

"Successful in the south, up in the morning, riding with the cowboys, hanging in thin air?" volunteered Richard.

"I do not have erectile dysfunction," Will remarked through clenched teeth.

"Are you sure?" The waitress dubiously asked.

"Of course!" Will rattled his cup and saucer, trying to suppress his anger. "It wasn't a commercial nor an endorsement. It was a public awareness interruption. What would you like me to appear in a minute slot for? Dole pineapples? It is a serious issue, kind of."

Richard lightly chuckled and asked the waitress to leave. This scene might have diverted William's attention for a moment, but he quickly got back to the subject. Richard seemed reluctant to give more details…

"Now back to our conversation… who is this Elizabeth Bennet?"

[A long shot of Richard's mysterious expression and suspicious music is cued]

Fuzz and Feathers


"Oh, no, no, no, Frank! There is NO way you are getting me to wear something like that!"

"You have to, Harriet! All the other waitresses are wearing it as well."

"But it's so cheap and tacky. All that glitter, it's horrible."

"Hey! You were the one who wanted a Glam Rock Night, now deal with the consequences."

"Okay, I suppose I'll have to. Man, in that outfit I don't even need a plate anymore, I can just
balance the drinks on my boobs."

"You know, that really is....Oh, you were being sarcastic."

Harriet stuffed the costume in her backpack and went back to work. Things were very hectic in the Pothole, now that preparations for Glam Rock Night were in full swing. Frank was going over the playlist with the DJ, and discussing the lights with the lighting technician.

Only five more days to go.

Drooling over You

[A foggy scene looms into a softened focus. With no doubt, the viewer is aware that a dream sequence is in the
works]


"Darcy, I knew you would come," remarked Carrie casually. Her voice masked the true nervousness that plagued her stomach. Or maybe it was the pastrami sandwich on rye that caused her uneasiness. Either way her stomach was churning and there was no way stopping it.

"Of course I would come, Caroline. It's your big day. The other reason is…" and he came close to her ear to whisper discreetly and make her feel fire in her blouse.

"William!" She gasped and smiled tauntingly as she walked to the other side of the room. "You naughty knave. And how dare you call me Caroline, you know I vanquished that dirty name."

"I like calling you Caroline," He smiled mysteriously. "A naughty knave am I? How about skinny-dipping in that hot tub in the middle of the lobby. Then that shall justify your name calling."

"What? There isn't a hot - -" Carrie cut off her words when suddenly, a hot tub appeared in the middle of Elliot Empire's lobby. "Something is rather different."

Suddenly the pair was in the hot bubbly tub.

"It is you Caroline," William shouted over the loud hum of the hut tub. "You are different. No longer are you the ugly, pretentious, over-bearing, rich girl that you were. Oh how I love --"

"William? Dear William… you were saying? Pray, continue!" cried Carrie. William had stopped short from declaring his love for her. How cruel! She needed to hear those three sweet, beautiful words.

"I love Spam."

"What?! No, this is my dream! I want you to say 'I love you'. Can you do that? Damn it! This is my dream. Please me now William!"

"But… I love Spam."

"Oh shut up and kiss me." Just as Caroline was going to grab him and smash her lips onto his, a voice rang out from Monty Python Heaven.

A hand, The Hand, came down to poke Carrie's back and say, "Ms Bingham, leave him alone! Ms Bingham, you're drooling all over him!" "Wha--?" Carrie jolted up from her position on the couch and found her being stared at by five astonished people. One woman was caught in the action of another poke. Carrie attempted to regain composure.

"You were sleeping on that gentleman, Ms Bingham. You… you were drooling all over him."

Carrie's face burned and turned bright red. She curiously turned her head to the gentleman next to her and saw him blotched by saliva and red with embarrassment. He unfortunately looked like a model. "Oh no," groaned Carrie.

"Ms Bingham, Mr. Elliot will see you now," the woman who had poked her informed Carrie.

"Yes, yes… I am coming." Carrie gingerly stood up and glanced at the man as if to say 'I'm sorry'. Carrie slowly walked to the huge double doors that overpowered the minor room and paused before twisting the handle. This gave her time to contemplate her motives for seeing the grand Mr. Elliot.

[heard in Carrie's voice as her thoughts]

"Why am I doing this? You're out of work. McDonald's will not employ your multiple talents forever. You want a talkshow… you want to be the next Leeza Gibbons… or Jerry Springer…. or… or . Be frank with Elliot. Talk about the kids -- does he have kids? I am sure he does after being married five times. Wait, does my breath smell? My hair! That nap ruined it… oh my. I just hope that he will accept my idea. He owes me. He owes me grossly after I aided him in setting up is third wife for infidelity. This is my reward. I will have it!"

With this final note of confidence, she turned the handle and loudly closed the door behind her.

"Well Mr. Elliot, we meet again."

 


It was nine o'clock, and the Pothole was packed. Frank was getting more nervous by the minute, with only an hour to go before Glam Rock Night would officially kick in. He was wondering if he had made the right decisions, if the costumes were alright, if the music was good, and the lighting spectacular. All his doubts melted like snow before the sun when Harriet made her appearance, caught in a haze of stardust and completely dressed in her costume, with all the necessary alterations.

We try out a new camera style, especially adapted for Harriet's moment in the spotlight:
The camera starts at her platform boots, which she had spraypainted silver for the occasion, on to her legs in white silvery thights, to the very hip hotpants. Over the hotpants she was wearing a thight silver top, and she had completed her outfit with very outrageous make-up and a white curly wig.

"I take it from that infantile hooting and howling that you like what you see?" she asked Frank.

"Do I ever! You look so hot!" was the meaningful reply.

"Oh thanks, you are making me feel so much better. I feel like a cheap sex object. I'll get to work now."

At ten o'clock the lights went out, much to everybody's surprise. People spilled their drinks, dropped their cigarets and a few immature beings started shouting Booh! to everybody. Three giant silverballs were lowered from the ceiling, and the purple and blue spotlights were switched on. Frank jumped on a table and grabbed a mike.

"Good evening, all you party animals, and welcome to
Glam Rock Night. Now everybody knows that Glam Rock was all about fancy costumes, platform shoes and outrageous make-up, both for men and women. I see that you have all taken my advice, and dressed up, and that was very wise of you, because there is a price for best costume. Now let's dance!"

David Bowie's Let's Dance started, and Frank pulled Harriet up on the table for a dance. Everybody happily followed his example, and started dancing. It appeared that Glam Rock Night was going to be a mayor hit.

"Oh Harriet," Frank said, "Glam Rock Night is a complete success, and I owe it all to you, you wonderful woman you!" And he leant forward, kissed her smack dab on the lips and dashed off, leaving her completely flabbergasted.


The Elliot Empire Strikes Back

"Well Mr. Elliot, we meet again," rang out Carrie Bingham.

Her confidence broke as soon as she realized that she was talking to no one. No one that is until a loud and bellowing voice enveloped her.

"Indeed, Ms Bingham. It is nice to see you. Please have a seat."

"Mr. Elliot, is that you?" Carrie's voice had a slight infliction of apprehension.
Walter Elliot was everywhere in sound yet nowhere in substance.

"Of course, Ms Bingham. Don't you recognize me?"

Carrie looked frantically around the room to save her the embarrassment of insulting him and humiliating her. Suddenly as she was going to confess that she did not know where he was, a loud flush boomed and caused her to jump.

"Well, that damn toilet needs to be fixed," concluded Elliot. He hitched up his pants and groped for his belt. As he started to walk, Carrie swore she could hear the Darth Vader theme with each step he took.

"Wha-Were you in there?"

"Yes… I was watering the tree, if you know what I mean." His face lightened to a small smile then clouded darkly.

"But, but, I could hear you with clarity and through clasped ears, I bet."

"Ah, that it my new invention! The shower has the radio, and the TV set. But the toilet has only the phone. Think of the many hours that we waste in the bathroom. This invention allows conferencing while one is on the john. Fascinating invention… will be a hit among computer nerds plagued with those LA hangovers. What is that look?"

"Well, sir I thought you were in the business of producing television programs. Not inventions."

"Oh inventions are a hobby of mine. They save time… time. That reminds me that I have a meeting in five minutes with Mr. Spelling. This will be quick, will it not?"

"Mr. Aaron Spelling?" Carrie said in awe. "Yes, sir it will be very quick."

Carrie settled herself in the intimating arch metal chair as Walter Elliot (and his Darth Vader music) progressed to his maple wood desk.

"As you know, I have been out of circulation of the acting guild for quite awhile now and why I … took my leave of that profession--"

"You are dead in that profession, Ms Bingham." Elliot cut in.

Carrie shifted in the hard metal chair uneasily. Then she instantly struck back, "Exactly, Mr. Elliot! Acting was no good for me. The profession that I excel in is interviewing and leading the crowd! A talk show host." Carrie finally noted. Her face was hopeful, radiant, and fearful. Is he going to accept the bait?

Silence was kept by both of them until Mr. Elliot broke it by saying, "Indeed, Ms. Bingham. And is this the reason why you are here to see me? Have you thought of the theme of your talk show?" He said the words 'talk show' as if they were imaginary and useless.

"Well, Mr. Elliot," Carrie began, "It will be not like any other talk show because it will be every talk show. It combines the catfights of Springer, the wisdom of Oprah, and the catchy taglines like Ricki Lake. It will have interviews with celebrities and interviews with out of work actors. It will be a variety talk show."

Walter Elliot mused on this idea, "Hmm, variety? I like that idea… I like it grossly. But I do not know… it is a major risk for Elliot Empire." What he did not reveal to Carrie nor to any other person that walked in his office was that Elliot Empire was near bankruptcy. He and his daughters spent money like mad, buying the most frivolous contraptions and useless inventions. Elliot Empire needed a hit show to pull them out of the fire and regain their fortune. Walter's last hope was this show and Carrie didn't know of her luck.

"I am sure that your ex-wife would like to know that you had set her up for infidelity so that you could divorce her and be the next Henry XIII," threatened Carrie. She chose blackmail instead of begging. It suited her style.

Walter Elliot's eyebrows raised at her warning. She had spark and he liked spark. "You have a show Ms Bingham."

Carrie shot up from her chair and reached over Elliot's desk to hug him. "Oh thank you, Mr. Elliot! You will not regret your decision!" With that, Carrie practically skipped out of his office in a blur of red and orange.

Shaking his head, Mr. Elliot stood up and walked to the windowsill. The Darth Vader music started to play until he slapped the side of his leg and it ceased. He reached down into his "Walk to Your Own Music" pants (an another useless invention) to take out the music player and fast-forwarded it to a mellow orchestration.

[Evil monologue of Walter Elliot, said aloud]

"For months I have been waiting for this opportunity. A talk show… a talk show that will take me out of my present danger of bankruptcy and elevate me to the standards I am accustomed to. This will succeed and I will make sure of it! I will mold and sculpt this Carrie Bingham into perfection and make her known to all people around the world. I will have success, I will have glory, and no one is going to do a damn thing against me!"

 

How Henry Crawford lost and then found his own true self

We are aware of the fact that we have all made you wildly curious about the identity of our mysterious actor, and if that is not so, we are certain that at least some of you were very curious. And of course, you had to wait until the last moments of this week's episode before you could get a peek at our elusive actor, and here he is. His name is Stephen Dorff.

Some background info on Stephen: born in Atlanta, Georgia, in the year 1973, Stephen is best known for his roles in Backbeat, So Fucking What, I shot Andy Warhol, and Blade.

After several weeks of looking for the perfect actor to play Henry Crawford (both Ben Affleck and Joseph Fiennes were dismissed for not looking evil enough), Maddie had an epiphany while watching "Blade": Stephen Dorff, who was brilliant in the part of the ultimate villain, HAD to play Henry Crawford, because not only is he very cute, he is a fine actor too. To make a long story short: Stephen was hunted down ruthlessly, an appointment was made with his manager, a fine salary was offered, and now Stephen Dorff is ready to make his debut on The Proud and the Prejudiced.

 

"Oww, my head!" Henry Crawford rolled out of bed, and trudged off in the direction of the fridge, clad only in a pair of boxers and a shirt. He opened the fridge. "One can of Guinness. That'll do me." He downed it in no time, and his head ache started to subside. He walked back to the bedroom, and noticed that there was a girl sleeping in his bed. "Julia, Angelica, Lisa,....?" He couldn't remember her name. It didn't matter.

He sat on the kitchen table, eating a bananna, when the girl entered.

"Morning, Henry." she said.

"Morning..."

"Elsa." she didn't seem at all offended.

"Wanna have some breakfast?" Henry asked, even though he wanted to get rid off her as soon as possible.

"Yeah sure."

"Good. There is a cute little breakfast shop across the street. But you really have to go now."

"What for? Can't I stay with you for a while?"

"No. My wife is coming in five minutes. " He gave her a big fat wink, and was visibly amused at her pale countenance, as she rushed out of the room. He grinned to himself, as he grabbed his notebook, and wrote her name down. "That would make 124 now."

Suddenly he makes a weird turn and stares into the camera for a while, as if to check if anyone was really paying attention. "Hey you! Yes you! Chat can wait, now read this story first." Then he does what no other soap character has ever done before... he addresses the viewer personally.

"I know what you are thinking. I know how you feel when you look at me. You are wounded and offended in your deepest womanly feelings. I don't really care. You may think what you like about me. But just for the record, that thing I said, that wasn't really true. Unlike what you may think, I am not an animal. I just like playing with your minds, and your feelings. No woman is safe from me, once I have my designs on her. And what are you going to do about it? Nothing. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get dressed.....
No, no, Nicole! What are you doing? Get that camera off my butt!
Oh, behave! Remember that this is day time soap!"

Minutes later, Henry jumped into his silver BMW convertible and sped in the direction of the set of his new movie in Malibu. Occasionally he took a swig out of the bottle of scotch that was in the passenger's seat next to him. Suddenly the bottle slipped from his grasp. He cursed and reached under the seat to grab it. Of course he didn't see the bus that was approaching steadily.

The crash could be heard for miles around.


One of the fancy hubcaps of Henry's beemer rolled away from the scene of the accident. The camera follows it, films it for a couple of moments, and then slowly pans back to the car. Nothing is left of it. It is rolled up like a harpsichord. Complete distruction.
Blood on the pavement.

To be continued ...

Meanwhile, someone has boarded a plane to Los Angeles. Someone with not so good intentions. He/She has someone to meet in L.A. to which he/she has to make a startling announcement. Who can it be? Is it somebody we know? Now you are probably wondering why we are telling you this? We just wanted a cliffhanger. Bye!

 


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