TV Made Me…

INT. THEATER STAGE. NON-TIME

A TV showing only static sits on a stool. The TV is the only source of light.

A woman steps in front of the TV, backlight.

KATE
Television. TV. Boob tube, idiot
box, electronic babysitter.

Kate pulls up a stool, her face sidelight by the TV. Slowly the theatre lights come up.

KATE
I love it. I can watch it all the
time. Okay, I do watch it all the
time. I can’t get enough.

INT. KATE’S LIVINGROOM. NIGHT.

Kate watches TV, flipping too fast for the images or sound to register.

KATE (VO)
Sitcoms, dramas, well except all
the Law and Order spin offs; I’m a
bit of a purist. But it’s not all
escapist; I watch the documentary
channels. It doesn’t even matter
what it’s about: endangered
animals, organized crime, ancient
civilizations, energy efficient non
polluting fuels.

INT. THEATER STAGE. NON-TIME

Kate slinks around the stage, as if stalking prey.

KATE
I’m what you’d call an information sponge.
(horny)
I’m a ravenous consumer, a bottomless pit, an unrepentant
couch potato,
(orgasmic)
I am the market they can’t glut.
(beat)
But I am on to them. I got it
soused. TV shows are not about
making you think, not really.

INT. KATE’S LIVINGROOM. NIGHT.

Kate pauses in her channel flipping and stares at the camera.

KATE
Okay, well, if they lose on the Law
and Order, I think, “Wow, that’s
unusual.”

Kate looks at her watch and jumps out of the chair, knocking the remote to the floor.

INT. THEATER STAGE. NON-TIME

KATE
But that’s where it stops. TV Shows
follow too far behind the real
social trends to be cutting edge or
thought provoking. Even the ones
described as edgy.
(beat)
No, what drives and guides our
dreams and ambitions, maybe not
make you think, but they get inside
your head, make you react and want
and lust and crave and spend money.

INT. KATE’S BATHROOM. NIGHT

Kate’s hand reaches from behind a several shower curtains to get one of four towels on different style hooks.

KATE (VO)
That’s when they know it works, you
spend money.

Kate steps out, covered. She moves to the sink where there are a half dozen toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorants, other toiletries and a small TV showing Kate modelling various household products.

INT. THEATER STAGE. NON-TIME

KATE
Commercials. Yeah, TV commercials.
How many times, have you been
sitting at home, minding your own
business, and suddenly, you’re
hungry for no reason?
(beat)
I mean, you just had dinner and now
you’re hungry? Why?
(increasing lust)
That pizza on TV, maybe it’s a
burger. A big juicy, greasy salty
burger, with fries, and a jumbo
drink. You can pretend you’re going
there for the salad with grilled
chicken, but I know what’s in your
heart – and really is in your
arteries too. But, this is not a
health lecture, this is about TV. I
love it.

INT. KATE’S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

Kate has 6 different major clothing store chain outfits with distinct looks. She is unable to select one.

KATE (VO)
I don’t even like to go out anymore
because it takes me away from TV. I
mean, yeah…

A TV on the dresser shows Kate posing sexually with cars and very male identified products.

INT. THEATER STAGE. NON-TIME

KATE
I know I can tape the show, I got a
VCR, and it’s not even blinking 12,
12, 12, 12. I can use it. But,
taping….okay I tape something and
then what?
I mean, what I am going to miss
that’s on right now when I’m
watching the tape that I can
theoretically see any time? You can
see my dilemma.
But I digress.
INT. KATE’S KITCHEN. NIGHT.

Outfit selected, Kate tidies her kitchen. A half dozen different dish soapbottles vie for space against the backsplash.

A small TV on the fridge shows Kate re-enacting cleaners commercials.

KATE (VO)
TV Commercials. We know they work
because we buy the shit. Shit we
didn’t know existed in that many
flavours that we now can’t live
without because we’ve seen the
commercial.

INT. THEATER STAGE. NON-TIME

KATE
But why does it work? Does one
vacuum really work better than
another? Does one cleanser really
get the counters or your clothes
cleaner?
How much cleaner do things need to
be? Does it matter how many people
like one soft drink if you just
really like the other? What if you
only need 300 mg of headache
relief? Now you gotta cut those
little pills in half.
Should we care? No, because it’s
not really about any of those
things. Commercials are really not
about moving units of products.

Kate appears as Betty Page and other classic sex goddesses on the stage TV.

KATE
I mean, on one level yes, but what
the commercials are really saying,
what the real message is…If you
use our product, you can get laid.

Kate gives a sweet and innocent look, then LAUGHS and grows cynical.

KATE
That’s why we care about the bright
white smile, the fresh breath, the
not stinky or hairy armpits – the
cool car to get you noticed. All
commercials are about is sex –
getting the girl. Use our product,
get laid. Use our product so you
don’t stink anywhere on your
person, you’ll get some.

INT. KATE’S KITCHEN. NIGHT.

DOORBELL

Kate straights up, excited and runs to the front door.

KATE (VO)
Use our product to be the whitest
and brightest yourself, your house,
your car, and it’s nookie time.

INT. THEATER STAGE. NON-TIME

KATE
Use our product to attract
attention to yourself, clothes,
cars, whatever, and it’s Pussyville
population you!
So, what I’m saying, what I’m
really saying is, I watch a lot of
TV, so, it’s TV. It’s not nature or
nurture, it’s TV.

INT. FRONT DOOR. NIGHT

Kate opens to door to a hot butch babe, holding an assortment of lube brands.

KATE
TV made me gay!

6 thoughts on “TV Made Me…

  1. Love it. I made a frowny-face at ‘babysitter’ because it never was one for me, and I hate that it is used as one now! I found myself acting the part as I read, I would have so much fun playing this role!

  2. Ha. This is great stuff. Expand on it. I can see a Fringe production coming at us. You write great dialogue, Nina. Really. But there’s more to TV than sex or making you gay:
    ““The elite ruling class wants us asleep so we’ll remain a docile, apathetic herd of passive consumers and non-participants in the true agendas of our governments, which is to keep us separate and present an image of a world filled with unresolvable problems, that they, and only they, might somehow, in the never-arriving future, be able to solve. “ -Bill Hicks
    That’s what TV is for. That’s what it’s really doing. And now they are worried because suddenly we have the Internet and they haven’t fingered out how to make us passive consumers on the Internet. But they are working on it. Believe me, they are working on it. Net neutrality is not a non-issue.
    Where would your play go if it were Bill Hicks at the door? Maybe a butch ghost of Bill Hicks? Think about it.

    • I originally wrote just the dialog as a monolog – in one 20 min stream of conscious writing – a pal was in a comedy troup and I wrote it for the troupe – The Sweet Tarts – for consideration. Sadly the troupe broke up before they considered it – so I made it myself in the computer game The Studio – you could make short films, but I forgot to break up the theatre stage scenes, I was too excited it and posted before I finished the editing.

      What made if funny for me later, was finding out that Sigmund Freud’s nephew was a major player in advertising in the 1940s, so the idea that commercials both reflect our most selfish sexuality and fantasies, as well as playing on our fears, makes this short script idea even funnier to me.

    • nothing passive about the internet ever since social media and the transformation of the internet from being able to access information to being able to post it – to being able to interactively post and be your own broadcaster

      the internet makes all of us publishers, journalists, broadcasters, reviewers and commentators, eye witnesses, content providers, we no longer merely receive the messages, we can now shape and broadcast messages.

      and we are legion – and those who seek to control the message and the media, have reason to fear us – we don’t need them or their agenda, we have our own.

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