American Auto (2021) s01e01 Episode Script


1 The auto industry is changing.
Payne Motors has been making cars for 100 years, but until now, all our CEOs have been men and members of the Payne family.
Well, I didn't want the job.
They didn't offer you the job.
Because they knew I didn't want it.
- Anyway, today we are - You can sit.
I don't need, like, a whole big intro.
- I just had a little bit - Yeah, I I just wanna keep things moving.
All right, so someone bring me up to speed on this self-driving car that we are announcing.
The Ponderosa will be Payne's first fully autonomous vehicle.
It has seven key innovations I don't wanna interrupt your flow.
I just have one question, the name Ponderosa, do we like it? - It tested well.
- Really? Yeah, to me, it sounds like ponderous, like dull, you know, like a dull, ponderous car.
It comes from the Ponderosa pine tree.
Do people wanna drive a tree? We're not saying that it is a tree.
- It's just, like, a vibe.
- Yeah.
There's also the Ponderosa lemon and the Ponderosa snails.
But aren't snails like the slowest animal, and also a lemon? I mean, isn't that what people call a car that sucks? Sounds like we're saying it's like a dull, slow, bad tree-car.
Yeah, you know, I've gotta say, I agree with you.
You know, I think the name's crap.
- Do you? - Yes, I do.
I've always thought that.
- Have you? - Yes.
- To me, it sounds dirty.
Like, pon sounds like poon, which means vagina, and de rosa means "of pink.
" So I just picture a giant pink vagina on wheels.
That's probably why it tested so well.
The name isn't important.
We've made advancements in sensor fusion and scene recognition that will revolutionize Wasn't there a car that meant something bad in Spanish? Yeah.
Quite a few of them actually.
There's the Chevy Nova, the Mazda Laputa, the Mitsubishi Pajero.
You'd think these companies would hire at least one guy who spoke Spanish.
Does anyone here speak Spanish? Jesus, people.
[upbeat music.]
My great-grandfather would be rolling over in his grave if he saw that woman running the company that he founded.
Oh, because he hated women? I thought he hated communists.
- No, I think it was Irishmen.
- No.
It's because she knows nothing about the auto industry.
She did pretty well with that drug company.
She's literally a drug dealer.
I wouldn't let my drug dealer run a billion-dollar corporation.
Actually, with him, I might.
He's like low-key genius.
I just never worked for a woman before.
You know, with a man, if I make a mistake, I can flirt a little, but you cannot flirt with a woman.
Well, I guess you can, technically.
We're about 95% sure about my cousin.
- Hello.
- She just bought two ladders.
You'll be fine, all right? If anyone's gonna be fired, it's probably gonna be me.
- Or me.
- Yeah.
Actually, I really hope it is you.
I can totally see it being you, dude.
Now that you said it out loud, I was thinking it.
And another feature of the Payne Ponderosa is it's how do you say this? Chassis, chass-ees? - Chass-y.
- Chass-y, oh, like gassy.
I was feeling very gassy when I got on my chassy.
- Chassy.
- Perfect.
And then before you introduce the car, I thought you might wanna say a few words about what made you excited to come to Payne? Oh, I can do that in two words, the money.
I mean, obviously, it wasn't just the money.
There were stock options.
Right, well, maybe just more what you love about cars then in general.
Honestly, I'm not really that into cars.
I mean, if anything, I think is kind of weird how some people fetishize transportation.
Well, that could be a challenge leading a car company.
I actually think it's better if you're not that into what you're selling.
It's, like, if you're really into heroin, don't sell heroin.
Go into a different field, you know? Why, are you like some kind of crazy car person? Me? Oh, no, not really.
I mean, define car person, right? Do I appreciate cars? Sure.
Do I love them? I mean, define love.
Define cars for that matter.
Anyways, so the analysts, they get here at 5:00.
- So if you want - Who's that guy? I don't know.
It's some worker.
He looks lost.
Seems like he needs to talk to you.
- Does he? - Mm-hmm.
That's weird.
Okay, now I'll go okay.
Go see whoever the heck that is.
And we'll continue this on the B side, Katherine.
Grassy Shirley Bassey got on her chassy.
What are you doing here? Oh, I just needed to talk to you.
Do you know I've never been up to this level - Just haven't you - This place is really nice.
Yes, please get in.
Look, I am sorry.
Last week, that was fun, but it was a mistake.
- Oh, you told me.
- We have this new boss.
And it would look really bad for me to be involved with a guy from the factory.
Sorry, not the factory.
Just anyone who works here.
Are you trying to have me transferred to the truck plant in Westland? - Hm? - Yeah.
I thought maybe you felt weird about having me around after well, you know, and you want to get rid of me.
- No, that was not me.
- Are you sure? Because my supervisor said it was you.
- Oh, Westland? - Westland.
- Westland? - Westland.
Yes, no, what happened was that we got this call asking for a new day shift operator in the Westland, and I heard you're the best.
Really? Who do you hear that from? - Lots of people.
- Was one of them Shawn? - Yes, Shawn.
- Yes.
- He loves you.
- Okay, which Shawn was it? I do not know his last name 'Cause we don't have a single Shawn that works here.
I find that hard to believe.
In a way, being the CEO would have been the easy way out.
I'm able to be more effective as a consultant.
- Mm-hmm.
- Dori.
If anyone calls, I'll be down at the test track.
And can you handle whatever A/V stuff we need for the presentation this afternoon? Me? The most technology I know how to use is my hair curler and my vibrator.
Right? Mm, but I will figure it out because I'm a professional.
- Great.
- Great.
Great? Oh, my God.
If I was CEO, I would have said "Make it so.
" She's so generic.
It's, like, super embarrassing.
So does this self-driving car actually drive anywhere? - How do I put this in drive? - It's voice-controlled.
Oh, baby, drive us around the block.
You're calling it "baby"? Seems a bit misogynistic.
How is that misogynistic? 'Cause you can't call women "baby.
" But it's not a woman.
It's a car.
All cars are women.
Everyone knows that.
Like, "She's a beauty.
Let's take her for a spin.
" Well, this car is a man, okay? Figures, first car to do the driving, and it's a man.
Oh, Cyrus, where is the break? Don't need one.
That's kinda neat.
It's like a Roomba.
Well, not unless your Roomba can create a 3D map of the road and then uses machine learning algorithms to identify but yeah, essentially, it's just like a big Roomba.
Yeah, it's like a Roomba.
See our new overlord? Katherine? Sounds like someone who uses a catheter.
- Sick burn, man.
- Thanks.
Hey, if there's a power struggle, factory's Team Wesley, right? You know, most of us just punch in and out, don't get involved in that type of thing.
Got it, neutral.
But I'm telling you, man, Ewell Payne would not have wanted that woman running his company.
Why? Is she Jewish or something? Ugh, God.
- Cyrus, there's someone - Don't worry, we'll stop.
Just as soon as we Stop it.
- It'll stop.
- Stop it.
- There's no break! - Baby, stop! Ahh! Ahh! Now, let me put it under your elbow.
- It helps with pain.
- I'm okay, I'm okay.
They didn't hit me that hard.
We think we know what caused the accident.
- Alleged accident.
- Right.
I may have coincidentally fallen totally on my own.
- Could be.
- Okay.
Well, you know how I was saying that the car identifies objects using machine learning? Well, the operative word is - Machine.
- Learning.
See, it still confuses with dark tones with shadows.
So occasionally, certain darker optics come off as not there.
And by darker objects, do you mean Like a black cat, or a dark blue car, or darker brown skin.
So you've made a car that hits Black people? No, no, no.
Not intentionally.
- Oh! - Be your own people.
What would Ewell Payne have said if he saw that we designed the world's first racist car? - "Well done," probably.
- The car's not racist.
Race is about a shared culture, history, and traditions.
This just doesn't see darker skin.
It hit Indian folk, too.
Oh, thank God.
I thought for a moment that we built a car that wouldn't hit Indian people.
How are you just figuring this out now? In the pharmaceutical industry, we would test a product before we announced it.
Didn't stop all those babies from being born without heads.
They had heads.
They just weren't attached to their bodies.
We tested it, but the cardboard cutout thingies we tested it on were all white.
Well, why don't we get some black cardboard cutout thingies, you know, inclusion? - Thank you for being an ally.
- His words.
Y'all know what this is, right? This is white privilege.
When you're white, Band-Aids look good on you.
Hell, even a cheap shampoo at the hotel works for you.
Do y'all know the automatic soap dispensers in the restrooms don't even work for me? - Those are push-button.
- Say what now? They're push-button.
- Just go like this - Yeah.
- And they come okay.
- Just press it.
Well, I've been bringing my own soap, and I actually like it.
Okay, we need to figure out how we're gonna handle this.
This presentation is in six hours, and we can't just cancel it.
Okay, what if we painted the car black? Optics-wise, I think a white car that hits Black people looks worse than a black car that hits Black people.
I think any car that targets people based on their race would look pretty not great.
Especially since Black Lives Matter.
To be fair, it would have been bad before Black Lives Matter, too.
Right, but like, now we understand that also.
Okay, the analysts don't know that the car is self-driving, right? That's the big reveal? Okay, so maybe we just think of some other features.
In six hours? I'm sure nothing will be as innovative and exciting as your Klanmobile over there, but let's not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
- You should come.
- Me? Him, why? Why him? Well, because I would like his perspective.
Plus, we just hit him with a car in a way that might be perceived as a hate crime.
And so you're part of this now.
Good, now tell me this, would the car also hit a white person if they was in blackface? - Yeah, probably.
- Right on! Lead with that, say that.
- So it's not all bad.
- Silver lining.
[upbeat music.]
How is this my fault? I licensed the AI.
I didn't program it from scratch.
No one's saying it's your fault.
But sure, blame the Black guy for systemic racism, and then ask the Black guy to fix the systemic racism.
Do you know how much pressure that puts on me? Is it a lot? - It is a lot.
- Yeah.
And FYI, I didn't test it on non-white cutouts 'cause we don't have non-white cutouts.
You know why? - Why? - Because of systemic racism.
Well, at least you're not being forced to work on a project with a new boss you're trying to impress and a subordinate you just had sex with.
- Hot assembly line-guy? - Yeah.
- Shut up, when? - Greg's retirement party.
I'd had a few drinks, and he's very attractive.
Katherine already thinks I'm some car-obsessed fangirl.
Now she's also gonna think I can't keep my pants on at work.
Look, there's like 15,000 people who work here.
After today, he'll go back to the line.
She's never gonna find out.
I never even flirt with coworkers.
The one time I make a mistake, and I'm stuck with it forever like herpes.
A lot of people have herpes.
It's not that big a deal anymore.
What? He didn't give me herpes.
Who'd you get it from then? Okay, so what about if we had a second horn that's like a polite horn.
So the first horn is like, "Rrrrh!" Like, "I hate you.
" But then the second horn is, like, "eeh.
" Like, "Excuse me, the light is green.
" Right? I'm just not sure polite horn counts as the car of the future.
Okay, well, maybe we should still write it down so we don't forget it.
What about some sort of safety feature? I think you figured it out.
The all-new Payne featuring a safety feature.
All right, guys, I think we need to step back and ask ourself what do people like about cars? - You don't like cars? - I mean, they're fine.
Sometimes I'm in a place, and I need to go to another place, and cars help me do that.
What? Cars are where form meets function.
Name one other thing that's utilitarian while at the same time, a fashion accessory, a status symbol, and a work of art.
A wristwatch.
That would be another one.
Okay, for me, a car is about freedom.
Once you get in that thing, you can go anywhere you want.
You've literally never left Detroit in your entire life.
Now, why would I wanna leave Detroit, Sadie? I just got Wi-Fi.
Okay, when people are buying cars, they look at a bunch of different factors.
There's fuel economy, safety, price, comfort Can I just say like as a regular guy who didn't go to business school or anything like that, I like cars 'cause they're cool.
That is it.
They look cool.
They sound cool.
They are fun to drive.
That's why I don't get why anybody ever in their right mind would want a self-driving car.
Driving is just fun.
Well, someone's cuckoo for car-nuts.
You like cars as much as I do.
Not really, I don't know why you'd say that.
Well, because you got Ferrari bedsheets and a showerhead that's shaped like a fuel nozzle.
- [all gasp.]
- Shut up, shut up, shut up! [laughs.]
Now, how you know what her showerhead looks like? "Sexy Sadie," new nickname, boom! - I'm the best at nicknames.
- Hey, hey.
So should we get back to the car we're supposed to have redesigned and produced in roughly five hours? Right, thank you.
Okay, new approach.
In pharma, let's say that the patent on your big pain pill is about to expire.
Well, constipated people get pain, too.
So you mix a little poop meds in with your pain pill, and next thing you know, Rasputinol is making $1.
6 billion.
- I used to snort Rasputinol.
- Everyone did.
That's why it grossed 1.
So you just wanna combine like a bunch of cars? Well, no.
I mean, not whole cars, just the best parts.
- Ooh, like an all-star team.
- Or like the Avengers.
Yeah, I mean, I don't know how many metaphors that we need to say to explain this.
So where are all these random car parts supposed to come from? These are the employees' cars.
Which they brought onto company property.
You can do whatever you want to something if it's on your property.
Legally speaking, that's not All right, everybody.
Let's go make a car.
Come on.
[Bruce Springsteen's "Working on the Highway".]
I like the two lights on this.
Good to know.
Yeah, we can do that.
Friday night's pay night, guys fresh out of work No, no, no.
Heading home to their families Some are looking to get hurt There's gotta be a manual or something.
Wearing trouble on their shirts Like a screw or a bolt? - Here you go.
- Oh.
You just pull these out! Guys, just pull these right out.
All day long I don't stop Oh.
Sorry, there's a child, sleeping child.
Yes, please.
Oh, that's nicer.
You've been to 722 raves, and you ain't picked up nothing about lights? I met her at a dance down at the union hall This looks nice.
Hey, don't take their dry-cleaning.
I wasn't.
I'm just looking.
Sometimes we'd go walking down the union tracks There's a child here.
Anyone's child small boy.
- What are you doing to my car? - I'm stealing your hubcaps.
It's fine.
I'm the new CEO.
Working on the highway Hey, could you give me a hand? Only take a sec.
What do you need? Just hold this here while I try to bolt it.
Yep, fine.
Just yeah, right there.
- This here? - Yeah, like right here.
- Okay, sure.
- Yeah, hold that in.
- Oh.
- Mm-hmm, yeah.
- Just in there? - Yeah, like right there.
- Okay.
- Nice support.
So in retrospect, I think talking about what your bedsheets looked like, yeah, that might've been a mistake.
It wasn't ideal.
I'm sorry.
I would never I'm sorry.
It's okay.
Hey, guys.
- Hey.
- I just It should go without saying, but don't bang in here, okay? - Oh, no - No, no, that's not we I would never.
You can bang in here later.
It's not a problem for me.
It's just, show's in an hour.
So no banging now.
I'm not a prude.
[upbeat music.]
Thank you all so much for coming tonight.
I have been asked to introduce our new female CEO.
Is it good? I can't tell.
It is interesting.
Yep, I mean, it's eclectic.
It's got a sort of bohemian/rococo/steampunk vibe.
I'm not sure it's something I'd drive, but you definitely have a car.
What do you think? How do I put this? It looks like something Bjork would drive to the Oscars.
Mm-mm, scratch that.
It looks like if Bjork were driving to the Oscars and got into a head-on collision with Blossom on the way to prom, and then the car was reassembled by a blind villager from a tribe that had never seen technology and a spider on LSD who also had bad taste.
Well, at least it's not racist.
Now, a number of you might be wondering why the board put this woman in charge when Paynes have been running Payne Motors successfully for over 100 years.
Thank you.
Thank you, Wesley.
It's good stuff to think about Just unplug this 'cause I'ma keep my job.
I am honored to get to present the Ponderosa to all of you today.
But I am a bit embarrassed because truth is, it was developed before I started at the company.
Honestly, and this is not false modesty, I had nothing to do with this car.
Not a natural speaker, is she? So ladies and gentlemen, the car of the future, the Ponderosa! [Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild".]
Oh, good.
We're raising expectations.
Get your motor runnin' Head out on the highway Looking for adventure In whatever comes our way All right, how about that? Cyrus, maybe you want to explain your vision to us? Oh, no, no, mm-mm, mm-mm.
Come on, mate, tell them all about your cool car ow.
What a beauty, huh? I believe it was inspired by the platypus.
Is this what a typical day in the life of an executive is like? Yep, basically.
I think it is endangered.
- Is it what you expected? - Yep, pretty much it.
At least I got to design my own car.
That was pretty cool.
Yeah, sure.
Who wouldn't want to design their own car? I'm not sure if they live on land or water - Excuse me.
- Actually.
So it's one of those two.
I don't think it's an air ah! Anyway, enough from me.
Let me hand it to our director of comm mark something, Sadie Mc Thanks.
I just wanted to say we knew it would be a challenge to create the world's first-ever modular customizable vehicle where the buyer chooses the parts themselves because when everyone gets to design their own car, sometimes it'll come out great, and sometimes it'll come out like this.
Exactly, thank you.
I was getting to this.
The point is we're all different.
So our cars will reflect the diversity of the melting pot that is America, and also international.
The Ponderosa! Get your motor runnin' Head out on the highway - Now what's the share price? - Hong Kong Exchange is 28 1/4.
Resign, resign, resign.
I'm just kidding.
Look, if they'd loved it, there'd be nowhere to go but down.
It's like in pharma.
You don't start with boner pills.
You start with hypertension, move your way up to boners.
- That's a beautiful sentiment.
- Almost poetic.
Excuse me.
So would you like to tell us which ethnic minority group you're gonna be targeting next? Do you guys like my jacket? No one said anything about it.
- Hey.
- Hey.
What's with the box? Oh, I'm just cleaning out my locker.
Wait, you're leaving? If this is about the truck plant thing, that was just an offer.
Like, you don't have to go.
Why? You scared you'll miss me? Please.
15,000 people work here.
It's not like we'll be running into each other in the halls, so Oh, hey just take any open desk.
- Oh, cool, cool.
- Wait, what? - What's happening? - Oh, I bumped him upstairs.
It feels like we could use a little blue-collar perspective up here.
- [phone buzzes.]
- Oh, that's my Uber.
I don't know how to drive.
Well, I guess we'll be seeing each other occasionally.
It's gonna be fun.
- Yeah.
- Yeah.

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