Little Voice (2020) s01e01 Episode Script

I Don't Know

["Little Voice" playing]
-[dog panting]
-[Bess] Oh, Ella.
Okay. Come on, guys.
Good job.
What it is about me ♪
[playing "Ode to Joy"]
I don't know what it is ♪
What it is about me ♪
I don't know how to get Where I'm going ♪
I keep showing up Where I've already been ♪
I don't know which way's up ♪
Can't seem to get clear ♪
But I know that I'm stuck in
the middle Of moving too little ♪
Just standing here ♪
I don't know anything ♪
Excuse me. I-- I did not mean to interrupt.
I really didn't. But do you
have an extension cor--
Who the hell are you?
I'm sorry. I'm Ethan.
Uh, I just started renting the unit next door,
so I guess I'm like your next-door neighbor.
You can't just-- This is my private--
I mean, who spies on people like this?
You left your door open.
-I come here for privacy.
-And I don't have an extension cord.
-Got it.
That song was beautiful.
It's a piece of shit.
What do you know?
You don't know anything.
-[shutter opens]
-[dog moans]
[Ethan hums "I Don't Know Anything"]
[speakers: tango music playing]
-[music stops]
-[chuckles] No. Bess.
My name is Bess. Since you didn't ask.
[Bess] Yeah.
-[tango music resumes]
Why, yes, thank you. I would love a drink, Ethan.
Are you sure you don't want to take it to go?
Because I know that you covet your privacy.
Look, I'm sorry. I-- I know I was a
-I'm not usually like that.
-How are you usually?
I just-- I don't like anyone
listening to the songs that I write.
-They're for me.
And I promised myself
I'd finish that song tonight.
Oh, well, look, I totally get it.
Please, don't let me get between you and you.
[Bess] Yeah.
[Ethan sighs]
So, why older dancers?
Uh Grace. Who can hold on to it?
And why that?
Maybe because I was raised by my grandfather.
-He, um
-[jazz piano music playing]
[both chuckling]
Yeah. He got addicted to
Turner Classics once we got here.
-Smart man.
-[music stops]
So, Bess
[clears throat] why do you write
music for no one to listen to?
I sing covers. It pays.
I write for myself, like a-- a diary.
Ah, so you are in the closet.
You sing them in the closet
instead of out there. Yeah. [chuckles]
Yeah. I tried.
It didn't go over.
That song I just heard was so special.
If I was in an audience, I'd only want more.
They didn't. They made that very clear.
That's a memory I hope to someday repress.
You don't strike me as someone
who listens to what "they" think.
Sometimes I think I should
have been born 50 years ago.
Oh, I get it. Mm.
Yeah. Old tango dancers are us.
Yeah. Compared to what everybody's listening to,
I think my stuff seems, I don't know, earnest.
Well, it's such a cynical time.
And I think that takes guts.
[Bess] I don't know what it is ♪
What it is about you ♪
How did you scare me?
You barely said anything ♪
How did you do what you do? ♪
Where did you come from? ♪
And where will you go? ♪
And if I'm supposed to keep
stepping In your direction ♪
Then how will I know? ♪
I don't know anything ♪
Okay, this is a game I played with
my granddad to improve his English.
In one word, and you only
get one word, who are you?
-Yikes, one word?
Saint C's?
I stole it from work.
Don't tell Saint Cecilia.
Of course you work at a place
named after the patron saint of music.
"Mess." Bess the mess.
Not the whole picture.
[cell phone rings]
What? Oh, my God. I'm-I'm on it. I'm so sorry.
-You okay? Do you need help?
-I'm good.
Excuse me. I'm so sorry. Louie.
Excuse me. Louie! Louie,
your counselor called me.
What are you doing here? It's
way past curfew. You know the rule.
-That's a horrible rule.
-You agreed to that rule.
[Louie] I didn't agree to that agreement.
Bullshit. You gave your word to your counselor.
Sharon Clifford is debuting
in the ensemble tonight.
She just left Aladdin after being a standby
for three years, two months, and three days.
If I'm lucky, I may get her autograph.
Louie, we worked so hard
to get you into that place.
You wanna get kicked out after your first month?
There she is. Sharon!
Sharon, over here! Over here!
Congratulations, Ms. Clifford,
on this momentous night.
Wonder of wonders.
It's "To Louie."
That's me, Louie.
"To Louie and Bess."
-That's my sister, Bess.
-[Sharon] Thanks, Louie.
-You're welcome.
I-I told him. I said
What exactly did I say?
I said, "You're not allowed to go, Louie."
-That's not exactly what you said.
-What'd I say?
I said, "You're gonna get in big trouble, Louie."
That's not exactly what you said either.
They're gonna kick him out. I
called the authorities on the sixth floor.
Why'd you call the authorities?
You're all just jealous I got
Sharon Clifford's autograph.
Who is Sharon Clifford?
-What's on your head?
-[woman sighs]
Don't be frightened. It's
just a Clairol home kit.
How do you think I still look 50? I'm 112.
Obviously, I wasn't expecting a late-night call.
I'm glad to see you're back safe, Louie.
Louie's happy to be back safe as
well. Sorry you had to come down.
Louie, do you understand what a curfew is for?
-He understands.
-No, I'm talking to Louie.
I wanna go home, Bess.
You are home. This is your new home now.
I know that's an adjustment for you.
You've been living with your
sister and your father your whole life,
but you're a young man now, and
you're ready to live independently.
Not yet. Not yet.
Bess is ready to live independently too.
-Good night, Elaine.
I don't wanna live with Phil, Ted and Zack.
I wanna live back with you, Bess.
That really hurt my feelings, Louie.
I have to go into my room
and-- and close the door.
[Elaine] It's getting late.
Now, I need to hear that you, Louie--
that you understand that
the curfew is for your safety
and that this won't happen again.
If I say I understand, will you leave?
If you understand.
See? He understands. We all understand.
Thank you, Louie.
Good night, everyone.
Tomorrow is a new day.
That's obvious.
But worth noting.
Bess, are you coming?
Bess, there are 82 words in your new song.
That's not nearly enough. The
average song has 165 words.
Exactly. That's why I need to go and finish it.
-Not yet. Not yet.
-Yes, yet.
God, we're gonna miss the five-day
weather forecast for the tristate area.
-I don't wanna watch the Weather Channel.
-[man chattering]
I wanna watch the documentary
on the Hungarian play Liliom
that the musical Carousel was based on!
-He hogs the TV. Nobody is interested.
-It's uninteresting.
-That's what I'm trying to say.
[scoffs] Do you see why I can't live here, Bess?
Why don't you guys watch the weather forecast
and then the second half of the documentary?
Done. So we're good?
You're going? You're leaving?
You don't wanna watch it with me?
We love Carousel. Don't we, Bess?
We do.
See? She doesn't want to
miss it, Phil. Wonder of wonders.
Now, as a bonus, as a preview,
me and Bess here are gonna
sing my favorite song from Carousel.
My boy Bill ♪
I will see that he's named after me I will ♪
Like a tree he'll grow
With his head held high ♪
And his feet planted firm On the ground ♪
And you won't see nobody dare to try ♪
To boss him or toss him around ♪
No potbellied, baggy-eyed
bully Will boss him around ♪
[man speaking indistinctly]
Anyways, there's-- I'm trying
to go once a year at least.
Hey. Sorry. Don't let me
interrupt anything. I can just--
Oh! No, no.
Ravi was just leaving. He
has a very busy day tomorrow.
Actually, I'm not on call
tomorrow, so I don't have to leave.
-So, you're a doctor?
-We're not all doctors.
[stammers] I'm not a doctor. I'm
an environmental lawyer. Anyways--
Bess, uh, I need to speak
with you in the kitchen.
Something got stopped up again.
Ravi, good night. Thank
you for all you do, really.
Anyways, I'm good to hang.
He's gorgeous. Why are you kicking him out?
He says "anyways" too much.
-Why the "S"? There's no "S."
-[gasps] The horror.
[clicks tongue]
Anyways, I-- I'll give you a call tomorrow.
I-- I would text, but I'd
prefer to hear your voice.
We're all so disconnected these days.
Thumbs-up emoji.
[strums guitar]
I don't know what it is ♪
What it is about me ♪
-I don't know how-- ♪
-[man] Hey! Keep it down!
-[dog whines]
Who still calls people on the phone?
[Bess] That's a real deal-breaker.
-[cell phone rings]
Round two.
Was I right? Was I right?
We had nothing to talk about, Mama.
Sometimes first dates, you
know, one can be nervous,
and that could mean a good thing.
You know our chemistry, it's off the chain.
It's perfect now, but will it change?
This ain't a yes, this ain't a no.
-Just do your thing and see how it goes.
Mama G, are you quoting Aaliyah?
Yeah. Her name means "exalted."
She-- She tried to live up
to it. I saw that on Jeopardy!
Actually, we saw it together.
You know, so, what I mean is, perhaps
Ravi and Prisha's chemistry is like this.
Am I right, Bess?
No. There was none.
Okay, Prisha, you are too, uh, cavalier.
This man, he comes from a good family.
And he is an environmental lawyer. Okay?
This speaks to his character.
With a condominium in Hackensack, New Jersey.
That is no small potatoes. Am I right, Bess?
You raised a beautiful and smart
daughter, Mama G, and I trust her instincts.
I do and I don't. Sometimes Mom knows best.
Neither one of you is any closer to
meeting a man you can build a life with.
-[Prisha] Oh, my God. The Wi-Fi.
-No, I can't hear you anymore. I can't.
-Call us back.
-Okay. I love you, Mama and Papa.
-Call us back.
Good night. Bye.
See? You don't need a mom.
Mine is enough for both of us.
Hey, so we're playing a
rally in the park tomorrow,
and the band loved the idea of
you maybe, like, opening for us.
You could try out some of your new songs.
They're-- They're not ready.
-They're not good enough.
-They're not good enough. Right.
You have PTSD.
You've been walking around
with that tattooed on your forehead
ever since a bunch of drunk
assholes in the audience,
who probably got laid off that
day, got off taking it out on you.
They won the night. You were there.
-They made fun of my songs.
-Don't let the dickheads define you.
I'm not gonna bullshit myself, Prisha.
You know, you're too easy on everyone
else and just way too hard on yourself.
Get over it, for fuck's sake.
[cell phone chimes]
Oh, my God, it's 11:30.
I'm late for Iris and Walter.
We are finally on our own now. This is our time.
Stop sitting it out! You're being a benchwarmer.
I am not a benchwarmer.
You don't get it. I can't shake it.
You're just afraid.
You think that it's easy for me to look at that?
That I might not have it?
That I might be perfectly cast
singing covers at bar mitzvahs?
You know what? You're the
last person you should listen to.
[piano ballad playing]
[mariachi music]
[singing in Spanish]
-Stay. Stay.
Kiss me till you're drunk And I'll show you ♪
All the moves like Jagger ♪
I got the moves like Jagger ♪
I got the moves ♪
You'll never know, dear How much I love you ♪
[man snoring]
So please don't take my sunshine away ♪
[saxophone playing jazz]
[piano ballad playing]
[drumming on buckets]
-[drumming fading]
-[piano ballad resumes]
I'm stuck ♪
Okay, one, two, three, kiss.
[baby cooing]
[dog whines]
[Bess] Come here. No, no, no. Ooh.
[thunder rumbling]
[Bach's Cello Suite no. 1 playing]
[woman] You are what you wish for ♪
The words of my masters core ♪
Don't aspire to bravery ♪
The sound of hell's demand ♪
Burdensome can be ♪
The weight of the warrior's hand ♪
Trixie's voice is so unique.
Yeah, well-- Shot of tequila
silver. But my Bess ain't less.
And then let me get two Stellas.
-You are not a be--
-I am not a benchwarmer.
I was just saying that you ain't
gonna throw away these fries.
But you are kind of sitting it out though.
Yo. Dig this.
Benny. Sit down, relax, help yourself.
Her Highness has arrived. Send
a round backstage for Cat's band.
She likes bourbon.
No kidding.
A new perspective shares her command ♪
You ain't got nothing ♪
You ain't got nothing ♪
You ain't got nothing on me ♪
[Trixie] Thank you.
[crowd cheering, applauding]
[Ethan] Hello.
-The boy next door.
Thought I'd-- I thought I'd
stop by, hear some music.
When do you go on?
[man] Bessaroo.
Hola. Can I have one more where this came from?
-[glass shatters]
-[man 2 whistles]
Aren't you glad you came?
Yeah, I am.
So, what'll it be?
Can I buy you a drink?
-[Cat] God, you're an asshole!
-[man] Cat.
Cat, get back here, for
Christ's sake! You're insane!
Hey. Not here. Not now. It's a packed house.
-This isn't what they paid for.
-Right. It's all good.
The band's ready to do
this. It's all in your crazy head.
You're not even a good liar.
She's right. His right eye twitches when he lies.
She's just a fan of your music,
all right? I was giving her advice.
On how to blow you in the
bathroom. I'm done with this bullshit.
[owner] You can't make this shit
up. I gotta tell Trixie to do another set.
[owner] Bess, move.
Al, I can go on.
No. Trixie will do another set.
Another one? I could barely
get through the first one.
-No, I mean it, Al. I can do it.
-[Benny] Bess can do it. She can do it.
With all due respect, Benny, you're
a waiter with six online degrees.
-When Bess is ready, we'll talk about it.
-I swear to God, Al, I'm ready.
It's a packed house, and they didn't
pay to hear a bunch of '80s cover songs.
-I have a set of original material.
-It's-- It's too full a house, honey.
[Al mutters]
-Good luck.
I'm going on for Cat.
Uh, okay. Uh
Clearly, we're not going on.
You might wanna
Oh. Right.
-I realize I don't have my--
-You can use my guitar.
And they haven't broken down the keyboard.
[exhales] Cool. Yeah.
-[exhales deeply]
[whispers] Hey. Take a minute.
[inhales, exhales deeply]
[whispers] I'll be rooting for you.
Hello, everybody.
Um [clears throat]
Real quick, I wanted to give a shout-out to Al
for not calling security on me
and a huge thanks to Cat
Hopkins for calling it like it is.
I had no idea my night would be
changed by a blow job in the bathroom.
[man] Oh!
Not that I was in the bathroom.
I wasn't even in the bathroom.
Well, I was in there refilling
the soap dispenser earlier, but
Anyway, I'm Bess.
[man in crowd] Yeah!
Thank you, sir, for the clap.
Not the clap. I meant the clap.
It's what my mom used to call it. Um
Anyway, I don't have an STD.
'Cause how could I? I haven't
had sex in a really long time.
-[crowd chuckles]
I'm gonna stop talking.
I know you guys are
probably thinking, "Please do."
[man] Please do.
Anyways, this song is a song I wrote.
[cell phone rings]
There's always one.
[crowd murmuring]
[ringing stops]
[Bess] Okay.
It's everything I am and what I'm not ♪
And all I'm trying to be ♪
This is the part Where I spit it all out ♪
And you decide what you think of me ♪
I'm not trying to be complicated ♪
[music stops]
[clears throat]
You know what?
I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
You know what? I'm-- I'm gonna start over.
[piano resumes]
It's everything I am and what I'm not ♪
And all I'm trying to be ♪
[woman chuckles]
This is the part Where I spit it all out ♪
-[music stops]
All right. Moving along. Here's a fun one.
Let's take it back to 1978, okay? Yeah.
At first I was afraid I was petrified ♪
Thinking I could never live-- ♪
[pop ballad playing on speakers]
Al, you have every right to fire me.
You don't even have to say it.
I'm fired. I will finish my shift and go.
[Ethan] Hey.
Hey. Well, you came to see me play.
-[stammers] Uh
-Hello, Bess.
Bess, this is Laila.
[alternative rock ballad playing]
Uh so glad to make a new friend.
We've barely gone out since we moved here.
It's like we-- we're already
an old married couple.
-Right, babe?
So, Laila, Ethan, what-- What'll it be?
And everything in reach ♪
Seems so, so, so, so far away ♪
Fishing for stars ♪
Down by the water
Where there's air to breathe ♪
[man] Any minute now ♪
[men vocalizing]
My ship is coming in ♪
And I'll stand on the bow ♪
[vocalizing continues]
Feel the waves come crashing ♪
Come crashing down, down, down ♪
[harmonizing] On me ♪
And you say, Be still, my love ♪
Open up your heart ♪
Let the light shine in ♪
Don't you understand ♪
I already have a plan ♪
I'm waiting for my real life to begin ♪
And you say, Just be here now ♪
Forget about the past ♪
Your mask is wearing thin ♪
Let me throw one more dice ♪
-I know that I can win ♪
-[men] Know that I can win ♪
I'm waiting for my real life to begin ♪
You know you got 'em when
you start talking about STDs.
I liked the part where you
didn't wait to hear "No" from Al,
you just got your ass up on that stage.
That took balls.
You're reaching.
You take with you the part
of the story that you focus on.
I heard this cellist today, and he
His music was just so effortless.
I just don't have that thing.
Do you know how much
effort goes into being effortless?
I'm not saying you're baked
yet, you're still a work in progress,
but, Bess, you know how to write a song.
Maybe I should give them to someone else to sing.
If this is gonna break you, you
shouldn't be doing it in the first place.
Can't you feel sorry for me even for a minute?
Nope. Just need to play your
songs more. Anywhere. Everywhere.
Best thing to do with that doubt you're feeling
is tackle the motherfucking shit out of it.
You never say the right thing, Pop.
-Wait. I buried the lead.
I found an original cast recording
of Annie at Bleecker Street.
Put it on hold for Louie's birthday.
-Wonder of wonders.
-Towards your rent.
-I'm okay.
Now you're more okay.
[mouthing word] Okay.
Everybody knows what it feels
like not to be who you wanna be yet.
Can't go around it. Got to go through it.
We're all broken. That's how the light gets in.
That's beautiful, Dad.
Hemingway said it.
Or Leonard Cohen.
-I don't know, somebody fucking said it.
What you're feeling now, use it.
Gonna make a great song.
[piano ballad playing]
[piano ballad continues]
[Bess] So I don't know yet ♪
What I will be ♪
But on your mark, set ♪
Ready, watch me ♪
I'm on my way now ♪
And if it's the way down ♪
Then as I fall, I just have to admit ♪
I don't know anything ♪
I don't know anything ♪
I don't know anything Anything, anything yet ♪
I don't know what it is ♪
What it is about me ♪
I don't know how to get Where I'm going ♪
I keep showing up Where I've already been ♪
Don't know which way's up ♪
I can't seem to get clear ♪
But I know that I'm stuck in
the middle Of moving too little ♪
Just standing here ♪
I don't know anything ♪
So I don't know yet ♪
Who I will be ♪
But on your mark, set ♪
Ready, watch me ♪
I'm on my way now ♪
And if it's the way down ♪
Then as I fall, I just have to admit ♪
I don't know anything ♪
I don't know anything ♪
I don't know anything Anything, anything yet ♪
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