Review with Forrest Macneil (2014) s02e05 Episode Script

Catfish, Haunted House

Life it's literally all we have.
But is it any good? I'm a reviewer, but I don't review food, books, or movies.
I review life itself.
Over here.
Welcome to Review.
The sailor standing before you is named Forrest MacNeil, and I am he.
Ahoy, there's a mermaid to my left, and her name is A.
What a weird intro.
Let's see what we've got, eh? Yes.
This next review comes from a man or woman named Merle from Plano, Texas.
Hi there, Forrest, I've got four months left on a subscription to an Internet dating website that has yielded me exactly zero dates.
What's it like to catfish someone? - To catfish? - Hmm.
Well, I don't know what that is, but I'm going to go find out, and then I'll review it.
I'm sorry, what kind of fish was it again? From what I understand, catfishing is some kind of a prank, wherein one party, the fisherman, creates a fake identity in order to lure an unsuspecting party, the fisherman's cat, into falling in love with this made-up phantom.
That's ridiculous.
Why would anybody want to do that? This review was sure to be complicated by the fact that my father and I were now living in my office because his first and second homes had been freakishly destroyed.
Aah! We've got to get out of here! And we were sharing the space with my intern, Josh, and his girlfriend, Tina, who had been squatting on my couch without permission for months.
Seems like a crazy waste of time for the catfisher.
Well, when I've done it, I've done it for power, for boredom, or, like, when you just have 30 minutes before a thing you have to be at.
I just do it 'cause Tina does it.
Is everybody done? Because one of us is a life reviewer who has to go out and have this experience and share special, universal insights about it, okay? That one is me.
I'm the life reviewer.
So, Lucille, will you please give me the HTML website address for Googling things? We've been through this.
Yes, I know.
You know what? I'll write it on a Post-it this time and just keep it on my desk.
W - Yep.
- W Uh-huh.
W - Okay.
- Dot Yep.
- G - Mm-hmm.
- O - Okay.
- O - Yes.
- G - Yep.
- L - Mm-hmm.
E Dot Another dot? Yeah.
- Okay.
- C - Mm-hmm.
- O Okay.
And what do I do? I just type that into Google? Yep.
Boy, she really knows this stuff, huh? - She does, actually.
- Wow.
- She's great.
- Wow.
To begin my catfishing experience, I would first need my bait: a fraudulent profile.
- How tall? - Tall.
My roommates insisted on helping, and they decided this fake man should love children - Kids and dogs.
- Like dogs - Tolerate your cats.
- And tolerate your cats.
- Be smart but not neurotic - Smart but not neurotic.
- Outstanding in bed.
- Outstanding in the bedroom - but free of STDs.
- No STDs.
- He's known heartbreak - Heartbreak - But has no baggage.
- But he has no baggage.
- Wow.
- God, beautiful.
In short, this online Frankenstein monster was almost entirely the opposite of Forrest MacNeil.
No baggage.
But there was one other thing that I alone would bestow upon him.
May I please be the one to say what his name is? And I knew exactly what that name would be.
The most popular classmate in my fourth grade class was a boy impressively named Charles Sweddington.
Now, one day Charles wore his father's Oscar de la Renta cologne to school, and from that point forward, he became known as Oscar.
Oscar enjoyed his status in our hierarchy for quite a while until a Swedish exchange student with the delicious name of Alvin Klassen arrived to make a play for the throne.
Now, by Christmas, Alvin revealed himself to be deficient in several key regions of the brain, including those responsible for impulse control and where to put your hands, and the name Alvin became synonymous with "weirdo.
" So Charles Sweddington, aka Oscar, reclaimed his designation as our most popular student, and I, for one, have never forgotten him.
Now that it's time to choose my nom de catfish, I know just what to do.
His name is Ace Shrift.
It is an anagram for "catfisher.
" You see, Charles Sweddington appreciated an anagram more than anyone I have ever known.
He would love "Ace Shrift.
" There is one final capstone to place on this monument to dishonesty.
Ace Shrift is going to need a face.
I did an image search "Very handsome man.
" Oh, plenty of uncomplicated-looking dullards to choose from on here.
Please allow me to borrow your very handsome head.
I had pasted a handsome stranger's face to my dating profile, and I set my geographical settings to "anywhere.
" So let's just go ahead and go live, as they say.
Wow, look at that.
I was instantly matched with a number of enticing ladies and several nut jobs from all over the world.
And then Oh.
To my utter astonishment, one of the sad sack ladies who matched with the devilish cad, Ace Shrift, was my ex-wife, Suzanne.
This was a stunning turn of events, and I did not know how Ace would handle it.
While searching for victims for my catfish scheme, I somehow came across a woman whose user name is NoJerksPlease but whose real name is my ex-wife Suzanne, a woman I had loved dearly but had to divorce so that others might learn from my experience.
You are gonna die alone! Let's not do this.
I don't want to be divorced.
But even when I begged her to take me back four times Stop it.
She said no, no - [bleep]! - No and no.
Sweetheart, don't Aah.
Although I have since gotten over her completely, there was something delicious about a little harmless payback.
So here we go.
It's time to set the bait.
Many times in my life I have approached a woman and broken the ice and been told to go away, but this, waiting with the chance of no reply at all, is maddening.
Has she received the message? 'Cause her profile says that she has been online since I sent it, but has she read it? And if she has, why is she rejecting Ace? Maybe she's not interested in the opposite of me at all.
I mean, maybe she Oh.
That's her.
Oh, that's Suzanne.
I have to confess, I did feel a tinge of excitement that she was interested in me by which I mean Ace, who does not exist.
Deceiving Suzanne in this way was exhilarating.
She had broken my heart.
She had refused to take me back, but now, Ace Shrift had given me the upper hand.
Ace was a cold-blooded fisherman out to catch a warm-blooded fish, and I, Forrest, through Ace, saw an opportunity to toy with her heart as she had toyed with mine.
MacNeil! Close your stupid computer.
Your face looks like a scary nightlight.
You're overplaying your hand.
She's gonna think you're desperate, okay? Shut your computer, and go to sleep.
Catfishing was proving to be a very satisfying pastime.
Oh, God.
Over the next few days, Ace and Suzanne became an online item.
They chatted each and every day and often deep into the night.
Suzanne was falling for Ace, and, truth be told, Ace was not unmoved.
Then, a bombshell dropped from the Internet.
My catfish wants to Skype.
What is Skype? Oh, you're [bleep].
What am I supposed to do? I wouldn't be catfishing her if I'm sitting in front of my computer looking at her, right? You've done a reverse image search? What is that? Put the image in, find out who that is? No! I was now in the trickiest part of catfishing, where you have to find the handsome man whose picture you used in your fake profile and persuade him to Skype with your ex-wife.
There he is.
What? That's Joe Dale Jr.
, the baseball player.
Thanks to my complete ignorance of professional sports, I had chosen the face of a shortstopman for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
How about this place, huh? On the bright side, he was easy to locate and can be hired to make personal appearances of any nature.
- Yo.
- Hello! On the dark side, his appearance fee completely wiped out my retirement account.
Did you bring the cashier's check? - Right here.
- Cool.
Beautiful, beautiful home.
Hello, I'm Forrest.
This is my producer, Grant.
Hey, Joe, if that's your wife, we should just make sure she's not - That's not my wife.
- Oh, okay.
Oh, you know what? I didn't even ask you: do you get Skype here? Okay, it's almost time.
Did you want to put on a pair of pants? - No.
- All right.
I just want to make sure you know everything that there is to know about Ace Shrift.
He's a real cool customer, you know.
Like, he's not like anybody you've ever met before.
He's really confident with women, kind of just knows his way around the bases in life, you know, and sorry, I feel like - Up a little higher.
- No.
- I'm good.
- Okay, all right.
- Do you mind if I just sorry.
- Nah.
- I just - Nah.
Argh, I just feel No, it's not perfect! Oh, oh, God! Okay.
All right, real quick.
You have a PhD in animal husbandry, and you've never had an STD.
Oh, and your favorite author is Agatha Christie.
Hey, beautiful.
- Hello.
- Hi.
Sorry, that's the TV.
Let me shut that off.
Um, I have to confess, I kind of didn't believe you were real.
I mean, "Ace Shrift"? You know that your name is an anagram for "farce shit," right? Yeah, I did, but you know what else? What? I wondered the same way about you, you sexy lady.
I worried that Suzanne would know right away that the grinning simpleton on her computer could not possibly be the charming and witty Mr.
But Suzanne, perhaps distracted by the sight of an athlete in his underpants, wasted no time getting into her backstory.
Not to get too much into my backstory, but I spent a lot of years with the guy who I thought I was meant to be with, and so much of that just turned out to be like a gigantic detour.
So I'm just really ready to to move on.
This emotional moment was more than Joe Dale Jr.
could handle.
Hey, Suzanne, my name's not Ace.
- What? - It's Joe Dale Jr.
- No! Hey! - I play shortstop for the Dodgers.
I'm sorry I was dishonest, but if I use my real name, women aren't honest with me.
I-I bet.
I thought I could do this, but I can't.
Whatever begins with dishonesty always ends in a bad spot.
Trust me, I know.
I'm a baseball player.
And then Joe, for some reason, again told my ex-wife that she seemed like A great and very sexy lady.
However We probably shouldn't contact each other anymore.
No, I get it.
I will miss seeing your face because it's just really great-looking.
- Good-bye.
- Bye, Ace Shrift.
Oh! The cat has been fished! I was terrified! That whole time you were like, "I'm not Ace Shrift, I'm Joe Dale," I was like, "What are you doing? You're gonna give away the whole catfish thing.
" Thank you for ending it like that.
Just ending it.
It's over.
That's the best $40,000 I've ever spent in my life.
That was a terrific investment.
- Yes.
- Yeah.
Well, you guys probably have a lot going on and - That's right.
- No, actually, no.
- Yeah, we should get going.
- Yeah.
Catfishing, just as Joe Dale Jr.
so eloquently put it, begins with dishonesty and ends up in a bad spot.
But there's a part in the middle there where the catfisher tricks his ex-wife into believing that she will find happiness with some fictitious person, and though it's brief and in retrospect, it's pretty disgusting in the moment, it's breathtaking.
Catfishing, three stars.
What is my next review, please, A.
? What are you doing? Well, Forrest, did you know that in Civil War times people used to write letters to each other on thinly sliced trees? - Paper, I know all about paper.
- Oh.
Yeah, big fan.
Our very first ever old person pen pal Mm-hmm.
Is from Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Oh, let me guess the zip code, That actually was right.
Yeah, I know all the zip codes.
That's weird.
- "Dear Forrest MacNeil, - Hmm.
"By the time you read this, - I'll be dead.
" - Wow.
"The gals in my stitch-n-bitch group "are devastated about it "because they believe my awful ghost will haunt them.
"What's it like to spend the night in a haunted house? Sincerely, I.
" Huh.
Well, here I go to find out what it's like to spend a night in a haunted house.
Might be some ghosts there.
There is a very creepy abandoned house in the neighborhood where I grew up, and I headed there with my dad for the purposes of father-son bonding and also because I was scared.
I had forgotten about the old Durretz house and its outlandish and gruesome tale.
A century ago, we are told, a farmer murdered his entire extended family, and he ground them up, and then he fed them to his pigs.
they say, the house became haunted by an unrelated ghost.
Ghosts may or may not exist, but in our world, they do not.
Our evening in the Durretz house was therefore deeply boring, affording me the soundest sleep I'd had in weeks.
But then something happened.
Not an encounter with the earthbound soul of a dead person but an important idea.
Perhaps inspired by my recent experience with catfishing, I realized that I did know a house that was actually haunted.
This is the house where I lived with my ex-wife, Suzanne, and my son, Eric.
This house holds the ghost of what my life used to be.
Forrest! Gene! You're kidding me.
My old neighbor and former best friend, Gene, was like a vision from a life I had lost.
It's me, Forrest.
Forrest MacNeil from the past.
Yeah, I remember.
I'm just visiting the old house.
You're visiting the old house right now? Yeah, mm-hmm.
Well, the people that live there are on vacation, so you might want to come back during the daytime 'cause it's, uh bad to come at midnight.
I understand.
Okay, I guess this isn't really my place anymore, huh? No, you you sold it.
It was great to see you again.
And and you're leaving now? Now, yes.
I believe I will see you again.
Oh, wow.
The lock on this window was always broken, so, assuming they haven't fixed it, I should be able to very carefully, very Aw, [bleep] [bleep]! God damn it.
I'm in.
Come in.
My quest to spend a night in a haunted house had brought me to hallowed ground.
This is where I lived with my boy and the love of my life.
They've made a lot of bad choices here.
It's terrible.
Do they have any idea what came before them in this space? Do they even care? I don't know.
But I do know they need to get rid of that chair right away.
Mmm! I feel like there's a realm where we didn't get divorced right here.
Suzanne and I are still married.
There was a murder in this kitchen, the murder of a marriage.
Oh, give me the strength to go upstairs.
What if I walk into that bedroom and Suzanne and I are in there? Nope.
It occurs to me now that there is a ghost haunting this house tonight.
It's me.
Boo! I had hoped that the alcohol would act as a kind of talisman Suzanne.
Warding off the frightening specter of my slaughtered former life.
But it only brought on greater horrors.
What was that? Did you hear that? Oh! Hello? Who are you? What do you want? Is that the language they speak in hell? [bleep].
We got to get out of here.
And the horrors had just begun.
Gene? Oh, God.
Oh! Oh.
Why did you do that to me? Oh, God! Aah! That woman was Grandma Choi, the matriarch of the family that bought the house from Suzanne.
She's afraid of flying, so she didn't join the rest of her family in Hawaii.
She unfortunately mistook me for an intruder and stabbed me just above the navel, puncturing my large intestine.
Oh, my God, Forrest.
Well, I'm building up a pretty good tolerance to physical pain, so no big deal.
Now, my experience with haunted houses taught me that we create phantoms to avoid thinking about our own frightening or sad realities.
Spending a night in a haunted house, one star.
So what happened to your dad? What do you mean? You left him to spend a night alone in a real haunted house.
Oh, yeah.
Ooh, look in here.
Why would a ghost choose to live here, you know? Why do we assume that ghosts want to live in dilapidated houses? - Ghosts can go anywhere, can't they? - Yes.
If I were a ghost, I'd probably go live in Buckingham Palace.
I think they like the free maintenance.