Stark Raving Mad (2002) s01e01 Episode Script

Pilot

-Thank you, Jonathan.
-You wanted to see me, Audrey? Oh, I'm sorry.
That's alright.
Henry McNeeley, this is Jonathan Jonathan Dolton.
I know! Hi.
I don't usually shake hands, but I'm such a fan of your books, it's an honor! -Hand sanitizer.
-Yes, I know.
-So long, Audrey.
-I'd kiss you goodbye, but as you know my lips have been on your ass for the last half hour.
Let's celebrate! I just for three more books! What a cooze! The man has such a glorious gift for the beauty of rotten language.
The lyrical way he uses words to express the most tender Son of a What, did they put a fricking cord in here? Audrey, it's fine.
My system currently had champagne at 9 am in the morning.
-You wanted to see me? -Come to the window.
Look at that city.
Today is the day you'll step up and baldly claim your - Henry? Vertigo.
I can baldly claim from here! Don't be ridiculous! Okay.
Oh, yeah.
Hey, this is nice! Your days in editing those cheesy romance novels are over.
I'm teaming you with a major author.
-Oh, my God! Jonathan Dolton! -Ian Stark.
Ian Stark, the horror novelist? The bestselling horror novelist.
"Below Ground" was on the list for 46 weeks.
-So, I'm going from romance to horror? -Relax.
It's a natural progression.
At least in my life! I'm not a big fan of the horror genre.
I don't like being scared.
Maybe it stems from when I was a child and a bug crawled across my nightlight.
It's either that nightlight or that upstairs neighbors were murdered.
Come on, Henry! This is a big step for you.
Yeah, but working with a horror novelist, wasn't exactly part of the plan.
Neither was having a son who's saving up for breast implants.
But you go with the flow! I thought Caloay was editing Stark.
Caloay is resting.
And then, we have sizeably invested in Mr Stark who unfortunately finds himself a little bluffed.
-I need you to get him writing again.
-Audrey, I really don't think -Henry, do this.
-Okay.
Stephanie BELOW GROUND IAN STARK Oh, my -Hey.
-Hi! -Henry McNeeley.
-Oh.
I was hoping you were the pizza guy.
Ordered a pizza, huh? No.
Just hoping.
Come on in.
So, congratulations on "Below Ground.
" Oh, well, thanks! It took two years, but it was worth it.
Two years isn't so long for a first novel.
That wasn't my first novel.
They'd made me read a but load of books in High School.
You're not Ian, are you? No.
I work for him.
I'm typing his pages.
I'm Jake.
Is Ian here? Yeah, he's up in his room.
Go on in.
Ah, okay.
Mister Stark? I'm so sorry! That is no way to make a good first impression! Oh, boy! What a mess! I'm really sorry about this.
Whatever it costs, I insist you send me Oh, my God! Oh, my God! I forgot your name! That's okay! No! No, get in here! Oh, my God! -Oh, my God! -Help me get him down and call 911! And watch those hands! First move was to lift me, Jake.
-Write that down.
-Got it! What the hell is going on? You broke my lamp! -I thought you were dead! -That makes it ok to break my lamp? So, why were you hanging? Ah, research.
I made up a character who fakes his own death and -I needed to make sure it was realistic.
-But your legs were cold Yeah! I sat in an icy cab for 45 minutes to completely numb my rural extremity.
Remind me to cut the love scene.
By the way, we haven't formally met.
Henry McNeeley.
Ah, yeah.
Ian Stark.
Audrey didn't tell me much about you.
Yeah.
She left out a few details about you, too.
So, you wrote a character who fakes his own death.
Why don't you tell me about that? Won't you tell me about that stuff you're rubbing into your hands? Simple antibacterial hand sanitizer.
Ah may I? Yeah, sure.
-Thanks.
-Yeah.
Consider it a gift.
Anyway.
Ah, getting back to your book where did it take place? 'Cause I've always felt that the setting helped the sign Oh, hi! -How do I stop him? -With those legs? Good luck! Down, Edgar! Edgar! You know what's weird? There are about 28 in-star websites, Henry.
Can you imagine? Some people actually care about where I'm from and who I read and what I look like naked.
There are naked pictures of you on the Internet? And on the fridge.
Oh, my Anyway.
Why don't I tell you how I work? I like to take all of your story elements and list them on multi-colored indexed cards and then I arrange them in easy-to-read sequence on a four-foot board.
Nah.
I don't know, I think it all sounds kinda peppy to me, you know.
I'm not big on peppy people! Was I peppy? I didn't mean to be peppy.
What are you, about 12? I know I may look young, but I've actually been editing for almost five years now! Ah, mostly short fiction, a few What are you doing? There's something stuck in my teeth.
Well, here.
You want some dental floss? No, thanks.
That stuff makes my gums bleed.
Look, Ian.
I know what you've been going through.
A lot of writers have trouble facing a blank page.
And that If you add the talent and the hard work and your unique view of the world while I fold in the motivation, the organization and the discipline, I guarantee we'll end up with a great book and along the way, we are gonna have a heck of a good time! Excuse me, I was supposed to meet somebody upstairs and I got a notice saying to come down here.
Do you know -by any chance, where Ian Stark is? -The singer.
-No, the author.
-No, the singer.
No, the author.
I'm Henry McNeeley.
I'm his new editor.
-Maddie.
Let me get you a drink.
-I'm not much of a drinker.
Oh, you will be! Oh, you know, It's gonna be different this time.
Yeah, I have a lot of experience dealing with difficult That's okay.
If I get to know you too well, it will just make it harder for me when you snap.
How long have I been here? Oh, man! Was I supposed to be timing you? This is completely unprofessional! I'm trying to help him! But do I get any cooperation? No! In the four days since I've been here, I've gotten excuses and stalls, and childish pranks, which between you and me have gotten a little stale and predictable! He fell right over the couch! What are you doing? Research, Henry.
I'm trying to determine how someone reacts upon finding a decapitated head! So, you're scientifically proving that the normal reaction for finding a decapitated head is to be startled? And pissy! Write that down.
Pissy? You want pissy? I'll show you pissy! You demented, irresponsible, death-faking freak! Great.
Jake, get the indexed cards.
He's organizing a tantrum.
That's funny! That's very, very funny! But you know what cracks me up? That guy who plays piano and sings songs about the Congress? That I come here every night, like a vampire thinking that we are actually going to work! Well, the joke is on me, because the only way I'm walking out of here with an Ian Stark novel, is is if I steal one off the What the hell is on that thing? That's it.
I'm done.
I'm finished.
Life is too short! You're right, Henry.
So little time! So many germs.
I'm sorry, I'm having a little trouble taking criticism from a man with his head in the couch! That's certainly preferable to where your head is at the moment! You're right.
My head maybe in the sand -Oh, I think he meant up -I know what he meant! The hell with it.
I'm done babysitting.
I'm gonna go find a writer, who actually writes! Ok! Bye-bye, Henry! Sorry if we scared you away! -You're the one who's scared! -Me? -Of what? -Of writing! Of failing.
Of finding out that your worst fear is true.
That you're nothing, but a one-book wonder.
Henry, wake up! Henry.
Oh, my! It's me, Jake, man! I need to talk to you.
So, you break here? Why don't you just call? Well, it's really scary to get a phone call in the middle of the night.
-How do you afford this place? -Jake, what are you doing here? No, seriously! This is a really nice building.
The rent's got to be My father helps me out, okay? -God! He must be rich.
What's he do? -He is a trader.
And the government lets him just walk around? Of commodities! What are you doing here? Don't say anything to Ian, but I had to show you these.
He started writing again! -When? -Tonight.
Right after you left.
You know what, Jake.
I'm not interested.
-No.
What? -I'm not interested! No! The guy hasn't written in over a year! I mean you did it! You got through to him, man! You got to stick with this! Doesn't loyalty mean anything to you? Probably not, with your traitor dad! "Darkness devoured the landscape.
A gluten that allows feast.
" "It's better this way, Tom thought.
In the warm" "dray sty, it all seemed more real.
" "And now there was nothing but the grooves of dust to hand.
" "Bony hands waving" - not "waving.
" "Pleading.
Snagging from his coat" "as he pulled the thick coarse rope over his head.
" "He tightened it around his neck.
" "He began meditation to sleet his pulse.
" "He knew how to do this.
" "Die without dying.
" "A branch clawed at his jacket.
" "He turned.
" "But there was no branch.
" "A blinding clothe to the back of his head.
" "We fool ourselves with lighted noise and motion" "to hide from the threat" - not threat, what's better? - Peril.
"He grinned and drew his knife, the one with the shiny pearl handle.
" "He stepped inside, knowing that when he came out" "if he came out" "he would never be the same.
" Congratulations! These pages are extraordinary! -It's brilliant! -I couldn't agree more.
The language, the imagery The man is a genius! He is also a raving lunatics! So get him away from me! -What? -I can't take it, Audrey! In the last week, I haven't slept, I haven't eaten I haven't shaved! -You? You haven't shaved? -Yes, you have to feel it.
Right here.
Come on! No, Audrey, no! I swear to God, if you don't get me another author right now I will jump off this window! Henry! Your vertigo! Who cares? Get me off the Stark train or mop me off the sidewalk! Alright, fine.
We'll get you another author.
-I want Jonathan Dolton.
-Fine! Anyway.
-Just come down.
-And I want a raise! In that case I'm afraid you'll have to jump.
The blue cards represent regional story.
The yellow cards represent Gwendolyn story.
And when they meet, as you can see, the cards become green.
Now, as you may have noticed, some of the cards have lines and some do not.
The unlined cards, or "blank cards" are here, here, here, here and here.
What are you doing? Nothing.
Sorry.
Sorry.
Go on.
Where was I? Oh, yes.
Here, here, here and here.
-Help! -What is that? Help! What the hell is he doing? Help! So sweet! He's trying to fit in! Help! I can't get down! And every time that air conditioning kicks in, I start spinning! -What the hell are you doing? -I'm trying to be less phobic.
And I'm afraid it's going well.
Well, dude, you got it on wrong! Yeah.
Thanks, Jake! -Why are you even here? -I read your pages.
What? How did you get my pages? I'll go find out! Ian.
I want to work on this book with you.
It's brilliant.
That's funny.
Someone told me I was a one-book wonder.
I was wrong.
And I'm not just saying that because this harness is killing me! No wonder women always played Peter Pan! Forget it, Henry.
Forget it.
-You quit.
-Yeah.
Yeah, yeah.
But then, you wrote again.
Just to prove me wrong.
So, admit it, you need me.
Alright, I'll go first.
You frighten me, you're weird.
And dangerous and unsanitary.
But maybe I need a little more of that in my life right now.
Okay, now you go.
Come on, this is the part where you admit that you need me! Go on.
Go on.
-I need you.
-See, that wasn't so hard.
Said the old caretaker's wife, as she plunged the dagger into his heart.
No, no! You meant me.
"She switched in the knife, hustling, twisting" Too late, I heard you! -"trying to squelch the" -No.
You're not fooling anybody, you missed me! "the voice that always thought it was right.
" I am right! I heard you! Ha-ha, hah! You need me! You need me! You need me! I need you! A little help? No, not you, Edgar!