The Other Black Girl (2023) s01e03 Episode Script

I Know a Place

NELLA: Previously, on
The Other Black Girl
- VERA: Needles and Pins.
- NELLA: Shartricia is problematic.
- I really liked the book.
VERA: You will apologize.
NELLA: This whole thing with Colin
is undoing the past two years.
Just in time for its 35th anniversary,
a rerelease of Burning Heart.
I mean, she never looked out for
me the way that we're supposed to.
- You know what I mean?
- Colin, I'm sorry.
I had an idea. We should
do a sensitivity read.
Wasn't the sensitivity
read Nella's idea?
I got your back from now on.
I know a place ♪
D, are you almost done?
Dang, you impatient.
- KENDRA: Yeah, it hurt.
- DIANA: 'Kay, well, take it easy.
Ah, ah. Not so tight, D.
Not my fault. You got a soft head.
That's on Auntie Bev for
giving you such a soft life.
[LAUGHS] Oh, I can't
wait 'til I'm in Boston
and I can meet someone who won't
give me shit while they do my braids.
In Boston? [LAUGHS]
Good luck findin' anybody
- who could do this.
- Ah.
- Sorry, I just don't get why you have to leave.
Harvard is Harvard,
but Diana is Diana, too.
There's only one of me.
Yeah, and I'm lucky I got you.
Damn right.
Huge, man-sized feet and all.
- Wow. You see how you do?
[SOFTLY] Come here.
I'm never really gonna leave you.
All right? I just
You've always known you
want to tell stories.
I need to figure myself out.
And Harvard's the best place for that.
Even if that means some
pasty ass Red Sox fan
has to jack up my scalp once or twice.
- [CHUCKLES] You know they will.
- Yeah, they will.
Call me every day.
'Kay, Kenny? I don't care
if you run out of quarters.
Forget your laundry.
You're gonna wear a dirty bra
and call your best friend, okay?
On lock?
On lock.
[DIANA CHUCKLES] Little lady ♪
All right ♪
Mm-mm-mm, mm ♪
Mm, duh-duh-duh ♪
And suck it so ♪
- NELLA: Oh, my God.
my God?" Is that cat back?
No, I completely forgot about this thing
that Vera wanted me to read
at the office last night,
and I guess that Hazel
just dropped it off.
Oh. Seems nice.
Yep. She lives in Harlem. That's,
like, over an hour train ride.
Maybe she was visiting her
boyfriend, or girlfriend,
or grandma, grandma's girlfriend.
I don't know. People go places.
I think you're overthinking
it. It seems really nice.
Like, too nice.
There's no such thing.
I gotta go. I swallowed so much
toothpaste to have this conversation.
Hazel told me we have the
same brow shape. [CHUCKLES]
I know, and you've told
me four times this week.
- Hey.
- Hi.
Did you come to my apartment last night?
So, you got the manuscript?
- Yeah.
Thanks, I mean, I really can't believe
that you went so far outta your way
- just to help me like that.
- It's not a problem at all.
I was at this wine bar in
your neighborhood, Olla's.
- Have you been?
- No, it's kind
Uh, uh, well, yeah, once, um,
it's just a little pricey.
[LAUGHS] But so worth it.
Yeah. So worth all that money.
But thank you
for standing up for me
in the meeting yesterday
and for the manuscript.
I mean, you have the same 24
hours in a day that I do, right?
I told you Got your back.
VERA: Did you read it? [CLEARS THROAT]
- The Garcia manuscript. Did you read it?
- [MOUTHING] Thank you!
- [MOUTHING] You're welcome.
- NELLA: Yes, I did.
I loved it. Um, quick read.
You could almost read
it in one subway ride.
Wow, I totally agree.
And we should add that
to the marketing campaign.
Nothing's more relatable
than the subway.
- Nothing.
- VERA: Oh,
I have the worst headache in
the history of the Western world.
I hate to ask you, but will
you go to the break room
and get something for me?
Uh, Advil, Lorazepam,
whatever they have in there.
- Yeah.
- I'll give you a hand with that, Nell.
- Oh, well, don't you wanna wait for Maisy?
Nah, she's not gonna
be in 'til later today.
Well, time is just a construct
when your trust fund kicks in at 16.
Uh don't tell her I said that.
Oh, it's okay. I get it.
She's got a doctor's appointment
- every Friday afternoon.
- VERA: Mm.
Didn't know the doctor makes house
calls to her boyfriend's apartment.
[LAUGHS] Oh, Hazel you're bad.
This is really a one-person job.
Look. Come to a party with me tonight.
- What? What party? Isn't it, like, a Wednesday?
[SCOFFS] Girl, my friend
who works at Condé Nast
said that there's a huge fundraiser
for MoMa uptown somewhere.
- You got invited?
So, you're just gonna crash?
[SNAPS FINGERS] Tell people you
belong and they'll believe it.
- Nella, this is the kinda thing
that cultural elites go to.
Okay? A.K.A., people who
wanna write books, right?
Maybe Anna Wintour has a book
about under seasonin' chicken
and reusin' teabags she
just can't wait to write.
And she's waiting at this party
for an up-and-coming editor
to coax it out of her.
But we gotta get there by,
like, six so we can roll in.
Okay, well, that's never gonna happen
because Vera has never let
me outta here before six.
When her grandmother died, she
made me go sit shiva with her.
- Damn.
- Yeah.
Maisy already said that
she was leavin' early
so she could try and poach
an author. [CLICKING TONGUE]
So, we just need to
get Vera out somehow.
Maybe that's it.
What's the deal with them?
- Vera and Maisy?
- Mm.
- They hate each other.
So, Vera and Maisy were
assistants together.
They've, kind of, always been pitted
against each other from day one.
Ooh. Rough night?
No. Why?
Oh, you just look tired.
[CHUCKLES] Well, when you
have a best-selling author
Oh, you wouldn't understand.
- Bye.
- Bye, now.
- Bitch.
- VERA: Bitch.
NELLA: When they were
both promoted to editor,
Wagner only trusted them
with female-skewing books.
Gone Girl, Girl on a Train,
Girl Does Crazy Thing,
What's Wrong With Girl?
Basically, anything
with "girl" in the title.
Now, anytime one succeeds,
they feel like it's at
the expense of the other.
[CHUCKLES] Perfect.
- Hazel.
I was just checkin' in
to see how you're feelin'.
Oh, do you have a spare
semi-truck to run over my forehead?
[CHUCKLES] Uh, if you need anything,
you know an extra pair of
eyes on something, I'm here.
Maisy said that she's leaving early
to try to poach an
author, so I'll be free.
Mm, author? What? Who is it?
I really shouldn't say in
case it doesn't work out.
[QUIETLY] Just between
us. You can tell me.
And it's fine. It's fine.
Maisy and I are old friends.
I've known all three of her noses.
[LAUGHS] Uh, I, I guess
you'll find out eventually.
It's, um, Kevin McMicheals,
the mystery novelist.
Yeah, he lives in Idaho, but
he comes to New York once a year
to pitch his next book,
and he always has a cocktail
at 5:00 P.M. at Chez Zou.
So Maisy's gonna go
and introduce herself.
We are so lucky to have you, Hazel.
Nella, I'm heading out.
This headache, it just
makes me want a drink.
[WHISPERING] Can you make me a
reservation for Chez Zou at five?
- [WHISPERS] Great.
And I'm sorry about yesterday.
Sometimes I think I work too
hard and I work you too hard.
So no more calls tonight.
Just take off. When you're done.
NELLA: What did you do to her?
Gave her exactly what she wanted.
Come on, let's get changed.
I mean, all I have is my work clothes.
Well, I do have a sweatshirt that
I keep here for when it gets cold,
but it's got a big picture
of Steve Urkel on it.
[LAUGHS] Are you serious?
Oh my Okay, come on.
Mm-mm. [LAUGHS] I got you.
I don't like nobody, I
don't feel guilty about it ♪
I just got my body done,
ain't got no guilt about it ♪
I just heard your opinion,
I could've did without it ♪
All these bitches is minions,
despicable like, ooh, oh ♪
Feeling like Mike Lowrey, oh ♪
Proud about my salary, oh, ooh, oh ♪
Heard they calling me out ♪
Love it when they calling me out, oh ♪
I got no reason to depend on you ♪
Oh, wow. I
You kinda made me look like you.
You're welcome.
- Or not. Damn!
- No, I-I love it.
- Did we just do something fucked up?
With Vera and Maisy?
Like, did we contribute to the
already fucked-up-ness of the system?
You can't take all the problems of
the world on your shoulders like that.
Colin? Then this?
We just out here tryin' to survive.
By survive you mean
get some free champagne
and watch Anna Wintour get
sloppy on the dance floor?
You and I know exactly how
fucked up the system is,
more than Vera and Maisy.
We're taking advantage of something
created by the powers that be
long before you and I both
stepped onto those elevators.
You need to take the wins
where we can get them.
And tonight, that means [SNAPPING
FINGERS] we gon' draaaaank.
[SIGHS] Just promise me you'll
take this for what it is.
A win.
I promise.
Oh, my God. You're bleeding.
- What?
- Do you need, like, a Band-Aid
- or something?
- Just I'm fine, I'm fine!
Uh I'm gonna meet you downstairs.
We're gonna crush that party.


Okay. Ivy League. [LAUGHS]
You need to graduate
so we can afford a taxi.
[SIGHS] I'm so, so happy you're here.
Me too.
So, what do you wanna do tonight?
How does Harvard get down?
Have they even heard of Stevie Wonder?
Uh, well, actually I, um,
I figured we could stay in and catch up.
Is everything okay?
sometimes it feels like
everybody's looking at me.
That's just white people, Kenny.
You gotta let these
things roll off your back.
Well, it's easy for you to say.
- Or you could transfer.
- You're not happy. Right? So, you
- No, no, I can't just give up.
I'm lucky to be here in the first place.
Okay, well, I wish I could help,
but it doesn't seem like you want me to.
[SIGHS] Because you
can't. You don't get it.
I'ma go wash my face.
Diana, I didn't mean
FYI, there is a naked man
playing guitar in your hallway.
Welcome to my island ♪
See the palm trees wave in the wind ♪
Can't believe this is happening.
I'm sweating so much right
now, my body is, like, peeing.
Is that possible?
Girl, you need to chill.
Ooh, ooh. Hey! Hey!
Oh, my God, hi!
Oh, you're back from London.
- Yeah, just got back.
- HAZEL: Hm.
How do I know you again?
Oh, my bad. You not Pharrell.
How did you know he was in London?
Girl, that hat.
If he wasn't in London, he
wanted to pretend he was.
- This is
- Ah, cute.
Okay, you ready to go
talk to some people?
Uh, could we maybe, like, get
a drink or something first?
Look, all you gotta do is
just chat a little bit, okay?
That is how you move up in the world.
Girls! I-I'm Kate, the
hostess of this little shindig.
Um, tell me again who invited you?
I Well, I We are
I'm Hazel-May McCall
and this is Nella Rogers.
We're editors at Wagner
Books, junior editors.
You know, I was at
drinks with Giselle Chung
from Penguin Random House last week,
and she mentioned that you
were having this thing tonight,
but I I haven't seen her.
Oh, well, Giselle's in
Greece for two weeks.
- You know.
- Oh, right, right.
She'll be so sad she
missed you, I'm sure.
Yeah. You know what's so
funny is I, I didn't know that
- Wagner had two new editors.
[LAUGHS] That is really funny.
You know, I am just gonna have
to tell Richard that I need
that press release next
Oh, my God, is that an
original Danielle Mabry?
Well, I think it's safe to say
that you have a very good eye.
You know, Hazel, if you
are into modern sculpture,
- there's someone over here you really should meet.
- Um.
Hi. Yeah. Thanks.
The ocean blue ♪
I am my father's daughter in the end ♪
He says watch your ego,
watch your head, girl ♪
You're so smart, so talented ♪
Hi, I'm Nella Rogers. I'm an
assistant editor at Wagner Books.
Have you seen the sculpture?
Are you feelin' okay, honey?
Yes. I'm sorry. I'm
just I'm very nervous.
I'm Lena. Lena Jordan.
Wait, as in, " and this is our
podcast producer, Lena Jordan?"
With Get the Real with Jesse Watson?
That podcast is, like, my Bible.
I actually have to
admit, I sent him a DM.
Not you, too
He gets a million DMs.
Lots of feet pics.
[LAUGHS] No, not that kind of DM.
I was actually trying to convince him
to come and write something at Wagner.
I just know that he has a
brilliant book inside of him.
Oh, what, you don't think so?
Oh, no. I know he does.
But I also know that Wagner is
absolutely not the right place for him.
- They haven't had a Black editor since
- Kendra Rae Phillips.
A million years ago?
Listen, I know that Wagner has a
bad reputation for people like us,
and I know firsthand
that it is well deserved.
We are gonna change
them from the inside out.
They were a trailblazing
company back in the day,
and they can be that again.
Honey, I love that you
believe in yourself,
but having 15 years on you,
I know nothing ever changes.
Good luck on your journey.
Hey, hey, hey, hey ♪
Hey, hey, hey, hey ♪
NELLA: Come on, come on.
reach Hazel-May McCall.
- Please leave a message.
I'm in the stairwell.
[SIGHS] Good luck.
Who is this?
You okay?
Yeah Just needed a breather.
Had a weird conversation.
Two weird conversations, actually.
You know what goes really
great with weird conversations?
Mini sandwiches and champagne.
- [LAUGHS] Oh.
- Mm-hm.
- You want? [CHUCKLES]
- Thank you.
Oh, my God, you are
so fuckin' moody, girl.
Like, I have never met
anyone more clearly a Cancer.
I know, I know. I just I'm feeling,
[INHALES SHARPLY] like, wistful.
- No, I am.
Well, I'm startin' to feel like
I'm not going anywhere at Wagner
and I've just wasted the last two years.
You know what?
I am about to "Iyanla, Fix Your Life."
[LAUGHS] You have all
the tools in the toolbox.
You just, you just need to use them.
Like, fuckin' take a risk.
Why is an up-and-coming
editor hiding in a stairwell
from the party of the year?
- Okay, fair.
- Yeah.
But don't you wanna be
the up-and-coming editor?
Well, sure.
Well, then why are you
being so nice to me?
We're competition.
Look at Vera and Maisy.
They make each other miserable,
and there is more than enough
room in the world for both of them.
I don't wanna be that.
Do you?
Definitely not.
You shine. I shine.
[CLICKS TONGUE] On periodt.
Let's get back in there.
Everyone's probably
talkin' about Steve Urkel,
- and you're not even there.
- Come on, come on. Get your stuff.
- Okay, okay.
Hi I'm Nella. I'm an
editor at Wagner Books.
I'm really sorry to interrupt.
I just wanted to talk to you
about some of the titles we
have on our upcoming slate
that I am really, really excited about.
Do you have a business card?
Yeah. Well, not exactly
I don't think she's
had them printed yet.
Isn't that right, Nella?
- Richard I
- Let's have a chat.

So, what would you do?
Oh, you're a big, fancy
editor, I understand.
What's your first project?
- I'm really sorry. I didn't
- Ya didn't think you'd get caught.
You took a big risk, Nella.
- Impersonating an editor
- I know. It's not me.
This party, the lying this lip color.
is the ballsiest thing
I've ever seen you do.
Wait, what?
Keep going.
Tell me about your first project.
Burning Heart.
It's the 35th anniversary,
and I think that you
that Wagner should do a rerelease.
- Go on.
- Wow, okay.
I-I, uh, actually have a
whole presentation with P&Ls,
and art mock-ups, and we
could do a new foreword,
maybe by Diana Gordon
or Kendra Rae Phillips?
No. Kendra Rae Phillips is not possible.
I know that no one has heard from
her since she left publishing,
but we could find her.
I could find her.
I'm really sorry. I didn't
I shouldn't have brought it up.
I don't know what I was thinking.
You know, after all this time,
Burning Heart is still the thing
I'm most proud of in my career?
And Kendra Rae Phillips
is my biggest regret.
Couple weeks after the book came out,
they found her bag and her
ID on a subway platform,
no one ever heard from her again.
That's the official story.
But that's bullshit.
Kendra Rae took her own life.
Broke my heart.
I am so sorry for your loss.
And I don't mean to
speak out of turn here,
but shouldn't we do a
rerelease of the book?
To honor Kendra Rae?
You know, you remind me of her.
You cannot keep an idea inside no
matter how up against it you are.
Let's talk about it more tomorrow.
Maybe there's something there.
Goodnight, Nella.
Livin' in the moment ♪
Kenny! [GIGGLES]
Diana, what are you Look,
you can't just show up here.
But I brought sandwiches.
Yeah, I can't eat those.
- What?
- [LAUGHS] Also, I can't leave for lunch.
I just can't let them
think I'm slacking.
Wagner has been working you too hard.
Is that Richard?
That's your boss?
- Now, quit.
- Mm-mm. 'Scuse me?
- Are you Richard Wagner?
- I am.
I'm sorry. I just wanted to say
that you have such a superstar
in my friend, Kendra Rae Phillips, here.
We're lucky to have her.
She never says hello to me
on the elevator, but I get it.
- I'm scary. [CHUCKLES]
- Oh. [LAUGHS]
- What's your name?
- I'm Diana Gordon.
- I'm a writer.
- She any good?
Uh, yes, she's fantastic.
Um, early Faulkner mixed with
Angelou, but still uniquely Diana.
Well, you'll have to show
me what you're workin' on.
Maybe over a lunch a little more
exciting than what you have there.
- I'd love that.
- Great.
Meet me downstairs in five? The
three of us, we can talk shop.
It was nice to meet you, Diana.
Likewise. [CHUCKLES]
Uh, uh, uh. [SNAPPING]
Can you believe that? [LAUGHS]
You okay? What's wrong?
Did you come here to have lunch with
me or just to pitch yourself to my boss?
Whoa, what? I just did us both a favor.
We are having lunch with
the Wagner of Wagner Books.
Are you serious right now?
[SIGHS] No, you're right. You're right.
- Let's go to lunch.
That could've been so, so, so, so bad.
Ah! But it wasn't, I told you.
Oh, my God, is this
what cocaine feels like?
- [CHUCKLES] Yeah, no.
- Oh.
You have so much potential, Nella.
It just needs to be unlocked.
And I mean, wasn't it so crazy what
he said about Kendra Rae Phillips?
Oh, I get it.
She was totally alone
and she just lost it.
Yeah I mean, thank
God we're not alone.
Not anymore. [CHUCKLES]
Weird thought, should we get more food?
You know what? I'm
glad you said somethin'
because I was startin' to wonder
if 24-hour ramen was a thing?
Ooh, invent it. Invent it right now.
- Wanna go over?
- Ooh, yes!
- Hi!
- NELLA: We're looking for some ramen.
Things have changed.
I need you.

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