3. The TV Executive

A one act play.

(Ralph and Jeff enter this upmarket bar. A lone barman is cleaning quality glasses. It is early evening with only a few Patrons. Light music is playing in the background. Chandeliers droop from the ceiling.)

Ralph: Man this is a great place.

Jeff: (to the barman) Two highballs. (As they sit at the bar they notice a man sitting himself nearby)

Ralph: Hey fella, How’s things?

Ron: Good. Good. This is some place.

Ralph: It’s pretty, pretty, pretty good. Come on over. Sit with us.

Ron: Thanks, My name’s Ron.

Ralph: Ralph. He’s Jeff.(Jeff nods)

Jeff: Make that three highballs.

Ron: I’m here working for the weekend and tonight I’ve got four hours off work so I’m going to chill out with a good drink or two.

Ralph: Attaboy. All work and no play, et cetera, et cetera. What do you do?

Ron: I’m A TV executive.

Ralph: No way. You’re kidding.

Ron: Actually, I’m not.

Ralph: Jeff. This guy is a TV executive. (Ron does a small laugh, happy with himself) I’ve always wanted to write a show for TV. You must get people saying that to you all the time, don’t you?

Ron: It does happen. (Jeff hands out the highballs) Thanks.

Ralph: Wait till you hear this one, Ron. (Ron shifts uneasily in his chair) This will break all the ratings-(Ron gets up to leave)- hey where you going?

Ron: I must run.

Ralph: Nonsense. You said you were here for the night. Sit down. Jeff, get some more drinks

Jeff: (to the barman) Three highballs.

Ron: I must run

Jeff: Don’t run, Ron.

Ralph: Cop shows. It’s all about procedure and asking questions. Cops are always asking questions? Can’t they solve the crime without asking questions? You must agree with that, every cop show is full of questions, isn’t it? Where were you on the night the murder took place? What was your relationship with the victim? Is this your car? Questions, questions, questions.

Ron: Interrogation and questioning is part of a cop’s job. I’m-

Ralph: -Well, not in my show it ain’t. In this cop show, in every episode there is not one question asked.

Ron: That wouldn’t work. (Jeff hands out the highballs) Thanks.

Ralph: It would. My detectives are there to detect. They’re not quizmasters.

Ron: (to Jeff) What do you think about this?

Jeff: There are a lot of questions asked.

Ralph: See.

Jeff: It can be annoying because a lot of the time the answers are lies.

Ralph: That‘s right, Jeff, I forgot about the red herring lies that are told. In my episodes there are no questions, no lies just plain detective work.

Ron: It won’t work. Give me an outline for a show.

Ralph: Alright…umm…A body is found. Scene one- a dead body. The police arrive and are told by the doctor guy, what’s his name?

Ron: Pathologist.

Jeff: I knew that, you just beat me to the buzzer (to the barman) Three highballs.

Ralph: The Pathologist tells the cops the dead guy has been shot. So the police look for the murder weapon. Now I always think they gloss over the search for the weapon. The next twenty minutes could see the police rummaging through bins and alleys getting down and dirty as they do an extensive search. After all this, they don’t find it. Next they check if there is any cameras in the areas and as there is they take them to HQ and pore over them for hours using all the video equipment. Fast forward, rewind, pause, zoom in et cetera, et cetera but we’ll condense that in the show to thirty minutes. Eventually, the killer is seen on the camera committing the crime and it’s only a matter of time before the police find him. No questions, just detective work. Now, there’s a show.

Jeff: I’d watch that.

Ron: I don’t think many others would.

Ralph: Ach, you try to be original and this is what you get. TV is so bland nowadays.

Ron: I really must go.

Ralph: Hold on, hold on. How about this one? Unsolved.

Ron: Unsolved?

Ralph: Yeah. You could run a series where every crime doesn’t get solved. I mean, come on, this happens in the real world. Unsolved. The perpetrator gets away scot free. It’d be a ratings winner.

Ron: I have to go. I’ll..uh.. pass on your ideas to some producer friends of mine.

Ralph: Will you? That’d be great. You know I don’t want any credit or nothing. I’d just be happy to watch the shows.

Ron: Thanks for the drinks

(exit Ron)

Ralph: Nice guy

Jeff: (to the barman) Two highballs.

Ralph: Nice guy.

Jeff: Whoa, are my eyes deceiving me? That man that just walked in. Sitting in the corner over there. Ralph, that’s not Speilberg by any chance, is it?

Ralph: It is. I’ve waited years for this. This is my chance to tell him about the films that should be made.

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