|Script Post: "Reality Takes a Holiday", Part II
||[Mar. 30th, 2016|07:21 pm]
So when we last left Our Hero, Act One had just concluded...
The beginning of Act II is actually a lot different in this draft than what made it to the screen.
Marshall's V.O. at the beginning of this scene is different as aired: Instead of "Somehow I had to figure a way out of this, but it wasn't looking too good," it becomes, "Every kid dreams of being the star of their own TV show. Well, take it from me: it's a living hell." Also, he adds "Double-correction: Killed dead" at the end.
We then go to some major changes.
We have a whole scene here with Marshall and Omri's agent Bert, rather than the one that appears in the ep where he's at hair and makeup with Julie and Mary-Margaret and getting some rough treatment at the hands of the hairdresser.
We do see the other two at the table briefly. In this draft, "Julie" is a completely different character who is frustrated that she had to put on a sweatshirt to cover her bare midriff instead of telling Mary Margaret that they "have to stand up for women everywhere and demand roles with meatier scripts and better characters for women" and threatening to vomit on the producer "If I have to say one more air-headed big sister line..."
The script is missing the whole "Mom, does Dad know about that tattoo?" exchange, the part where Mary-Margaret admits she cried for days after Jake and the Fatman, and Marshall running off to the hairdresser remarking, "Where's any red-blooded teen star go when they get cancelled? On a crime spree."
Instead, we see Marshall is not overjoyed to learn that his big death scene is generating Emmy buzz for his alter ego.
The scene between Marshall and Bert continues:
In the episode, Marshall still gets the line about not standing still and letting "that weasel Dash" shoot him, but it's Mary-Margaret that gets "Careful, he might hear you" instead of Bert. It makes me wonder exactly how concerned are they supposed to be here? Just trying to avoid a teen actor feud, or is there some perception that Dash is the one in charge?
So we end this page on girls rushing in...
...and on the next page:
Mars is still as nervous around girls as he was when he was Harvest King. But it's okay, because they're interested in Dash anyway. (As are Mary-Margaret and Julie, apparently.)
Bert's frozen smile makes me think Dash worries him.
As Marshall runs away, there's also a cut scene with WARREN LITTLEFIELD (President of NBC at the time) who is interested in meeting Dash. It's not specified whether he would have been playing himself.
[Note: Return to Hooterville was, as far as I know, not a real thing in 1992. It exists now.]
The scene where Marshall runs away past Edgar finally getting his massage is pretty much as scripted.
Justin is on his phone saying, "Darn it, Mom, I told you to sell when it hit fifteen!" In the episode, that conversation doesn't happen until Mars & Dash's fight scene. Instead, Justin's reading the Variety with the "Network Nukes Omri" headline here.
As scripted, Francis says, "It was such a phony scene. And did you see the Miss Thing Jeremy was with?" In the episode, the second part is replaced by "I mean, I felt embarrassed for Dustin, the way people fawn on him..." Also, "Sic transit gloria Omri" is not in the script.
In the episode, Justin doesn't get to say, "He's sure acting weird" in reference to Omri/Mars.
There's a significant, important rewrite in the bit with Jose, Dash and Justin:
Jose is scripted as the one in charge in this draft, telling Justin and Dash to go find Omri, and the stakes aren't that high for anybody but Mars, as far as we know. They just want to get back to filming already.
In the final episode, there's the added Jose line which raises said stakes: "Our little teenage has-been needs a reality check. If he’s not back before the final shot, the network is going to cancel all of us!"
And that's where Dash looks concerned, and orders Jose to just worry about the script, "Justin and I will find him. He's not getting off this lot."
[Which--spoiler alert--they fail at, and hence we don't get season 2. Thanks, Dash. But that's okay; it's no secret I don't think Marshall-less Eerie would have worked anyway.]
They also don't try to take the DeLorean in the final episode like they do here, though Justin does try to touch it, and gets a "Don't touch the car!"
Marshall's V.O. is different in the episode than here. Instead of "I figured my house would be hollow inside--it was" but rationalizing that he has to hide somewhere, Marshall seems to be both a bit more desperate and a bit more trusting in the reality of his house: "Eerie, Indiana: The Last Testament of Marshall Teller. I'd come to the end of the line. Hunted, lost, nowhere to hide. And then I saw...home. The safest place there is. But like everything else, it turned out to be fake!"
This makes some sense given the changes to the World O' Stuff scene.
In the episode, Dash is the one with the megaphone calling Omri.
Detail I just now noticed (probably as a result of watching a bunch of Gravity Falls in the meantime): the gold pyramid on the dash of the golf cart.
There's a cut scene that starts at the end of this page that makes the whole lack of season 2 really hurt for me. Dash (after a line that make me wince by ending in "not") does the "What's that on your shirt?" thing to Justin and they have a slap-fight laughing and bonding moment. This parallel reality that Marshall is beginning to suspect is controlled by Dash includes this specific detail.
Which, Marshall, even knowing full well that this is not the real Simon, gets really upset about:
Yep, threatening to shoot him is one thing, but hanging out with his best buddy...this is going too far.
I need the reality where season 2 happened so much now. I want to see Dash and the real!Simon bonding (which, let's face it, they already sort of have) and Mars not being able to stand it. Especially not after having survived NBC.
Or does Marshall tell Simon, which makes Simon stop trusting Dash and wanting to be his friend? Which means the friendship remains one more thing that Marshall has and Dash doesn't?
Either way, I will regret forever not knowing how this whole dynamic would have played out on TV.
Anyway, on the rest of the page, we have the fight scene. Some slight differences in the action and dialogue here. And in the final episode, we have Justin's angry phone conversation with his Mom.
Also Dash's, "All right, time to go back to the stage, 'Marshall'" when he has Mars pinned down. As aired, it's the first time he uses Marshall's name.
And more fight scene:
Again, some differences from the episode. Significantly, as aired, it's "Eerie's not big enough for the both of us" not "[t]he show."
Dash straight up smacks Marshall!
Also, "We go to Plan B"?! What was Dash's Plan B?
The Fruit of the Loom guys having lunch in the background are not in the script.
Some minor changes:
In the episode, when Jose comes rushing out of the office worried about the DeLorean, he says, "Can't you see? This is an emergency!" to his secretary, Kathy. In the script, it's "Priorities, babe. We gotta check the car."
Which is likely why as scripted, Kathy's first line on getting back to her office is "What a creep."
[Of course, I'm trying to picture all these scenes as played by Archie Hahn now.]
There's also a different pyramid thing in Kathy's office.
In the script, Kathy says, "Nothing like doing things at the last minute. I'll try" instead of "Why didn't he tell me?" when Marshall hands her his new page.
Bigfoot in the chair when Marshall gets back to the set is not in the script.
Marshall has a cut voiceover as he walks back on set after: "I'd done all that I could. Eerie had taken its best shot at me. There was no point in running away...I had to face it." [Interesting that he mentions Eerie as his antagonist here and not Dash specifically.]
Cut from the final episode: Marshall's resigned "Lead on" as the A.D. leads him on set.
This exchange with the director:
Marshall: "Sorry, but if you were living a nightmare, you'd be late, too."
Dante: "Good: use that anger, that desperation. And since we're getting a late start, we're going to pre-rig you for the shooting." [Odd, since at this point, we've just established that he's not as desperate or angry anymore.]
The following lines are not in the script:
Marshall: "Well, I guess I haven’t been myself."
Dante: "You’re telling me. Lyle, he's all yours...full loads, plenty of splatter."
[after Lyle's line]
Dante: "Pull up your shirt. Come on, help the man out, will you?"
In the script, it's "What's he using, a machine gun?" instead of "What's he using, an uzi?"
Not in the script:
Dash's "Lyle, Lyle...those won’t be necessary. We’re doing this take au naturale" and the laughter that follows.
In the script, Kathy’s not reading Mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle as the pages slowly print.
The other actors' action and chatter around the table (Mary-Margaret's "My bangs are way too short and I need a face lift..." and so on) before they shoot is unscripted.
Francis' line slightly changed. In the script, it's "The show must go on...even if it goes on without us." As aired, it becomes "...without some of us" which somehow seems colder.
Marshall has a V.O. before asking about his motivation: "My time was running out fast. If those script changes I made didn't get here soon, well...I didn't know what would happen, but I knew it wouldn't be good."
In the script, there are a couple of extra lines with Dash right before Dante says "Action!"
Dash: "But you can't do that!"
Director: "This is television, kid. The director's just a hired hand. If the pages say change it, I change it. I've got a family to support."
Dash: "Then change it back!"
This is all cut, and instead Dash just runs up behind him yelling, "No, no, no! Don’t say..." unobserved, so we don't know if he could have done anything about Marshall's script changes by talking to the director. He just ran out of time.
In the script, Syndi has the line, "Is he Mr. Weirdo, or what?" as Marshall's wandering around making sure Eerie is really there.
Another cut V.O. as Mars finds the single script page: "All the trouble started when I found that script in the mailbox. If I never set eyes on the script, it couldn't affect me."
This time the page shown onscreen is different from the actual script. Marshall's "You know, on second thought, I think I would like to go to the movie with you guys" is at the bottom of page 1 after Simon saying "Which fingers?" and Syndi showing Marshall the paper. [Which doesn't make any sense, but who's paying attention that closely?]
And we end with some final changes:
Marshall's final voiceover as aired is completely different: "My name is Marshall Teller and I've learned an important lesson about reality. In this life, you can either follow the script they give you or demand a rewrite. But in Eerie, Indiana: Weirdness Central, USA, you’ve got to be ready to improvise."
And Dash does not get one final "BANG!" with an imaginary gun.
It's a slightly more sinister ending.
Alas, we never learned what happened next.