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Jack and Karen on Sitcoms

(from a will & grace script)

[KAREN IS STANDING AT THE WATER COOLER LOOKING AT HER WATCH WHEN JACK ENTERS FROM THE ELEVATOR.]

KAREN: Oh, honey, where have you been? I’ve been waiting here at the water cooler for us to have our water cooler chat.

JACK: So did you start talking about “Sex and the City” yet?

KAREN: We just started. Oh. Honey, I am so glad that Carrie ended up with Big instead of that 70-year-old ballerina.

JACK: I know. [SIGHS] And when she walked into that coffee shop at the end and the other girl started screaming, I’m not ashamed to say I was crying like a little girl. Well, of course, I was piercing my ears too.

KAREN: [SIGHS] Oh, honey, I’m gonna miss my “Sex and the City.”

JACK: Oh. Me too, Karen.

KAREN: But at least I’ve still got my “Frasier” and my “Friends.”

JACK: Well, wait, didn’t you hear? “Frasier” and “Friends” are going off the air too.

[KAREN HAULS BACK AND SLAPS JACK ACROSS THE FACE–HARD.]

KAREN: Don’t tell me that, Jackie! Not now. Not today.

JACK: Believe me, Karen, I know. It’s tragic.

[KAREN SIGHS.]

JACK: I went through some of the biggest changes of my life with those shows. Cargo pants came in, went out, came back in again.

[KAREN NODS.]

JACK: I don’t know whether they’re in or out, but I bought 32 pairs of them with Will’s money so I’m gonna wear ’em.

KAREN: You wanna talk about changes? I went through perhaps the most important milestone of my life: the tiny knapsack.

JACK: Oh, the tiny knapsack. How could a knapsack so tiny hold all my dreams?

KAREN: Oh, Jackie, what are we gonna do? What are we gonna talk about around this water cooler every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning?

JACK: I don’t know, Karen. I mean, you hear about when other people lose their shows, but you never think it’s gonna happen to you. It makes me sick to think how cruel I was to my own mother when “Barnaby Jones” got cancelled.

KAREN: [SIGHS] You know, when Stan died, I knew just what to do. A few months later, I simply got engaged to someone else. But this is different, Jackie. This is television.

JACK: But, Karen, don’t you see? We just have to find a new show. Something that combines the gay sensibility of “Sex and the City,” the gay sensibility of “Frasier,” and the gay sensibility of “Friends.”

KAREN: [GASPS] Oh, honey, you mean like “Magnum, P.I.”?

JACK: No, Karen. That show got cancelled years ago.

[KAREN HAULS BACK AND SLAPS JACK ACROSS THE FACE.]

***

[JACK AND KAREN SIT DOWN ON THE LOVESEAT IN THE TV ROOM.]

KAREN: All right. This is it, Jackie. The beginning of a new era. We are going to let new fictitious characters into our lives.

JACK: Now, I think it’s important to be fair to these new shows. So let’s give each one of them five seconds to grab our interest.

[JACK TURNS ON THE TV WITH THE REMOTE CONTROL.]

KAREN: All right. Bring on the shows.

JACK: Nope. [JACK CHANGES THE CHANNEL WITH THE REMOTE.]

KAREN: Nope. [JACK CHANGES THE CHANNEL.]

JACK: Fat guy, skinny wife. [JACK CHANGES THE CHANNEL.]

KAREN: Fat guy, skinny wife. [JACK CHANGES THE CHANNEL.]

JACK: Fat guy, skinny wife. [JACK CHANGES THE CHANNEL.]

KAREN: Ugly guy, skinny wife? America is not ready for that.

[JACK SIGHS AND TURNS OFF THE TV.]

JACK: [ROLLS HIS EYES] Ugh. The stock dumb character. When are they gonna stop insulting our intelligence with these morons?

KAREN: [SIGHS] Jackie, you accidentally turned it off. You’re looking at your reflection.

JACK: Oh.

[JACK TURNS THE TV BACK ON.]

KAREN: Okay, now this is like a pastiche of five other shows like something written by a committee. They’re trying to please everybody, but ironically have ended up pleasing nobody.

[JACK TURNS THE TV OFF.]

KAREN: [SCOFFS] It’s hopeless, Jackie. TV is over!

[KAREN AND JACK STAND UP AND WALK TO THE KITCHEN TO GET A DRINK.]

JACK: Pfff. You’re right. There’s never gonna be shows like that again. There’s never gonna be a funky barka lounger in an immaculate Seattle living room with two brothers, one fussier than the next.

KAREN: Or six friends living together. [IMITATING CHANDLER BING] Could a show be any funnier?

JACK: Or four women sitting around drinking cosmos talking about penises and penis-hers.

KAREN: Jackie, I think you’re forgetting about the fifth woman, a lady I like to call Manhattan.

JACK: So what are we gonna do, Karen? [SIGHS] I guess we’ll just have to find something else to talk about.

KAREN: Hey. You know, we could go out and have life experiences of our own, then get together later and discuss them. You know, like the people on TV do.

JACK: Right. That’s good, Karen. I’ll meet you at Central Perk in an hour.

KAREN: Jack, that place is fictitious.

JACK: Okay, two hours.

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