Monday, September 28, 2015

YOA and the Format Restructure

Well, clearing out ye olde hardedrivee I stumbled across an incomplete episode sketched in back in 2002. Myself and Damian Sanchez had the idea YOA would be an ongoing series like Heartbreak High, with an ever-changing cast passing through a single location so by the end of the fourth season, all the original characters would have been replaced. (I think we had some idea this would prevent flanderization if we just tore through the series). After briefly keeping Dave as the audience identification, I decided to keep Nigel instead on the grounds he was easiest to organize plots around.

While I won't repost the truly atrocious finale "Galfray" (I know, it seemed a cool injoke at the time) let it be shown it wrote out Andrew, Katy, Harry, Dave and Eve on a permanent basis leaving Nigel on his own at rock bottom - and slightly less contrived than Time Gentlemen Please which came up with a similar 'rats-deserting-sinking-ship' episode ending.

However, we didn't quite work out who would replace them... or how...

THE YOUTH OF AUSTRALIA IV: Reprisals & Recovery

[Local pub. "Love Is The Drug" plays in the background. Everything is slow-mo, dissolve mixes and soft focus. Nigel sits at the bar besides Maurice. Nigel is cradling a half-finished beer and is completely pissed. He gives come-hither looks to Julie the barmaid, who returns them. Nigel smirks.]

[A blurring montage of Nigel drunkenly making out with someone we can't see. Fade to black.]

[Nigel's room. Nigel lies face down on his heart-shaped bed, sprawled messily across his bedmate. The room is very untidy with empty bottles and beer cans everywhere. Nigel groans.]

Nigel: Oh my skull! My stomach! All points in between! Especially my nads! Julie, don't take this the wrong way but if I've got some nasty STD off you, I shall be very annoyed... Julie? Julie?

[The bedmate rolls over. It is not Julie, but Maurice. Nigel yelps and jumps out of bed, grabbing a potplant to cover himself even though he's fully-clothed.]

Nigel: ARGH! Who the hell are you?

Maurice: It's me, Maurice.

Nigel: Maurice?

Maurice: Yeah, Maurice de Lacey? We were at high school together? And primary school? And I drop round here all the time? I work with Dave at Frontier Videos?

Nigel: [blankly] Maurice?

Maurice: Spelt M-A-U-R-I-C-E.

Nigel: Oh! YOU! [frowns] What the hell are you doing in my bed, you subpar homosexual? Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with your life choices but even if I was gay you would not be on my list so if I had sex with you last night I trust I was disappointed while you are now some clingy bunny-boiling stalker.

Maurice: You're not my type, Nige.

Nigel: Oh, at least try to sound credible!

Maurice: Nope, I prefer my men physically underendowed.

[Nigel starts to reply, frown, then giggles girlishly. He quickly recovers.]

Nigel: Never mind that, now! What are you doing in my bed?

Maurice: Julie told me to take you home. I think she was kind of put off you when you threw up.

Nigel: Oh. I must've have too much to drink.

Maurice: You threw up in her lap.

Nigel: Oh.

Maurice: Twice.

Nigel: Ah.

Maurice: While you were going down on her.

[A looooooooooong pause.]

Nigel: You know, there are some cultures where that's considered lucky.

Maurice: No, there aren't.

Nigel: No, there aren't. Damn.

[Main living area. No one else is around, most of the furniture is missing. Nigel and Maurice emerge from Nigel's room, the latter pulling on his trousers. Nigel wears a torn and scruffy kimono.]

Nigel: But why didn't you just dump me here and head home? You've got your own place to live, don't you?

Maurice: You begged me not to leave. Remember? You grabbed hold of my ankle and wouldn't let go, pleading that you could change and you'd made a mistake and you wanted a second chance?

[Nigel listens, pulling strange faces as he tries to remember.]

Nigel: No. I do not remember.

Maurice: Well, you were paralytic. We couldn't have had sex if we'd tried.

Nigel: I can't imagine why I'd be acting like that... hang on, did I call you Benny?

Maurice: No.

Nigel: Then why on Earth would I be so upset and depressed?

Maurice: Oh yeah, you said something to me about that.

Nigel: Did I?

Maurice: Yeah, you said "If I wake up and can't remember why I'm upset, you've got to get me to embrace the moment. Make me hang on to the amnesia because that tiny moment of zero recall is the best thing that is going to happen to me for some considerable time."

Nigel: Pah! It couldn't possible be that bad.

Maurice: "I'll say it couldn't possibly be that bad but whatever I do, don't let me access my memory. I won't like it one little bit because it is the worst situation I have ever been in my entire life."

Nigel: Something that bad, I'd remember...

[Nigel freezes. Bites his fist. Closes his eyes. Bends over and jumps up and down. Then falls to his knees, head in his hands sobbing. This goes on for a while.]

Maurice: Did you remember?

Nigel: [sobs] Yes.

Maurice: You said if you remembered, I was to give you a message.

Nigel: [tightly] What was the message?

Maurice: "I told you not to remember, dipshit!"

Nigel: Yeah that sounds like me. Oh god, this is most vile, graceless, deformed, distorted, asymmetrical, eye-wateringly dire straits I've ever been in! It's the end of the freaking world, Maurice and I do not feel fine - I feel about as far from freaking fine as it is as possible to be!

[Maurice looks around.]

Maurice: Where are Dave and Andrew, anyway?

[Nigel lets out another sob.]

Nigel: Must - seek - alcohol!

[He stumbles over to the fridge, opens it and pulls out a bottle of wine. He opens the lid and knocks it back. He starts rummaging for more alcohol.]

Maurice: Be careful, Nige. Your liver took a lot of punishment last night.

Nigel: Not enough! Oh, sweet oblivion where art though?

[Nigel takes out a jar of pickled gherkins, crosses to the sink, and puts a glass in the sink. He covers the glass with a collander and strains the gherkins. He then takes the glass full of pickle juice and drinks it.]

Maurice: Come on, Nigel, it can't be that bad!

Nigel: Can't be that bad? They're gone, you annoying little virus! No more Dave, no more Andrew! Nothing but me, stuck in his place - which I now own and have to pay for out of my money! Except I don't have any money because I wasted it getting pissed last night before filling up a barmaid's birth canal with vomit! What can you possibly say to undo this mortal agony, Maurice? It might not happen? Worse things happen at sea? It takes more muscles to frown than to smile? All three are utter bollocks, Maurice, and frankly I'm a little disappointed you'd think otherwise.

Maurice: Look, maybe you're overexaggerating things. What actually happened?

[Nigel takes out a bottle of salad dressing and drinks it. He takes a moment to recover.]

Nigel: It's a long story.

Maurice: And to cut a long story short?

Nigel: Um... "the end?"

Maurice: OK, cut it slightly longer than that.

Nigel: Well, it's hard to put in context. I tried explaining it all to Andrew last time I saw him...

[Flashback. Like old film, black and white, scratches, the sound of a projector. Andrew is in the kitchen with Nigel, who is holding a gun.]

Nigel: The information is not important, as you have no way of using it to your advantage.

Andrew: The careers adviser said that to me a couple of times. As well as our maths teacher. And my parents said something similar when I asked them where babies came from. Go on, Nige. Illuminate me already.

Nigel: All right. It started back in 1987, when I was watching the Bush Tucker Man on TV...

Andrew: This is going to suck, isn’t it?

Nigel: Shut up.

[End flashback.]

Maurice: Can you cut it slightly smaller than that?

Nigel: Well...


Andrew: Oi! Nige! Why can’t I get into my room?

Nigel: [doesn't look up] I’m afraid it isn’t your room any more, Andrew. It belongs to me.

Andrew: [pleased] At last, you agree with me. I always said your room was originally mine. I’m glad you’ve come to your senses.

Nigel: No part of this house belongs to you in any way shape or form, Andrew. I am now legal owner of this entire property. [pulls out paper] Check if you like, but its all water tight. You can’t do a thing.

[Andrew takes the papers and look at them.]

Andrew: There are no pictures. I like pictures.

Nigel: [annoyed] Just read them.

Andrew: This is four pages! Back to back! Look, can’t you just summarize it for me. I’ve got places to be.

[Nigel snatches the papers back.]

Nigel: I know. One such place is not here. As owner of this house, I am legally entitled to demand you vacate the premises and do not return under any circumstances.

Andrew: I thought Eve owned this house.

Nigel: She did. Until I bought it from her.

Andrew: YOU? You actually PAID for this house? WHY?

Nigel: Well, a number of reasons actually. Apart from anything else, it gives me the opportunity to get rid of you once and for all. Now, get out of here before I call the police.

[End flashback.]

Nigel: I had already exercised my power where it came to Dave.


Nigel: I have already exercised my power where it comes to Dave. He’s just popped back to his house and his loving family.

Andrew: Dave HATES his family. That’s why he left in the first place! There’s no way he’d have gone back there voluntarily, it would be a place worse than death!

Nigel: [grins] I never said he went voluntarily.

Andrew: Why? What are you doing this for? Dave never hurt you!

Nigel: No, he didn’t. But he is an obstacle on my road to riches.

Andew: As I am, presumably?

Nigel: Ah, the first faint glimmerings of intelligence. I wish I could observe its development, but it really is time for you to go, Andrew.

[He pulls out a gun from his pocket and aims at Andrew’s head.]

Nigel: One way or another.

[End flashback.]

Maurice: That sounds a bit melodrammatic.

Nigel: Yeah, I'd spent all night watching Babylon 5. Got me a bit theatrical.

Maurice: So what happened next?

Nigel: Actually that bit we just went through.


Nigel: All right. It started back in 1987, when I was watching the Bush Tucker Man on TV...

Andrew: This is going to suck, isn’t it?

Nigel: Shut up.

Andrew: Haven’t you read Evil Plots For Dummies?

Nigel:  [ignores him] The episode concerned a small historical oddity. Some Aborigines encountered white explorers with muskets – but they weren’t Europeans, because they used rifles. I was interested and did some research.

[Andrew stares at him, arching an eyebrow.]

Nigel: OK, I paid someone else to do some research and discovered that they buried their treasure somewhere in Australia. Over the next 14 years I narrowed it down to NSW, then this suburb, then this street. This morning I discovered it was this house, so I set my plan in action.

[End flashback.]

Maurice: So you got rid of them because you thought you'd found buried treasure?

Nigel: Ptff. Like I needed the excuse.


Andrew: It wouldn’t work. Anything you find on this property would automatically be Eve’s property and I doubt she would share it among us.

Nigel: [smiles] Which is why I bought the house. Australian Law bends to my favor, but I’m getting rid of you just in case.

Andrew: Really, so what happens once we’re gone? Even if it is declared treasure trove, doubloons aren’t legal tender any more; they’re bound to have depreciated.

Nigel: Oh, I shall sell them to an art gallery or something. Suffice it to say, a chain reaction has started today and it cannot be stopped. When it ends, I am the winner of all this.

[End flashback.]

Maurice: You really hadn't thought this through, had you?

Nigel: Oh, it's very easy to judge in hindsight, buster.

Maurice: So how did Andrew react when you outlined your master scheme?

Nigel: Well, I'd be lying if I said he was entirely behind the idea.

[Flashback. Nigel is on the ground writhing in agony. Andrew is walking away.]

Andrew: [over his shoulder] See you on your way down, Nigel.

[End flashback.]

Nigel: But on the plus side he couldn't actually fault the mechanics of the operation.

Maurice: If it was so faultless, where's the treasure?

Nigel: You just had to bring that up, didn't you you spiteful little bastard?

[Flashback. Nigel strides out into the backyard. Dr. Spoon and Chamber are dozing under a tree.]

Nigel: Right, you roustabouts, time for work! There is a planet I have to conquer or buy and I’m feeling particularly evil today. Get to work, you two!

[They start digging at the base of the tree.]

Nigel: [sotto] In a few moments I shall be the richest man in the  southern hemisphere, and soon, the most powerful man on the planet. Ha! Time to retire, Sam Kekovitch – Nigel Verkoff is here! Heh!

[Nigel laughs evilly. Pan across to show the others staring at him.]

Dr. Spoon: Mad as a box of frogs.

[End flashback.]

Maurice: And the treasure wasn't there?

Nigel: Well... not exactly. But pretty much.

Maurice: It's either one or the other.

Nigel: And don't I bloody know it?

[Flashback. Dr. Spoon and Chamber have dug up an old treasure chest.]

Nigel: Out of my way, plebeians! Destiny has arrived!

[Nigel opens the chest. It's empty. Chamber laughs.]

Chamber: Looks like destiny has done a runner, perm-boy. [to Dr. Spoon] Uh, this means we don’t get paid, huh?

Dr. Spoon: Fraid so, my old cantaloupe.

[Nigel falls to his knees, pulling at his hair with mounting horror.]

Nigel: But... But... I’ve used up all my cash on this! And now I actually own the house I have pay for all the bills and since the others aren’t here, I can’t charge them for rent... I’m ruined! Ruined! RUINED!

[He screams and headbuts the ground. Dr. Spoon and Chamber watch on for a moment and then cautiously creep off, leaving Nigel wailing and howling. End flashback.]

Maurice: Ouch.

Nigel: Well, yeah but I prided myself I'd soon see the funny side.

[Flashback. Nigel sits on the couch in the empty house, seemingly in shock. He takes out his wallet and empties it, but there is obviously only a $20 note and nothing else. He regards it dully.]

Nigel: [sotto] No Andrew. No Dave. Just me and an empty house.

[For a moment, it looks like he’s going to cry. He lets out a primal scream.]


[He runs over to the phone, and punches out a number.]

Nigel: Hello, is that Hookers’R’Us? Phew. That was a piece of luck. I have no idea what I dialed. Look, the party of this and any other millennium is happening in [checks watch] forty-one minutes so get your bitches’ arses round here pronto!What do you mean, ‘give you the number’? This is N talking! N! The Sex God! Nigel Verkoff! Don’t tell me you haven’t heard of me. You haven’t? Well, start listening, ho!

[End flashback.]

Nigel: And the next thing I know I'm lying in bed with you.

Maurice: Wow. You're one screwed pooch, Nige.

Nigel: Oh, hark at you! Do you treat every one you share your bed with like this? No wonder you're single.

Maurice: Madam, I might be single but you are stuffed and but at least tonight I might get some.

Nigel: Your Winston Churchill misquotes have no affect on me, Maurice. Now, let's get down to business. How the hell are we going to save me as my "drink yourself to death" plan has failed?

Maurice: Um... why the hell should I help you anyway? You got yourself into this mess!

Nigel: So, it should logically be possible to get me out of this!

Maurice: On your own. Ciao.

[Maurice rises and heads for the door.]

Nigel: Hey, if you walk out now you'll never have the moral highground!

Maurice: [puzzled] Why the hell would I want the moral highground?

Nigel: Are you saying you'd rather lose the moral highground? C'mon, Maurice! What if God really does hate the gays? You need all the good karma you can get to be on the safe side.

Maurice: You disgust me, Nigel. You think just because I don't fancy girls I'm some fairweather friend who can be crudely manipulated with threats and paranoia, to the point I'd forgive the hideous things you've done to me and my friends for the last fifteen years?

[Nigel shifts uncomfortably.]

Nigel: Well, be fair, you sure gave me that impression.

Maurice: [shrugs] Well, yeah, but now I'm taking the right medication, so screw you!

[Maurice departs. Nigel screams after him.]

Nigel: I can set you up with my cousin! The really hot one with the widow's peak and the tiny dick!

[Maurice re-enters and sits down at the table.]

Maurice: OK, deal.

[Nigel sits beside him.]

Nigel: Right, so how the hell do I get out of this mess?

Maurice: Well, since you own the place, you could rent the rooms out. Between that and the dole you might be able to break even long enough to sell this place back to Eve.

Nigel: What freaks would choose to live here?

Maurice: Well, Andrew and Dave for a start. You want them back don't you?

Nigel: Me? Want them? Maybe as a constant comforting reminder of the walking detritus they are... [sighs] No, I'm lying to myself. Yeah, I miss the freaks and I want to make amends. But would they forgive me?

Maurice: Have you apologized?

Nigel: Not that I remember.

Maurice: Well, that's the best thing to do. Find them, apologize and maybe we can sort this out.

Nigel: It's so simple it is obviously going to go wrong. However, as I have not a single cent to my name and signs of dangerous dehydration about to kick in, I must bow to your momentary and inferior wisdom.

[Maurice dope-slaps Nigel.]

Nigel: Oi!

Maurice: Get used to relying on the kindness of strangers, Nige. Coz only strangers will be kind to you.

Nigel: Who are you? The Sphinx from Mystery Men? It is too early for this koan shit.

Maurice: It's coming up to midday.

Nigel: Yeah, well, I operate on Tokyo time...

- to be continued...

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