(EXECUTIVE at desk. He hits intercom.)
EXECUTIVE: Send her in, Grace.
(Suddenly, a bunch of WOMEN enter.)
EXECUTIVE: Whoa, whoa, all of you are my 3 o’clock? Who are you people?
MABLE: We’re the CPHCCVDMF!
GLORIA: Not the acronym. Don’t use the acronym.
ARLENE: We’re the Committee to Protest Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Valentine’s Day Movie Fest!
GLORIA: And the fact that you extended it to the end of the month!
EXECUTIVE: I don’t understand.
ARLENE: You are inundating us with this romantic drivel that totally distorts reality.
GLORIA: Movie after movie after movie showing some weird, complicated way of falling in love. It’s not like that.
EXECUTIVE: These are just frothy entertainment movies!
ARLENE: Yeah, yeah but you’re over doing it! Sure, once in a while it’s nice to go out to some rom-com playing at the theater and enjoy it. But you are pumping this nonsense into our homes 24-7!
MABLE: Yeah! I mean, for this I’m missing Golden Girls?
ARLENE: Oh, I love that show.
GLORIA: I know, right?
EXECUTIVE: Ladies, please, I think you’re overreacting--
ARLENE: Overreacting?? Overreacting!!
GLORIA: Dial it down, Arlene, just a bit.
ARLENE: This is not how people behave. How do you have women throwing away a committed relationship because of some “Meet-cute” scene?
EXECUTIVE: That’s a classic rom-com conceit. It’s funny. Light hearted. And a way to show a woman how wrong the man she’s with is.
MABLE: Yeah, what is that? Why are these smart, savvy women even in a relationship with the wrong man? Could you make them anymore pathetic?
GLORIA: I mean you show us these women, it looks like they have it all. They’re successful lawyers, chefs, hotel managers, florists and chefs.
ARLENE: Tell ‘em.
GLORIA: And they are working hard to keep it together. Then you show how these women are misguided because some alpha dude snuck in under their radar?
ARLENE: Right, like being a success at something means you have a blind spot about having a relationship.
MABLE: Yes! I mean, really, what are we, men?
ARLENE: Why do you always have these women with the wrong guy?
EXECUTIVE: It’s a plot. We need character arcs. Conflict. An inciting incident. Have you ever read “Save the Cat”? It’s all--
GLORIA: I’m tired--we’re all tired--of seeing love reduced to some contrivance to be overcome.
MABLE: Don’t get me started about the Christmas movies.
ARLENE: Yeah, you really don’t want to get her started about that.
EXECUTIVE: Nobody wants that. Also, that’s Countdown to Christmas, which is three offices down.
GLORIA: As I was saying; Love isn’t a plot point. Love isn’t a happy ending. Love is a commitment. A choice! It’s something to aspire to, not fall into.
MABLE: I’ve fallen in love and I can’t get up!
GLORIA: Mable, what did we say about that?
MABLE: Not to use it.
GLORIA: Correct. Anyway, you’re flooding the market with endless retreads of the same plots. These TV movies are all cookie-cutter.
MABLE: Especially the ones about the cookie makers.
GLORIA: Stand down, Mable. Look, Mister--
GLORIA: Mr. Reynolds, your channel needs to pull back. You’re turning something wonderful like love and St. Valentine’s Day into something tired and trite.
MABLE: I’m not even going to mention the fact that you’re diluting your brand by over-saturation that may reflect positively in the short term, but eventually will undermine your long term ratings and profits.
GLORIA: She was specifically told not to mention that, Mr. Reynolds.
EXECUTIVE: Dave. Look, ladies, I see you’re point. Some of it is valid. I can certainly touch upon these concerns at our next meeting.
GLORIA: That would be appreciated.
MABLE: And can you see about showing Empty Nest? That was a fun show that spun off of The Golden Girls.
ARLENE: I loved that show!
GLORIA: So good!
EXECUTIVE: Again, I can bring that up at the next meeting.
(Executive makes a note of it. Arlene and Mable walk out. Gloria hangs back.)
EXECUTIVE: Actually, I’m grateful for this feedback. You’ve made some of the points I’ve bee trying to make upstairs. Having some public feedback can help.
GLORIA: Oh, well, happy to help…Dave.
EXECUTIVE: Thank you, again---
EXECUTIVE: Thank you, again, Gloria. I once pitched a series called "Gloria."
GLORIA: So…are you seeing anyone?