My First Sit-Com (Pilot)

Foreword: The name of the sit-com is still undecided. At the end of the script I’ll be putting a list of names for the show which are still in the running. I would appreciate it tenfold if you let me know which best suits the show as I can’t pick one for the life of me.

Plot

A twenty-something-year-old man wakes up in a hospital reception. However, this hospital reception is not a hospital reception at all, but the loading bay for heaven. Once entering heaven Vince, like everyone, receives one thing, a videotape of his life- the condensed highlights of it. He is expected to watch the tape and have an interview in three months’ time to decide if he’s a better man than the one he was when he died. Unlike everyone else, Vince refuses to watch his tape. All the while he makes a misfit band of newfound friends all coming to terms with their prior lives. (At this point, Vince does not yet know his name).

Suggested Casting

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Vince: Michael Cera

Receptionist: Kathy Bates

Briefing Woman:Rachel Weisz

Briefing Man: George Takei

Screenplay

Black Screen. The show begins as the protagonist wipes the sleep from his eyes and slowly awakes in a whitewashed hospital reception. He looks both dazed and confused. There are several other people in the room. Some people are asleep whilst others are tired-eyed. The protagonist not sure of anything, including his own name, goes to the receptionist to find answers.

Vince: Hi sorry to bother you …

*looks to name tag on chest*

Vince: Candice, but could you tell me what I’m doing here? I just woke up and I’m not quite sure how…

Receptionist: Don’t worry dearie, very few do remember. Please, just take a seat and wait till your numbers called honey.

Vince: My number?

Receptionist: Written right there on your wrist; won’t be long now till you’re called in.

*Vince pulls down his sleeve to reveal the code BGC-2768 stamped on his wrist. He rubs it but it remains unmuddied*

Vince: Called in where?

Receptionist: You’ll see.  Just take a seat for now.

*Receptionist walks out door leading out behind reception. Vince resumes his seat and looks towards the electronic number identifier. A sequence of shots show Vince jostling nervously in his seat while the time on the board continues to pass*

Intercom: BGC-2768, we’re ready to see you now.

*Vince stands up and walks to the only available door. Once through, he continues down a long white corridor. At the end is a door with the words Briefing Room written on it. He knocks hesitantly on the door and waits a few moments before the door opens by itself, revealing a white block room containing a white desk and two white chairs either side. He walks in and takes a seat. A woman walks in via a closed door on the other side of the room. She is wearing a lab coat and takes a seat opposite to Vince and waits a few moments before talking.

Briefing Woman: Let me start by asking you a few simple questions. Can you tell me why you’re here?

Vince: No, I was hoping you’d be able to tell me that.

Briefing Woman: There’s plenty of time for that later, do you have anything in your pockets?

*Vince starts to check his pockets but stops abruptly*

Vince: Tell me why I’m here.

Briefing Woman: Once I have the details sorted I will…

*Vince cuts her off*

Vince: Tell me right now, or I leave.

Briefing Woman: Leave? With what door?

*Vince stands up from his seat in a manic panic. He turns and dashes to the place where the door used to be. He feels the wall and realises that the wall is now smoothed over*

Vince: Where am I?

Briefing Woman: Isn’t it obvious? But for reasons, which I can’t yet disclose… I’m unable to tell you where you are- or who you are for that matter. You must figure that out for yourself.

Vince: *In desperation* How am I supposed to figure out where I am if I can’t figure out WHO I am?

Briefing Woman (BW): *Pauses and looks at Vince in shock for a moment* Wow, that was deep. Sadly, deep doesn’t reveal the million-dollar answer. Think, you’ve all the time in the world and all the guesses you want. Take your time.

Vince: I’ll be dead before then

*BW Looks at Vince with raised eyebrows*

Vince: I’m dead aren’t I…

-TITLE SEQUENCE- (Possibly ft. Just Like Heaven by The Cure)

*Vince has his face in his hands*

Vince: I’m dead.

*Slowly lifts his face*

Vince: How did I…?

*BW takes a DVD from her coat pocket with his number written on it*

BW: Everything’s right here on this. Convenient, isn’t it?

Vince: What do you mean by everything?

BW: Your life. It’s all right here in this disk., the highlights anyway. For obvious reasons, we took out all instances of you sleeping, playing video games…

*Looks down at the clipboard in front of her*

BW: Oh, and don’t forget about all that time you spent on the toilet. More than three weeks over the average…

Vince: OK OK, I get the point! But what if I don’t want to watch it? What happens then?

BW: Don’t be stupid, everyone watches the tape. How else are you going to pass the test?

Vince: Test?! What test?

BW: Oh, you needn’t worry about that for the moment.

*Vince gets up out of his chair and tries to flip the desk in his rage, only to find it bolted to the ground. He is now tired, and exasperating*

Vince: What test? Please, stop with the mind games. I just want answers.

BW: Calm down, please. There’s no need to be disgruntled. Everything you need to know is already on the tape which you can watch from your room later. Now, if you’ll come with me through this door, I’ll take you there.

*Vince calms down as the door behind BW reappears and slides open*

Vince: Fine. I just want to sleep, I’ve had enough of all this crap. Being dead sucks.

END SCENE

*The Briefing Woman is standing in the middle of a square of villas on a sunny day. There are café’s and people are seen going about their daily lives as the BW debriefs Vince further*

BW: Welcome to Cloud 14 Sector F.

Vince: Cloud 14? Is there no room left in Cloud 9?

BW: Over a hundred billion people have died. What did you think? Thus, sadly no. You can, however, request to visit other sectors and on special clearance, other clouds.

Vince: Oh, yeah, that all makes perfect sense.

BW: Now would you like to see your place?

Vince: Hell yeah! *Pauses for a moment to think about what he just said*. This isn’t some weird version of hell, is it?

BW: I suppose one man’s heaven is another man’s hell. Anyhow, your residency for the coming months will be in that house to the of right the bookstore halfway down that street. Please, do make yourself at home. Oh, and before I go, I do highly recommend watching that tape. You might learn a thing or two.

*BW hands Vince the keys and turns to walk away*

Vince: Coming Months? What do you mean coming months?!

*By this stage BW is either out of earshot or just chooses to keep walking through the crowd of people wandering the busy streets. The shot then shows Vince look down at the set of golden keys he handed her*

END SCENE

*Vince is seen from behind walking up the footpath to the house. You see him walk through the front door after turning the key given to him*

Vince: *Out of camera shot* Wow. I could get used to this place.

*Shot then shows the living room his Villa. White marble floors, a grand piano, modern finishing, the place is very visually impressive. Almost everything is white and has a utopian feel. He briefly tours all the rooms and the audience gets a feel for the grandeur of his surroundings. Finally, he enters his bedroom upstairs. There is a large white double bed and a large flat screen on the wall opposite. Vince jumps on his bed and relaxes for a moment. Shot then shows his bedside table where a letter is laid out with BCG-2768 written on the front. The next shot shows Vince laying on bed whilst he reads the letter out*

Vince: “Hello, and welcome to Cloud 14, Sector F. Please watch the enclosed DVD for further information.”

*Vince shakes the envelope until the CD falls out. He takes it in his hand and looks at it. He then gazes out the window where the square can be seen. He looks at its beauty for a second before putting the DVD into the TV. He then sits down at the end of his bed as the TV turns on. A message saying “This is a pre-recorded message. You will only see this message once.” pops up before an armchair and fire appear on-screen. The camera rotates and we see a man wearing a wine-coloured dressing gown come into shot*

Briefing Man: Hello, I’m Christopher Bing. Who might you be?

*Pauses for a second before chuckling to himself*

Briefing Man: That’s right, you have no idea who you are. Well, I’m here to help you answer your questions! Of course, I can’t tell you who you are; I can only tell you how to find out. But first, here are some general explanations that can help everyone find out what the fuck it is they’re doing here. You’re in heaven of course! Well, not quite. Or should I say, not yet! For now, you’re in purgatory. In three months’ time, you will have your test. From there you will either progress onto heaven which resembles where you are now, or face eternal damnation in hell. There really is no in-between! Ha-ha. Don’t worry, we’ve given you all you need to ace that test and advance onto heaven. If you check under your pillow, you will find a second DVD. At hour hours in length, this DVD may prove boring but you only have yourself to blame, for the video you see- is a highlights reel of your old life back on Earth. So go on, watch the film, learn from it, and in three months’ time I might see you up here in the Jacuzzi.

*Cheekily winks at camera before the screen turns off yet again*

END OF EXERT

Some Possible Titles: Heavenly/ Just Like Heaven/ The Definitive Guide to Death & The Afterlife/ Death on Blu-ray/ What Did Vince Do?

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