Jack & Bobby
Pilot

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Pilot

Jack runs down the street in what we learn is present-day Hart, Missouri, past the city hall and into a Best Buy and right up to a Jack Black-y looking salesboy. "She has to buy a TV," Jack tells Not Jack Black. "All you gotta do is not let her get off-track, all right?" NJB retorts sullenly that, considering the fact that he was salesperson of the month in July and August, he thinks he can handle it. Jack looks doubtful.

Christine Lahti comes striding into the Best Buy, a somewhat downtrodden -- yet resilient! -- a little kid trotting behind her. The kid seems miraculously tolerant of her rather strident diatribe, the gist of which seems to be: TV panders to the lowest common denominator, and therefore is mostly garbage, oh weep, weep for America. "It's only the news we're interested in, Ma," Bobby -- for it is he and why pretend otherwise? I'm getting older by the moment here -- points out. Jack watches surreptitiously behind a display, like a particularly inept stalker. "Oh, God," Christine Lah -- oh, fuck it. Her character is named Grace, and I don't feel like waiting for that reveal, either, both because Grace is ever so much easier to type and doesn't make my spell-check angry and because I am lazy -- groans, looking at the TVs on display. "Are you sure you want a television?" she whines. "Yes," Bobby says. "Okay. It's your birthday. It's your mind," Grace guilts him. Bobby shoots a look over his shoulder at Jack, who makes the universal "shit! Pretend I'm not here. Pretend I'm not here!" hand wave.

Grace approaches NJB, wondering if he's "the responsible agent here." NJB gives her a quizzical look before answering that, yes, the television section is his domain. She doesn't even get the word "TV" out of her mouth before getting distracted by a Casio-type electronic piano thingy, which she floats over to as though being sucked in by a tractor beam. Bobby scampers behind her and arrives Casio-side in time to hear his mother wax poetic about how educational this electronic keyboard will be. Behind them, Jack frantically tries to convince NJB to haul ass over there and sell a damn TV. Grace is still mooning over the Casio. Grace, if you owned a TV, you would know that electronic keyboards are not cool. See: Walsh, Jim and Geller, Ross. NJB gives it the old college, but he can't penetrate Grace's "You Will Compose A Symphony And Become a Great Man, Bobby" force field. Bobby weakly points out that he and Jack want a TV, even name-dropping the History Channel. Grace launches into this long winded hoo ha about how she always wanted to learn the piano and she never did, and she's never gotten over it, why isn't she a great pianist, why, God, why, why? But Bobby's still young, dammit, and he's going to learn to play the piano because she never did and because, as we'll all soon learn, it's all about Grace. In a passive-aggressive nod to not being a total bossy boots, she finishes her speech with "it's up to you," a phrase my mother often uses after statements like, "Go ahead and ruin your life," and "if you want to break my heart."

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Jack & Bobby

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