Roswell
Michael, The Guys And The Great Snapple Caper

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The best stuff is just so not in here

Props to Wing and Sars.

We open this week on the glass and chrome living-in-the-not-too-distant-future set of what this intrepid researcher will call "some kind of office thingy something something." A suited, fidgety, security-pass-wearing, eighteenth-century-classical-composer-haired Michael "Cops and Slobbers" Guerin sits at one end of a sleek glass table, while at the other end sits a severe-looking individual in a security guard ensemble. "So," the non-Michael guy begins, holding up a piece of paper and acting acutely aware that his greatest asset as an actor lies in the "cast this genetic doppelganger only when the budget is too small to allow for the real Dabney Coleman" niche of his résumé. Dabney continues, "Mr. Gweerin." Michael corrects Dabney's pronunciation, Dabney shoots back a withering "Back off, Junior, I was in Nine to Five…actually, I just read for the part of Franklin in the vastly inferior TV series, and I didn't get it, but back off anyway, Junior" look (you know…that look), and moves on with what I'm seeing shape up as some kind of interview. "It says you've been an emancipated minor for the last two years." Where exactly does it say that on his application? In the box checked "yes" next to the question reading, "Of hillbilly pedigree?" on the average security guard job application? Dabney notes that that is "a lot of responsibility for someone your age. Do you like responsibility?" Michael notes, "I like to stay on top of things," and we cut to a wacky slacker-alien-on-the-job-hunt clip of Michael inside The House That Government Subsidy Built, holding a bunch of papers and angrily barking into a phone, "I only got four notices! How can you cut off my power?" Cheep cheep cheep cheep…heh. Sorry. I only laughed to break that gnawingly uncomfortable silence. Back in the interview, Michael notes, "I'm a big believer in self-discipline." Cut back to him standing in an electronics store -- we'll call it Radio Slack on account of he's a slacker -- staring down a large-screen TV and telling a salesman, "I'll take it." Because the clips serve to illustrate just how not self-disciplined he is! It's not only hilariously original, but it also employs the advanced narrative tool discovered in the "writers'" room when one "writer" turned to another "writer" as they were "writing" this scene and said, "I love this part. It's so ironic." And it is. It totally, totally is.

Dabney worries that a second job might interfere with Gweerin's studies, and a shot of Michael asleep in class elicits the laffer, "I think I can handle it." And so Dabney wants to "cut to the chase, Gweerin. You already have a job flipping burgers. Why do you want a second job?" Michael notes that there are many reasons, and we GET IT when we cut to a shot of Michael at a fancy-ish restaurant, making a pursed-lipped expression of sorrow when his date, "Madame Toussaud's" Maria DeLuca, snaps, "Please don't tell me the words 'Maria, can you pick up the check' are gonna come floating out of your mouth once again." Michael tells Dabney that his reasons are "financial." As opposed to one's usual desire for simultaneous vocations in the "short order" and "infrastructure protection" industries: namely, "starfucking." But nevertheless, Dabney seems impressed by this answer, and even more so when Michael pulls himself out of this Dream On-meets-Inside Schwartz narrative structure and gives Dabney the straight dope: "And I guess I sort of want to see what it's like out there in the world." Dabney smiles and stands, walking to Michael and congratulating him on getting the job. Orientation starts tomorrow night at "0200 hours." Grrrr. Don't you hate it when civilian types like heads of security at pharmaceutical companies and Really Stern Dads and stuff use military time because it makes them sound all tough? Michael concurs, bristling as if to say, "Let's go ahead and leave the military time to the actual military. Capiche, Pete the Pill Protector?" opting instead for an incredulous, "That's 2 AM." Indeed it is, Crabney Coleman indicates: "You're working the graveyard." Crabney walks away. Michael looks around, the Roseanne Barr Twangy Chord Of Misbegotten Blue-Collar Scheduling Conflicts serving as a valuable public service announcement for us all to never, ever, ever be poor.

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Roswell

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