Chris Carter’s Spec Scripts (Part One, maybe)
To: Matthew Weiner
From: Chris Carter
How are things? Congratulations on the success of Mad Men — I always you knew you’d make it big! I’ve enclosed a spec script with Don and Peggy and the gang — hopefully you enjoy it! If you do, give me a shout and I’ll send you some more — plenty where that came from!
Careful what you say in your reply — my correspondence is probably being monitored.
INT — STERLING PRICE — DAY
DON DRAPER stands in a random spot in his office. Maybe he’s near his desk, or maybe the wet bar. Whatever you think works here. Generally I just point towards the set and tell the actors to go stand in the middle of the room and wait for the camera to start rolling. With a show like yours, though, I bet everyone is assigned a place to stand for maximum symbolism! So quality.
PEGGY OLSON enters. She looks stressed. But ambitious. Her ambition makes her stressed and it’s what gives her that stressful look? Hah, I just cracked her character.
Don, we have a problem with the Wasserman account.
There’s always a problem with the Wasserman account.
He pours himself a drink. I guess he’s standing by the wet bar then. Unless maybe he walks over to the wet bar from where he was standing in the first place? Anyway, it’s a manly drink-pouring session.
Is there a drink for me?
I don’t want you ending up like me, Peggy.
He swigs his drink down and pours another. He raises the tumbler to his lips but appears to reconsider.
Or maybe — I secretly want you to be exactly like me.
He hands Peggy the drink.
You’re so fake, Don. You’re an alcoholic who hides his emotions behind booze and lies. You don yourself in drapes like a draper. A fake alcoholic draper.
She puts the drink down on his desk. Wait, are they at his desk? Okay, at some point he sat down behind his desk and she’s standing in front of the desk. Yeah, that’s the ticket. There’s a chair for her but she’s not sitting in it because she’s so stressed and too ambitious to sit.
You know, Peggy, you may be blinded by ambition, but you see advertising gold glinting in the rushing stream of daily life. You’re hard to peg down.
I’ll tell you one thing, “I am not a crook.”
I don’t think that’s a contemporary reference.
PETE CAMPBELL is over by the wet bar — no, he’s right next to Peggy. He stands there like someone who impregnated Peggy once but doesn’t know it.
Hey, I’ve been here all along. I resent you not noticing me and I’m trying to turn your conversation to my advantage.
Pete, you’re like some kind of bell they ring at camp. A camp bell, if you will. Say it fast and you’ll get what I mean.
This is the past.
Originally published at www.thepalinode.com on January 26, 2016.