Frances in the Kitchen Season 4 Episode 5 - Strike in the Kitchen

Frances in the Kitchen Season 4 Episode 5
Strike in the Kitchen

Lauren: Hey, aunt Frances, have you heard anything about a strike in Hollywood?

Frances: I’m not really a Hollywood person. I don’t follow what they’re doing for the most part.

Lauren: You work there, no?

Frances: I work in Burbank, it’s all different.

Lauren: Is it?

Frances: I’m just not involved with those rich celebrities. They’re in a whole different industry than me. I cook.

Lauren: It doesn’t really matter, I was just hoping you had some insight on whether this was going to go forward or not.

Frances: Sadly not. I’m sure they’ll work something out, though. They always do.

Greg: Aren’t you in SAG?

Frances: Since when has SAG ever gone on strike? They would never do hard labor!

Louise: Are we just brushing over the anti-Hollywood crusader being in SAG?

Frances: I had to join for my guest-starring role on Ally McBeal. And I am not anti-Hollywood!

Jimmy: I don’t remember that episode.

Frances: They cut me from the episode. Apparently I didn’t come off well. I don’t know, I had fun, I don’t care what Calista Flockhart thought of my acting chops.

Lauren: It’s not really the actors going on strike, I don’t think. It’s mainly the writers.

Greg: Could that effect your show at all?

Frances: Would anyone consider our writers to be actual writers? What do they even have to strike about?

Jimmy: Well, for one, their boss doesn’t consider them to even be writers.

Frances: They aren’t! They just right the segues from one dish I make to another. Writing a few sentences does not a writer make.

Louise: But are those non-writers union? Because I don’t think the union will really care all too much about the distinction you’ve made.

Frances: Are you suggesting that this strike may personally effect me, so I should care?

Louise: Yeah, in a way I am.

Frances: I doubt it’ll happen, anyway. They always manage to work out a deal in the end with these things.

Louise: Now you’re a Hollywood expert?

Frances: It’s just common sense. I know common sense.

Louise: When’d you learn that?

The next day, on the set…

Frances: Bev, what is with that face? Who peed in your cornflakes this morning?

Beverly: I have a headache.

Frances: Advil is a wonder drug, give it a try.

Beverly: Not that kind of headache.

Frances: What other kind is there?

Jane: Maybe she’s having a brain aneurysm.

Marcia: I’m actually impressed that she can even pronounce “aneurysm.” Or that she knows that brains have them.

Beverly: No, I’m upset that -

DeAnna: Frances!  You rushed in, I didn’t get to see you!

Frances: Yes, that was purposeful.

DeAnna: Did you hear about the strike? Then whole town is talking about it!

Frances: Burbank?

DeAnna: This is Hollywood, I don’t care what anyone says.

Beverly: I was just about to break that news.

DeAnna: Oh well. Early bird gets the worm.

Jane: What does a strike mean?

Beverly: It means we don’t have writers because they’re not working right now.

Jane: What do writers do anyway? Can’t Frances bake without them?

DeAnna: Frances can’t bake with them!

Frances: At least my cooking never made the governor sick.

DeAnna: That was not my cooking! He had a virtual infection!

Frances: Is that what they’re calling food poisoning these days?

Beverly: Ladies! We’re all up a creek without a paddle. We have to write our own shows now! Do you realize how much more work that’ll be?

Frances: I can ad-lib it. No worries, I am an experienced TV professional!

Beverly: Dear God, we’re getting canceled.

Marcia: Dana would never do that. Not because she likes us, she just can’t find any other show to slap on the schedule in time during a strike.

Jane: But what is a strike?

Marcia: Oh my god, this was explained two minutes ago.

Jane: I forgot!

Marcia: Go get me a coffee.

Jane: You’re drinki-

Marcia throws her coffee.

Marcia: Oops.

Jane: Okay, going.

Frances: It’s just the writers on strike, then?

Marcia: For now. The other unions are actively considering striking in solidarity.

Frances: Even SAG?

Marcia: Even SAG.

Frances: I’m from Michigan. I am the most pro-union person you will ever meet. This whole strike business is ridiculous. The writers want to go, that’s fine. I have no desire to strike, why drag me into it? What hard does it do to produce a little cooking show?

Beverly: Nobody has told us we can’t, so let’s go ahead and do it. That is all just speculation.

Frances: So Ed Asner won’t yell at me for going on today?

Beverly: No, Lou Grant will be fine with you doing that. Now can we get to work on writing these scripts?

Frances: Like I said, I’ll improvise.

Beverly: Like I said, let’s write these scripts!

DeAnna: Good luck, you guys. I’m not desperate, so I’ll be taking this time off until the writers come off strike. To Malibu I go!

Frances: Please cover up! You wouldn’t want to scare any vacationers!

DeAnna: You mean like you do every time3 they see your shoe in an airport?

Frances: Perhaps that’s where your show’s viewers come from. Unlike you, people actually like me and I have fans.

Marcia: Geez, get a room, you two.

Frances: You are depraved.

Beverly: Can we at least get a basic structure of this episode, please?

Frances: The writers do that? I thought you did that!

Beverly: No, that’s considered part of writing.

Frances: Then what the hell does a producer do?

Beverly: I produce.

Marcia: And right now, she looks like she’s about to produce a right hook.

Jane: Your coffee!

Jane trips and spills the coffee on Marcia.

Marcia: Well, at least it wasn’t hot. I’m pretty sure this is just the leftover coffee from a hotel’s continental breakfast.

Frances: Is that why our coffee always tastes like it’s from a Days Inn?

Later that night…

Frances: You!

Lauren: Me?

Frances: You didn’t tell me the strike was happening today!

Lauren: Didn’t I? Slipped my mind, I guess!

Frances: Things don’t just slip your mind, you’re not Jane!

Lauren: I genuinely was not aware that it was definitively happening today, I just saw that they were considering starting it soon.

Frances: You talked like it had only a small chance of happening.

Lauren: Does it matter? You don’t need writers, anyway.

Frances: Maybe I deserve that.

Greg: Did you have a bad day?

Frances: We need writers, Greg.

Greg: Any of us could ha-

Frances: That’s not the attitude I need right now, Greg.

Lauren: Just how bad did this go?

Frances: I insisted on improvising and it turned out I’m not as fast on my feet as I thought. I spent too much time thinking of what to say and trying to banter with Marcia, who stood there like a dead fish, and I started a kitchen fire. So tomorrow, I’m going in early with Bev and Marcia to write a loose script so we have a general idea of how the conversation is supposed to go. Hopefully that goes better.

Lauren: Who could have ever guessed your writers would be union?

Frances: I work on a network run by Dana Maximoff, why would I ever anticipate that she’d allow our writers to be union?

Lauren: Not everyone who runs business hates their workers.

Frances: My poor, sweet, naive niece. One day you’ll grow up.

The next day…

Frances: Wow, look at those smiling… face? Where is Marcia? Did I finally beat her to the studio today?

Beverly: You can’t be here!

Frances: It’s my show!

Beverly: SAG joined the strike, you are crossing strike lines.

Frances: No!

Beverly: Yes!

Frances: Is Marcia SAG, too?

Beverly: She claims to be, apparently she was in an episode of Boston Legal.

Frances: What are the odds we both have SAG cards because we guest starred on David E. Kelley legal comedy-dramas set in Boston?

Beverly: I’d say exorbitantly low, but I’m not in the business of calling anyone a liar.

Frances: Well, I don’t want to get kicked out of SAG, since I do use that membership very often, so I suppose I should be going.

Beverly: I’ll see you around.

Frances: How long do these usually last? You’re talking to me like I’m a character getting written off a sitcom.

Beverly: It could be a while.

Frances: Then I will call you. We’re friends, we’re not going months without seeing one another.

Beverly: That sounds like a plan. Now get out of here, and enjoy your time off!

Frances: You, too!

Beverly: I’m not taking any time off. This show’s staying on the air with or without you!

Frances: How do you figure?

Beverly: Don’t ask me how, I don’t know.

Frances: Well, good luck with that.

Beverly: I’m going to need it, to say the least.

Later that day…

Jane: Where is everyone? I stopped at Starbucks for today’s coffee and everything!

Beverly: There’s a strike, Jane.

Jane: What does that mean?

Beverly: Have you never seen the Festivus episode of Seinfeld?

Jane: The what?

Beverly: Never mind. The writers are protesting their salaries, and the actors have joined in solidarity.

Jane: So why is no one here? Were they all actors?

Beverly: Frances and Marcia are in SAG, so they couldn’t come in. The crew is on lunch, but IATSE is also threatening to join the strike, so who knows how long we’ll have them. That’s why today, we’re going to film shows together. I’ve spent all day writing a week’s worth of shows. You and I are going to do them ourselves. Today. It’s a shame it’s noon, but we should still be able to get these five shows done by six or seven.

Jane: We’re not TV people. We’re behind-the-scenes power players.

Beverly: What is the power you think you’re playing with?

Jane: I am the glue that holds this show together! Look at today! Late one day, everyone’s on strike!

Beverly: That started yesterday.

Jane: Anyway, I’m glad I get to go on camera. I’ve always been a natural star. I’m not great with cooking, but I’ll learn.

Beverly: You are my Marcia. Off to the side, short jokes and brief asides only. Let me handle the rest.

Jane: How will you produce the show while you host it?

Beverly: If Clint Eastwood can direct himself, I can produce myself.

Jane: I can’t even make one t-

Beverly: Do not touch the oven.

Jane: Can I help with rol-

Beverly: Don’t touch the food, either.

Jane: So I’m just supposed to stand there?

Beverly: That would be amazing, thanks!

Two hours later…

Beverly: Oh my god, what is that? Is something burning? Is that -

Jane: I’m not allowed to touch the oven.

Beverly: Is the lasagna on fire?

Jane: Where there’s smoke, there’s… uh, uh… how does that go?

Beverly: Folks, all is well! This is jut a minor complication, clearly this lasagna does not need to be in for ninety minutes. I appear to have set the timer wrong, or read the directions wrong, or… sorry, I’m not a master baker.

Jane: Ha, it sounds like you said mas-

Beverly: Knock it off.

Jane: Looks dry.

Beverly: Ninety minutes in the over will do that. 

Jane: Should we re-start this epis-

Beverly: No time! We have to keep go-

Jane: Did you forget you have garlic in the chopper?

Beverly: Oh no!

Jane: It’s all over the kitchen now. You have to turn it off before you walk away.

Beverly: I am aware! You think this was the plan?

Jane: Maybe the Terabithia can still turn out right?

Beverly: Yes, I’m sure we’ll nail the tiramisu after managing to start lasagna on fire and not being able to properly chop garlic.

Jane: There’s no need to be negative.

Beverly: You’re right. We’re doing an episode about muffins next. We can’t possibly screw that up.

Jane: We screwed up the episode about breakfast food.

Beverly: Frances made it look so easy.

Jane: Pancakes are a hard food to get right.

Beverly: Oh my god, I forgot the camera is rolling. We’ll cut this in post, I guess. As we should do with the entire episode.

The next day…

Beverly: Big day today, Jane! Crew’s on strike, we have to film it by ourselves now, too. So you can the the camerawoman and -

Jane: Beverly, a guest wanted to see you.

Beverly: Jane, we have a really busy day. And where’s my coffee?

Dana: Bev, this is nuts.

Beverly: What’s nuts? Trying to keep your top show on the air?

Dana: Is that what you’ve been doing?

Beverly: Was there something wrong with what we filmed?

Dana: Other than the fact that I had to watch it?

Beverly: Was it really that bad?

Dana: It was like watching Saturday Night Live. One of those episodes that just goes on and on and on.

Beverly: What are you trying to tell me, then?

Dana: I’m shutting this show down. We’ve not getting in trouble with unions for using non-union workers over a show that’s coming together with such disastrous results.

Beverly: We were finding our groove!

Jane: I am a natural television presence!

Dana: I truly, truly appreciate what you both tried to do. However… it’s time to hang it up. I can’t imagine things will go any better today without a crew to back you up.

Beverly: I’m a fighter, not a quitter.

Dana: Whatever you film today isn’t airing on my network, and you’re not getting paid for filming it.

Beverly: Okay, I am willing to throw in the towel.

Dana: This strike shouldn’t last that long, we can air repeats in the meantime. It won’t cause too much harm.

Jane: So I’m not going to be on TV?

Dana: We’ll air the five you produced. Not as Frances in the Kitchen, but maybe we can label it as a comedic miniseries.

Jane: All I’m hearing is that I’m still a TV star.

Beverly: Does this mean we have to leave?

Dana: You don’t have to, but you probably should. Enjoy the time off. Beverly, you work so hard.

Jane: And what about me?

Dana: You’re also here.

Three weeks later…

Frances: Ah, good to be back, girls!

Marcia: I missed this. Mostly the part where I’m on TV.

Jane: Don’t talk about that!

Frances: Oh, yeah! I watched your specials! You were hilarious. A TV natural, I’d say!

Beverly: At least you would.

What did you think of this episode of Frances in the Kitchen? Let us know in the comments and make sure to read a new episode next week!

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