Bake Your Heart Out Season 5 Episode 12 - New Kid in Town

Bake Your Heart Out Season 5, Episode 12
New Kid in Town

Paul is in his hotel room, on the phone with fellow UTN executive Jacqueline Fletcher.

Paul: Jacqueline! How is everything in LA?

Jacqueline: A bit chaotic without you. I don’t know why you always insist on traveling to Rhode Island when that show films, it really isn’t necessary.

Paul: I enjoy it. It breaks up the monotony.

Jacqueline: Well, I’ve got something to break up the monotony.

Paul: That’s never good.

Jacqueline: Good to see your mind’s not slowed down while you’re off in New England, which is just a shameless copy of my England, by the way.

Paul: Oh, Jackie, don’t be jealous, it’s not a good look.

Jacqueline: You can’t see me, you don’t know what I look like right now!

Paul: Green-eyed, I’m guessing.

Jacqueline: As I was saying, you were correct in assuming nothing good is going on. We have a problem on our hands.

Paul: I put you in charge of the day-to-day operation while I’m away because I trusted you, you better not be telling me you screwed the pooch.

Jacqueline: You Americans and your insane phrases!

Paul: You better not have screwed up.

Jacqueline: I know what it means, I just think it’s an insane thing to say. “Screw the pooch.” Who would do that?

Paul: Jackie, what is going one? What are you calling about?

Jacqueline: Oh, right. There’s a new show on ATC, a summer show, it’s called House Party. It’s where all these washed-up celebrities live in a house together and compete in challenges to stay in the house, all to win a million dollar prize.

Paul: So, Big Brother?

Jacqueline: Sort of, but it’s different. I don’t know, I don’t get it.

Paul: Is that our problem?

Jacqueline: House Party has proven to be extremely popular among viewers. It wraps its first season next week, and its season average is only five percent below Bake Your Heart Out. We’re dangerously close to losing our claim to having the number one show on television.

Paul: That isn’t great.

Jacqueline: To really top it all off, House Party’s ratings are on a steep incline, Bake Your Heart Out is just stagnant, not really growing or losing viewers. That’s great, but it probably won’t be enough to keep us the number one title if House Party keeps growing.

Paul: I hate ATC, their president is so smug.

Jacqueline: Unlike you, you’re so down-to-earth.

Paul: Exactly!

Jacqueline: The other executives and I have been talking - 

Paul: Without me?

Jacqueline: We know it’s a cardinal sin to disturb your peace in Rhode Island.

Paul: I’ve never said that!

Jacqueline: You may not say it, but whenever we call you about something, we can sense the undertones. You’ve got no interest in being bothered.

Paul: Anyway, what harebrained scheme have you all cooked up?

Jacqueline: Nothing really, we just think Bake Your Heart Out needs to shake things up a bit. Add some twists to the format or something.

Paul: The last time we tinkered with the show, it was an unmitigated disaster. We got so lucky that that audience ever came back to us at all after the disastrous season where I let Sam and Diane and the other one walk.

Jacqueline: We’re not talking about a cast shakeup. That would be a disaster. Just… some sort of change to freshen it up. We have to keep our title, it’s the only thing we can ever brag about.

Paul: I’ll keep that all in mind. Though, remember I’m still in charge. I don’t have to blindingly abide by your suggestions. I know this show so well, I am uniquely well-positioned to know what’s best for it.

Jacqueline: I know that, and I trust you. Just keep it in mind. We really want those bragging rights.

Paul: I appreciate the call, Jacqueline. I like staying informed.

Jacqueline: Ha!

Paul: What was funny about that?

Jacqueline: Oh, you wouldn’t know the half of what’s going on out here. It’s fine, though, it’s under control!

Paul: We’ll talk about that later. For now, though, I need to make myself a good, hard drink. Goodnight.

Jacqueline: Goodnight? It’s only five here, the day’s just getting started! The sun is still shining, it’s a beautiful day in Beverly Hills, LA! Is it not shining in Rhode Island?

Paul: You’re from England, don’t act as if you and the sun are dating exclusively.

Paul hangs up and heads outside to the ice machine, where he bumps into Leslie.

Leslie: Paul! Long time no see!

Paul: Leslie, how are you?

Leslie: I’m fine, you look flustered. You feeling okay?

Paul: It’s nothing to worry you about at this time of the night.

Leslie: It’s eight o’clock, it’s not midnight.

Paul: We’ll talk tomorrow.

Leslie: All right, that’s fine. You enjoy your ice.

Paul: Thank you, I will. You enjoy yours.

Leslie: It’s for Frances. Something about an icy foot bath, I don’t know. I don’t ask questions.

Paul: Mine is for a margarita. I need one tonight.

Leslie: That’s a more worthwhile use than a freakin’ ice bath!

Paul: Eh, don’t judge her too much. She has to have some sort of reason to dunk her feet in ice water, no one does it just for the fun of it.

Leslie: No, she’s just kinda crazy. Famous people are weird.

Paul: Don’t I know it.

Leslie walks away and knocks on Sam and Diane’s door.

Diane: Is something the matter? We were just -

Leslie: Getting ready for bed already?

Diane: How’d you know?

Leslie: That mask you’ve got on suggests you aren’t planning to see anyone for the rest of the night.

Diane: Oh, damn, I forgot this was still on, it was only supposed to be on for twenty minutes!

Sam: You’ll live. As for you, Leslie, why are you subjecting yourself to this at this hour?

Leslie: Since when do we all think eight o’clock is late?

Sam: We have a show tomorrow, we’re always off to bed early before show days.

Diane: We need our beauty sleep.

Sam: Some of us more than others, as you could infer from the Bride of Frankenstein over here.

Diane: Please, come in, and ignore her.

Sam: We’re watching Big Brother, which is. God bless America.

Diane: That’s the name of someone competing on this season, but Sam also feels patriotic whenever she watches this show. It makes her proud to be an American.

Sam: Something about putting a bunch of hot young people in a house to scream at each other and scheme for an entire summer just makes me really think of what a great country it is that we live in.

Diane: You realize we didn’t originate the format, right?

Sam: We perfected it.

Leslie: As enthralling as this conversation about a show I don’t watch has been, we need to talk about Paul.

Sam: I paused Big Brother for this?

Leslie: Something’s wrong. He looked so flushed and panicked, and he said we needed to talk tomorrow. I asked him what it was, but he said he couldn’t elaborate tonight. Also, he was getting ice for a margarita. Since when does Paul drink alone in his room?

Sam: Well, we don’t really know what he does alone in his room, because we’re not there.

Leslie: That’s true, but he’s never shown signs of being a heavy drinker in the past. Something’s not right.

Diane: Did you talk to any of the others about this?

Leslie: No, you were the only ones I knew wouldn’t be busy and could talk.

Sam: You think we’re less busy than Garry?

Leslie: Well, he’s probably busy with his wife and child. And Charlotte’s busy with her… Oscar? I don’t know, she’s just too famous for me to think she’d have good insight.

Diane: That was mean.

Sam: Yeah, we’re extremely famous! We’re Emmy winners! It’s the Oscar of TV!

Leslie: Just ignore anything offensive I may have said. I need your insight on what you think is wrong with Paul.

Sam: He could be dying, or firing you, or getting fired himself, or canceling the show. Plenty of things for him to be panicked enough about to sweat like a whore in church.

Diane: I hate that phrase, it’s not feminist at all.

Sam: Okay, sweat like a sinner in church. Better?

Diane: Yes, thank you.

Leslie: You didn’t really narrow it down for me, Sam.

Sam: Well, I’m not Paul. I can’t read his mind, nor would I ever want to. We’ll find out what’s wrong tomorrow, hopefully, it’s just something affecting him.

Diane: Hopefully nothing serious, though.

Sam: I’m not wasting my energy wishing for that.

Diane: I’m sorry we couldn’t have been more help, but if it’s of any comfort to you, I don’t think anything serious is wrong.

Leslie: You have nothing to apologize for. Now, Sam…

Sam: I just spoke my mind, last time I checked, that’s still legal in America.

Diane: That reminds me! Leslie, you wanna come watch Big Brother with us?

Leslie: What the hell, why not?

Sam: That’s the spirit! That’s what ninety-five percent of this show’s viewers say every time they sit down to watch it!

Diane: It’s both the best and worst show you’ll ever see, you’re gonna get hooked fast. I especially love this season because Cirie from Surv-

Sam: We get it, Diane, you love Survivor. Now, hush, my show’s on.

The next day…

Diane: Bakers, this was the toughest decision our judges had to make all season. You really brought your A-game for the semifinals.

Sam: The A, of course, meaning “American,” as you prepared bakes fit for the holiest American food holiday of the year: Thanksgiving.

Diane: Yes, you were all asked to bake both savory and sweet treats fit for a Thanksgiving feast, and what you all made makes us all thankful.

Sam: One of you, however, really floated our gravy boat.

Diane: Nathan, all three of your dishes were baked to perfection, and we’d all be thankful to have you baking for us this Thanksgiving. Condragulatons, you’re the Top Baker this week!

Sam: That’s RuPaul’s catchphrase, we can’t steal it just because Nathan is a drag queen,

Diane: We’ll edit it out in post.

Sam: Nancy, great job again this week. You remain a Maine contender for the win, as you are also in the finale.

Diane: Calvin, Kamala, you are our bottom two. We’ve been so lucky to have both of you this season, and you’ve both made some incredible bakes, but only one of you can have a spot in our finale.

Sam: Kamala, the judges like you did the worst job of elevating a simple Thanksgiving pie into something extravagant in the Grand Challenge, but your savory bake in the Specialty Challenge and your pumpkin trifle in the Judges Challenge were both sublime.

Diane: Calvin, your pie was delicious, as was your stuffing casserole, but your trifle was watery and the judges felt the pumpkin spice was not strong enough.

Sam: I’ve been given the unfortunate task of announcing the baker going home tonight. It brings me no pleasure to announce this, so please remember that this was the judges’ decision and not mine!

Diane: They’re aware!

Sam: Sadly, just one week before our finale, we have to say goodbye to… Calvin.

Diane: Calvin, it’s been a joy getting to know you, and getting to try your delicious baking. Thank you for coming and baking your heart out with us.

Sam: We’ll see the rest of you next week, for the season finale of Bake Your Heart Out!

Leslie: Cut! Paul, we’re talking now!

Sam: Wow, no notes for us? We’re good.

Frances: I think she’s a little preoccupied by something else.

Sam: No, she’s just in awe of what we did up there.

Garry: And she says I’m delusional.

Sam: I don’t say you’re delusional. I say you’re stupid. There’s a difference.

Paul: All right, let’s go talk.

Charlotte: May we come?

Leslie: May they?

Paul: I think it’s best if it’s just us.

Leslie: I tried.

Sam: I think he’s going to tell her he’s in love with her.

Paul: I heard that! Not true!

Sam: Oof, Leslie, he shot you down quick!

Leslie: Must you always act this way?

Sam: Yes, it’s how I am.

Charlotte: She’s Sam, it’s her thing!

Diane: Don’t worry Leslie, I’ll entertain the troops while you’re gone!

Frances: She’s just going to talk to us about Olivia Rodrigo, hurry back!

Diane: Oh, you love it, who are you kidding?

In Leslie’s office…

Leslie: I’m dying to know what this thing is that you couldn’t tell me last night or this morning before the show. I’m so anxious to hear what it is that I didn’t even bother trying to correct Sam’s obvious flub back there because I knew it would just drag things out further.

Paul: It’s not as bad ask you think, I promise.

Leslie: What do you think I think?

Paul: You think I’m canceling the show or I’m firing you or something.

Leslie: No! I would never think that! Sam tried to put the thought in my head, though.

Paul: Well, let’s face it, she’s wrong about most things.

Leslie: So what is it you needed to say, if it’s not a firing or a cancellation? We already lost the tax credits, so it’s not that.

Paul: We have competition.

Leslie: Excuse me?

Paul: There’s a summer show on ATC called House Party, it’s doing very well in the ratings and it’s only growing. There’s a serious risk that they could surpass Bake Your Heart Out in the ratings.

Leslie: That’s it?

Paul: That’s it.

Leslie: Oh, Paul, you know I’ve never cared about being number one?

Paul: Haven’t you?

Leslie: I’ve celebrated when we hit number one, that’s for sure, but my value isn’t firmly staked upon it. If we lose the title, we lose it. It doesn’t change my life. Our show’s still a hit.

Paul: That’s a very healthy attitude to have.

Leslie: Thank you, I pride myself one my PMA.

Paul: PMA?

Leslie: Positive mental attitude.

Paul: Keep it positive, that’s great. However…

Leslie: Don’t try and disturb someone’s happiness, Paul.

Paul: The network wants to cling to victory.

Leslie: You are the network, Paul!

Paul: I’m not the entirety of the network. I’m fine with Bake Your Heart Out being second, the rest of the board isn’t. They want more.

Leslie: We try our best, we can’t force people to watch it.

Paul: Of course we can’t, but we can do more to get people to tune in.

Leslie: More than fifteen million people watch us every week, and the demo is huge, too!

Paul: But it’s hard to compete with Dame Helen Mirren and Martha Stewart battling it out to stay in the Party House! We have to try, though!

Leslie: Is that what it’s about? And Oscar-winner Helen Mirren is in it?

Paul: I don’t know who the hell’s in it, I just named famous people I’ve heard of. But, yeah, it’s celebrities living in a house and trying not to come in last in a safety competition each week. It’s somehow viewer bait.

Leslie: It sounds like Big Brother, a show I was recently forced to watch and am now deeply invested in.

Paul: I said the same thing, but I’ve been told that it’s different. I didn’t care to ask for anyone to elaborate.

Leslie: How do you want us to get more people to tune in? I’ve not heard any ideas!

Paul: We’re leaving it up to you to think of for now. It’s your show, to keep the integrity, we want the viewer-alluring shakeup to come from your mind.

Leslie: That’s great. So my show’s not good enough anymore and it’s up to me to “fix” it.

Paul: It’s enough for me, just not for the other execs. You’ll be fine, though. This show is huge, and it can survive a drop to second place. It’s not going anywhere.

Leslie: I’ll try to think of something, Paul. Not because I have to, but because I’m a good little soldier, I do what I’m ordered to do. This show will be shaken up so much, you won’t recognize it!

Paul: Let’s not go that far. Just freshen the format up a bit, that’s all.

Later that day, at the hotel…

Charlotte: He really wants us to change our show to boost the ratings? Who has higher ratings than us? No one!

Leslie: House Party will, soon enough.

Frances: What the hell is House Party?

Diane: A cheap knockoff of Big Brother, with celebrities.

Garry: It’s nothing like Big Brother, that show didn’t invent the idea of strangers living in a house together. 

Sam: Garry, you watch it? You traitor! By thew way, what’s House Party?

Frances: She just explained it.

Sam: I know, I just thought it would be a funny gag to say I didn’t know it after yelling at Garry for watching it.

Garry: I don’t watch it!

Sam: You’re just trying to cover your own ass.

Melanie: Hey, guys! You look upset!

Charlotte: Don’t we always?

Frances: Paul says our massive hit show isn’t doing well enough!

Melanie: Is he canceling it? What an idiot!

Frances: No, he just wants us to “do better” or some other corny nonsense.

Diane: Wow, Frances, you’ve got a fire in your belly over this.

Frances: I dealt with network notes for years, I’m on a top-performing show, they need to learn to leave well enough alone.

Melanie: I’m lost here.

Leslie: Paul told me that there’s a show looking to surpass us in the ratings, and the other executives are upset about it and want us to freshen up the show in some way so we can hold on to the title.

Melanie: It’s a little late now, you’ve already filmed the entire season almost.

Leslie: Yes, that’s true. They mean for next season.

Melanie: They’re already thinking that far ahead? I don’t even plan what I’m going to do three days from now.

Sam: Yes, but our show is a cultural phenomenon, they have to plan things out well in advance.

Charlotte: It’s a well-oiled machine, which is why it’s so ludicrous that they want us to shake it up. Don’t fix what isn’t broken!

Garry: Don’t they remember what happened when we left and they “shook things up?” Disaster!

Sam: Well, when Diane and I left. No one cared that you were gone.

Garry: I left in solidarity with you, you could be a little nicer to me!

Frances: I say we tell the network to shove it. We do the show as-is, because it works perfectly right now.

Charlotte: I agree! We owe them nothing.

Leslie: We have nothing. There are no ideas in any of our heads.

Frances: Sam’s suggestion that we drop the eliminated contestants through a trap door notwithstanding.

Sam: It was a great idea.

Frances: I think it’s illegal.

Sam: Not if you do it right.

Melanie: You guys stay strong, okay. Don’t let corporate bights boss you around.

Sam: Look at Melanie going all commie, I like that.

Melanie: Not commie, I just believe in speaking power to the man.

Charlotte: Melanie, you sound like you’re ready to star in a reboot of 9 to 5. Coincidentally, I have been asked to do so, but I had to decline due to my busy schedule. You see, I am a -

Sam: An Oscar winner, we know.

Leslie: We should just go to dinner and stop dwelling on this. If we think of any ideas that we think might work, great. If not, that shows how strong we think our show is. There aren’t many improvements to make, and it’s gonna be hard to boost our ratings any higher than they already are.

Diane: That’s a good way to approach things, Leslie.

Sam: I also like that it will get us to dinner soon, I’m very hungry. I refuse to eat Thanksgiving food in the summer.

The next morning, Leslie gets a knock on her hotel door.

Leslie: Oh, gosh. What is it, Paul?

Paul: Leslie, I’ve got an idea that can change everything, and you don’t have to change anything about your show!

To be continued…

What did you think of this episode of Bake Your Heart Out? Let us know in the comments and make sure to read the new episode next week!

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