Frances in the Kitchen Season 5 Premiere - Essie in the Kitchen

Frances in the Kitchen Season 5 Episode 1
Essie in the Kitchen

Frances walks onto the set.

Frances: Something is wrong.

Beverly: What do you mean?

Frances: There’s a disturbance.

Marcia: Is she having a stroke?

Frances: No!

Marcia: I don’t know, people start talking crazy like this when they’re stroking out.

Frances: Get serious!

Marcia: I’m not the one talking in code and sounding like I’m about to run through the town warning that the sky is falling.

Frances: I just sense that something is off. DeAnna wasn’t in the lot to gloat this morning.

Beverly: Do you typically look forward to that or something?

Frances: No, I hate it! However, it’s still very much a part of my morning routine. I’m used to it, and it feels weird to not have that. In general, though, I sense something is amiss.

Beverly: Maybe you’re dreaming!

Marcia: Maybe we’re all dreaming! Bev, poke Frances, see if she feels it!

Frances: Do not do that.

Beverly: I actually do have some news to tell you.

Frances: Oh my god, Jane’s not here. Is Jane okay?

Beverly: You’re concerned about the fact that Jane’s not on time? Have you met Jane?

Frances: You’re right, foolish concern. So what’s the news?

Beverly: There is some change in the air today, Dana just hired Essie Santarita for a new nightly show.

Frances: What? When did she leave her ABC show?

Beverly: She didn’t leave it yet. The network apparently opted against renewing her contract and all the cable networks have been bidding to get her.

Frances: And Dana bid the highest? Our Dana?

Beverly: I know she’s frugal, but when she wants something…

Frances: Maybe it’s time to see how much she wants me!

Beverly: Don’t do anything stupid!

Frances: Such as…?
Marcia: Any idea that just popped into your head.

Frances: Hey! I have some good ideas.

Marcia: I can see the jealousy on your face, don’t let it get to you.

Frances: I’m not jealous of her! I just think maybe I deserve a higher pay if Dana’s willing to shell out the cast for a flashy new hire.

Beverly: You haven’t negotiated a contract renewal during Dana’s time as president, don’t blame your salary on her. Maybe she’ll give you a raise if you ask.

Frances: Oh, because entertainment executives are so well-known for their kindness.

Marcia: I’m not sure what you’re upset about. Dana had nothing to do with your contract. That was all Charlie, god rest his soul, and you were very happy with your raise. Not to mention, you have no clue how much Essie’s salary is for. She seems like a nice lady, be happy you have a new colleague that’s not an insane person.

DeAnna: Conner! Did you hear the news?

Maria: Speaking of which…

Frances: I did hear the news! Isn’t it awful?

DeAnna: I need to know why Dana was so desperate to get Essie on this network. Whose show is getting the shaft because of her? Better not be us!

Marcia: Since when is there an “us?” You two hate each other!

DeAnna: My purpose in life is antagonizing her, I can’t do that if she gets canned.

Frances: I feel the same way about you!

Marcia: I don’t like this. This isn’t how this is supposed to be.

Beverly: I agree, but I’m sure they’ll go back to tearing each others’ hair out any moment now.

DeAnna: I heard that Mark Landers might be retiring soon, hopefully she’s taking his spot at six o’clock slot

Frances: Is her deal for an hour-long show?

DeAnna: I don’t know. If it’s for a half-hour show, guess what we are, Frannie?

Frances: You don’t have to say it, DeAnna, I know.

DeAnna: Done. D-O-N-E. Done!

Frances: Thank you for really laying that out.

Beverly: Told you so.

Marcia: You did.

Lauren: I don’t think you guys have anything to worry about!

DeAnna: Where did you come from?

Lauren: You wandered out after I told you the news, I figured you were coming here to gloat.

DeAnna: I’m not gloating, I’m venting! I’m being replaced as the hot new thing at this network by some old grandmother!

Frances: Aren’t you and Essie the same age?

DeAnna: Yes, but I don’t have grandchildren. Also, I often lie about my age and forgot that you knew my real age.

Marcia: I don’t see the big deal. Essie’s a legend in the TV world, but she’s not going to bring anything new and exciting to the network. Everyone knows who she is and what type of show she makes, there’s room for all of you here. Even a bitch like DeAnna.

DeAnna: Thank you!

Frances: Still, she’s gonna get paid more than us, and we have the seniority! That upsets me, it’s unfair.

DeAnna: I say we go in, present a united front to Dana, and we say we walk if we don’t get a raise to ten percent more than Essie’s salary.

Frances: That’s a good idea!

Marcia: As someone who has bills to pay, and has to rely on you not getting fired in order to pay said bills, I would disagree about it being a good idea.

Frances: Do you not believe in women’s right to fair pay?

Marcia: Oh my god, you’re making this a feminist thing?

Jane: What’s going on? Why is everyone in here?

Beverly: No reason, Jane. Where’s the coffee?

Jane: Oh, darn, I knew I was forgetting something!

Beverly: Oh, Jane.

Jane: I’m sorry! I feel terrible!

Beverly: You have such a kind heart, Jane. An empty brain, but a kind heart.

Jane: Thank you! I try!

Frances: DeAnna and I are going to meet with Dana and get ourselves raises!

Jane: That sounds like fun, can I come?

Marcia: Good heavens.

DeAnna: I’m starting to question now if it was a good idea.

Frances: Don’t, not everything Jane says is completely asinine.

Jane: I appreciate that! What does “asinine” mean, though?

DeAnna: You’re right, she’s a genius.

Jane: You guys are all so nice!

Frances: All right, let’s go…

Lauren: The crew is ready to film! Andy is gonna be pissed!

DeAnna: Screw Andy, it’s my show!

Frances: You hear her, Bev?

Beverly: I know to never try to catch a cloud and pin it down.

In Dana’s office..

Dana: Ladies! I am not a therapist, I’m not solving one of your petty squabbles again! I respect your belief that I can help, but I have no desire to get involved in drama again.

DeAnna: We know what you did.

Dana: You know I stopped at McDonald’s for a Big Mac last night after work? I feel shame about it, but it’s hardly huge news.

DeAnna: Huh? I meant Essie!

Dana: Oh, isn’t it great! We have a huge star coming to TBC!

Frances: You have two huge stars!

Dana: But she’s a different kind of star.

Frances: Oh, I see how it is!

Dana: You two are wonderful, but Essie’s a household name. You say her first name, people know who you mean.

DeAnna: Yeah, she’s an everyday Cher.

Frances: We could get Cher to do a cooking show on here, now that’s a star.

Dana: Are you two upset we hired Essie? I promise, your shows are completely safe. In fact, the three of you are going to be a powerhouse lineup, in my opinion.

Frances: We’re upset about her pay. Now I’m also kinda upset you seem to think she’s better than us.

Dana: She’s not better, she just brings in a different audience. She’s a television icon, an American institution.

DeAnna: She’s no Sally Jessy.

Dana: We’re talking in circles, ladies. I have a meeting to get to.

DeAnna: We want a raise. Both of us, ten percent more than whatever you’re paying Essie.

Frances: Or we quit!

Dana: I can’t promise that right here and now. A lot goes into financial decisions, not just what I say.

Frances: Then we’re done here. I don’t know whose show you’re canceling to make room for Essie, but un-cancel it. An hour just opened up on your schedule. I’ve given this network too many years of my life 

DeAnna: What she said!

Dana: Ladies! This is hasty! Give me time to figure out raises for the both of you, and in the meantime, continue work as normal. Deal?

Frances: You better not just be saying this to appease us.

Dana: I like you both, I want you happy. I’ll see what I can do.

Frances: We reserve the right to resign, regardless.

Dana: You are both under contract, but, sure.

DeAnna: Well, this has been productive. We have shows to film.

Dana: I must say, it was interesting to see you two on the same side for once.  I doubted it would ever happen.

Frances: Oh, we’re not always opposed! Good old Charlie knew that very well.

DeAnna: I miss him.

Dana: We all miss him. Now, you two get back to work, don’t worry about Essie, it’ll all be okay.

Later that night, when Frances returns home…

Louise: We need to talk.

Frances: What are you doing in my house?

Louise: What are you doing with my daughter’s career?

Frances: What? I’ve stayed out of it, I let her work with that evil witch all she wants, no matter how much it hurts me!

Louise: Lauren says you and DeAnna have been talking about quitting. You’ve got to be kidding!

Frances: It’s not what it sounds like. We’re just trying to get Dana to give us a raise.

Jimmy: It sounds like you’re playing with fire!

Frances: We’re just fighting for a faire wage, I wouldn’t expect a man to get it.

Jimmy: Frances, you are so much better off financially than I am, don’t give me that crap.

Frances: You think feminism is crap? I see how it is!

Jimmy: Don’t put words in my mouth!

Frances: I just feel I should be making more money than a new hire.

Louise: Oh, yea, Lauren told me about that! Essie Santarita is working with you? I love her, can you get me in to meet her?

Frances: Ugh…

Louise: Is that a no?

Frances: I’m not happy about Essie joining our network, that’s all. I’m the star, then DeAnna. Essie will disrupt the hierarchy.

Louise: Oh, so this is about your own ego.

Jimmy: Duh.

Frances: You two never explained how you’re in my house. Greg’s not here, how’d you get in?

Jimmy: You let us watch it when you’re out of town, we know where the key is.

Frances: I’ll have to move that.

Louise: Don’t worry, we didn’t disturb anything. I just made dinner while we waited for you.

Frances: Seems you disturbed something, then.

Jimmy: She made you food, I don’t know why you’d be upset about that!

Frances: I was expecting to come home to my husband, instead I come home to find my brother and sister-in-law grilling me and accusing me of derailing my niece’s career. Tonight’s just not gone as I was expecting is all.

Louise: Just don’t let DeAnna quit, okay?

Frances: She doesn’t like me, I don’t have much sway. But I’m not quitting, so hopefully she was also bluffing.

Louise: Work your magic. Now, let’s table this, dinner is ready.

Frances: What’d you make?

Louise: Lamb chops!

Frances: Oh! Those were for my anniversary, but I’m glad they were able to feed the two of you.

Jimmy: There’s enough for you, too!

Frances: Thrilled to hear it.

Later that night…

Frances: So, what have you found?

DeAnna: I did find something! This website I’m using says she once paid a fine relating to a DUI.

Frances: That’s it?

DeAnna: I know it’s no Martha Stewart insider trading, but it’s something, no? What brilliance did you find?

Frances: Nothing that’ll get her fired. Just a lot of pictures of her at various Grateful Dead concerts.

DeAnna: Ooh! Maybe she was a druggie! Every Deadhead is!

Frances: I don’t think smoking a doobie sometime in the past is gonna be enough to get someone fired.

DeAnna: It’s something!

Frances: Is it?

DeAnna: I don’t know!

Frances: Keep digging.

Greg: Hey, honey, who you talking to?

Frances: I gotta go, D! Bye!

Greg: D?

Frances: No one.

Greg: Is this about the work thing? Louise called me about it, she’s very concerned about Lauren potentially losing her job.

Frances: Lauren’s not losing her job!

Greg: So what are you and DeAnna, your sworn enemy, talking about?

Frances: We want to get Essie fired.

Greg: Frances!

Frances: You’re not my father, don’t reprimand me. And where were you today, I was worried sick?

Greg: At work, and I have to reprimand you, because you’re being silly! Essie is an uncontroversial, seemingly-kind person who has done nothing to you.

Frances: I’m the queen of TBC, I’m gonna stay queen.

Greg: Your jealousy streak is unattractive.

Frances: Your judgmental attitude is unattractive.

The next morning…

Frances: So, have you found anything else?

DeAnna: I th-

Essie: Ladies! Oh, my goodness, how do you look so beautiful this early in the morning?

Frances: Essie Santarita! I hear you’re our new colleague!

Essie: That seems to be the plan! I’m just here getting an idea of what the work space is like.

Frances: Well, this isn’t where you’d be filming. This is a parking lot.

Essie: I know, silly! But this is all part of the aesthetic of the workplace. It all has to feel safe for me to want to work there.

Frances: Uh-huh.

DeAnna: Well, let me tell you, there is a ton to see on this lot, so you’d better get on your way and see it. We’ll see you around then.

Essie: Oh, I have time! I want to get to know you girls! I hear you’re the stars here.

DeAnna: Many people say that.

Frances: My show has made more episodes than any other show in this network.

Essie: It must be a great place to work, then. I worked at my network for over twenty years because it felt like home. Then they canceled me, but I don’t have any hard feelings. Them’s the brakes, you know?

Frances: Yeah, sure. Well, I have to get to filming.

Essie: Ooh, can I see the set? That’ll really help me get a feeling for what it’ll be like to work here!

DeAnna: Actually, we have a meeting before she can film. Remember, Frances?

Frances: Yeah, now that you mention it, I do!

Essie: Oh, then I’ll let you go. I will be sure to see you around!

Frances: Yes! I can’t wait to see you, you’re just so nice to chat with, and I can’t say that about everyone who works here!

Essie: So are you! You’re both so lovely!

DeAnna: You don’t have to lie to Frances.

Essie: Oh, I’d never lie to Frances! I have so much respect for her, she renewed my love for the culinary arts.

Frances: That is such a beautiful thing to say.

Essie: It’s the truth, one hundred percent.

Frances: All right, we’re gonna get going.

Essie: I’ll go see what the ladies on Food Fight are up to!

Frances: I don't think they’re in t - you do that!

Essie walks away.

DeAnna: DEFINTIELY a druggie.

Frances: You know who’d get along great with her? Jane!

DeAnna: You’re right! I hope what she said about you being an inspiration didn’t melt your cold dead heart, though.

Frances: Nope, still as cold as ice.

DeAnna: Good. She’s got to go.

In Dana’s office…

DeAnna: Dana, we come with troubling news about one Estelle “Essie” Santarita.

Dana: Oh, you two again! I was just going to call!

DeAnna: She’s not who she says she is.

Dana: I know Essie’s just a nickname, DeAnna.

DeAnna: That is not it. The woman’s a criminal.

Dana: Huh?

DeAnna: A record of paying DUI payments. She’s a repeat offender!

Dana: Those are for her daughter. She disclosed those.

DeAnna: Oh!

Frances: We also highly suspect she does drugs!

Dana: What is this?

Frances: We can’t let her be a bigger star than us.

Dana: Oh my god, the hubris of some television stars…

DeAnna: “Television stars?” We are global celebrities.

Dana: Sure.

Frances: This was all DeAnna’s idea.

DeAnna: It was not!

Dana: Stop it! I don’t want to hear it! I wanted to call you in today to tell you that I fought for you both, and even though this is not something I needed to do, as you’re both amid contracts, I got you the raises you wanted. Take a look at your contracts.

Frances: Holy crap, you were paying Essie that much?

DeAnna: I’ve met her, she can’t be worth that much.

Dana: In the eyes of the network, she is. And you’re both worth even more. Congratulations, you’ve both earned it.

Frances: I never doubted you.

DeAnna: I doubted you even less.

Dana: Another thing…

Frances: You’re smiling, you better not be doing that as a fake out.

Dana: I listened to your both talk about your star quality and your value to the network, and I agree with you. We should be investing in you and highlighting you even more. All three of you - the two of you and Essie - are going to be the faces of our new ad campaign. You’re going to do a photoshoot, and you’re going to pretend to like one another, and your faces are going to be all around this city, and New York City, and every city. We’re going all in on this lineup.

Frances: Wow!

DeAnna: Another DeAnna Clifton plan executed to perfection.

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

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