Episode Breakdown

We open at the morning’s pitch meeting. ViralLOL signs are everywhere in the background. ESTHER (confident, blagger), TASH (earnest reporter) and ALICE (easily distracted, naive) are pitching to the editor, who is 19 years old. Alice has an an iPad with a ridiculous cover in the shape of a carrot. Tash has a reporter’s notepad full of ideas.

 

TASH

I put twenty pitches on your desk this morning at 9.01am.

EDITOR

Yeah (flicking through loads of pieces of A4 paper)

Why did you write them in Arabic?

TASH

It’s shorthand.

EDITOR

What’s shorthand?

TASH is horrified

Tash kicks off the meeting by suggesting an in depth piece about a recent survey on the London housing crisis, and is talked down until eventually ends up reluctantly agreeing to write a quiz called ‘which London bag handle are you?’

Esther has no ideas, just blags it. Her suggestion of “7 times Barbara Windsor looked at a candle” is immediately celebrated.

Alice frantically attempts to remember an idea she had but now can’t find on her iPad, mainly because she has 40 tabs open, and is currently on an article entitled ‘You’ll never believe what happens to this deer'

ALICE

(flustered, desperate) How about what personality type are you?

TASH

Surely we’ve done that already.

ALICE

No, no we haven’t. I know because I’ve done all the quizzes on the website.

TASH

But we’ve done ‘what glass of water are you!?’

EDITOR

Good work lady-girls. (They all show slight revulsion) We’ll need around five of these quizzes from each of you per diem for the next few weeks so really get your thinking chapeuxs on and email them to me by lunch yeah? Esther, what’s your latest YouTube vid on?

ESTHER

I bought a pen and… (tries to make it sound interesting, can’t)... discussed it.

EDITOR

How many hits?

EDITOR

12 million.

 

Later, Tash is frustrated that her articles don’t get as much internet traction as Esther’s.

EDITOR

It’s not my fault everyone is a moron and I have a high online net worth.

TASH

Yeah but the story I published on my blog last night, about the London housing scandal, with exclusive quotes from the London mayor, only got 3 hits.

EDITOR

Show me.

They look at Tash’s screen which we don’t show.

EDITOR

It’s just… it doesn’t look very modern and now. And people are really weird about that on the inter-

ALICE

Did you write it with a quill?

TASH

No it’s on Word. Helvetica.

EDITOR

(jokily reading in Chaucerian voice) Herebye we beginee the accountedee..

TASH

I thought I cut the Chaucer opening

EDITOR

I’m joking (reading) To begin I’ll assume we all know the basics of Clause 4 in the City Housing Ruling of 1986.

TASH

(off her look) I explain it later. In the footnotes.

ALICE

Oh you’ve used footnotes.  

TASH

Only when I couldn’t fit it in the appendices.

ALICE

(kindly) Have you tweeted it out?  

TASH

No I can’t let anyone know it’s me, I’m the anonymous roving reporter. I mean what’s the point of talent?

I should just hold a pen and discuss it.

ALICE

(to Esther) You held it really well.

Esther:

I was trying out a new angle

TASH

(to Esther) Sorry. I’m tired. I stood outside the mayor’s house till 3am. Would you like an apple of friendship? (gets apple out of bag)

EDITOR

Yes.

ALICE

Could I have one?

TASH

It’s your apple. I took the apple of friendship from your lunchbox.

ALICE

(hurt) oh.

Esther:

(to Alice) A PR sent me some donut flavoured hand cream in the shape of the Coen Brothers if you want those?

ALICE

Oh! YES.

We are introduced to the rest of the office, including Alex, the painfully friendly IT guy who just wants to be their friend. They have to fend him off at pretty much all instances (Esther is abrupt, Alice is slightly too kind so has to be saved by the other two constantly, Tash takes advantage of the situation and makes him do stuff for her), as he comes up with any excuse to talk to them.

Things escalate when Alex tells Esther has wants to ‘show her something in the server room’ which they all agree actually means he wants to ‘show her his penis in the server room’. They dismiss this out of character behaviour from Alex, and continue trying to think of quiz ideas.

Alex turns up at Esther’s house that night. He tries to tell Esther that he has found something at work he shouldn’t have, but Esther doesn’t let him speak because she’s so horrified he’s turned up at her house.

The next day, at the pitch meeting (where they push quizzes more) management mention that Alex will not be in the office because he has to visit his sick Gran. Alarm bells first ring when Esther tells the others his Gran died.

TASH

How do you know?

ESTHER

He talks in his sleep.

TASH and ALICE are agog

ESTHER

(rolls her eyes) Okay, okay we had sex last year at Noel’s leaving do

ALICE

Noel’s left?!

ESTHER

When I said he was trying to have sex with me, I meant... again.

(silence)

ESTHER

Anyway, he isn’t going to see his Gran, I went with him to his Gran’s funeral. (realises the implications of what she’s said) Look, I’ll just text his mum and make sure.

TASH

You slept with him once?

ESTHER

(not looking up) once a day for two years, yes. (reading her phone) I didn’t see this until now, look.

(she shows her phone. It’s a text from Alex (with love hearts around it) says ‘HELP I’)

ALICE

Help I. Help I. Help I...an? Do we know anyone called Ian?

TASH

(to Esther) Do you know where he lives?

ESTHER

Yes

TASH

We’re going to his house.


They go to his flat and look around. There are framed pictures of Esther, his and her towels in the bathroom with Esther’s name on them, and more importantly it looks like there’s been a struggle (“He’s normally really tidy”). They find a notepad and do a carbon rubbing with a crayon but it’s just a shopping list (“B… I think it’s a name… BU… Buuuy… peppers” “He likes stir fries”). While they’re looking, Esther hears a car in the drive - they’re worried Alex has come back and will find them in his house so they all panic and hide. But they see from their hiding places that it’s not Alex, it’s a group of armed masked people. They overhear them clearly looking for something. While the people go upstairs, Tash grabs his laptop off the kitchen table, Alice takes some cheese that’s going to spoil out of the fridge and they run out of the front door. They don’t stop running until they reach Esther’s house.