Excerpt from “Intensifying Hearts & Dreams” – season 1, episode 1

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DVD transcript

“The BOF TV” logo is shown, followed by the following message:

“Thank you for purchasing this anniversary DVD edition of the first season of the show, available for the first time in unabridged form! Enjoy audio commentary by the stars and creators of this classic telenovela!”

The opening credits are shown.


 

TRAIN ANNOUNCER

Now arriving to Doomtown! Please make sure you haven’t left any possessions on the train, the exit will be to your right. Now arriving in Doomtown!

 

MONICA

Golly jeepers creepers, am I nervous. Here I am, a country gal all alone in the world and cut off from my parents’ will, about to try to make it in Doomtown. I sure hope the famous MADAME MORGANNA is indeed holding a competition to determine who will be her next employee, as the rumours on the modern Internet claim.


DVD transcript

CFD: Hi, my name is Chad Fabuloso D’Annunzio, I’m the head writer and creator of this show.

PM: I’m Peter Nichlas, I like to think of myself as the executive producer.

RHvA: And I’m Radovan Hubert von Arbin, I’m the actor who plays Daddy.


MONICA

Wow, this train station is a lot larger and more bustling than the one in my hometown of Petiteville, South Carolina! What are all these unfamiliar sounds and smells?


DVD transcript

PN: It’s strange to see Monica so unsure of herself. She’s such a strong, female character today – like all of Chad’s female characters, of course.

RHvA: Time really flies. This is, what, twelve years ago now? I didn’t even remember the show opened on Monica, to be honest.

CFD: And she’s still just as beautiful.

RHvA: I could have sworn Marcia was the first character introduced.


MONICA

Oh, it looks like Doomtown’s MAYOR is holding an election speech in front of the train station. I’ll have a listen.

 

THE MAYOR

Beloved citizens and hombres! As you know, a new club and leisure centre has just opened up in town! But I assure you, as long as you vote for me and keep attending THE MAYOR’S TASTY SHACK you won’t need any newfangled hootin’-tootin’ fancy food and drink from the big city! I swear, keep comin’ to me, don’t go to the other guy! And keep votin’ so’s I don’t have to rename the place.


DVD transcript

CFD: This is, of course, over a year before I introduce Frank. The political conflict, as it were, during these early seasons all takes place between The Mayor, Daddy and Morganna.

PN: This scene does a really good job of introducing the major players without it feeling like an infodump.


MONICA

Excuse me, did you just tap my shoulder?

 

FRANK

I confess I did, young lady. Don’t worry, I have no ill intentions at heart. It’s just your aura, you seem to be a person who just arrived in town. Can I offer you any advice or directions?


DVD transcript

PN: Huh? I don’t remember this part.

CFD: That is a little strange. I could have sworn he wasn’t part of the show until season 5… But I guess I must have misremembered, whatever.

RHvA: That’s creepy.


MONICA

Oh, thank you, kind stranger! But first I can’t resist asking… Why is there a halo of silver light around your head? And your head seems to be a little bit transparent, the light is shining through. Do you have some kind of disease?

 

FRANK

No, nothing of the sort. I just have a powerful presence. I have travelled far, further than you can imagine. I have seen things, things you can never know. My mortal body has had to withstand pressures unknown, pressures unknown you can never understand.

 

MONICA

Oh, okay. Well, I just need to know the way to MADAME MORGANNA’ s hair salon!

 

FRANK

Ah, the old dilapidaded crone. I shall write out directions on the back of my hand. You can then memorize them.

 

MONICA

Why not write them on my hand then?

 

FRANK

This is a technique I learned in an unknowable place. It will strenghthen your memory forever.


DVD transcript

PN: We’re used to him now, but when he first appeared on screen, people must have found Frank pretty weird. Always flopping around on the floor, glowing, talking about strange things with his mouth closed…

RHvA: I still don’t understand him, or the actor who plays him either. He’s very method, he insists on being called Frank at all times and speaks in the same way as the character.

CFD: Well, in my opinion, Frank is the prototypical “guru” character. You know the Nick Cave song? He’s a god, he’s a man, he’s a ghost, he’s a guru. That’s Frank in a nutshell.


(…)

 

MONICA

Hello! Is anyone around?

 

MARCIA

Hello, over here! Welcome to MADAME MORGANNA’s, my name is MARCIA and how can I help you?

 

MONICA

Hi, I’m MONICA and I’m new in town! I have a feeling we’ll be friends, I think it’s my woman’s intuition speaking. I’m here to seek employment as a hairdresser! I heard there is going to be a competition of sorts?

 

MARCIA

Ah, another contestant! How exciting. You are welcome to take part, but I warn you: our MADAME has the most deluxe standards in this entire nation of Promerica. Now, before we go on, I would like to say a few words about the men. There is my childhood sweetheart, PJALTUR. He is probably the best one, but I have my eye on him. If you are into the slightly older set, you have the club owner DADDY. It seems like he is going to be a major success and make a lot of money, so he is probably a good choice for a husband. He also has an interesting employee, ANGÉL GABRIÉL. More of a fiery latin fellow, but very handsome. The famous DR. ADAMSON is another obvious selection. There are other ones as well, so make your choice carefully!


DVD transcript

CFD: And with that, I believe we have passed the Bechdel Test right out of the box, unlike so many soap operas! When I wrote this, I thought we might as well get it over with.

RHvA: Now what’s this Bechdel thing?

CFD: Oh, it’s a test on strong, female characters. Basically you need at least two named females, and they have to have names and, uh, be women. And then you have them talk about guys.

PN: Obviously we have the most progressive, female-friendly show in our genre. It always amazes me how your lady characters come alive. And more than 50% of our audience consists of women, which is extremely unusual and proves we have good woman characters.


(…)

 

MADAME MORGANNA

Very well done, dear. That seems to be a perfect double comb-over. You have passed the test! Congratulations, darling, you are hired! Let’s all go to the Intensifying Heart Club – We’ll celebrate and give the new place the old once-over, dears!

 

PRINCIPILLA

Oh, I am so happy, Mommy will be so proud! She loves me so much! I’m so glad to be part of her family and included in her will. This last week has been triumph upon triumph! I can’t wait to start my new job, yay!

 

MONICA

Dang it all. I can’t believe I failed. Maybe I’ll go eat at that MAYOR’s place, so I can be alone.


DVD transcript

PN: It’s interesting how we focus on Monica for over half the episode, only to have her fail completely and we then spend the rest of the episode at the Club with different characters. It gives you two perspectives of the story, so to speak.

RHvA: Also, I get to be on screen. Which is one of my favorite things to do.

CFD: I wanted to pull a bit of a bait-and-switch on the viewer, tricking them into thinking Monica is going to be our perspective character, when the show is actually all about the ensemble.

PN: Now, I guess we have to talk about Principilla. What happened to her, actor and character both, was unexpected and horrifying.

CFD: I guess I felt from the start that there was something wrong with that character. I remember, Peter, you trying to warn me. And my beloved Editor, who is of course no longer with us either, tried to make me write Principilla out of the story. She probably knew…

RHvA: Speaking of, you still haven’t told us where Editor went off to, and how you convinced the higher-ups at the studio to give you complete artistic freedom. That was only like a season ago, right?

CFD: That’s a tale for another rainy day. But to lay to rest the matter of Principilla, sometimes stories just run away with the people who come up with them. Enjoy her for what she is, during these scant twenty-one episodes she was part of the show. And then, try to forget her again. Safest that way.


(…)

 

ANGÉL GABRIÉL

Welcome, ladies of the hair salon, to the Intensifying Heart Club! Please allow me to escort you to your own VIP table. And I know that the owner would like to personally congratulate you, PRINCIPILLA, on your victory.

 

PRINCIPILLA

How lovely! Lovely life!

 

MADAME MORGANNA

Very well, we shall allow him to adress us for a minute or two. But I tell you now, we want drinks – the more expensive, the better. Sugar-flavoured women’s drinks with bright colours. We’re here to sample the goods, not to be smarmed at by the owner.


DVD transcript

PN: Oh, here we go! This is your big entrance, Rado!

RHvA: I have a funny story about that.


DADDY

Ah, MORGANNA, my old friend! I hope you will enjoy our new Club. And the best of luck to your new employee as well! Now, MARCIA my daughter, PJALTUR is looking for you. I’m sure your colleagues will excuse you for a moment.

 

MADAME MORGANNA

Well, D’ADDARIO, the place seems clean and well-furnished enough, I suppose. It won’t do the town a disservice, at the least.


DVD transcript

PN: Now, viewers that are only familiar with current seasons will probably be shocked at how well Daddy and Morganna are getting along here. Their war is such a central part of the show now that it feels like it was there from the beginning. But Morganna only had a bone to pick with Dr. Adamson right at the start. It isn’t until episode 4 that things turn sour with her and Daddy. Now what was the funny anecdote you were about to tell us, Radovan?

RHvA: Well, you see, when we shot this episode, both of my wives had been out of town for several days. So naturally, my right hand was stiff and sore as all hell. So between takes, I fumbled and accidentally dropped the script in the toilet! As a consequence, I had to completely improvise this next bit. The script was just gone! Can you believe it?


DADDY

Ah, Clubs with dining and to start them! It brings to mind the foundation of this great land, with prospectors running the gamut from Wheeltown to the Old Lake; commerce, entrepreneurship, ingenuity. I want you all to join me, today, and to the world of tomorrow; business and pleasure, now and forever, in the corners of life, and in peoples’ own homes. Think of your own ideal Club, and tell me your dreams; oh; your dreams on the sunlit terraces of white, manly buildings. Tell me of your journey to this place from the place you came from. DR. ADAMSON speaks about the human spirit; indomitability, genius, money, willpower, grace, affluence.

 

ANGÉL GABRIÉL

…Yes. Now, sir, you have another call on hold from THE MAYOR – he seems quite upset with you.


DVD transcript

RHvA: I think I got away with it.

CFD: Yes, I had no idea that was improv! Well done, that was one hundred percent natural and believable. You’ve always, from day one, had a great grasp of this character. I always thought you could easily write your own lines, and this proves it. I would never have guessed that wasn’t something I wrote.

PN: We really are blessed with the strongest ensemble cast on television, I think. So many talented actors who just completely own their characters.

RHvA: You are too kind.

PN: And now, of course, the inevitable cliffhanger, to hook the viewer with an unforseen turnaround!


ANGÉL GABRIÉL

Wait a moment. Isn’t that DR. ADAMSON himself, standing at the door?

 

DR. ADAMSON

MADAME MORGANNA! I have something important to tell you!

 

PRINCIPILLA

Oh, my goodness! What could it be?

 

MADAME MORGANNA

Do your worst, so-called DOCTOR of the gastronomical arts! You would never dare challenge me, as I alone know of your deadly SECRET!

 

DR. ADAMSON

Well, then. Do you know… The hair salon is being bought up by MOTHER NATURE??


DVD transcript

End credits roll.

PN: There it is, the first episode. What a classic introduction to characters and themes that will only get more intense. Keep watching, and we’ll keep giving you insight into the creative process! Any last thoughts on this episode, fellows?

RHvA: It was a little bit better than I remembered. But some bits were a little bit worse. And some bits were just kind of different.

CFD: I must confess, I’m a little bit uneasy about Frank appearing in the show a full year before I came up with him or cast his actor. Really, really strange. Must be an odd coincidence of some sort I have never been exposed to before. I remember distinctly the day I decided that the show had gone a bit stale, and we needed a major character with a bit more mystery and intrigue about him. That was when I came up with the basic idea of Frank. He definitely wasn’t in this episode, guys…

FRANK: You three adults know more than anyone that I come and go where I please. This is not the me that was in the show just now, nor was that person the one who will become me. I am currently outside. You will come to know the fringes and the bronze-gold light falling on the flooded boneyard… Here, let me take you to the truth!

A jarring, unearthly noise is heard, followed by silence.

DVD transcript end


(CONT)

 

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One thought on “Excerpt from “Intensifying Hearts & Dreams” – season 1, episode 1

  1. Pingback: Excerpt from ”Modern Love” – season 376, episode 44,257 | a truth called nothing

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