Ep 44 - "Cocoa and Sympathy"



OPENING SEQUENCE

(Clip of George Burns and Gracie Allen on stage.)

Every great act has its own routine.

GEORGE: Gracie, say goodnight.

GRACIE: Goodnight.

GEORGE: Goodnight.

(Audience laughter and applause.)

(Clip of Avery and Shriver.)

Delivery...timing...

AVERY: Ya know what I mean?

SHRIVER: Yeah.

AVERY: Eh?

SHRIVER: Yeah.

AVERY: Eh?

SHRIVER: Yeah.

(Clip of Groucho Marx dancing in front of his reflection in the mirror.)

They take years to perfect.

(Groucho spins around, but his "reflection" doesn't.)

(Clip of Senor Wences with his hand puppet.)

It takes hard work and practice.

SENOR: 'S'aright?

PUPPET: 'S'aright.

SENOR: 'S'aright.

(Clip of the Three Stooges as Moe grabs Curly and Larry by the hair.)

But once you've got it down...

(Moe bangs Curly on the top of the head.)

It becomes...

(Moe hits the others in the stomach.)

Second-nature. Routine.

Fade to

Int. Morning - Arnold Kitchen

(Shot of Karen, Kevin and Wayne at the table. Wayne pushes Kevin.)

KEVIN: Butthead!

(Kevin pushes Wayne.)

WAYNE: Dorkface!

(Wayne pushes Kevin hard into Karen's newspaper.)

KAREN: Grow up!

(Close shot of Kevin glancing from Karen to Wayne off-screen.)

Take my family. Please.

("Brrrp-pish!" of drums.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Norma near the sink as Jack approaches behind her.)

NORMA: Good morning. (Smiles.)

(Norma hands Jack a cup of coffee.)

JACK: Hnnn...

Talk about routines...

(Jack walks past the camera. Norma looks after him, then turns back to the sink.)

We had a million of 'em.

(Shot of Wayne as Jack sits down and opens the newspaper.)

(Shot of Norma as she walks across the kitchen.)

NORMA: Kevin? Did you feed -

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Norma off-screen.)

KEVIN: Mom, can you do it? (Gestures.) I gotta get to school early...

(Close shot of Norma pausing and frowning slightly.)

KAREN (V/O): Mom?

(Close shot of Karen looking at Norma off-screen.)

KAREN: Did you fix that button on my -

(Close shot of Norma smiling slightly as she crosses the kitchen.)

NORMA: I sewed it on last night. (Smiles.)

(Close shot of Jack looking toward his cup and frowning.)

JACK: Norma, where's my -

(Close shot of Norma smiling slightly.)

NORMA: It's in your briefcase.

(Close shot of Wayne frowning and gesturing.)

WAYNE: Hey, where's uh -

(Shot from Kevin's pespective as Norma approaches with a glass.)

NORMA: Right here. (Smiles.)

(Wide shot of all.)

Yep - we had 'em all.

(Norma turns to the counter near the door.)

Timing, delivery...

(Norma is looking at a small piece of paper.)

And of course, the best straight-man in the business.

(Close shot of Norma looking over her shoulder toward Jack off-ascreen.)

NORMA: Jack?

(Norma glances down then back to Jack as she holds up the paper.)

NORMA: The tickets for the concert series arrived. (Smiles.)

(Close shot of Jack looking at his newspaper.)

(Close shot of Norma looking down and smiling.)

Good old mom.

(She looks toward Jack off-screen and frowns slightly.)

NORMA: Honey?

(Close shot of Jack as he looks up from his paper.)

JACK: Uh...no, no.

(He raises his cup slightly.)

JACK: Just coffee's fine. (Smiles.)

(Close shot of Norma looking at Jack off-screen.)

NORMA: No, Jack...(waves tickets)...I was talking about the concert series. (Nods.)

(Close shot of Jack.)

JACK: Oh...

(Close shot of Norma.)

NORMA: It starts this Thursday night. They're doing chamber music. (Nods.)

(Close shot of Jack looking blankly at Norma off-screen.)

NORMA (V/O): I think it should be fun.

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward Jack off-screen.)

Uh-huh. You could always count on Norma Arnold...

(Kevin looks toward Norma off-screen.)

(Close shot of Norma looking at Jack off-screen.)

To set up the punchlines.

(Close shot of Jack looking at Norma off-screen.)

JACK: Thursday's gonna be a bear, Norma.

(He nods and smiles uncomfortably.)

JACK: It's this damn audit.

(Jack glances sideways toward Kevin, then toward Norma off-screen.)

JACK: One of the kids'll go with ya. (Nods.)

(Shot of Karen, Kevin and Wayne. "Brrrp-pish!" of drums. Kevin looks up.)

(Close shot of Norma looking expectantly toward the kids off-screen.)

(Close shot of Karen as she looks toward Norma off-screen.)

KAREN: I've got a date.

(Close shot of Kevin as he shrugs slightly.)

KEVIN: Big history test Friday. (Gestures.) Gotta hit the books. (Smiles.)

(Close shot of Wayne as he calmly eats an English muffin.)

(Close shot of Kevin glancing toward Norma off-screen.)

You had to hand it to her. Mom was perfect at the part.

(Close shot of Norma looking from Kevin to Jack off-screen somberly.)

Like any great comedian.

(Norma looks down and nods slightly.)

PAUL (V/O): Kev, it isn't funny!

Cut to

Int. Day - School Restroom

(Close shot of Paul looking at himself in the mirror, then turning toward Kevin off-screen.)

PAUL: I can't walk into the cafeteria looking like this.

(Shot from behind Kevin and Paul as they lean on the sinks.)

Of course when it came to playing straight-man...

(Close shot of Kevin in profile as he brushes his hair back and smiles slightly.)

I had some experience of my own.

KEVIN: Paul, it's just a cow-lick. (Nods.) It's not so bad. (Frowns.)

(Close shot of Paul looking at Kevin off-screen.)

PAUL: What do you mean, "not so bad"? "Not so good", right? That's what you really mean.

(Close shot of Kevin sighing and turning toward the mirror.)

For instance, when Paul's self-esteem was down...

(Kevin looks at Paul off-screen.)

Read any day of the week...

(Close shot of Paul in profile as he looks in the mirror and smoothes his hair.)

It was routine for me to build him back up.

(Paul turns toward Kevin off-screen.)

PAUL: It looks like I've got pipe-cleaners growing out of my head!

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen.)

KEVIN: It looks fine!

(Shot from behind Kevin and Paul as Hobson enters, and is reflected in the mirror.)

HOBSON: Hey, Alfalfa!

(Paul turns around.)

(Close shot of Hobson.)

HOBSON: Nice "'do". (Smiles.)

(Shot of Paul and Kevin looking toward Hobson off-screen.)

PAUL: Get bent, Hobson!

(Shot from behind Paul and Kevin as Hobson approaches, reflected in the mirror.)

HOBSON: Careful what you say, Pfeif...

(Hobson walks across the shot holding up some folded notebook paper.)

HOBSON: Or I might not let you see the Berlini poll.

KEVIN: What?

(Hobson holds the folded paper against the mirror.)

(Close shot of the paper.)

The "Lisa Berlini poll". The definitive rating...

(Shot of Kevin and Paul looking toward the paper off-screen.)

Of the male faction at RFK Junior High.

(Shot of Hobson, and Doug behind him, as Hobson takes some gum out of his mouth and sticks the paper to the mirror with it.)

It was the kind of document that eventually led to deep-seated neuroses...

(Shot of Kevin and Paul looking toward the paper off-screen.)

And psychotherapy.

(Close shot of Hobson looking at the paper.)

Not that we knew about that stuff in eigth-grade.

(Hobson looks toward Kevin and Paul off-screen.)

HOBSON: Read 'em and weep, cupcakes. (Smiles.)

(Wider shot of of all as Hobson cocks his finger at Paul, laughs, then exits. Kevin, Paul and Doug hesitate, then excitedly peer at the list.)

DOUG: Is my name on it?

(Close shot of Kevin looking at himself in the mirror.)

KEVIN: "Best eyes"? I got "best eyes"?! (Nods.) What about the rest of my face?

Well, I guess it could have been worse.

(Close shot of Paul and Doug looking at the paper. Paul looks toward Kevin off-screen.)

PAUL: "Brainiest". (Nods.)

I could have been Paul.

(Paul sighs and looks at the paper.)

(Shot from behind as Paul turns away.)

DOUG: Does anybody see my name?!

(The camera pans slightly with Kevin as he turns after Paul.)

PAUL: Man, last time at least I got...(gestures)..."best-mannered".

KEVIN: Hey!

(Shot past Paul of Kevin.)

KEVIN: There's nothing wrong with being brainy. (Smiles.)

(Shot of Paul and Kevin as a boy exits between them.)

BOY: Thank God I didn't get "brainiest". (Smiles.)

PAUL: Man, first a cow-lick the size of Mount Rushmore, and now this.

(Shot past Paul of Kevin as Paul looks down shakes his head, and exits past the camera.)

Uh-oh. You could sense Paul heading for a major-league slump, here.

(Shot of Paul dejectedly getting his books from the shelf.)

This was gonna take...care.

(Shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen.)

KEVIN: Paul, nobody's gonna notice.

(Shot of Paul as Kevin passes the camera.)

KEVIN: Trust me.

(Kevin gets his books.)

PAUL: You think so?

KEVIN: Yeah. (Smiles.)

Care...and a little good luck.

(The camera pans slightly as they exit.)

(Sound of a screaming woman.)

Cut to

Int. Afternoon - Arnold Basement

(Clip from a sci-fi movie. A "brain" is crawling on the floor, then jumps up onto the back of the screaming woman, who is surrounded by three men. One man wrestles the brain off the lady, then tosses it away.)

(Shot of Kevin and Paul on the couch, looking at the TV off-screen.)

PAUL: Now, there's a brain.

(Close shot of the TV screen. The brain is on a chair.)

PAUL (V/O): Pretty attractive, huh?

KEVIN: Paul, it's just a stupid movie. (Gestures.)

PAUL: Man, I'd rather be "ugliest" than "brainiest.

(Norma descends the stairs behind them carrying a full laundry basket. The camera pans up slightly.)

NORMA: Paul Pfeiffer! Who said you were ugly?

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen.)

KEVIN: Nobody said he was ugly.

(Paul snorts.)

(Close shot of Paul looking at Kevin, then over his shoulder at Norma off-screen.)

PAUL: No...they said brainiest.

(Paul looks forward and frowns.)

(Close shot of Norma looking at Paul off-screen.)

PAUL (V/O): Babes are already starting to beat down my door.

(Close shot of Paul looking off, then pulling off his glasses.)

PAUL: It's these stupid glasses.

(Wider shot as Norma takes a few steps along the back of the couch.)

NORMA: What are you talking about?

(Close shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Never mind, mom.

(Close shot of Paul looking toward Norma, then forward.)

(Close shot of Norma looking at Paul off-screen.)

After all, if I couldn't cheer the guy up, what could Mom do?

NORMA: Paul...

(Close shot of Paul looking down, then turning toward Norma off-screen.)

NORMA (V/O): I've known you a long time.

(Close shot of Norma looking at Paul off-screen.)

NORMA: And I've always thought that your glasses make you look very...manly. (Nods.)

(Close shot of Paul perking up slightly and looking at Norma off-screen.)

PAUL: Manly?

(Close shot of Kevin raising an eyebrow and looking off.)

Manly?

(Close shot of Norma looking at Paul off-screen.)

NORMA: Absolutely. (Smiles.)

Of course she was obviously throwing him a line.

(Close shot of Paul looking thoughtfully at Norma off-screen.)

Still, the fish were biting.

(Close shot of Norma looking at Paul off-screen.)

NORMA: You know...a lot of great men wear glasses.

(Close shot of Paul frowning slightly at Norma off-screen.)

PAUL: Like who?

(Close shot of Norma looking at Paul off-screen.)

NORMA: Well, like...Arthur Miller.

(Close shot of Kevin frowning at them off-screen.)

KEVIN: Who's Arthur Miller?

(Close shot of Paul looking at Norma off-screen.)

PAUL: You think Arthur Miller is handsome?

(Close shot of Norma looking at Paul off-screen.)

NORMA: Well, not just me. Marilyn Monroe thought so, too. (Nods.)

(Close shot of Paul as he reaches for his glasses and hold them up.)

PAUL: I guess I'd never really thought about it that way before.

(Paul looks toward Norma off-screen and smiles slightly.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at them off-screen.)

Naturally he hadn't. It was patently ridiculous...

(Close shot of Paul smiling as he flips the strap over his head.)

Whoever Arthur Miller was.

(Close shot of Norma looking at Paul off-screen.)

NORMA: Glasses can make the man, Paul. (Smiles.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at them off-screen.)

Still, ya had to hand it to old Mom.

(Close shot of Paul looking off and smiling in thought.)

Paul was lappin' up the kind words like -

(Wider shot as Norma leans foward on the back of the couch.)

NORMA: Hey! How about some cocoa?

PAUL: Uh, I'm allergic to instant.

NORMA: Oh, I make it from scratch.

(Norma looks at Kevin.)

NORMA: It always cheers Kevin up.

(Close shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Look, Mom...I don't think he -

(Close shot of Paul.)

PAUL: That sounds great. (Nods.)

(Close shot of Kevin.)

NORMA (V/O): Let's go!

(Wider shot of all as Paul gets up.)

NORMA: I'm in the mood for some, too.

(Norma turns toward the stairs and Paul follows. Norma hesitates and looks at Kevin.)

NORMA: How about you, honey?

(Kevin turns toward the TV.)

KEVIN: No. No thanks.

(Paul follows Norma up the stairs.)

(Closer shot of Kevin glancing over his shoulder.)

PAUL (V/O): So - who else wore glasses?

NORMA (V/O): Well...

Sure - let 'em have a little time together. It was no skin off my nose.

(Kevin looks forward and resettles himself on the couch.)

After all, Mom's cocoa and sympathy could never prepare Paul for the cold realities of -

Cut to

Int. Day - School Hallway

(Shot of Kevin and Paul approaching the camera which rolls back.)

BOY (V/O): Hey, brainiac!

(The camera passes two boys standing at the side of the hallway.)

BOY: Heard any good theorems lately, gray matter?

Real life.

GIRL: Hey, big brain...

(Two girls hurry past Paul and Kevin, smiling.)

Life after Lisa Berlini.

RANDY: Look at it this way, Pfeiffer...

(Kevin rolls his eyes as he and Paul slow up. Randy approaches behind them.)

RANDY: Brainy's not so bad.

(Close shot of Randy looking at Paul off-screen.)

RANDY: There are a lot of librarians out there lookin' for a man! (Smiles.)

(Shot of Paul and Kevin looking blankly at Randy off-screen.)

(Close shot of Randy smiling at Paul off-screen.)

(Shot of Paul and Kevin looking at Randy off-screen.)

OK - that was my cue.

(Close shot of Randy giggling at Paul off-screen.)

Time to come to the rescue, here.

(Close shot of Paul looking at Randy off-screen.)

PAUL: Yeah, well, I guess being brainiest is something you'll never have to worry about.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen.)

Or, maybe not.

(Close shot of Randy frowning at Paul off-screen.)

RANDY: Oh - very funny..."four-eyes".

(Close shot of Paul looking at Randy off-screen.)

PAUL: Hey, pal - Arthur Miller wears glasses.

(Close shot of Randy frowning at Paul off-screen.)

RANDY: Who's Arthur Miller?

(Close shot of Paul looking at Randy off-screen.)

PAUL: Why don't you ask Marilyn Monroe?

(Wider shot as Paul smiles smugly and walks past the camera.)

RANDY: Huh?

Well, well, well.

(Kevin and Randy glance at each other.)

Seemed we had a new Paul on our hands.

Cut to

Int. Day - Arnold Kitchen

(Shot of the door as Kevin opens it and enters.)

Yep. My best friend was feeling...better.

(Kevin pauses and looks past the camera toward the dining room.)

PAUL (V/O): So then I said...

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Paul standing next to Norma a she folds some placemats.)

PAUL: "Why don't ya ask Marilyn Monroe".

(Norma smiles dramatically.)

NORMA: Oh...

(Close shot of Kevin looking at them off-screen as they laugh.)

Much better.

Cut to

Ext. Day - Driveway

(Shot from directly under the basketball basket as the ball banks off the backboard into it.)

(Wide shot up the driveway of Kevin and Paul, as Paul dribbles.)

In fact, over the next few days, it was all he talked about.

(Closer shot of Paul dribbling.)

PAUL: I've been thinking about getting wire rims.

(Paul shoots.)

(Wider shot of both as the ball drops off the rim.)

(Closer shot of Kevin as he gets the ball.)

KEVIN: Wire rims?

(Close shot of Paul.)

PAUL: To accentuate the positive. (Gestures.) Glasses can make the man...

(Shot of Kevin frowning as he dribbles.)

PAUL (V/O): Your shot.

"Accentuate the positive"...

(Kevin dribbles forward then jumps up.)

"Glasses make the man"...

(Wider shot of both as Kevin shoots. Paul gets the rebound and dribbles toward the camera.)

Was this a kid I was playing with, or a clotheshorse?

(Closer shot of Paul as he turns toward the camera and basket.)

PAUL: You know...I could probably get Dad to special-order some frames like Donald Perman's.

PAUL (V/O): That'd be neat.

(Close shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Who's Donald Perman? (Frowns.)

(Shot of Paul as he dribbles and shoots a hook shot.)

(Wider shot of both as the ball bounces of the rim and Kevin gets the rebound.)

PAUL: Course, Ben Franklin wore bi-focals - but I don't need those.

(Shot of Kevin frowning as he holds the ball.)

KEVIN: Paul! (Gestures.) Who's Donald Perman? (Nods.)

(Close shot of Paul.)

PAUL: That guy your mom dated in high school.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen.)

PAUL (V/O): She thought he was really good-looking.

(Close shot of Paul.)

PAUL: She showed me his picture in her yearbook.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen.)

Her yearbook? When did Paul ever see my mom's yearbook?

(Close shot of Paul smiling at Kevin off-screen.)

PAUL: Man! We must have talked for about an hour yesterday.

(Close shot of Kevin frowning at Paul off-screen.)

KEVIN: Where was I? (Shrugs.)

(Close shot of Paul frowning at Kevin off-screen.)

PAUL: Why didn't you ever tell me your mom wanted to be a singer?

(Close shot of Kevin frowning at Paul off-screen.)

(Close shot of Paul smiling and nodding at Kevin off-screen.)

PAUL: Isn't that a funny story about the audition for the radio commercial?

(Close shot of Kevin as he frowns, then shoots a hook shot.)

Radio commercial?

(Shot from directly under the basketball basket as the ball bounces off the rim.)

(Wider shot of both as Kevin gets the rebound.)

My mother never told me about any radio commercial.

(Close shot of Kevin as he looks over his shoulder.)

KEVIN: Yeah, well...

(Kevin turns and gestures.)

KEVIN: It's not so funny after you heard it a bazillion times...(Nods.)

(Shot of Paul smiling.)

PAUL: I thought it was hilarious. Especially the part about the shoulderpads. (Laughs.)

(Close shot of Kevin tossing the ball to Paul off-screen.)

KEVIN: Look...

(Shot of Paul catching the ball.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen.)

KEVIN: I'm gonna go get something to drink. Ya want anything?

(Wider shot of both as Kevin approaches the camera. Kevin stops as Paul gestures.)

PAUL: Hey, I'll get it.

(Paul tosses the ball back.)

PAUL: Be right back.

(Paul exits toward the kitchen.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking after him off-screen.)

Sometimes Paul could be a real dink. I mean, I wanted to shoot hoops, and this guy wanted to talk about my mother's history.

(Wider shot of Kevin as he dribbles slowly.)

Who cared?! I had more important things to think about.

(Closer shot from behind Kevin as he dribbles, turns and shoots.)

(Shot of the basket as the ball banks into it.)

Like winning an NBA title...

(Close shot of Kevin catching the ball.)

(Shot of Kevin shooting again.)

In triple overtime...

(Kevin shoots again.)

With a shot at the buzzer.

(Kevin shoots a few more times.)

(Wider shot as Kevin arches his back with his feet apart. Sound of a sports buzzer.)

KEVIN: And the crowd's gone wild!

(Close shot of Kevin as he cups his hand to his mouth. Sound of a cheering crowd. Kevin lifts his arm and waves to the crowd.)

(Kevin returns to reality as the crowd noise ends.)

The crowd, maybe. But what about...

(Wide shot as Kevin bounces the ball away, and approaches the kitchen.)

The other team?

Cut to

Int. Afternoon - Arnold Kitchen

(Shot through the kitchen door window of Kevin approaching. Paul can be heard in the background.)

Didn't Paul realize there were more important things in life...

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Norma and Paul at the kitchen table. He sits down as she pours him a cup of cocoa.)

Than...

PAUL: Then all of a sudden, the legs...

(Close shot of Kevin looking through the window.)

Sitting around, having cocoa...while my mother laughed...

(Close shot of Norma laughing.)

Harder than I'd seen her laugh in years.

(Close shot of Kevin looking through the window as Paul and Norma talk and laugh.)

Fade to

Ext. Day - McKinley Athletic Field

(Shot of legs of girls in P.E. uniforms. Loving Spoonful - "Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind" starts. The camera pans up to a group of smiling girls.)

(Closer shot of two girls flinging their hair back and laughing.)

"Did you ever have to make up your mind"

(Wider shot of several girls trotting across the field.)

(Closer shot of one girl running toward the camera.)

"Pick only one and"

(Shot of one girl doing "the splits".)

"Leave the others behind"

(Shot of a few girls practicing with pompoms as another does a cartwheel.)

"It's not always easy"
"It's not always kind"

(Closer shot of one girls legs as the camera pans up her.)

"Did you ever have to make up your mind"

(Shot of the pack of girls running around the back of the goal net.)

(Shot of Kevin, Randy, Hobson and another boy on the bleachers, watching the girls off-screen.)

Article Five, Section Six of the Eight-grade Boys' Code of Conduct...

(Shot of the pack of girls running toward the camera.)

When faced with a popularity poll you don't like...

(Close shot of Kevin watching them off-screen.)

Make up your own.

(Close shot of a couple of girls. A different shot of other girls.)

(Close shot of Hobson watching the girls off-screen.)

Of course, we took it seriously.

(Hobson makes notes in a notebook.)

There was an art to this.

(Shot of a group of girls.)

Points awarded for intelligence...

(One trots off and does a cartwheel.)

Political awareness...

(Shot of the guys on the bleacher.)

And of course...

RANDY: Best body...?

KEVIN ET AL: Deedee Rodriguez. (Nods.)

(Close shot of Doug looking over his shoulder at the others off-screen.)

DOUG: No way! Holly Stern!

(Doug glances toward the field, then leans forward conspiratorally.)

DOUG: She shaves her legs!

(Close shot of Hobson looking at Doug off-screen.)

HOBSON: Doug, you're droolin'.

(Close shot of Doug smiling.)

Of course he was drooling - that's what adolescents do.

(Wider shot of all on the bleacher.)

(Paul enters and steps up the bleachers.)

PAUL: Hi.

(Paul sits down.)

Well, most adolescents.

(Shot past Kevin of Paul.)

PAUL: What are you guys doing?

(Close shot of Kevin frowning and looking off.)

Oh...decide to spend some time with people your own age, huh?

RANDY (V/O): We're doing a poll.

(Close shot of Randy nodding at Paul off-screen.)

RANDY: To get back at Lisa Berlini.

(Wider shot of all on the bleachers.)

KEVIN: How about "best smile". (Smiles.)

PAUL: You know who has a nice smile?

(Shot past Paul of Kevin as he turns.)

(Shot past Kevin of Paul.)

PAUL: Your mom. (Nods.)

Was he nuts?

(Close shot of Randy frowning and shaking his head slightly.)

When the guys found out...

(Close shot of Doug.)

What he thought about my mother...they would -

(Close shot of Kevin looking from Paul to Hobson off-screen.)

(Close shot of Hobson.)

HOBSON: Ya know...Arnold's mom's not bad.

(Close shot of Randy nodding slightly.)

Agree...

(Close shot of Doug smiling.)

DOUG: She shaves her legs, too. (Smiles.)

(Shot past Doug of Kevin. He glances off and frowns.)

KEVIN: You're talking about my...(gestures)...mother!

As if she were some kind of, uh...woman!

(Shot past Kevin of Paul.)

PAUL: I think we should put down Kevin's mom for "best smile". (Nods.)

(Shot past Paul of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Paul - that's ridiculous! (Frowns.) I mean...

(Kevin looks toward the girls and gestures.)

KEVIN: This is a school poll.

HOBSON (V/O): Wait a minute.

(Close shot of Hobson.)

HOBSON: Pfeiffer's actually got a decent idea.

(Shot of Kevin and Paul looking at Hobson off-screen. Paul glances around, and Kevin turns toward him.)

Uh-oh.

(Close shot of Hobson gesturing with his pencil.)

HOBSON: Lisa Berlini should know she's in competition with real women.

Cut to

Int. Day - Arnold Kitchen

(Close shot of Norma holding up a package and smiling broadly.)

NORMA: Look what I got for your tub, honey!

Norma Arnold.

(Shot of Kevin looking toward Norma off-screen.)

Homemaker, mother, wife...

(Shot of Norma smiling.)

Teen idol.

(Shot of Kevin looking toward Norma off-screen. The telephone rings. Kevin glances toward it.)

(Wider shot as Norma walks across the kitchen and answers the phone. Kevin is doing homework at the table.)

NORMA: Hello? Oh, hello, Paul...

(Norma turns toward Kevin.)

(Close shot of Kevin waving his hands in front of himself and shaking his head.)

KEVIN: Tell him I'm not home.

Fact is, I'd had just about enough of -

(Close shot of Norma as she covers the phone with her hand.)

NORMA: It's for me, honey.

(Close shot of Kevin looking off.)

OK - fine. In fact - perfect.

(Shot of Norma on the phone.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking off.)

Because when Mom discovered how boring Paul was on the phone...

NORMA (V/O): Oh, Paul! (Laughs.)

(Kevin looks at her off-screen.)

(Shot of Norma on the phone.)

NORMA Really? (Smiles.)

Ah, excuse me, Mrs. Arnold...

(Close shot of Kevin looking off.)

But don't we have better things to do?

(Kevin looks at his watch.)

Now?

(Shot of Norma on the phone.)

NORMA: Well, I have to go now, Paul...OK...OK. Bye.

(Wide shot of both as she hangs up, turns around, and sighs.)

NORMA: Oh, dear. Your father will be home soon...

(Norma hurries toward the camera and opens a cabinet.)

NORMA: And I'm not sure what to do about dinner.

(Shot of Kevin looking at Norma off-screen.)

OK - this was the mom I knew.

(Kevin stands up and walks toward the kitchen.)

The mom that fixed dinner.

(Close shot from behind Norma as she looks in the cabinet.)

NORMA: Now that Paul's going to the concert with me tonight.

(Close shot of Kevin as he pauses.)

KEVIN: What?

(Close shot from behind Norma as she looks over her shoulder.)

NORMA: Yeah. That's why he called.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Norma off-screen.)

NORMA (V/O): He asked if he could go with me.

KEVIN: How'd Paul know about the concert?

(Wider shot of both.)

NORMA: Well, I told him your father couldn't come...

(Norma closes the cabinet and crosses to the refigerator and opens the freezer.)

NORMA: And since the rest of you were busy, that extra ticket shouldn't go to waste.

(Norma takes a pizza from the frezer and shuts the door, then crosses toward the sink.)

KEVIN: Look, Mom - you know all Paul's gonna do is talk through the whole thing. (Gestures.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Norma off-screen.)

KEVIN: It's not like he even knows what chamber music is...

Which made two of us.

NORMA (V/O): He said he wanted to expand his horizons.

(Close shot of Norma as she turns and smiles.)

NORMA: I think that's nice.

(She puts the pizza in the oven.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking off.)

Nice? Why did I suddenly smell a Pfeiffer in wolf's clothing?

(Wide shot of both.)

NORMA: Well, I better get ready.

(Norma takes the tickets off a shelf.)

NORMA: The concert begins at seven. (Smiles.)

(She hurries past the camera. Kevin takes a few slow steps after her.)

The funny thing is, I hadn't seen Mom so excited in...months.

Cut to

Living Room

(Close shot of Jack approaching, holding the pizza.)

JACK (Loudly): Norma? Can you come here a minute?

NORMA (V/O in the distance): I'm still...

(Shot from behind Jack who stands in front of the coffee table. Kevin and Buster are on the couch.)

NORMA (V/O): Getting dressed, honey!

In fact...

(Closer shot of Kevin and Buster.)

She was sounding down-right...chipper.

(Doorbell rings. Jack crosses the camera toward the door.)

JACK (V/O): I'll get it.

(Shot of Jack at the door as he opens it, revealing Paul in a coat and tie, holding a plate of green Jell-O.)

PAUL: Oh, hi, Mr. Arnold. (Smiles.) I brought a Jell-O mold.

(Shot past Paul of Jack looking at the Jell-O.)

PAUL: My mother wanted me to bring it over.

(Jack looks at Paul.)

PAUL: It's lime Jell-O.

(Shot past Jack of Paul.)

PAUL: She put fruit cocktail in it, but we didn't have any of those little marshmallows -

(Shot past Paul as Paul shakes his head, and Jack looks over his shoulder.)

JACK (Loudly): Norma?! Paul's here!

NORMA (V/O in the distance): I'll just be a minute!

(Jack looks at Paul.)

JACK: She'll just be a minute. (Nods.)

(Wider shot as Jack backs up and Paul enters past him. Jack shuts the door and moves next to Paul and pauses, then looks toward the hallway.)

JACK: Norma?

(Wider shot as Jack takes a step toward the hallway.)

JACK: This pizza's still frozen in the middle.

(Shot of Kevin and Buster as Kevin looks toward the TV.)

NORMA (V/O in the distance): Turn it up to four-fifty for about another ten minutes.

JACK (V/O): Oh.

(Shot of Jack and Paul as Jack approaches the camera.)

JACK: Hnnn...

PAUL: Oh...

(Jack pauses.)

(Shot past Paul of Jack as Paul demonstrates.)

PAUL: And...sprinkle a little water on the crust.

(Jack frowns.)

(Close shot from behind Kevin as he turns over his shoulder.)

PAUL (V/O): I've always found the only way you can get the middle warm is...

(Shot past Jack of Paul gesturing.)

PAUL: Burn the sides.

(Shot past Paul of Jack frowning at him.)

That was it. The same thirteen-year-old who was dating his wife...

(Paul rearranges some pepperoni slices.)

Was now giving him cooking tips?

(Close shot of Kevin turning around more on the couch.)

Dad wasn't gonna stand for this.

(Shot past Paul of Jack frowning at him.)

JACK: How much water?

(Close shot of Kevin looking at them off-screen.)

(Shot past Jack of Paul.)

PAUL: Oh, just a little sprinkle. (Demonstrates.)

(Shot past Paul of Jack frowning at him.)

PAUL: Sir.

JACK: Hnnn...

(Jack exits toward the kitchen.)

(Wider shot of Jack, Kevin, and Paul as Jack passes the camera. Paul sits on the arm of the couch with the Jell-O.)

OK, then - if Dad wouldn't do it, I would.

(Closer shot of Kevin and Buster.)

It was time to explain to Paul...my mother...

(Shot past Kevin of Paul looking at Buster off-screen.)

Was just like everyone else's mother.

(Shot past Paul of Kevin.)

NORMA (V/O): OK, I'm ready...

(Kevin and Paul look over their shoulder toward Norma off-screen.)

(Shot of Norma entering in slow motion, dressed in a black dress and pearls.)

Only more beautiful.

(Shot of Kevin and Paul looking at Norma off-screen.)

(Closer shot of Norma as she adjusts an earring. She looks toward the boys off-screen and smiles.)

(Shot of Kevin and Paul looking at Norma off-screen. Paul smiles slightly.)

(Close shot of Norma adjusting an earring.)

NORMA: Hi, honey. (Smiles.)

(Shot of Kevin and Paul looking at Norma off-screen.)

BOTH: Hi. (Smiles.)

(They look at each other.)

(Wider shot of all three as Norma looks at Paul's Jell-O.)

PAUL: Oh!

(Paul stands up suddenly and holds out the Jell-O.)

PAUL: My mom wanted me to give this to you.

(Shot past Paul of Norma.)

NORMA: Oh, thank you! (Smiles.) That was very nice of her.

JACK (V/O): Hey!

(Paul and Norma look toward Jack off-screen.)

JACK (V/O): Should I...

(Shot of Jack approaching, holding the pizza.)

JACK: Put some foil on this? (Smiles.)

(Shot past Paul of Norma as they both wrinkle their nose and shake their head.)

BOTH: It'll stick.

(Close shot of Jack looking at the pizza.)

JACK: Oh...

(Shot of Paul and Norma.)

NORMA: Well, are you ready? (Smiles.)

(Paul nods. They head toward the door.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at them off-screen.)

It was...embarrassing.

(Kevin looks toward Jack off-screen.)

(Shot of Jack looking at the pizza.)

Didn't Dad see?

(Jack hurriedly exits past the camera with the droopy pizza.)

While he was busy playing "Susie Homemaker"...

Cut to

The Porch

(Shot of the door and porchlight as Norma opens the door and walks toward the camera, followed by Paul.)

My best friend was squiring his wife around town.

(Norma turns around in the walkway as Jack and Kevin stand in the doorway.)

NORMA: Well. I'll seeya later. And, if you want a snack tonight...

(Shot of Norma and Paul as she holds up the Jell-O.)

NORMA: There's Jell-O. (Smiles.)

(Shot past Norma and Paul as she hands the Jell-O to Paul.)

(Close shot of Kevin frowning slightly as he takes the Jell-O.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective as Norma and Paul walk toward the car.)

PAUL: You really look gorgeous.

NORMA: It should be fun.

(Shot of Kevin and Jack in the doorway, both frowning.)

Yep - there was definitely something wrong with this picture.

Cut to

Later in the Kitchen

(The camera pans with Kevin as he carries a bottle of milk into the dining room.)

By nine that night...

(Kevin passes Jack, who is sitting down at the table.)

The pizza was burned, the Jell-O was gone...

(Kevin pours some milk on Jack's cereal.)

And the toaster had blown a fuse.

(Kevin sits down.)

Without Mom to help...

(Kevin pours some milk on his cereal. Jack peers at his own and motions for more milk.)

Dad and I had been reduced...

(Kevin pours some more milk on Jack's cereal.)

To the lower end of the food chain.

(Jack gestures slightly.)

Plus, the more rudimentary forms of communication.

(Jack takes a spoonful.)

(Close shot of Kevin as he takes a spoonful.)

(Close shot of Jack as he chews noisily.)

(Close shot of Kevin as he chews noisily.)

(Close shot of Jack as he chews noisily, and nods slightly at Kevin off-screen.)

(Close shot of Kevin as he chews noisily, looking off.)

Seemed like a perfect time to do a little historical research.

(Kevin looks toward Jack off-screen.)

KEVIN: Dad?

(Close shot of Jack as he chews.)

JACK: Ummmm?

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Jack off-screen.)

KEVIN: Did you know Mom when she wanted to be a singer?

(Shot past Kevin of Jack as he smacks, frowns, then nods.)

JACK: That's right. She did.

OK!

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Jack off-screen.)

An actual eye-witness. Maybe I was on to somethin' here.

KEVIN: And was she really -

JACK (V/O): Kev...(Gestures.)

(Close shot of Jack looking at Kevin off-screen.)

JACK: Put a lid on it. (Frowns.) I gotta get this finished by tomorrow.

(Wider shot of both as Jack picks up a small stack of papers and taps them on the table to align them.)

KEVIN: Sure.

Sure...

Fade to

Later

(Shot of Kevin on the couch, with a leg on the coffee table. the "Smothers Brothers" Show is on TV.)

(Closer shot of Kevin with his hand behind his head, looking off.)

Except I kept thinkin' of Mom and Paul. Why had she told him about Donald Perlman, and not me?

(Shot of the TV.)

Not that I felt threatened or anything. It's just...well...

(Close shot of Kevin sighing slightly.)

Was it possible, just possible, that...?

TOMMY (V/O): Mom liked you best!

(Shot of the TV as Tommy frowns at Dick.)

TOMMY: Mom liked you best!

(The TV screen goes to snow, then back to the show, in which Kevin and Paul have replaced Tommy and Dick.)

KEVIN as TOMMY: Mom liked you best!

(Close shot of Kevin looking surprised and perking up.)

(Shot of the TV with Tommy and Dick.)

DICK: You lower your voice!

TOMMY (In a deeper voice): Mom liked you best!

(Audience laughter.)

(Wide shot of the front door area as Norma enters.)

NORMA: Hi, everybody!

(She puts her purse on the chest of drawers.)

NORMA: We're home!

(She walks toward Kevin and rubs his head.)

Great. The woman in black.

(Close shot of Kevin sitting up as Norma exits toward the kitchen.)

(Wider shot of Kevin and Paul.)

And her teenaged Lothario.

PAUL: Hey.

(Close shot of Kevin as he slowly turns toward Paul off-screen, then looks forward and sighs.)

KEVIN: Hey.

(Close shot of Paul looking at Kevin off-screen.)

OK. It was time to put this four-eyed Romeo in his place.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen.)

KEVIN: Have a nice time?

(Close shot of Paul looking at Kevin off-screen, then nodding and glancing off slightly.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Jack sitting at the dining room table crunching numbers.)

NORMA (V/O): Missed a great evening, honey.

(Norma approaches from the kitchen.)

NORMA: Paul and I had the most wonderful time.

JACK: Uh-huh...

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Norma off-screen.)

NORMA (V/O): The most beautiful music.

But I guess I already knew it wasn't Paul I was angry at.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Jack and Norma.)

NORMA: Anyone for some hot cocoa?

It was Mom.

(Norma smiles and waves a dish towel, then exits.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking after Norma, then toward Paul off-screen.)

(Close shot of Paul looking toward Norma off-screen.)

PAUL: I'd love some.

(Close shot of Kevin watching Paul exit toward the kitchen.)

Fade to

The Kitchen

(Shot from the kitchen toward Jack in the dining room, as Kevin approaches and pauses in the doorway.)

I could have used some cocoa, myself. But I couldn't go in there.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Paul and Norma standing in the kitchen. Paul hands a cup to Norma.)

Because it was pretty clear now whatever was going on between my mother and Paul...

(Shot of Kevin and Jack, as Kevin turns away.)

Was just between my mother and Paul.

(Kevin sits at the dining room table.)

NORMA (V/O): I've always loved Beethoven.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Paul and Norma standing in the kitchen as Paul holds out a rose.)

PAUL: Um...I got this for you.

(Norma puts her cup down and turns toward Paul in mild surprise.)

NORMA: Oh...

PAUL: It's from my mother's garden.

NORMA: Well, thank you...

(She takes the rose.)

NORMA: It's a beautiful rose, Paul.

(Close shot of Kevin watching them off-screen.)

Sure. What was next - a formal proposal?

(Shot past Paul of Norma holding the rose.)

NORMA: Which is...why you shouldn't waste it on me.

(Norma holds the rose out.)

(Shot past Norma of Paul.)

PAUL: But you have to take it. I'm allergic.

(Shot past Paul of Norma. She smiles and giggles.)

(Close shot of Kevin watching them off-screen.)

(Shot past Norma of Paul smiling.)

(Shot past Paul of Norma holding the rose and smiling.)

NORMA: There are going to be a lot of very wonderful girls in your life who would die to get a rose from you. (Nods.)

(Shot past Norma of Paul. He frowns and shakes his head.)

PAUL: I doubt it.

(Shot past Paul of Norma holding the rose.)

NORMA: I don't. You're a very special person, Paul.

(Close shot of Kevin watching them off-screen.)

And I guess there was something in the way she said it...

(Shot past Paul of Norma as she looks at him over her shoulder.)

That made me understand...

NORMA: And I hope you never get contacts...because you don't need them. (Smiles.)

Mom wasn't breaking my heart...

(Shot past Norma of Paul smiling.)

She was breaking Paul's.

(Close shot of Kevin watching them off-screen.)

Without breaking it.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Norma stirring the cocoa at the stove as Paul picks up a handbill from the counter.)

PAUL: I guess I better go.

(Shot past Paul of Norma turning toward Paul.)

NORMA: I had a great time. Thank you. (Nods.)

(Shot past Norma of Paul smiling.)

PAUL: Me, too. (Nods.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective as Paul exits toward the door. He pauses and looks at Norma.)

PAUL: Thanks, Mrs. Arnold.

(Paul exits.)

(Shot from the kitchen of Kevin and Jack at the dining room table. Kevin stands up slowly.)

And in that moment, I began to realize...a lot of things.

(Kevin leans on the doorjamb.)

(Close shot of Norma at the stove looking down pleasantly.)

Maybe my mother didn't go to the concert with Paul because she thought he was special...

(Shot of Kevin in the doorway.)

But because he thought she was special. Special enough to ask more than...

(Jack stands up.)

"Where's my jersey", "what's for dinner", or...

(Jack turns and approaches the kitchen, frowning.)

JACK: Who took the TV guide?

(Jack passes the camera.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective as Jack enters past the camera and approaches Norma.)

NORMA: Oh, try Wayne's room under his pillow...

(Shot of Kevin in the doorway.)

NORMA (V/O): Or maybe it's behind Karen's record-player.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective as Jack turns, frowns and walks toward the camera.)

JACK: It's supposed to stay on the - (gestures.)

NORMA: I know...

(Shot from behind Jack as he pauses in the doorway and turns toward Norma.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Norma at the sink.)

I guess Dad realized it, too.

(Close shot of Jack looking toward Norma off-screen.)

JACK: So. You had a good time? (Smiles.)

(Close shot of Norma turning toward Jack off-screen and smiling.)

NORMA: Mmmm-hmmmm. (Nods.)

(Close shot of Jack smiling, then suddenly frowning slightly and looking off.)

JACK: Yeah, well...

(Jack frowns at Norma off-screen.)

JACK: Isn't there supposed to be another one of these things?

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Jack off-screen.)

(Close shot of Norma looking at Jack off-screen and pausing.)

NORMA: Next month...(Nods.)

(Close shot of Jack looking toward Norma off-screen.)

JACK: Huh...(nods)...so, uh...(shrugs)...we'll go.

(Close shot of Norma looking at Jack off-screen, then smiling.)

NORMA: OK. (Nods.)

(Shot of Jack and Kevin in the doorway as Jack turns slowly.)

JACK: OK. (Smiles.)

(Jack taps Kevin on the arm and exits. The camera pans over slightly on Kevin.)

The night Paul Pfeiffer gave my mom a rose...

(Shot from Kevin's perspective on Norma at the sink as she pours a cup of cocoa.)

He gave me something, too.

(Norma walks toward the table.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Norma off-screen.)

He gave me a new way of seeing her.

(Kevin approaches the camera.)

(Shot of Norma sitting at the table as Kevin passes the camera. She smiles at him as he approaches and stands next to the table.)

KEVIN: I guess Paul's not gonna drink his.

(Close shot of Norma looking at Kevin off-screen.)

KEVIN (V/O): Can I have some?

(Norma leans forward.)

NORMA: I was making it for you.

(Shot of Kevin looking at Norma off-screen. He pauses, then smiles.)

(Wider shot of both as Kevin sits down.)

(Shot past Norma of Kevin looking at her.)

Paul made my mother feel good. Because he didn't look at her the way we always did.

(Close shot of Norma smiling slightly at Kevin off-screen.)

We saw "Mom". And he saw "Norma Arnold".

(Shot past Norma of Kevin looking at her.)

And I think she liked that, for a change.

KEVIN: Mom? (Smiles.) Did you really audition to sing for a commercial?

(Shot past Kevin of Norma looking surprised.)

NORMA: Oh! (Nods.) It was a radio commercial.

(Shot past Norma of Kevin looking at her.)

KEVIN: Yeah? (Smiles.)

(Shot past Kevin of Norma.)

NORMA: For axle grease.

(Shot past Norma of Kevin smiling at her, then laughing.)

(Wider shot of both as they laugh, and Kevin takes a sip.)

NORMA: Ya know what axle grease is?

(Kevin shakes his head slightly.)

KEVIN: Uh-huh...

NORMA: Well, it's where they...

(The camera pulls back slowly as they continue to chat.)

That night I found out my mother once got sent to the principal's office for smoking in the bathroom. And that she almost married someone else, until she met my dad. I learned a lot about her - about who she was...about who she'd been...about who she wanted to be.

(The camera pulls back through the dining room doorway as they continue to chat.)

Fade to

Int. Morning - Kitchen

(Norma is serving the boys at the kitchen table.)

And the next morning, she was "Mom" again.

(Jack enters the kitchen from the basement hallway, adjusting his shirt.)

Our straight-man.

(Norma hands Jack a cup, and he sits down.)

Only, this time - I knew better.

Fade to

Jack and Norma's Bedroom

(Shot of framed pictures on the bureau. One is Norma as a young girl. One is of Jack in his uniform, holding pregnant Norma.)

(Nat King Cole - "Unforgettable" plays as the camera pans across several other photos of Norma.)

"Unforgettable in every way"
"And forever more"
"That's how you'll stay"
"That's why, darling, it's incredible"
"That someone so unforgettable"
"Thinks that I am unforgettable, too"

Fade to

CLOSING CREDITS

Supporting Cast
Doug - Brandon Crane
Randy - Michael Tricario
Hobson - Sean Baca

Music
Music

"Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind" - Lovin' Spoonful
"Unforgettable" - Nat King Cole



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01/13/00 23:30