The show opened with Beverly Lincoln angrily, tearfully, stuffing some of her clothing into a suitcase and snapping it shut, stomping down the curving marble staircase and trying to open the door, only to be stopped by her frantic husband, Shawn, and the house security system saying, "Door ajar", each time it was opened. Shawn, in a strained voice, asked her why she was leaving him to which she replied that he knew the reason why! He repeatedly shut the big door and she dragged it open to be greeted by the mechanical female voice until her patience snapped and she bellowed a loud "Shut up!" to him and the voice. Giving up her struggle with the door and her man, she flung the suitcase aside and repaired to the couch where she thought on events of the last two months.
The scene cut to seven weeks earlier in London at a black tie party given by the producer of the Lincolns' show, "Lyman's Boys". The Lincolns had won a prestigious award for their show and an American producer named Merck had taken notice. He gushed about how much he liked their work, their show, and he felt that it would be quite well received in his country, so why not come to America and work out the details? He even had a house that they could stay at while in the US. They could just fly to Hollywood and meet with his staff, his assistants, and they would fill the Lincolns in. He said that a few years ago, when he was fighting cancer, that he decided that if he wanted something, just to go for it. That was what he was doing now. Did they want the deal? If so, to call him and he would meet them in Los Angeles in a few weeks.
Driving home in the pouring rain, the Lincolns discussed their options. If they did move to Los Angeles, who would they miss, their friends? They needed better friends and some hobbies, they decided. They chose going to America.
After several long hours in flight, they landed in Los Angeles. Picking up a rental car, driving on the "wrong" side of the car and the road, Shawn Lincoln drove himself and his tired wife to the gated community where their rented house was only to be greeted by a laconic and lackadaisical gate man who refused to believe that they were there to move in. Bev said that possibly their housekeeper would be in and be able to identify them, but no, that was not good enough. The Lincolns had to produce their identification and only then would the gate man allow them access. Once in the driveway, Bev took stock of the house and said she couldn't believe all that was for them! Inside the house, tall faux marble pillars stood round the living room and when Shawn grabbed one, it almost tumbled over. The Lincolns toured the house and then rang Merck's office to meet the next day.
The next morning, Shawn and Bev met with Merck's assistants, Carol, Andy Button and Myra Lect. Carol said that the Merck was in New York and regretted not being able to greet them himself, but you know...business. When casting was mentioned, Carol hesitated and said that Merck had not actually seen the show and had not chosen cast members yet, but to wait til he was back in LA. She said, you don't want to cross the Merck, things would happen. The Lincolns stared at each other, wondering...Shawn mentioned that the very English Julian Bullard had played the main character in the show for four years and was one of the best.
A few days later, Merck was back in town and a time was set for him to meet Julian who would audition for the part. Julian and the Lincolns were a bit taken aback at the fact that Merck wanted Julian to audition, but alright then. Julian read a selected part, offset by a responding cast member. His dry English humor brought chilling quiet from the small audience, of which Merck was a part. Merck chimed in, saying that perhaps Julian was a bit too English sounding. Julian and the Lincolns eyed each other. Julian stepped out the door for a brief moment and returned, saying that perhaps he should try an American accent. Nothing from the audience. He tried a deep southern accent which met with icy silence. Julian excused himself and afterward, told the Lincolns that he, despite his vast acting experience, had never run into such a pickle and gave up.
That evening, Shawn and Bev discussed the fiasco at home.
The next morning, Carol called and said that though she and her fellow staff loved the show and the Lincolns themselves, Merck didn't feel any empathy for the show now and wanted nothing more to do with it. He advised that the Lincolns go home since the house they were staying in was only rented for a couple more weeks and then the lease would be up. Carol told Shawn that the pillars had been part of a reality dating show and had been left behind. Bev asked, over speaker phone, what they were to do now? That they had spent a lot of their own money preparing for the trip and buying plane tickets, renting a car, etc., had had high hopes of bringing their show to an American audience, not to speak of how disappointed Julian was. Was Merck simply going to discard them? Well, Carol hedged, it wasn't all that bad, that at least they had gotten to see this part of the US, hadn't they? Anyway, she had to hang up, that she had things to do.
She rang off and left the Lincolns upset. There was nothing left to do but pack up and head back to England with their hopes dashed. There wouldn't be much good that the Lincolns could tell their English friends about the trip to Los Angeles and Hollywood.
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