Lights rise on the set of a television show. It's decked out with pseudo-art-chic furniture that is supposed to look hip and stylish, but settles for abstract. Perched on a sleek backless chair is CHERI SAVAGE. She is a cute, blonde twentysomething with unnervingly white teeth and clothes that are just a little too fashionable. She smiles at the camera through a brief musical prelude, then speaks.
CHERI: Have you ever been in love? Like, really in love? I'm sure we all know what it's like: We can't stop thinking about that special person. We write them letters that we never send; we make grandiose plans for the future; we steal their undergarments and wear them to work … Hi, I'm Cheri, and on My Big, Fat, Obnoxious Stalker, we're going to give three lucky bachelors a shot at romantic bliss. They're all going to woo the same woman, with this catch … (CHERI leans forward and grins as if she were divulging a fun secret) She doesn't know who they are! In fact, she doesn't even know that she's on the show!
Cut to a video clip of ADA WOLMAN, a young woman with an urban-professional look to her. In the shot, she holds a cup of coffee in one hand, a cell phone in the other, and is simultaneously trying to wave down a cab and repair a run in her stocking.
VOICEOVER: Ada Wolman is a twenty-eight-year-old Chicago native making a living as an ad writer in New York. It's her job to tell the teenage set what's hot and what's not!
The shot switches to ADA in her apartment. This is obviously a "bug" camera that has been planted without her knowledge. ADA sits on her couch and sifts through a stack of papers, steaming coffee mug in hand. This is someone who has become dependent on caffeine.
V.O: But with her workaholic ways, is Ada hot enough for love?
CHERI: Now it's time to meet our three contestants. (calling off-stage) Come on out, guys!
Three men walk onto the set and stand at the center of the room. From left to right, they are EUGENE THORPE, JIM PIERCE, and CHUCK MILLER. All of them have been dressed by the TV costume crew, and it shows: EUGENE is suffering from the lack of pocket protector, JIM is furtively disheveling himself, and the v-neck t-shirt that CHUCK is wearing exposes his farmer's tan and sunburned neck.
CHERI: Meet Eugene! He runs a comic store in Sundance, Pennsylvania, and was a panel member on several discussion groups at Trekcon '04! (EUGENE smiles, waves, and adjusts his glasses) Jim! (JIM jumps, startled, then calms down and glares at CHERI as if picturing her violent death) Viewers will remember him from last season's hit, Who Wants to Marry a Serial Killer?! We all thought that Leslie was the one, but he's a bachelor once again and ready for love! (the audience, disturbed, goes quiet, but a laugh track and canned applause covers this up) And last but not least, Chuck! (CHUCK grins in a shit-eating manner) He works his own land in Cold Springs, Kentucky and likes beer with pork rinds! (CHERI smiles at the contestants, although there's a nasty edge to it that makes it more like a smirk) Are you ready, guys?
Scene fades to black. The screen reads: Day One
V.O: Before their first task, we've given Jim, Chuck, and Eugene twenty-four hours to find out whatever they can about Ada, however they can!
Shot of EUGENE typing with machine-like speed at a clunky, early-90s computer. He turns and addresses the camera.
EUGENE: I'm tracking down Ada through her IP address, which I got by intercepting an email to her mother. It'll give me her home address and phone number. (adjusts glasses) From there, I figure I'll email her friends and ask for her favorite color, hobbies, shoe size—all that kind of stuff. Yeah, I'm pretty optimistic. I think I could win this.
Scene changes to the streets of New York. CHUCK is driving an ancient pickup truck through Greenwich Village, country music blaring. He stops and addresses the camera.
CHUCK: Hey! I sure love New York! I been having some trouble finding Ada's place, though. Once I get there, I guess I'll hold a stakeout—find out when she leaves for work, if she's got any pets … (scratches head) I could go through her garbage.
Scene changes again, this time to JIM. He keeps shifting around to avoid the camera, which moves to keep up with him.
JIM: I've got her name. That's all I need. (he grins in an unstable manner) We were meant to be together … forever.
Fade to black. The screen reads: The First Task: Love, Your Secret Admirer
CHERI: (addressing JIM, EUGENE, and CHUCK, who are seated on a couch on the main set) Well, guys, you had a day to dig up the info on Ada—now's the time to put it to the test! Are you ready to hear your first task? (the guys nod)(CHERI grins) Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to send Ada a gift that shows your love for her. There are only two rules: Ada can't know that it's from you, and you must deliver your gift within four hours. That means there's no time to waste! On your mark, get set … go!
Shot of CHUCK parked outside ADA'S apartment building. He holds a can of beer in one hand and a neon-colored undergarment in the other.
CHUCK: (shouting up drunkenly) Hey, baby! Brought you something pretty to wear! HEY!
ADA comes to the third-floor window and looks down. CHUCK ducks behind a trash can. After a minute, she closes her blinds.
CHUCK: (to cameraman) What number apartment d'ya think is hers? I think it might be 3B.
CHUCK staggers across the street, beer in hand, and heads up the steps of ADA's apartment building. A few minutes later, he returns. He still has his beer, but the lurid lingerie is gone.
CHUCK: Mission accomplished!
Now a shot of EUGENE, once again at his computer.
EUGENE: Well, I thought I'd buy her a nice dress—blue, size seven—but I spent the last of my cash on the complete first season of Stargate: SG-1. And if I use any of my other credit card accounts, I think their owners might sue me. (ponders)
V.O: (as EUGENE starts to type furiously) Eugene comes up with a great time-saving idea: He uses Ada's credit card number to purchase this Betsey Johnson dress for $359.99!
On-screen: a photo of a snazzy (yet slightly tacky) blue cocktail dress.
V.O: Unfortunately, he can't have it delivered in less than twenty-four hours, violating the four-hour rule.
Scene changes, and we see JIM, who looks more unkempt than usual.
JIM: I caught a pigeon. I left it for her in a box. With flowers. And a note that says, "From your secret admirer." (pause) But first I cut its head off.
There is a shot of JIM in Central Park from a few hours earlier. He rips up a handful of dandelions, then slowly begins to follow a group of pigeons.
Back in the studio, CHERI is seated in her usual chair. On a big screen behind her, there are three images: CHUCK's neon lingerie, the Betsey Johnson dress, and a pigeon. JIM, CHUCK, and EUGENE sit side by side on a couch angled towards the screen.
CHERI: Good work, boys! You're all one step closer to making Ada yours! (she puts on a "frowny face") Eugene, you lost a lot of points by going over the time limit. You're going to have to work extra hard on this next assignment. (EUGENE nods solemnly, face determined) But before I give you your second task, why don't we check up on Ada and see if she liked your little tokens of affection?
On the screen behind her, the "bug" camera in ADA's apartment shows ADA pacing nervously as she talks on the phone.
ADA: Okay, Carolyn, I believe you—but this has your name written all over it. Remember when you and Rodney sent me those dead roses last Valentine's Day? It was just like that, only … different. (listens) No, I haven't had anyone fired this week—but listen! Somebody also used my credit card to buy this … weird dress. (sighs anxiously) It's just so bizarre. Why does all this stuff have to happen now? I have that presentation to make tomorrow … (listens) Yeah, I'll do that. Thanks, thanks. (listens) Oh, you are? Well, I'm sorry to keep you. Go have fun. (listens) Bye!
The screen goes black. CHERI shakes her head.
CHERI: Things aren't looking too good! But don't worry—you all have a chance to step it up with task number two. (pause, smile) We call this one "Romeo, Romeo!" For this task, you're going to go to Ada's apartment building, and, like Romeo scaling Juliet's balcony, you'll climb her fire escape ad enter through her window! Without Ada seeing, you will need to take one item from her apartment and bring it back here. (smile) This is the big one, guys; it'll determine your standings in the Final Task. Right now, Jim's first. (JIM laughs quietly) Chuck, you're in second. (CHUCK whoops) Eugene … you've got to get moving, man. You're in last place. (pause as EUGENE nods again) All right, let's go!
On-screen: The Second Task:Romeo, Romeo
In the alley behind ADA's apartment building, EUGENE adjusts his glasses and gazes nervously up at the fire escape.
EUGENE: (to cameraman) Yeah, this is pretty nerve-wracking. This isn't really my thing—climbing, I mean. In high school, I'd always forge notes to get out of gym class. (deep breath) Well, here it goes.
The camera pulls back as EUGENE jumps up to grab the bottom rung of the fire escape ladder with his hands, dangles for a minute, then drops. He looks around, pulls up a trash can, and clambers on top of it. He stands up, lifts his arms to grab the ladder, and falls off the trash can. Screen goes to black. When the next shot comes up, it is obviously some time later; huffing and puffing, we see EUGENE climbing in through ADA's window.
EUGENE: (looks around) Wow. Nice place … I wonder where she keeps her computer. (catches sight of open video cabinet next to a TV) Oh, whoa! Is that Dune? (picks up a DVD) Be still, my beating heart!
Scene ends. In the next shot, we're back outside, where JIM is scaling the fire escape like a monkey. He pries open ADA's window (which EUGENE left unlocked) and vanishes inside. There are distant crashes, and about a minute later, JIM exits through the window carrying a telephone with the wire still attached.
The next scene is CHUCK in ADA's apartment.
CHUCK: Has she got any beer? All that climbing's thirsty work.
CHUCK goes to the kitchen area and rummages through ADA's fridge.
V.O: What Chuck doesn't know is that Ada left her purse in her apartment—and she's about to make an unexpected stop!
Shot of ADA hurrying up the stairs. She reaches her door, pulls her keys out of her pocket, and opens it. CHUCK is making some noise in the kitchen. ADA sticks her head around the corner to investigate, sees him, and shrieks. CHUCK shouts in alarm, drops the beer bottle he is holding, grabs another from off the counter, and dashes past ADA out the door. We hear ADA continuing to scream as CHUCK runs down the stairs and out onto the street. He turns the corner into the alley, hops into his truck, and burns rubber out of there.
CHERI and the guys are back in the studio. There is a small table in the center of the set, where the Dune DVD, phone, and beer bottle (now empty) are on display. CHERI casts a condescending glance at the three items, then smiles and launches into her spiel.
CHERI: Well, Chuck, that was a little too close! (CHUCK grins sheepishly) Let's take a look at Ada's reaction!
"Bug" camera footage comes up on the screen behind CHERI. ADA, looking two steps away from a nervous breakdown, has collapsed on her couch. A mug of coffee sits untouched in front of her. She is talking hysterically on her cell phone.
ADA: And when I came in to get my purse, there was this man! In my kitchen! Oh my God, I was terrified … thank God all he took was my phone! Carolyn, I'm getting really scared … I guess I'm just paranoid, but this can't all be coincidence, can it? (listens, taking a deep breath) All right, all right, you're right. I'm not going to freak out. I'll call the cops right now and file a report. (listens) No, honestly, it'll be fine. I went out and bought new locks for my door. Windows too.
The screen fades to black. CHERI shakes her head at the guys, making a "tsk, tsk" sort of noise.
CHERI: That didn't sound promising! That's going to cost you a lot of points, Chuck. (CHUCK sulks) Well, heading into the third and final task, Jim is in the lead, with Eugene following at second and Chuck coming up third. Are you boys ready? (the guys nod) Okay—you've all worked hard to keep your identities a secret from Ada, but now it's time to get it all out in the open! One at a time, you will each approach her and ask her out on a date. (EUGENE gulps) Jim, because you're ranked first, you get the first shot. How about it, Jim? Are you ready to tell Ada how you feel? (JIM does not respond to the question) Jim? (brief pause) JIM! (JIM starts)
Screen fades to black. When the shot comes back on the studio, it is some time later. CHUCK and EUGENE are seated on the couch. JIM is not present. CHERI speaks.
CHERI: It's been three hours since we sent Jim out—let's see how he's doing!
The screen behind her comes on to display ADA's apartment. The chair in her living area has been overturned, and there are other signs of struggle throughout the apartment. From ADA's bedroom, we hear a scream, JIM's laughter, and a crash. A few seconds later, ADA runs through the living room, breathing hard. Her eyes wild with panic, she runs into the bathroom on the opposite side of the apartment and locks herself in. JIM follows at a leisurely pace, holding a kitchen knife in one hand. He tries the bathroom door, finds it locked, and begins to pound against it with his free fist.
JIM: (voice raised, although it maintains a dead, monotone sort of sound) Unlock the door, Ada!
A second "bug" camera picks up on ADA in her bathroom.
JIM: (in the same tone, continuing the pound on the door) What's the matter? Don't you wanna start our date?
ADA: (panicking) Oh my God!
ADA reaches into her coat pocket and scrabbles for her cell phone. Finding it, she pulls it out and tries to dial, but her hands are shaking too badly. She looks up at the door, which is starting to make splintering noises, takes a deep breath, and dials.
ADA: (becoming hysterical upon hearing a sane human voice) He's in my house! He's in my house! (listens) A-Ada Wolman, 209 Mercer—I'm in apartment 3B—(as JIM continues the assault on her door) Help! Come now, please!
JIM: Ada …
ADA: Oh my God!
The screen goes black. CHUCK shrugs his shoulders acknowledging JIM's superior stalking abilities. EUGENE rolls his eyes; he finds JIM's performance to be cliché. CHERI is the one to watch now: her usual coruscating smirk is frozen on her face. She's going to have to think fast if things are to reach their happy ending.
CHERI: (suddenly mobilizing, claps hands together like a camp counselor) Well! Ada's certainly turning the tables on us! What do you say we all pay her a little visit?
Shot of the exterior of ADA's apartment. The TV crew van pulls up right behind a squad of police cars. Looking as if nothing in the world is wrong, CHERI exits and strides forcefully towards the front entrance. Following at a distance are EUGENE, CHUCK, and, inexplicably, a camera crew. At this point, it is unclear exactly who is filming whom.
Before CHERI reaches the front steps, she is stopped by a POLICE OFFICER.
1ST OFFICER: Miss, please step away from there! We have a critical situation in the building—
CHERI: It's all under control. (takes a card from pocket and presents it) (with an upward lilt to her voice, almost a "Don't you know who I am?" tone) I'm Cheri Savage, host of the new reality TV show, My Big, Fat, Obnoxious Stalker?
1ST OFFICER: (not getting it) Irregardless, miss, you and your boys are gonna have to clear out …
A second OFFICER approaches.
2ND OFFICER: (to CHERI) Hey … weren't you on Who Wants to Marry A Serial Killer?
CHERI: (nods) That's right! And right now, filming is in progress for My Big, Fat, Obnoxious Stalker … there's really nothing to worry about here. (a scream sounds from ADA's apartment, seeming to belie this assertion) (CHERI smiles winsomely) It's just television!
Both OFFICERS have an "Ohhhhh, okay!" moment.
1ST OFFICER: So wait a minute … (glances at cameraman) We're on TV right now?
CHERI: (smirk) That's right!
1ST OFFICER: Oh! (stares into camera, smoothing back hair) Well, Miss Savage, I guess we'll let you get on with your show.
CHERI strides into the apartment building, while POLICE OFFICERS begin to gather around the camera. Some primp and pose, while others address messages to friends and family: "Hey, Bill!" "Look, Gracie, daddy's on TV!"
Shot of ADA's apartment from the "bug" camera in her living room. CHERI enters just as JIM puts ADA into a headlock, brandishing his kitchen knife.
CHERI: Good work, Jim!
JIM, startled, drops both ADA and the knife. ADA lunges for it and runs behind CHERI.
ADA: Don't go near him! He's crazy!
CHERI: I know, Ada. (smiles)
ADA: (suspicious, backs towards open door) Who are you? (JIM chuckles)
CHERI: Don't run away, Ada! I'm Cheri Savage, and I've got a surprise for you. (ADA looks at her warily) (CHERI is chipper) You're on television!
CHERI: Welcome to My Big, Fat, Obnoxious Stalker, Ada! For the past week, the nation has been riveted as Jim, Chuck, and Eugene have pursued you without your knowledge! Jim's our big winner, so he received the honor of asking you out!
ADA continues to stare.
CHERI: Speechless? (her smile turns a bit nasty) I thought you would be. (claps hands) Well, what's your answer?
ADA: (finding her voice) My answer to what?
CHERI: (in a "Don't be a silly goose!" tone) To Jim's offer, of course! Are you going to let him take you on a date?
ADA looks back and forth between CHERI and JIM. CHERI is smiling encouragingly while JIM wiggles his eyebrows suggestively.
ADA: (to JIM) You … sent me a dead pigeon …
JIM: With flowers.
CHERI: (quickly) To show you how he felt, of course!
ADA: (too baffled to argue) I guess so …
CHERI: Just think of how happy the two of you could be together. Whenever you're working too hard at the office, Jim can help you spend more time at home by locking you in the closet! When Jim goes on an indiscriminate killing spree, you can testify on his behalf in court!
ADA: (overwhelmed) I never thought of it like that …
There is a lengthy pause. Then JIM decides to move in for the kill … figuratively speaking.
JIM: Want to get a cup of coffee?
ADA: (pause) … Okay.
V.O: Ada and Jim hit it off on their first date!
There is a montage of shots and images of ADA and JIM. They are sipping coffee in a small diner, then walking hand in hand down the street. JIM points out a pigeon, and ADA laughs. There is a shot of JIM as he walks into a Best Buy, picks up a phone, leaves without paying, and presents it to ADA. There are some snapshots of JIM terrorizing children in the park. In subsequent pictures, ADA talks with angry mothers, then police officers, and finally pays a hefty fine and drags JIM out of the park.
V.O: After spending the day together, the two exchanged phone numbers and arranged for a second date that weekend!
The montage ends and cuts back to CHERI in the studio.
CHERI: It's a modern-day love story: two very different people coming together in an unexpected way! I'm Cheri Savage, and I hope that you've enjoyed My Big, Fat, Obnoxious Stalker. Be sure to tune in this time next week for exclusive interviews with Chuck and Eugene! Good night!