As a producer on a reality dating show, Abby Edwards knows that true love is a myth. Her career and her friends are all she needs. Right?
When her screenwriter ex makes a hit movie based on their relationship, Abby's faults are projected on screens across the country. Suddenly the fact that her job depends on orchestrating hot tub hook-ups doesn't seem so impressive.
Her friends rally to help. Zoë thinks she needs to meet a guy. Stephanie suggests an attitude adjustment. Nancy wants her to get in touch with her inner Goddess. Abby knows they mean well, but she prefers to focus on her work. Unfortunately, she's already embarrassed herself in front of her new boss, Will Harper, who she would find totally crush-worthy if he weren't so irritating.
Abby's about to be reminded that life doesn't follow a scriptand good things happen when you least expect it...
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The only dates I go on these days are the ones I get paid for. Okay. I'll admit it, if it wasn't for the paycheck, I'd be home, snuggled on my couch, watching TV and eating something with three times the amount of fat grams recommended for any woman who is trying not to let her slowing metabolism get the better of her.
Instead, I'm sitting in one of Hollywood's trendiest restaurants, Okonomi, a painfully hip sushi experience. I have a laptop propped in front of me, a camera man to my left, a sound man to my right and a field producer who keeps prodding me in the back to make sure I got down the latest, most ludicrous thing the couple we're filming says.
"Do you mind if I take the liberty of ordering for you? I've been here a few times and I consider myself an expert on the menu. The Kobe filet with foie gras is delectable." Brian cocks his head as he tentatively slides both menus toward his side of the table.
"I'm a vegetarian,"says Brian's date, Jenny. "And I don't need anyone to order for me. I want the Agedashi tofu, and vegetable tempura."
If these two are bickering within the first fifteen minutes of meeting each other, this will either be a short work night or a really long one. And let's face it, I'm praying for the first option. My couch beckons.
"I don't know if I trust a woman who doesn't eat meat."Brian smiles as he runs his fingers through his thickly gelled black hair.
"I don't eat anything with a face," replies Jenny.
Brian laughs sarcastically." So you won't eat a face, but will you sit on one? Ha ha, just kidding."
The dull light in Jenny's eyes flickers as she tries to think of a comeback. "Too bad you'll never know."
Good one. Jesus, where do we find these people?
For the past year I've been working as a segment producer on a reality dating show called Matchmaker. Basically, we set up complete strangers and film every moment of their awkward date. From production logistics to dealing with problem cast members, it's my job to make sure everything runs smoothly. Nine times out of ten it doesn't.
Since it's early on a Thursday night, we were able to rent out the private party area of Okonomi on the cheap. It's perfect for us, secluded and open with easy access to the bar. The food here is amazing (and amazingly overpriced), but they went a little over the top with the sexy Geisha-inspired theme. Backlit images of overly glossed red lips and smoky eyes dominate the walls, constantly reminding us that we're in a very trendy place.
I look at my watch and attempt a quiet stretch, straightening my back against the silver chair. Sitting in forced silence for too long makes me fidgety.
"Okay, let's change gears," says smarmy Brian through his bleached-white teeth. "Enough about you, Jenny, let's talk about me. Ha ha, just kidding."
Grant, our field producer, leans over and whispers in my ear, "I thought her name was Jackie." I stifle a laugh, which turns into an old-man hacking fit, seeing as my diet cola has suddenly shot down the wrong pipe in my throat. The traitor leans away from me, covers his mouth and laughs.
"You suck," I splutter as quietly as possible. "I could be choking to death." Grant shrugs his shoulders but rubs me sweetly on the back.
Sean, our soundman, taps his headphones, his special little sign for, shut the hell up, I can hear you on the mics. I smile sheepishly, point at Grant and mouth, "He did it." Nodding in agreement, Sean flashes me a grin.
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