Who wears the trousers now? [May change]

In a world where women are rapidly rising, past equality, and into superiority, how do men react? When the rules of their world are changing as they watch - what can they do?
A/N - The views in this work of fiction do not - I repeat, do not - reflect my own views. I wish for gender equality - not superiority. This is only the first bit of this screenplay. I've never written one before, so I'd like some feedback, please.

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1. Pilot extract

INT. LIVING ROOM - AFTERNOON

Pan around the messy room - empty beer cans, newspapers, rubbish, etc, dotted around - before focusing on JESSE, middle-aged, scruffy, who sits slumped in an armchair, feet resting on a coffee table. He has a can of beer in one hand, the TV remote in the other. He is wearing tracksuit bottoms and a vest. He shouts at the TV, where a football game is going on.

          JESSE
          Come on! That was an easy shot!
          Idiot! My Aunt Cara could have done
          better!

The sound of a door opening, and ELINOR appears in the doorway. She is smartly dressed in a trouser suit, dark hair short, and make-up natural. JESSE grunts to acknowledge her. ELINOR looks around the room in disgust before leaving again. JESSE winces as he hears the sound of pots clinking in the sink.

          ELINOR (O.S)
          You had one job, Jesse. I'm at work
          all day, and all I ask is that you
          do the washing up. And you still
          don't do it.

          JESSE
          Sorry, luv. It's an England game.
          I'll do them later.

ELINOR appears in the doorway, holding a wet cloth in her strong, but manicured, hands.

          ELINOR
          No. You'll do them now.

She waves away JESSE'S complaints, marching forward to take the remote off him.

          ELINOR
          No excuses. I want to watch the
          news, anyway.

          JESSE
          Come on, Ellie. There's only half
          an hour left!

ELINOR doesn't respond. She sits down on the sofa, toeing off her comfortable, practical shoes and changes the channel.

          JESSE
          Fine.

He stands up and reluctantly takes the cloth. Follow him through to the smart, fitted, kitchen. He grumbles under his breath.

          ELINOR (O.S)
          Oh - and did you do the shopping
          like I asked you too?

JESSE bangs his head on a cupboard.

          JESSE
       (muttered)
          Shit.
       (louder)
          I hadn't got round to that yet.

          ELINOR (O.S)
          'Course you haven't.

JESSE appears to be about to reply. He stops, looks at the mountain of washing up, and sighs.

          JESSE
          Sorry, Ellie. I'll go straight
          after I'm done here.

ELINOR appears in the doorway, loosening her tie. She steps up to put her arms around JESSE.

          ELINOR
          It's ok, Jesse. It's just that
          after a hard day at work, I'd love
          to come home and be able to relax.

JESSE leans back into her, then turns so they are face to face. He is slightly taller than her.

          JESSE
          I know, darling. It's just so
          frustrating.

ELINOR glances at a newspaper clipping on the side. Focus on clipping -  job section, biro rings around several ads.

          ELINOR
          No luck?

JESSE shakes his head, and moves away from her to grab a tea towel.

          JESSE
          It's all secretarial work - menial
          shite like that.

          ELINOR
          You'd be a great PA. How about
          this?

She points to a non-circled ad, words not visible. JESSE snorts. He is drying and putting things away now.

 

          JESSE
          Not likely. I'm a mechanic. And a
          bloody good one too.

          ELINOR
          Don't be silly. Nowhere'll take a
          male mechanic anymore.

JESSE rolls his eyes behind her back. ELINOR appears to be thinking, staring at the ad.

          ELINOR
          Maybe you should just stop looking.

This is met by silence. JESSE freezes, almost dropping the mug in his hands. After a few seconds, he turns, shaking his head.

          JESSE
          No. No way. I'm not giving up,
          Ellie. You've paid for so much
          around here. I need to start
          helping.

ELINOR takes the mug gently out of his hands and places it on the counter.

          ELINOR
          I've been promoted, Jesse.

          JESSE
      (fake enthusiasm)
          That's brilliant, love...

          ELINOR
          New car, new office...No, just -
          hear me out. I'm earning enough for
          the both of us. They're just not
          employing men for those kind of
          jobs anymore. Companies are
          realising that women are more
          efficient workers.

JESSE stiffens, still facing away from her. Focus on his face, his features sour.

          JESSE (V.O)
          Here it was - the conversation I
          had been dreading.

          ELINOR
          Look, you do need to start pulling
          your weight, but here, not at work.
          I want - Jesse, are you even
          listening to me?

JESSE turns stiffly. He nods, then shakes his head, confused. ELINOR sighs.

 

          ELINOR
          All I'm saying is that I think it
          would be better - for both of us -
          if you gave up this fruitless
          search, and became a full-time
          househusband.

          JESSE (V.O)
          That word...that taboo...I had
          hoped I would never hear it uttered
          by my wife, of all people. But in
          that moment, I realised the truth.

JESSE looks confused.

          JESSE
          What? I'm a working man, Ellie.
          Always have been.

He gestures around the kitchen.

          JESSE
          This isn't where I'm meant to be.

          ELINOR
          'Working man?' That's a good one.
          And anyway, this isn't all about
          you!

Both look shocked at ELINOR'S shouting. She runs her fingers through her short hair. She looks harassed.

          ELINOR
          Sweetheart, you know I only want
          what's best for you. But I'm the
          breadwinner now. You've got to
          accept that. And I expect to have
          the last word. I'm the boss, now. I
          need you here.

          JESSE
          But...

          ELINOR
          No buts, Jesse. I mean it. I'm sure
          Harry next door can give you some
          tips. He's been a househusband all
          his married life. And he loves it.

JESSE gives a snort of disbelief. He slams a cupboard door shut and shakes his head.

          ELINOR
          His wife, Jeanine, she works for
          that big science lab, you know,
          down the other end of town. I went
          to the pub the other day with her,
          lovely woman. I'm sure -

 

          JESSE
      (interrupts)
          Went to the pub, did you? How nice
          for you. Harry's a great big poof.
          Looks a right idiot.  I suppose
          you'll be wanting me to wear a
          dress next.

ELINOR smiles slightly, shaking her head at him the way one would with a small child. She puts a hand on his arm.

          ELINOR
          Only if you want, darling. I'd
          never force you to do anything if
          you didn't want to. You know that.

JESSE takes several deep breaths, and relaxes slightly as ELINOR starts rubbing his arm. He nods after a while.

          JESSE
          I do. I'm sorry, love. I - It's all
          a bit sudden, that's all.

ELINOR hugs him.

          ELINOR
          That's alright. Look, how about you
          go do the shopping, take some time
          to think about it, and we can talk
          more when you get back, ok? How
          about...erm...pizza? That's easy
          enough.

JESSE nods, smiling now.

          JESSE
          Whatever you want.

ELINOR gives him a quick kiss on the cheek and ushers him out the door.

          JESSE (V.O)
          At that point, I was just thankful
          Ellie wasn't cross with me anymore.
          How was I to know that it was just
          the beginning?

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