The Wire and Fringe star presents the most useless crime-fighting show on TV.
By Patrick Cassels
INT. POLICE STATION Obvious actors playing DETECTIVES and SCIENTISTS "work" silently in the BG. LANCE REDDICK, sleeves rolled up, flips through a file cabinet. He looks at CAMERA and slams the the drawer shut. LANCE REDDICK They're everywhere. Mall parking lots. Off the Interstate. And the sickest part is: you probably don't even know it... PHOTOS (found or PHOTOSHOPPED) of small businesses -- a jewelery store, a local lawyer -- with pointy blue roofs, like Ihops. The last photo DISSOLVES into an older photo of the same building, revealing it used to be an Ihop!!! LANCE REDDICK (CONT'D) ...Old Ihops pretending to be different businesses. It's the biggest God-damn scam in the country, and I'm here to expose the scumbags behind it, one Ihop at a time. This is "Nice Try, Ihop"! INTRO: Crime-solving images, ending with a shot of Reddick leering at a current Ihop through his car window. LANCE REDDICK (to Ihop) I'm watching you. His peels away. The dust clears, revealing "NICE TRY, IHOP with Lance Reddick." The logo is an Ihop in a Groucho mask. BACK IN THE STATION. Reddick awkwardly taps with the theme music, concentrating, waiting for his cue. The music ends. LANCE REDDICK I've played officers of the law on shows like "The Wire" and movies like "Crackers on the Case"... QUICK B&W STILLS form "The Wire" and "Crackers on the Case," which features Reddick shrugging next to a dog in a cop hat. LANCE REDDICK (CONT'D) ...But "Nice Try, Ihop!" ain't no storybook Hollywood fantasy. We've shone the light of truth on over 100 Ihops-in-Disguise-hops here on our 4am TruTV time slot... As he lists the show's old cases, we show a photo of Reddick doing a doofy pose in front of each business, followed by an EXTREME CU on Reddick delivering his catch phrase: LANCE REDDICK (over photo) AT&T Store, outside Chicago. (close up) Nice try, Ihop! (over photo) Everything Aquarium, Austin. (close up) Nice try, Ihop! (over photo) Leslie Akhavan, DDS, Ohio. (close up) Great veneers, but Nice try, Ihop. (over photo) Fashion Bug, Newburgh, New York. Back on Reddick, trying to eat a blouse. He spits it out. REDDICK That's not a pancake. My mistake, Fashion Bug. FLASHY TRANSITION. Back at the station, Reddick closes a file cabinet again and looks at CAMERA. REDDICK Tonight's case involves this unassuming dry cleaner in North Dakota. Or... is it? PHOTO of a dry cleaner in an old Ihop. FORENSIC GRAPHICS digitize onto the photo as Reddick talks: LANCE REDDICK Note the distinctive blue shingles. Those beige walls. The steep incline of the roof. Familiar? (a "they never learn" laugh) Nice try, Ihop! We were onto these crum-bums from the start. But I wanted to bust them in person. POV SECURITY CAMERA. Reddick enters a PLUMBING SHOWROOM holding a plate of pancakes. A TURKISH OWNER approaches. TURKISH OWNER Why you bring pancakes? LANCE REDDICK Oh, I'm sorry. This isn't an Ihop? TURKISH OWNER No. No Ihop. Bathroom fixtures. Reddick looks DIRECTLY UP INTO CAMERA. ZOOM IN. LANCE REDDICK Could've fooled me! BACK TO ORIGINAL SCENE. Reddick is smelling some pancakes. LANCE REDDICK (to himself) Damn, I love pancakes. (looks up at CAMERA) Caught red handed! But just who are all these [bleep]ing rat-finks behind the frauds? I sat down for an interview with an assistant manager of an Ihop-posing-as-a-sporting-goods-sto re in Saint Paul. My goal: get inside the mind of a true sociopath. CUT TO Reddick interviewing a female sporting goods MANAGER. Her face is blurred and voice disguised. LANCE REDDICK When you wake up in the middle of the night, alone with your guilt, do you hear the cries of people hungry for a scrumptious blintz? MANAGER I, um, do sporting goods. Hockey sticks. Cleats. Affordably priced. (ducks from behind blur) Are you hiding my face? LANCE REDDICK You disgust me. MANAGER Where's my dog? You said you found him. Are you real cop-- "NICE TRY, IHOP!" slams on screen. Reddick pops into FRAME, points at her, and flashes a huge, satisfied grin to CAMERA. Beat. The manager pokes her head out again. MANAGER Why are you doing that? WEIRD TRANSITIONAL SCENE. Reddick, leaning against an OPEN filing cabinet, files a folder and looks up. REDDICK Looks like this case... is "closed." He handcuffs himself to the open filing cabinet, as though this completes his pun. Beat. Reddick realizes he's stuck. REDDICK Ah, sh-- FLASHY TRANSITION. BACK TO ORIGINAL SCENE. LANCE REDDICK People say I'm crazy for doing this. I look them in the eye and say, "Is justice crazy?" Then they say, "No, but whatever you're doing with this show is." Then I say, "a-sphincter-says-what?" Then they say, "What?" Then I say, "So you're a sphincter?" Then they say, "Whatever." (beat) I'm Lance Reddick. Good night. Reddick drinks Ihop coffee straight from the pot. END.