Butterscotch - A Family Drama That Feels Like An Action Movie | Script Revolution

Butterscotch - A Family Drama That Feels Like An Action Movie

Butterscotch
A recently widowed father puts his parenting skills to the test
when his 11-year-old daughter gets her first period.

Butterscotch by Jessica Waters opens benignly enough.  Fifteen year-old Carson Slone at the kitchen table, ignoring homework in favor of messing around on his phone. 

Then his construction worker father Elwood rushes in, out of breath.  Elwood asks, “What’s wrong?”  Carson points to the ceiling. 

Elwood runs upstairs, knocks on the closed bathroom door, and asks his eleven year-old daughter Taisha if she’s OK.

TAISHA (O.S.)
There’s blood.  On my underwear.

ELWOOD
Oh, baby.  It’s okay.  I’ll…

Elwood doesn’t know how to deal with this kind of situation.  In life, he’s always been gruff and to the point.  A born disciplinarian.  His wife was the sensitive one.  But she’s dead now.  So Elwood springs into action, frantically rummages through his wife’s old things, and even miraculously finds a box of tampons. 

But after trying to read the directions, he has to enlist Carson’s help. 

ELWOOD
Writing's tiny as hell.

Carson reads the directions and grows nervous.  

CARSON
Is this safe?

ELWOOD
Of course, it's safe, it's...

But now Elwood’s not so sure, so in a mad dash, he races off to the local drug store to find something appropriate for Taisha to use for her first time.  There, he endures judgment inquiries from another customer. 

All the while, back at the apartment, Carson tries to comfort his sister as best as he can.    

Elwood and Carson aren’t perfect, but they’re trying.  This kind of plot could’ve easily been mined for laughs, but writer Jessica Waters instead chose to focus on the sincerity of the moment, and the result feels like an episode of This Is Us played out at a breakneck pace.

Butterscotch is heartwarming, sweet, and far from saccharine.

The Script

Butterscotch

A recently widowed father puts his parenting skills to the test when his 11-year-old daughter gets her period.

About The Reviewer

B. S. Carter's picture
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B. S. Carter began his writing career in second grade writing one-page (wide rule) sequels to movies like The Terminator, Ghostbusters, and City Heat (it’s a Clint Eastwood-Burt Reynolds buddy picture).

B. S. attended the University of South Carolina (the other USC) and graduated with a properly unemployable Liberal Arts degree in Media Arts.  While in college, B. S. won the Havilah Babcock Short Story Prize for his short story “Guts,” in which a high schooler tries to stop his best...Read more

About The Writer

Jess Waters's picture
Real name: 

Jess Waters writes stories about queerness, blackness, family, and all the ways that people on the margins of society can find healing and family. Building on her childhood growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, she aims to create characters like herself and those who nurtured her growth as a writer. As a queer Black woman, Jess understands how and why representation matters, and makes it her purpose in life to fight for the opportunity to tell stories like her own, especially stories that detail...Read more

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