Read Part One
Zembla is proud to present the highlights of Sean Keane's performance in "HOU Explorer", an educational CD-ROM produced by the Lawrence Hall of Science. The game takes you inside a virtual observatory where you can learn about stars, supernovas, and just how mind-numbingly boring astronomy can be. Your tour is led by an animated dog/punsmith. At one stage of the game, the dog references "arfstronomy".
I play Alan, a tenth-grader with a burning love of astronomy and a smoldering lust for my classmate, Jen (played by Store Girl). Though I was nineteen years old at the time of filming, I feel I was able to really get inside the character of Alan. I took inspiration from the great fake-teenager actors of my youth. Ziering. Macchio. Carteris. Zabka. The performance speaks for itself, but I have provided captions to help readers understand Alan's hopes, Alan's dreams, and just what the hell is happening with the supernovas.
"I'm Adam, and this is Jen. We're students in Mr. Townsend's tenth-grade science class. We've been looking at some galaxy images, and we think we found a supernova . . . Yeah, 'cause that means we did find a supernova!" Note the coordination on the high-five.
This scene occurs after a positive initial supernova identification. "This is so exciting!" A veritable train wreck of exposition and instruction concludes with an extremely flattering freeze-frame. And, remember, when tenth-graders discover a supernova, it goes in all the papers.
A second successful match confirms the image's supernovaness. Alan is nothing if not psyched during this entire sequence. Eyebrow Acting abounds.
Jen's flirtatious new position and come-hither glance show that time has passed since the early, innocent supernova-identifying days. It's only coincidence that they're wearing the same clothes as before. The trappings of fame and extra computer time have changed Alan and Jen, but they remain humble enough to ask for help with the supernova team. Also, Jen and Alan are totally doing it.
That's right. It's another fucking supernova! What are the goddamn odds? Alan would probably know, that smug bastard. Listen to the disdain as he asks, no, demands to know the type of supernova. Focus on "Thanks".
The supernova love fest continues. Alan thinks the new supernova will increase the chances of publication. But haven't they already been in all the papers? This is the ending you get if you successfully complete all of the supernova stages, the "Thank You, Mario" as it were. There is no animated victory sequence, no scrolling list of programmer names. Instead, more Alan-Jen sexual tension and a threat to come out of the CD-ROM and visit your school. Chilling.
Jen was sure we'd found a supernova. Wordlessly, Alan concurs. Check that shit again, dumbass.
This wasn't exactly what Jen was expecting. Alan is too disappointed to move. After all this rewatching, I feel like I should look Store Girl up, see if she's got some free time, if she still wears the brown sweater.
Maybe you missed something. Like a SUPERNOVA. Does Alan have to spoon feed this crap to you? Do you even know what a graph is? Jen's pouty lips concur. Seriously, check it again.
"We're a little confused by some of your data." 'Nuff said.
This concludes the highlights from HOU Exlorer. Eventually, stills from this landmark CD-ROM will appear alongside a cybernetic James Lipton on my edition of "Inside the Actors Studio".
LIPTON: Your first musical appearance, you played - ?
KEANE: A chorus member.
LIPTON: And your specialty was?
KEANE: I would be paired with the tallest girl in the cast, and when all of the girls fell into their guys' arms at the end of a number, I would fall into the tall girl's arms.
LIPTON: Now, the CD-ROM. HOU Explorer. (Audience gives standing ovation) You played?
LIPTON: Co-starring with?
KEANE: Um, a girl who worked in the gift store.
LIPTON: The initial discovery of the supernova? One word. Transcendent. (Audience gives additional standing ovation. Cybernetic Lipton kills cue card guy with robotic laser eye beams.)
For the record, my favorite dirty word is "motherfucker".