For ‘Fleabag’ Aficionados

Why should you read this article about the hottest comedy in the world right now? Here’s how the author, John Lahr, puts it:

In other words, Phoebe Waller-Bridge may well be the person so many of us are hoping to become, so let’s try and find out what, exactly she’s all about:

Illustration by Paul Davis

Louche Cannon
by John Lahr

Roseanne used to end her stand-up act this way: “People say to me, ‘You’re not very feminine.’ Well, they can suck my dick.” Phallic fun used to be the province of men—a mission broadcast by the totemic Fool in cap and bells, whose scepter is actually a penis, that emblem of transgression, the source of panic and elation. In earlier, primmer days, the great American comediennes—Fanny Brice, Judy Holiday, Lucille Ball—got away with mischief by ditzy indirection; nowadays, in our unabashed, newly liberated times that echo with the impudence of independence, when facing down the male gaze, comediennes increasingly prefer the headbutt to the velvet glove.

The latest recruit to the bumptious tribe of phallic women is Britain’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who tonight brings the curtain down on her sold-out limited engagement at London’s Wyndham’s Theatre, based on the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe one-woman show from which her now internationally famous TV series was minted.

Anarchic Pedigree

“I wanted to see someone who was never relenting, who was furious—furious—and not even for good reason,” Waller-Bridge said about inventing Fleabag. (“Flea” also happens to be her family nickname.) The Eureka! moment—an outlandish semaphore of Waller-Bridge’s anarchic pedigree—comes at the end of Fleabag’s first-ever TV episode. As she leans back in the seat of a taxi, in the midst of an over-share with the cabdriver, Fleabag hoiks up her skirt, gropes in her underpants, and pulls out the stolen golden statuette from her hated stepmother’s studio. In her fist, she clutches the headless female torso, which looks nonetheless like, well, you know. Instinctively, unconsciously, in one startling, outrageous gesture Fleabag has goosed her audience and, at a stroke, also pronounced her priapic comic mission. She’s a louche cannon….

Read it all at airmail.news

The Death of the All-Male Writers Room & What It Means

LB’S NOTE: For the past few years, it has seemed to me that most of the changes in our culture have been negative ones. (Gee, where could I have gotten that idea?) But here’s a positive change that I’m sure will make the culture of storytelling the world over better than it’s been since, oh, let’s say the Renaissance.


by Radhika Seth

On 18 June, ITV made headlines when it announced it would no longer commission shows by all-male writers. Saskia Schuster, ITV’s head of comedy and founder of the gender equality initiative Comedy 50:50, hoped the move would create more opportunities for women in an industry and genre that has long been dominated by men. What she didn’t expect was a backlash: op-eds condemning box-ticking quotas, viewers applauding shows that wouldn’t exist without all-male writing teams (Peep Show, Dad’s Army, Blackadder) and critics on Twitter labelling her a militantly feminist member of the #GalQaeda.

“The focus was never on banning male teams,” Schuster tells Vogue. “The goal is inclusivity. The current number of female writers in comedy is woefully low and before I started Comedy 50:50, I was being pitched very few scripts by women.” Determined to change the culture, she rewrote her contracts, asking comedy shows to aim for equal representation and scripted commissions to demonstrate their best endeavours to include female voices. She also created a database of more than 500 women writers to help producers find new collaborators.

Some women are going further, arguing that the antidote to decades of TV shows penned by all-male writers’ rooms is the rise of all-female equivalents. Netflix’s black comedy Russian Doll, the brainchild of Natasha Lyonne, Amy Poehler and Leslye Headland, is one such example. Written and directed by women, it centres on a whip-smart 30-something who finds herself stuck in a Groundhog Day-style loop. For Lyonne, the makeup of the room was purely coincidental. “The best people for the job just happened to be female,” she says. “It certainly wasn’t a diktat,” adds Headland. “I’ve been in male-dominated writers’ rooms before, and it’s not that I prefer one to the other, but for Russian Doll, which was so deeply emotional and personal, this felt right.”

The experience was revolutionary. “The tone of the show relied on us being vulnerable,” explains Headland. “Our room was a place where I felt comfortable discussing trauma. What was the darkest day of my life? What day would I never want to live all over again?” It was a shift from being the lone woman on a male team. “In those cases, you have to advocate for your female characters and justify their decision-making,” she says….

Read it all at vogue.co.uk

How to Write TV Series Bibles

A quick guide to what you need to include in the bible for your next spec series, whether it be on broadcast TV, cable TV, the web, or anyplace else where you need to prove that you’ve touched (as in gently messaged) all the right notes.

Found on bang2write.com, a site loaded with helpful info and writerly insight.

SPEAKING OF SPEC PILOTS…

Did you know that  TVWriter™’s PEOPLE’S PILOT pilot script competition is one of – if not the – longest-running writing contests on the web? We’ve been doing all we can to help open the gates for new writers for over 20 years!

Learn all about it at: https://peoplespilot.com

2019 HBOAccess Writing Fellows Announced

from TVWriter™ Press Service

HBO has announced the eight writers chosen to participate in its 2019 HBOAccess Writing Fellowship, an eight-month program offering master classes and mentorship with an HBO executive as the writers develop a pilot script for HBO.

This year’s participants are:

  • Darnell Brown
  • Melody Cooper
  • Danielle Iman
  • Elaine Loh
  • Lucy Luna
  • Eddie Mujica
  • Jessica Shields
  • Ivan Tsang

This is the third year for the HBOAccess writing program, which is held in conjunction with the Writers Guild of America and runs every other year.

TVWriter™ congratulates all the fellows. We look forward to seeing you follow in the footsteps of previous fellows who have worked on HBO series run by David Simon, Joss Whedon, and others.

More info about the new fellows is HERE

How to Write a Web Series and Get Your TV Writing Career Going

Ya gotta start somewhere, right? Here’s a post from Script Reader Pro pointing you in a direction that differs from most starting gigs – because in and of itself, writing a web series can be more creatively and financially rewarding than many of us imagine:

Yes, it’s true. This is a very bad visual pun. Our apologies.

How to Write a Web Series and Get Your TV Writing Career Off the Ground
by Rebecca Norris

Are you an aspiring writer still wondering how to write for TV years after starting down the road? We’re going to show you how writing a web series could be your best move ever if your main aim is to become a TV writer.

This isn’t a post on how to write a web series but here are three reasons why creating your own web series is the best thing you can do to learn how to become a writer for TV.

Wondering How to Become a TV Writer? Write For TV.  

What better way to show you can write for TV than actually writing for TV? If you want to know how to become a  TV writer and produce TV shows, why don’t you live that dream today?

Maybe you can follow in the footsteps of Issa Rae, whose popular web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl led her being repped by UTA and 3 Arts Entertainment, and writing for TV — i.e. ABC and HBO.

Create your own TV series on the web, and you can enter it into festivals and contests to win awards and recognition, and gain credibility. If you earn a steady following on sites like YouTube, it can help you pitch your series to networks, and build a fan base for your work.

At the very least, you’ll be seeing your writing come to life, and isn’t that the goal of most aspiring TV writers?

Aspiring TV Writers Should Utilize the Power of the Link!…

Read it all at SCRIPTREADERPRO.COM