Web Series: ‘It’s All I Am’

The most popular web series genre by far, according to TVWriter™’s go-to experts at Stareable.Com, are comedy shows, which outnumber their closest competitor in terms of sheer volume by almost 3 to 1.

It’s All I Am, a comedy about “a group of teenagers who are in their last year of highschool” has one of the highest approval ratings on the web, so we’ve decided that’s time that all of you out there had a good look at the show.

So here it is, Episode 1 of It’s All I Am:


Whadaya think? Frankly, this TVWriter™ minion thinks she’s missing something (or else the series is), but doesn’t want to miss out being on the ground floor of a future “Wow!”

Which means I’d love for you to watch and give me the answer to at least three questions that have me wracking my brain:

  1. Do you think that at over 21 minutes this show might – just might, mind  you – be a tad too long?
  2. Have you ever heard a longer theme song on any series in any electronic media ever?
  3. Can you understand any series of words coming out of any of these characters’ mouths?

“Thanks,” as we say on the interwebs because research has proven that we get more positive responses when we say it, “in advance!”

Your Secret TVWriting™  AI,

Hello. M-m-my name is M-M-Margo.


How to Not Write a Boring Script

This video from Film Courage has caused a lot of discussion among the people who, you know, follow the excellent videos shown on YouTube by Film Courage. Watch and see what and why:

From TVWriter™’s perspective, this is Essential Knowledge, so basic that there’s no need for controversy.

But that’ll probably be a controversial view too.


CONNECT WITH PETER RUSSELL https://peterrussellscriptdoctor.com https://www.facebook.com/peterrussell… https://twitter.com/lastorydoc https://www.instagram.com/peterrussel…

CONNECT WITH FILM COURAGE http://www.FilmCourage.com http://twitter.com/#!/FilmCourage https://www.facebook.com/filmcourage http://filmcourage.tumblr.com http://pinterest.com/filmcourage


Kathryn Graham sees ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’ & Talks About it with Co-showrunner Bridget McManus

by Kathryn Graham

Happy Wife, Happy Life is a streaming variety show that showcases how marriage is anything but the ‘old ball and chain’.

Happily married couples Bridget McManus Karman Kregloe (formerly of afterellen.com) and Cat Davis & Kristen Smith encourage you to play along as they share their opinions on everything from keeping old sex tapes with your exes to how to tell your wife she’s had a little too much to drink.

It’s kind of like The View, but a lot gayer, and it’s thoroughly enjoyable to spend time with each of these four women. It’s snappy, clever, and I laughed out loud during every episode.

Season 3 comes out on June 3rd, but in the meantime…

Check out Happy Wife, Happy Life Season 2 on YouTube.

Then you can find season 1 on Tello Films.

Happy Wife, Happy Life has been submitted for the “Outstanding Short Form Variety Series” category, and I was graciously invited to attend their For Your Consideration: Emmy Event.

I had a chat with screenwriter, producer, director and award-winning performer: Bridget McManus, and she had a lot to say about the universality of relationship quandaries — and whether or not you should argue with your in-laws on facebook.

What kind of writing is involved in Happy Wife, Happy Life? Do you have some idea of what’s going on beforehand or is it all off the cuff?

Bridget: Totally off the cuff. We have a submission e-mail account people send stuff to, so I go and vet them to make sure there’s no topic we covered before. Then I print them out, glue them to a card – I’m the one who does all the props – and then we put them in the bowl.

We don’t know what we’re going to pull. We haven’t talked about them beforehand. None of the spouses have talked about it. The only thing checked out beforehand is to make sure nothing is inappropriate or we haven’t done it already. Some things can be risqué, that’s why in season one we had safe words.

What’s your favorite thing about Happy Wife, Happy Life?

Bridget: I like that my family watches it. I’ve done a lot of series, but my family – they’re amazing – they pick and choose what they watch. I have comedy specials. I have a romantic series: Maybelle. My parents did not enjoy me rolling around in bed with somebody.

Cat’s cousins, a bunch of straight women, they drink wine, watch the show together, and debate along with us. It’s funny because it doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight, relationships are relationships. So people in our families who are straight or however they identify, they can give their opinions too. If you’re in a relationship with somebody, can you have sex when you’re visiting your in-laws?

Karman and I were like: Hell no. Kristen and Cat were like: Sure, if you’re in the mood. And we’re like: Are you kidding me?

We debated over whether you have to throw your sex toys away when you get into a new relationship. I was like: Absolutely. Cat was like: No, they’re expensive! I’m like: What are you talking about? You have to get new stuff! Everybody has a different opinion.

If your in-laws say something offensive on facebook, do you defend them? Or do you call them out? It’s like: Ugh, I don’t want to curse out my in-laws, but I also don’t want them to write something negative that’s going to affect other people.

What do you do? Do you make your wife deal with them? Do you have the kind of relationship with your in-laws where you can talk to them yourself? These are things that you deal with in any relationship.

Happy Wife, Happy Life recently filmed a session in front of a live audience at ClexaCon in Las Vegas. It sounded like a lot of fun. How was it being in front of a live audience instead of shooting it in the studio?

Bridget: Cat Davis and I have been friends for many years. Her wife and her have been married for two and a half years. Karman and I are celebrating ten years this year, and even though we’re similar, we’re so different in how we look at things.

On the show, we have paddle questions that say “Yes” or “No”, so we gave everybody heart shaped paddles so they could play with us. Everybody has different opinions. So to see an audience full of people that identify differently – bisexual, queer, trans, pansexual, lesbian – some of them are in long term relationships vs. short term relationships, some of them are dating casually, and to see how they all relate and then give their answers, it was very eye-opening. I loved it.

The way we shoot when it’s just us, we’re just talking. We’re not performing. But when we were there in front of an audience we found ourselves playing to the audience more. So it’s a different feel.

So here’s my question for the Merstery bowl: What is your superpower? What is your wife’s superpower?

Bridget: My wife is so magical. I call her ‘Snow White’. Woodland creatures and animals come up to her and just want to be with her because she’s so calming and loving. We joke, but it’s totally true. At night, we have two dogs and a cat, and we all lay on top of my wife, and she doesn’t move. I’m on top bear-hugging her, one dog is between her legs, the other is at her head, and the cat lays on her neck. We’re all magnetized to her.

She is the most calm, wonderful, loving person ever. I recommend her highly to everyone. If you want to borrow my wife for while, she will make your life better.

I’m the opposite. I’m a mama-bear. I’m someone who, if I hear a fire alarm, I run towards it. I’m ready to defend people and protect people, which is very different. She’s a caregiver, and I’m the fighter in the family.

Nice Xena and Gabrielle dynamic going on here.

Bridget: I mean, it’s exactly like Xena and Gabrielle. Ohmygod, I’m so gay. Yay!

My masterpiece: Karman/Gabrielle and Bridget/Xena. I’m with Kate McKinnon on this one. Bridget does look a lot like Lucy Lawless!


Have You Heard About the ‘Cocky’ Cock-Up? Part 2

Now that you know what we’re talking about (because you read the earlier post below), here’s another (but not so very different) perspective:

by Victoria Strauss

If you’re a writer, and you hang out on Twitter and Facebook, you’ve probably heard about #cockygate.

If you haven’t….An author named Faleena Hopkins has registered two separate trademarks for the word “cocky”, which is used in all the titles of her multi-book romance series. One of the trademarks is a design mark (the word “cocky” in a stylized font, as seen above); the other is a word mark (just the word “cocky”). Both refer to “a series of downloadable e-books in the field of romance” and “a series of books in the field of romance.”

That description is significant. Because over the past week, Hopkins has begun threatening other romance writers who use “cocky” in their titles–even where those titles are not part of a series, or the word is not used in a series title–with legal action unless they re-title and re-publish their books.

Hopkins says (according to private messages that have been shared with me) that she’s “not after people’s livelihoods”. She also doesn’t think what she’s demanding is a big deal, because taking down and re-publishing a book is “very simple. So easy.” Of course this is a ridiculous claim–especially where writers have multiple editions on multiple platforms, not to mention financial investments in swag, advertising, websites, and other branding efforts.

There’s been plenty of coverage of this bizarre incident. Legal experts have weighed in as well. I spoke with trademark attorney Brad Frazer, who provided me with some clarifying information on a complex and confusing issue….

Read it all at Writer Beware

LB’s NOTE: In other words, in the immortal words of our friendly neighborhood interwebs: “WTF?” More to come, I’m sure.

Have You Heard About the ‘Cocky’ Cock-Up? Part 1

No? But it’s the biggest contretemps in the literary world right this very moment. Well, the literary legal world, for sure. Here’s one blogger’s way of looking at this strange but significant mess:

Cleaning Up the Cocky Cock-Up
by SB Sarah

I’ve noticed as I age (like a fine wine, of course) that I experience different kinds of upset. Sometimes I feel flash-rage explosive, and sometimes I experience a more slow burn of never-ending sneer.

Then there’s the upset that’s a full-body exhale of impending exhaustion. Ever walk into a room and discovered that a toddler has made a mess that includes syrup, ink, and olive oil on a white rug, then watched as they upended a quart of spoiled milk on top? You can see the problem, and beneath it, the hours and hours that will be required to clean it all up.

That’s the feeling I’m experiencing right now, looking at the trademarking of the word “cocky.” Oh, look, that’s a massively ignorant mess and it’s going to take considerable time, energy, and funds to clean up. Yet here we are.

So what happened? As originally reported by Bianca Sommerland via YouTube, and written about extensively and exquisitely by Kayleigh Donaldson at PajibaKevin WhippleJenny TroutCourtney Milan, and many, many clever individuals on Twitter,  a self published author has trademarked the term “Cocky,” both the term itself and the word in a font to which said author does not own the rights. Said person has begun telling authors of works with “cocky” in the title or series name that they must remove or retitle their books immediately. Using said trademark, this person has also reported works from authors including Jamila Jasper, Nana Malone, and others to Amazon, which has removed them from retail sale.

Someone in the US Patent and Trademark Office made a big ol’ cock-up. They left ink, syrup, olive oil, and spoiled milk within reach of a toddler. And to be fair, the term “toddler” is giving way too much credit. Toddlers are great fun and are learning about the world. They can grow up to be great people.

This is an adult with what seem to be harmful, deceitful, and fraudulent intentions….

Read it all at Smart Bitches Trashy Books