When the idea of Sunday Brunch was being conceived, it was actually the characters themselves that first came to life that we then formulated the series around. Ashley came very easily out of co-creator Kelsey Law’s experiences in her life and some of the people she has known from Tennessee--things she has dealt with in her own relationships and the idea of the Southern public image of “perfection.” Ryan came very easily from my own experiences in Los Angeles; both in trying to find myself after a painful breakup and in what I wanted to do/say with my life when crawling in a hole and hiding was the only option that sounded good. Cameron came out of us wanting to represent the universal humanity that is the undercurrent of LA and with people chasing their dreams; wanting to be somewhere/someone that you aren’t, and doing all you can to try to get there--all while flashing a big smile and sometimes false bravado. Our first Sunday Brunch producer meetings, with co-creator Sara Lohman, Kelsey and myself, were just us hashing out each character, what her perspective was in the world, where we saw her coming from, and where we wanted her to go. After that, the concept of Sunday Brunch was born!
We initially started with the idea of 8 Episodes around 4-5 minutes each for the first Season of Sunday Brunch. We threw out ideas of our main girls and other fun characters we wanted to create and play with, as well as scenarios and ideas we wanted to fold into the show. We mapped out the first season outline but after I wrote out the details of each Episodes, we realized we were biting off a bit more than we wanted to chew, so we scaled it back to 6 Episodes. Which ended up being around 6-10 minutes each. Go figure on our brilliant rationale!
The 6 Episode idea fit the show to perfection in that each of our 3 girls would get 2 episodes as the main storyline so we could really dig into their lives. We could see how they interacted with each other as well as put them in situations outside of the other girls to show different sides of them you wouldn’t see when they were just brunching. We wanted to keep the core of the friendship and support--and disagreement--in tact but also illustrate them as women in love or in divorce or in their career, etc.
At first I found it challenging to try to squeeze the story of each girl, not only in 6 minutes, but in only 6 Episodes. It was tricky to backstory Ryan and her ex-boyfriend’s relationship, which she struggles with the entire Season, without using too much exposition or slapping the audience in the face with it. Or Cameron as a childhood star. Or Ashley as the daughter of a wealthy music producer. I tried to be as subtle as possible with the dialogue, while also allowing the viewer to feel like they were getting to know each girl. I ultimately wanted people to identify with some aspect of each of our characters and feel like they were a part of their lives—both now and from a time when they didn’t know them. Like they were their friends. Like they would want to brunch with them every Sunday. My hope is that over the 6 Episode arc, you get to know who each character is and love them in different ways. Ashley’s beautiful naiveté, Cameron’s vulnerable flair, and Ryan’s lovable dark humor.
So here’s a quick sneak peak into Season 1 of Sunday Brunch! Ashley’s “perfect” life and “perfect” marriage turn out to not be as perfect as we think. As she finds herself having to find her own voice, for the first time in her life, she learns that not being perfect is actually the perfection she has always been seeking. Cameron, always fighting against her fame as a child star, discovers that who she truly is, in reality, is better than the Reality TV Show face that she puts on…and that when she believes in herself as her friends do, she can do anything. Ryan, after many failed dating debacles, disastrous New Age remedies, and an emotional head-to-head with her best friend, realizes that she actually is as strong as she pretends to be and that she is really good on her own--and that she may have something to offer the world after all. At the end of the Season, as the girls each come face to face with past, present, and future dreams, we see how far they all have come…with a little help from their friends.
I’ve been busy writing down ideas and storylines for Season 2 of Sunday Brunch and we have a pilot in the works, so here’s to more cocktails, convos, and Cuervo with the gals soon! :)