Sunday, December 1, 2013

Year End Musings


Thoughts on Nikki & Nora:




Thanks, ladies! I love my money, too. Especially when I can spend it on something worthwhile like Nikki & Nora

On October 18th, my faux bro and I attended the screening of N&N at Raleigh Studios here in Los Angeles. It was part of the perk package for the successful crowdfunding campaign and we were able to view it with other contributors, as well as the cast and crew.

Congratulations, Christin, Nancylee, Liz, and Christina! You really do have something special: )

Now, as someone (for better or worse) who was born/raised/lives/works in the once-thriving entertainment capital of the world, I am not at all unfamiliar with the filming process. Production snafus, scheduling conflicts, creative differences, rough cuts, etc. are all par for the course. It doesn’t throw me. But I can fully appreciate how those of you who are not acquainted with this business might be a little bit baffled by the delays.

Let me tell you that it takes A LOT of time, A LOT of energy, and A LOT of money to put a show together. It doesn’t happen overnight, over a week, over a month, and often over a year. If you’re expecting a high-gloss, big budget extravaganza... um, nope. If you want quality, you need patience. A LOT of patience. And this show is most deserving of that patience for multiple reasons -- the main one being the relationship between Nikki Beaumont and Nora Delaney.

We were asked not to share spoilers and I will honor that request. I can tell you that I am pleased with what I have seen so far. It is sweet, funny, charming, and it depicts a loving, mature relationship between two contemporary adult human women.

Please reread the prior sentence a few times for the weight of it to sink in -- this is what victory looks like!

When the two leads (portrayed by the riveting Liz & Christina) kissed, and kissed again, neither one of them sprouted wings or fangs or fetuses. They didn’t smoke crack, run back to the bed of a man, or end up behind bars with Crazy Eyes. And, best of all, they didn’t throw themselves off of the top of the Superdome!

Yes, there is still work to be done. Yes, we have to wait for December 22nd until we see the finished product. Yes, this is progress! Please be sure to check it out along with the other great offerings from Tello:


For those of you who still wish to beg for and swallow the subtext crumbs of network programming, open up your calendars and look at the date: 2013 is almost over. The POTUS and the SCOTUS have seen the light. Isn’t it high time for Hollywood to do the same?

Unless you're perfectly happy with pouty teens and horny monsters, isn’t it time you as a marginalized audience demanded more? The squeaky wheel gets the grease or water-based lube. Use your voice – both written and verbal, use your remote control, and ultimately use the power of your purse/wallet like I did. Because this show isn’t a tiny crumb but the whole freaking baguette AND a bag of beignets; )

And that brings us to...

Thoughts on Rizzoli & Isles:

Sigh to the nth power: (

Where, oh where, do we begin with this Hindenburg? Okay, let's start off with why I took such a long break with my Self Control fanfic and why (against better judgement) I decided to resume until its completion. You see, I was ready to post a new chapter months ago but then Angie Harmon opened up her mouth and bon mots like "that demo" and "I am the man..." came spewing out.

That made me seriously wonder why I wanted to continue giving free publicity to a show which played (and continues to play) us for chumps. With the exception of some flattering comments and the occasional beverage of my choice, there was certainly no financial incentive for me to continue writing about it in any form.

And then the tragic suicide of Lee Thompson Young (Barry Frost) happened. He didn't die of cancer. He wasn't killed in a car crash. The man willing chose for whatever reason to blow his freaking brains out. Ask those of us who work in the medical profession how we truly feel about this. The response isn't pretty but that is another post for another time with large quantities of alcohol and/or chocolate involved.

Finally, Janet Tamaro getting Theresa Rebecked right out the door was the coup de grace. Despite her extremely repellent attitude and my massive disagreement with the direction she took R&I in after the first season, I am never overly thrilled when a woman in Hollywood is plowed under. It makes it that much harder for the rest of us. And if y'all are naive enough to believe this signals the dawning of maintext for Jane and Maura... hahahahaha!

There is so much bad juju enshrouding this show now, not even the miracle team of Shonda Rhimes, Steven Spielberg, and Jesus Christ could save R&I. Whomever they get to replace Tamaro will most likely maintain the current death spiral for the next season or two until they can successfully spin it off into "Major Boston Crimes" or some similar shit without the two leading ladies who are undoubtedly counting down the days until their contracts expire.

RUN, SASHA, RUN!!!

Now, you may be wondering why I am even bothering at this point. I no longer watch the show. I have a full-time, high-stress job. I want to pursue original creative endeavors in the very near future.

Yet, I find myself back at the keyboard because a.) I promised I would finish it; b.) some of you are tenacious bitches who won't leave me the fuck alone; and c.) despite all of the recent dinky, incremental progress the L and B in LGBT have made on screen, first-season Jane and Maura still represent the ideal most of us are seeking in our virtual representation.

Hooray for Orange Is the New Black! Huzzah for Orphan Black! Three cheers for The Fosters! Great shows that have helped the cause tremendously. But we're still looking at large ensembles, secondary characters, and muted displays of romantic affection.

Unfortunately, too many other shows have gotten away with dangling an interesting LGBT character out there only to have her suddenly die, disappear, or scamper back to Straightsville. Um, we are way beyond this now.

Shows like Once Upon a Time and Chicago Fire learned the hard way not to piss off this segment of their fan base or throw tired old tropes at us. Thankfully, they corrected course to an extent. All of this goes to prove that we indeed have a say in how we are portrayed if we are expected to patronize a show with our eyeballs and our pocket change. And please don't forget that!

I personally consider 2013 to be a turning point, not just politically or socially, but where we can point to a show like R&I and scream, "don't do that!" and then point to a show like the above mentioned ...Black or N&N and finally say, "please, do more of that."

Sunday, May 19, 2013

¡HOLA, NOLA!




Production on The N&N Files is underway and with the sorry state of LGBT characters on television with tropes, stereotypes, and outright nonexistence, not a bloody moment too soon!

I am so thrilled that the Indiegogo campaign surpassed its fundraising goal and would really like to thank you readers who took the time to contribute and spread the word – please keep on doin' it: )

The following is a direct response to Georgia's question from my story reviews section but I believe others are curious as well:

Yes, I do believe The N&N Files will be much better than the average Hollywood show due to the attention and care that was necessary to keep the concept alive this long, not to mention the determination and commitment to its success by everyone involved.

Will it be earth shattering? I truly hope so but anything with such exceedingly high expectations is almost certain to disappoint at times.

For me, as long as Nikki and Nora don't turn into goddamn zombies or decide to screw men/get knocked up after the first episode, I will be beyond elated!!!

Now, that being said, I want you to please pay very close attention to this next part:

We have already achieved a major victory before the first line of dialogue is spoken due to the fact that the two leading ladies, THE TWO LEADING LADIES,

  • not supporting players in an insanely large ensemble
  • not a very special guest star of the week
  • not a recurring character distantly related to one of the other characters
BUT THE TWO LEADING LADIES ARE PARTNERS ON AND OFF THE JOB.

Oh, and also, this show will NOT be about them sculpting Rodin statues out of their LGBT navel lint like The L Word did to a fault. The fact that they are a sexy lesbian non-mom couple is secondary to the plot of the week. It’s what Rizzoli & Isles should have been if R&I had a spine.

With N&N, I look forward to:

  1. Not pretending that they are kissing women instead of men
  2. Not using my own imagination (I'm way too tired and busy for that)
  3. Not relying on the generosity of someone else's free fanfic when there are perfectly capable and highly paid staff writers to do the job
Each little victory sets a stone in a path that leads to the next step and the next step and the next step. I personally hope this larger step will continue to reinforce the notion that women are NOT just for fun/fucking and only men are for long-term marriage. And that's why the path must continue to be built.

LAISSEZ LES BONS TEMPS ROULER, N&N!

By the way, you can still contribute to The N&N Files here:


More money = better production values = better show!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

An explanation, a jeremiad, and a request…

1. I am truly sorry for the story delay and offer a blanket apology for the irregular update schedule. I will try my best to do better in the future. That being said, if there is a lady dot com billionaire who is reading this and would like to sponsor my muse, please tweet me your offer @SlyNellie

Unfortunately, this is the real world and 10, 12, sometimes 14-hour days happen. I would love nothing more than to give up my fulltime salaried position with benefits to sit around in my bathrobe all day and write free fanfic for y’all. But the bill for the electricity powering my computer needs to be paid – on time and in full.

If it pains you too much to wait for the next chapter, then please check back next year around this time and I absolutely 110% promise you that this story will be filed under the “completed” R&I section of the fanfiction.net site.

For those out there who do understand, thank you! I really do appreciate all of your messages, reviews, cookies (yum), and support.


2. The R&I publicity shills have shrugged off their winter hibernation and the organ grinder is slowly cranking up again for the show. Unfortunately, it’s the same old song and dance.

The chemistry between the two leads which was ever present in the beginning has dried up quicker than a menopausal vag. The fairly decent crime stories of the first season have now faded into bad soap opera (redundant) material. And if we are to believe this to be a simple buddy comedy, then it makes Two Broke Girls look like a Peabody Award winner.

The slap-in-the-face of Frost’s mom coupled with the atrocious and irresponsible Casey storyline were the final two nails in the coffin for me. I will no longer be watching when season four airs. I will forever cherish the Jane and Maura characters of the first season and this is why I continue to write my current story.

But this will be the end of fanfic for me when it is complete. You see, I no longer believe in subtext being enough or doing the studios’ job for them only to be labeled as “whiny” and “entitled” when I ask for more representation that doesn’t fall into a waste bin of clich├ęs (Chicago Fire, anyone?). And it’s why I won’t write fanfic for other shows like Once Upon A Time, no matter how much I adore the evil queen.


3. All of the above is why I am throwing my full support behind the following effort and strongly urge you to do the same:

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-n-n-files?c=home

I remember reading about the Nikki & Nora pilot ages ago only to be disappointed when TPTB took a hose to it. Years later, I found it on YouTube and was blown away by what I was watching considering it was made in 2004.

Now, it’s 2013 and I’m still wondering why we can’t have this?

Well, people, we can finally have this!!!

Give up the gourmet coffee, bottle of pinot, six pack of pale ale, or delivery pizza for the day and do something about it. Please. I gave up a weekend in Vegas because (barring an attack by North Korea) Vegas will still be there next month.

Will N&N be the answer to all of our prayers? Doubtful, but it’s a damn good start. And it needs to start again. Now.

And the first one of you to email/tweet me proof of your $100.00 donation, I will happily match it. slynellie@gmail.com

Thank you for taking the time to read this: )

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Wrong Kind of Hard

It shouldn't be this hard, people. It shouldn't!

But enough is enough.

1.         Below is required reading for network/studio suits, immature mature actresses, shameless spin doctor hucksters, and obstinate executive producers.


Major kudos to this brilliant writer for her spot-on polemic; I am in absolute awe and agreement.

2.         Just when I thought the season three finale of Rizzoli & Isles couldn’t possibly be any worse than the season two finale… thanks for proving me wrong, Janet Tamaro! I understand it’s not easy being one of the few female power players in the industry but this is exactly why you need to do much, much better.

Unlike the first two seasons which were appointment television for me, I’ve only watched about half of the episodes this season on DVR out of misguided curiosity and nostalgia.

Sadly, I will not be making that same mistake again: (

The incredible season one finale ended with Jane firing her gun through herself to get the bad guy and save her brother. It faded out with Jane and Maura sharing an earnest look with each other.

The ridiculous season two finale ended with Jane firing her gun through Maura’s big bad bio dad. It faded out with Jane and Maura sharing an anguished look with each other.

Now, this bucket of dreck known as the season three finale ended without Jane using her gun in an anticlimactic moment with everybody alive (yet again) and a cursory acknowledgment of her LLBFF. It faded out with Jane and Maura’s lingering, wistful look not on each other but on the Treacle Toy Soldier as he hobbles off into the handicapped parking section.

Too bad the surgeons can’t perform a dual TV miracle procedure on him to restore his ability to walk and make him ejaculate chocolate diamonds at the same time!

Jane acts like she would rather take out the garbage for the whole precinct instead of lending a “shoulder to cry on” for her supposed best friend who is dealing with a deep emotional crisis – forget that said friend lets the entire Rizzoli family crash at her place.

Currently, this once dynamic duo is only allowed to show a scintilla of affection:

a. in the wake of a massive calamity
b. when they are whining over dudes
c. when they are whining over dudes in the wake of a massive calamity

And the “chicks before dicks” tenet which once made this show so strong has entirely vanished.

But we got FROST’S MOM.

Sorry Rizzles fans, after outright gay baiting you for years, it’s totally on the super straight and narrow now for our leading ladies. But instead of bringing on a cute lezzoli cousin or hot bi female dick (as in detective), here is your colorful consolation prize – two old boxes of stereotypically stale Mac & Cheese! Thanks for playing along and making our show great but you are no longer needed. Now, take your token crumb and toss off.

Do y’all feel like a valued audience member or a used condom?

Let’s compare R&I to some of its crime-solving contemporaries...

Castle & Beckett:         Consummated.
Bones & Booth:            Consummated.
Annie & Auggie:           Semi-consummated with a deep kiss.

Detect the glaring hetero pattern here? So, it’s okay for straight fans to get excited and invested with male and female characters for the big payoff but we should only be in it for the fantasy or the giggles and grins. What year is this?

Let’s substitute another word here instead of ‘gay.’
“It’s the most Asian non-Asian show on television.”
Offended yet? You should be!

I understand it’s a business and it’s difficult to sell a gay lady show into syndication in this country, let alone the rest of the world. But I also wonder what television would look like today if the courage to put “The Jeffersons” on in the 1970s had never happened. Is Shonda Rhimes the only one with a spine in this decade?

By the way:

banter: to speak to or address in a playful, witty and teasing manner

bicker: to engage in a petulant or petty quarrel

Who wants to see a show saturated with the latter? I guess the target audience is now 14 and 80 year olds instead of my age bracket with the solid careers and the discretionary income.

Ever since the death of Hoyt (unless they try to bring him back to life out of sheer desperation), there has been no suitable nemesis for Original Badass Jane. It’s basically been Pseudo Grumpy Jane dealing with her crazy family, busting boring perps, belittling her best friend at every chance, and mooning over men like a hormonal teenager.

And instead of exploring the morally ambiguous minefield of Maura and her father’s Irish mob connections, we get an overused encyclopedia, recurrent hives, and the reduction of serious topics like live organ donation and what it means to be an adopted child into soap opera piffle.

Woefully, a once-promising cop drama with a potential romantic twist has now devolved into a silly, corny, cartoonish melodrama – a total 180’ of what it was in the first season. And Angie’s charismatic chemistry and Sasha’s PR charm offensive only work wonders for so long.

3.         Subtext, for me, has become the curious girl who never goes beyond second base; it’s an intriguing challenge at first until it quickly turns into an exasperating bore. Then one day you finally see the light and dump her pathetic ass.

Subtext worked well in the 90s because it was the 90s and there weren’t a whole lot of other options. With a historic election behind us and 2013 right here, our television representation continues to be supporting characters buried three levels deep in an ensemble series or pansexual mythical monsters.

Are you fucking kidding me???

That is why it is supremely sadistic for R&I or any show to keep using subtext as a cheap ploy for loyalty and buzz when there is never any intention of follow through. It is the equivalent of black face as others have pointed out and we deserve better. Instead of endlessly echoing these hollow words, we need to find other assertive methods of getting the message across.

And that brings us to the problem with fan fiction. It has become a double-edged sword for our community. On one hand, it satisfies the need to see two adored female characters together in a romantic capacity. On the other, by getting fanfic writers like me to carry the torch, it allows the studio/network to avoid social responsibility by default.

In other words, if you want the dream of Jane and Maura or Emma and Regina or Xena and Gabrielle or _____ and _____ together, you can DIY and find it online. For free.

Meanwhile, everyone associated with a successful television show is definitely not making Olive Garden wages. With so many successful and smart “sisters” in the biz, it baffles me as to why someone cannot sponsor some kind of alternative consortium or profitable business model.

Anyway, I’m afraid I can no longer support R&I by doing their job for them. Self Control is at the halfway point and will be finished but then it is done. I am not done writing; I am just done writing for these types of shows while the powers behind them choose to remain sealed in platinum towers.

Thank you for reading my words and please never stop fighting for more – we have a long, long way to go!