Writer's blog: season 2, episode 3
by Kate McDermott
Episode three, 'We Are Family' was written by myself and Gavin Strawhan what seems like a really long time ago.
Usually us writers take a script each, but this season has ended up working a little differently to the last season. Go Girls is a hugely collaborative show, especially when it comes to the writing department.
Rachel and Gavin created the lovely beast, then they hauled me in to help look after it.
But by the time season two was given the green light, Rachel and Gavin both had other beasts to look after (they're very busy and prolific people) and so I suddenly found myself Head Writer of Go Girls. (In the USA this position is known as show-runner, in New Zealand if you tell people you're show-runner on a series, they generally think this means you're fetching muffins for the cast.)
I don't know if I'm comfortable with the title Head Writer. (This could be because it sounds like Head Prefect and I was banned from the prefect elections back when I was at Epsom Girls Grammar - it's a long story and I'm pretty sure it wasn't my fault). But I think the reason actually is that, as I've mentioned, the writing department work so closely all the time.
Episode three is a good example of this. We'd all story-lined the episode together, with the help of our lovely new story-liner Jodie Molloy and assistant Dave McDermott.
I was meant to be writing the script, but as the deadline approached (let's be honest - as the deadline came and went and disappeared completely), I found myself drowning in Head Writer duties (writing audition scripts, making script changes, writing up story lines, watching the previous day's footage, meeting with directors, etc).
But... help was at hand. Gavin kindly offered to write one of the story threads in episode three for me and I said yes, please. So we cobbled our scenes together and then Rachel Lang edited it, and finally we had something resembling a script.
I love working this way. I love that I had written some kind of cheesy closing voice over for Kevin at the Sunday roast ("if you could choose your own family, who would choose a fairy and a princess and a tom-boy - well, I'm not complaining, eh") and Gavin changed that last part to "Not me! I'm just here for the spuds."
Actually, Gavin did a lot of those kind of tweaks in the last season too. I remember sitting in a read-through of my own script and spluttering when I heard Nan deliver some completely filthy Gavin line which he'd snuck in there. But - back to episode three. In which Britta makes a huge decision, Cody gets a taste of motherhood, and in which we meet Amy's old school friend, over-achiever Olivia Duff.
One thing we liked about introducing Olivia was the dynamic of a character who had been friends with one of the gang but not all of them.
As we were discussing the different attitudes to Olivia, we thought it would be funny if Kevin didn't actually remember her. As opposed to Cody and Britta, who both have this lasting impression which is a hang-over from high school days when Olivia was good at everything and they were scared that Amy liked her better than them.
Juvenile? Sure, but old friends and enemies can have the ability to bring out one's inner bitchy school girl.
As Britta told Kevin, Olivia's nickname (behind her back of
course) is Altar Bolter, due to the fact that she was going to get
married soon after high school but she left the guy at the altar
and got on a plane overseas. And this is pretty much the
first time she's been back on the Shore. So there's
definitely some history for her to sort out. But will she be
able to win over Britta and Cody? Well, one of them
Next week in episode four, we rev things up a bit. Brace yourself for the arrival of a blonde bomb-shell who is going to make an instant impression on Kevin.
Get ready for some serious fireworks!
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