In an age where we should feel more connected than ever before, then why do we so often feel all alone? That feeling of isolation can lead us looking for connection wherever we can find it, including from our furry companions. That’s exactly what the new digital series Dog Lady looks to explore. In the series, which is currently seeking funding from the Independent Production Fund (IPF), co-creator Sarah McVie (Workin’ Moms) stars as a woman who, along with her friend Sam (co-creator Samantha Madely), creates a dog dating app called “PlentyofTail”.
While there’s certainly a lot of talk about canine companions in Dog Lady, the series looks to get into some serious topics from endometriosis to social anxiety. “We started chatting about this new age of female empowerment, online dating, the struggle to make money, how to balance our dreams with the realities we are facing. All of it,” McVie says of the inspiration behind the series. Along with Madely, Kieran Crilly, an Academy Award winning producer and cinematographer (Lady in Number 6), shot the Dog Lady trailer and McVie’s own dog, Coco, co-stars. She recently offered a closer look behind Dog Lady for us here at The TV Junkies. Read on to learn more about the series and don’t forget to watch the trailer!
The TV Junkies: What is Dog Lady all about and where did the idea for it come from?
Sarah McVie: The idea comes from my own life! The show is about a woman frustrated by a string of failed relationships who struggles to make money and wants a family. Sarah and her dog Coco spend a lot of time in the dog park, often with her friend Sam, who is also frustrated by the way life is turning out. In the series the two women create a dog dating app called “PlentyofTail” to connect pets (and maybe their humans!) with their perfect playmates.
Dog Lady is about the intersection between our online and animal selves. More people than ever are getting pets. We think it’s because we’re feeling isolated. And it’s wild because we should feel more connected than ever, we’re literally walking around with little portals to the WORLD in our hand, and yet stats show depression is at an all time high. We want to explore this missing connection and the role fur babies are playing in giving us the feels.
Dog Lady is also about success. What defines success? The women in the show find themselves approaching mid-life and things haven’t turned out the way they’d imagined. In the series they come together to create something that not only pays the rent but fulfills their urge to feel connected. They find their pack.
TTVJ: While the trailer makes it clear this is going to be a really funny series, it looks like it has the potential to touch on some serious topics like endometriosis. Would that be the plan in the series going forward to touch on those in between the laughs?
SM: Absolutely! Endometriosis, depression, addiction, social anxiety, loneliness, we take inspiration from a big ol’ barrel of pain! In all seriousness, we embrace these difficult subjects because we know from our own experience that humor is the best way to deal with the pain inherent in being a human.
TTVJ: I mentioned Coco before, how was she in her acting debut and will she continue to be in the series with you?
SM: Coco nailed it! A natural. We strapped the camera on that Bichon’s back and she went straight for the two dogs humping! I was so proud! I think she’s made herself a pivotal part of the show and we want her in this role. We may have to hold auditions, but only as a formality to put us in a good bargaining position. That bitch has some high salary expectations.
TTVJ: Have you ever done anything like this series before? What’s it like being involved from inception?
SM: I have written a play with three other women that was based on real life people and fictionalized. I have developed a character for a tv show based on other people’s writing. But this is my first time fictionalizing my own life in collaboration with a writing partner and it’s been thrilling, at times terrifying and the hardest work I’ve ever done.
TTVJ: What helps you get the IPF funding? Likes and views on the trailer? What would be the plan then for the funding if you won it?
SM: The only way to move through to the next phase of consideration for the IPF funding is to get as many views on our trailer as possible. Likes and positive comments also help. The tricky thing is a view has to be unique: so friends have called to say “I’ve watched it a hundred times!” and although it warms my heart it doesn’t actually do anything beyond one additional view if it’s on the same device. Also Sam and I know nothing of algorithms, so we can’t do any fancy things to make our trailer pop up on “suggested videos”. It’s our first time with the YouTube platform so we are starting from scratch. We have tapped our personal networks at this point so we are hoping to extend our reach without paying money to advertise or buy views. We don’t have any money to spare at the moment and regardless we’re curious to see how our audience grows organically.
If we get the funding we shoot 8 short episodes of Dog Lady. A show we want to see through to a half hour TV series.
TTVJ: Is there anything I missed you wanted to be sure we touched on?
SM: What we couldn’t fit into the trailer, and is a big part of the larger show, is a third female lead character. A hip, media savvy millennial named Ashvini who joins forces with Sarah and Sam to build the PlentyofTail app business and experiences her own journey towards connection and belonging.
Excited about Dog Lady? Be sure to check out the trailer below!
For more information follow Sarah McVie on Instagram. Remember be sure to “like”, share and view it as much as possible to increase the series’ funding chances!
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.