Beyond Lemonade – Positioning
These last few weeks I’ve been working on a Project Document. This is the document that explains the concept, characters, marketing and branding to anyone who works on Beyond Lemonade or provides services to the project (writers, producers, production staff, ad agencies, web designers or PR people).
One of the documents I had to prepare was positioning the online series in relationship to other programs on television (there’s just not enough online to compare yet). This is a chart I created to position the show in terms of drama and comedy. Below is text expanding and amplifying the chart. I found this really helpful for me too. Being specific about what a project is and is not helps hone in on tone style and content.
Our touchstone drama examples for Beyond Lemonade are Brothers and Sisters, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Big Love and The Sopranos. All of these shows feature strong, clear, distinctive female characters with complex emotional lives. The settings these touchstone characters find themselves in are very different, what they have in common is the deep, rich and often conflicting relationships each woman has with family and friends. The women in Beyond Lemonade also struggle with the opposing loyalties, the difficulty of balancing life, love and work and the powerful emotions that draw them together and force them apart.
Our drama is about active vital women. They seize control of their futures and relaunch their lives. They all face daunting circumstances but they do so with energy and optimism. They aren’t passive, depressed or weak. Each of these women believes her best years are still ahead of her. This is a drama filled with hope and not soap.
Humor from Character
Our touchstone comedy examples for Beyond Lemonade are Sex and The City, Drop Dead Diva, Rosanne and Ellen. The comedy in all of these shows comes from the clarity of each woman’s personality and her very specific attitude toward life and love. What unites all our touchstone women is a clear-eyed, gutsy honesty about themselves and their relationships. The women in Beyond Lemonade also can laugh at their individual and collective flaws and foibles. No matter how appalling the dilemma, our characters lighten their situation with a sense of shared humor.
The comedy in Beyond Lemonade is not based on situations or circumstances that are camp or highly stylized. The comedy is not forced or laugh-track fake. Our characters find humor in realistic situations and relationships. The extreme over-the-top characters or circumstances of Cougar Town, Ugly Betty or Desperate Housewives don’t apply. The situations are funny but not far-fetched.