Writing business

Sera Gamble’s First Script Was a Goth Girl Comedy

In Variety’s new feature, The One That Got Away, the Emmy nominees reflect on a project they never saw, was canceled too soon, or one they’d like to see again someday.

When you hear the name Sera Gamble, you don’t think of comedy.

After debuting on ABC’s short-lived “Eyes” procedural in 2005, she joined the “Supernatural” writers room. She later created, produced and wrote Syfy’s “The Magicians,” then, in 2018, launched “You” with Greg Berlanti, a drama based on Caroline Kepnes’ twisted novels.

The dramas are laced with a bit of darkness – and couldn’t be further from the comedy. When she started however, she didn’t know which route she was taking.

“It’s the story of how I was almost a comedy writer. I wouldn’t have planned this for my career at all,” she recounts. Variety. “My goal was to be a professional writer, but my first pull to break into the business was with a comedy feature.”

She and her writing partner Raelle Tucker moved into a rental house in Van Nuys — “the kind of house you’re in, porn was definitely shot here,” she says.

Together they wrote a comedy feature that pays homage to “Dog Day Afternoon” set in a strip club. He was a “Project Greenlight” finalist, who landed the duo agents. So they figured they’d try to get into the TV side – and stick with comedy.

“We were like, ‘We’re going to write a sample of every guy imaginable, because we weren’t picky at all about which room we might break into.’ We really needed a job,” she recalled. “It was the setup of a script called ‘Misery and Anxiety,’ kind of based on us. It was about two goth girls named Misery and Anxiety, who lived in a shitty house in Van Nuys, who wanted to break into Hollywood.

The script opened at a fluff convention where Misery obtained giant pig costumes for Anxiety in an attempt to get her to fuck.

“Raelle and I have worked hard. We were very young, but no matter how much we partied the night before, we always got up to work and it’s boring, and it’s not fun,” she says. “So instead, we imbued Misery and Anxiety with all the selfishness and laziness. It’s just more fun to watch people wanting to take a shortcut and that was kind of the idea. Every week these girls had some fucking terrible idea of ​​how to get rich quick or how to get famous.

The pilot focused on girls trying to find jobs. Anxiety decides to monetize a livestream of their lives by installing webcams in the apartment, while Misery begs her grandmother, a former porn star, for money for a car. She sees an “American Idol” billboard and decides she could be a pop star based on looks, although she can’t sing.

“She spends the car money on liposuction. She comes home stoned on painkillers, unaware that she is performing for this international audience watching her through webcams in every room of her house,” Gamble says in laughing. “It gets even more chaotic and unbalanced, culminating in a mind-bending musical number featuring Misery with Ryan Seacrest.”

To date, the script remains the only one that Gamble’s agents have declined. Still, the hard work paid off; Tucker and Gamble were hired on procedural “eyes” around the same time. After “Eyes” was canceled, she got a spot in the “Supernatural” room.

“I think it would be so easy for us to tell a really classy arc about how I ended up writing ‘You’. Like, ‘Oh, she loves dark fairy tales and she’s watched all the movies horror movies ever made when she was 12,” she says. “But, I honestly think there’s a world of ‘sliding doors’ where if we took one more step on ‘Misery and Anxiety’, We’d make it 30% less crazy and make it better, you and I would talk about something weird, kinda petty surreal half hour that I was also happily writing.

Today, Gamble remains proud of that script — but few have read it, and she hopes it will be like this: “I really don’t want you to misunderstand me. It wasn’t a good script. It took a lot of work… But there was a lot of excitement and a weird, awkward goth girl who beats my heart and is still close to my heart.