Variety Virtual TV Festival
When “A Teacher” creator Hannah Fidell adapted the storyline for her FX on Hulu show of the same name, the Me Too movement entirely changed the way she saw the show. “I found the format of…
When “A Teacher” creator Hannah Fidell adapted the storyline for her FX on Hulu show of the same name, the Me Too movement entirely changed the way she saw the show.
“I found the format of a limited to be incredibly helpful in opening up the victim’s perspective that I wasn’t able to show in the original film, Fidell told senior TV business writer Elaine Low at Variety‘s A Night in the Writers’ Room Limited Series Panel. The conversation also featured “Mare of Eastown” creator and writer Brad Inglesby, “WandaVision” head writer and executive producer Jac Schaeffer, “Genius: Aretha” showrunner Suzan-Lori Parks and “Solos” creator and writer David Weil.
“I’m a cinephile, I love film, but it is the rare film these days where I don’t see the second or third act coming. And with a limited I find that there is just so much more room to do new radical things structurally,” Fidell added.
Meanwhile, as the head writer of Marvel’s first television series that wound up on screens, Schaeffer was tasked with creating a piece of entertainment that still managed to enthrall a juggernaut fandom.
“We would start with these bite-sized episodes that would expand and expand and expand, and then the finale would feel more like a proper Marvel movie,” she said. “That sort of shattering of form was so enticing to me, especially given where we are in pop culture, and that audiences are so shrewd, they’re so savvy. And they come to the content with so much fandom and so much awareness, so it’s hard to surprise them.”
Parks was also handed a loaded source material. While she had the “Genius” franchise as a guide to frame Aretha Franklin’s story, the showrunner pondered over finding the right balance among historical accuracy, drama and honoring an icon and Black joy.
“Aretha’s story is a story of triumph. So you want to foreground those moments, while at the same time you want to tell the story of her hardships,” Parks said. “I feel that there were a lot of things we learned about how to tell the stories of Black characters.”