What's Stacked about?
Three sisters who try to balance the pressures of female sexuality and feminism with their dad, who is the editor of Scottish lads' mag Stacked.
Where did the idea come from?
I wanted to write a show for and about young women - I felt there was a dearth of drama out there for them. I had been amazed how much young women had embraced “lad” culture. One survey I read said that 63% of 15 to 19 year olds claimed that glamour modelling was their ideal profession. I wasn't aware of these issues being tackled in drama.
What research did you do?
I looked into the men who edit men's magazines and found they were different from the image they presented: they were a lot more educated, often older than their readers and some had children. There was an interesting dichotomy between family life and taking pictures of semi-naked women.
How did you pitch it?
I sent a treatment in to the 4Talent Pilot competition, in which I described it as a “funny, smart, contemporary drama about the pressures of being a young woman in the early 21st century”. I didn't reference any other programmes, though in developing the idea, I had Skins and Ugly Betty in mind for some elements.
What was the initial reaction?
They said it was unique and welcomed the fact that, unlike a lot of youth drama pitches they were receiving, it wasn't set in a school. They wanted to bring it out of the home a bit more, which opened up more scenes in the magazine's office.
How did it evolve from there?
I was one of 12 new writers put to work with a Scottish indie, in my case Brocken Spectre. My first draft came across as a bit dogmatic, revealing my opinions and gripes about the subject. It became less issue-led but still with a relevant message. I brought in more humour and made it a more positive portrayal of the amazing potential that young women have. Originally it was all from the girls' point of view, but I brought in more of the father, which opened it up to a bigger age group. In filming, I was lucky that because of the brief of the competition, the producer and director stuck to the script and were determined to get my vision on screen.
Synopsis ‘Stacked' is a funny, smart, contemporary comedy drama about the pressures of being a young woman in 21st century UK. Life's hard when you're young. Full of contradictions. And when your dad's the editor of Stacked, the outrageous boob-packed Scottish lads' mag, it just got harder. The series follows sisters Ginny, Tallulah and Jackie Turner trying to balance the pressures of female sexuality and feminism.
‘Stacked' is subversive, sexy and curious, revealing emotional truths but never sentimental. It's unique; a series primarily for young women about young women, which will also engage and entertain guys. Each episode is witty and irreverent, celebratory and daring, with a strong stand-alone story and compelling serial elements. The pace is quick and scenes are typically short and sharp, though we'll play out particularly juicy exploits to their full potential. The series will tell stories that need to be told now.
As a 25 year old I am part of the demographic that's often referred to as Generation Sex, giving ‘Stacked' the voice of authenticity and experience. Female equality was achieved decades ago as far as mainstream culture's concerned. But bright and articulate young women feel under more pressure to excel than ever before, not only academically and at work but in how hot they look and how provocative they're willing to act.
Surveys reveal that girls as young as fourteen have wholeheartedly embraced raunch culture and in a recent poll of girls aged 15 to 19, 63 per cent stated their ideal profession was as a glamour model. Even young women are affected by society's expectations with more than half of a study of 3,000 16 to 25 year old women saying that the media makes them feel that "being pretty and thin" is the most important thing for a woman.
‘Stacked' will explore these issues that affect girls and boys alike, topics that we're familiar with, that we confront everyday, but haven't seen explored in a cool and entertaining TV drama.