Ness Simons’ Wellington-set lesbian dramedy launches on Sunday at a live event at The Roxy and, for the rest of the country, online.
Season one released new episodes once a week, which was a good fit with the story of the Tuesday night pot luck dinners (or sinners as my dyslexic fingers first typed it). The first season racked up over 2.5 million views on multiple online platforms.
“The response to season one has been overwhelmingly positive,” said writer-director Ness Simons, “and it’s been such a great opportunity to continue with these characters and their stories. Thanks to New Zealand on Air, our sponsors and supporters we’ve been able to make that happen.”
There is an impressive list of sponsors and supporters for season two in the media kit, in fact it’s hard to imagine there’s now anyone left in Wellington for others to tap up for a helping hand.
For the second helping of the show, there’s less of a focus on pot luck dinners and more on the pot luck of love, and so the series drops on Sunday in one very bingeable feast.
The team had originally been looking at a November release, but didn’t quite get there as other commitments moved things around a bit. In Simons’ case, she’s been Head Tutor at The Film School this year, which has been keeping her busy before and since the Pot Luck shoot in August.
Producer Robin Murphy has recently been doing location for Gibson Group’s Sunday Theatre telemovie, Mistress Mercy, about BDSM Mistress Renee Chignell and the 1991 death of cricket umpire Peter Plumley-Walker (not to be confused with the upcoming American webseries of the same title).
(This is the trailer)
Simons is committed to creating high quality content that will appeal to a mainstream audience while representing an authentic portrayal of queer life, and making sure there’s a few laughs along the way.
“We’ve really tried to raise the bar with our second season and to add even more depth to the series,” Simons said. “There’s a few more dramatic turns this time, but we’re also staying true to the comedy and fun of season one. I hope everyone’s ready to hold on for the ride!”
As Pot Luck readies for its season premiere, Murphy’s just starting on the round of festival submissions. Season one had a good festival run, with plenty of selections and award nominations (including a handful at last month’s Rio Web Fest). The show swept the LGBTQ category in the 2017 Rome Web Awards, winning 10 Merit awards including Best Series, Cast, Actress (Nikki Si’ulepa), Screenplay, Directing (both for Simons). Token male Paul Yates even picked up the Supporting Actor gong.
Simons and producer Murphy’s Fired Up Productions are also developing a TV series they first started on before they got into Pot Luck). Separately, Murphy is working with Welby Ings developing his feature Punch (a gay coming-of-age story set in 1980s New Zealand). Murphy produced Ings’ short Sparrow, which has also had some success at international festivals this year.
Several of the platforms that took season one of the show are already onboard again for season two, including TVNZ OnDemand.
As well as Pot Luck’s new episodes, there’ll be some extra material too. Some BTS material has already gone up on the show’s facebook page. There’s plenty more to come, although some will be held back for a while as it’ll make more sense after viewing episodes.
As the show isn’t doing weekly releases this time, there’s some flexibility around scheduling those. Obviously there are fewer eyeballs around for almost any sort of screen content in NZ over Christmas and New Year, so there’ll be a second push to promote the series and build its audience from mid-January.
Pot Luck season two goes live on Sunday on TVNZ OnDemand and YouTube.
Get tickets here to the season premiere on Sunday afternoon at The Roxy.
Other NZ web series currently releasing are new arrival Baby Mamas Club (funded in the same NZ On Air round as Pot Luck), plus second seasons of Psusy and recent NZ Web Fest award winner The Maori Sidesteps.