Catherine is a workaholic who has given up on love after a string of bad relationships. Nina is afraid of dying alone and will stop at nothing to make sure Catherine never leaves her. After learning that their radio show has been cancelled and is being taken off the air, together with their segment producer Hashim, they find themselves in all kinds of unpredictable situations as they attempt to save their show.
Pelican writer Liam Docherty got to speak with one of the directors of the Perth produced web-series Single Ladies, Jacqueline Pelczar.
L.D: Am I right in saying Single Ladies was directed by three female directors?
JP: Myself, Gemma and Mimi were brought onto the project to direct two episodes each. The project was created by the two lead actresses Alexandra Nell and Megan Hollier, and written by Aaron Moss.
LD: And what do you think that brought to the show and made it unique?
JP: When writing about females, it’s important to involve females, to give it a female perspective, make it relatable, and give it that voice. I love working with females. There’s fewer problems, a much calmer set, and problems are solved (usually) before we get to set. We’re all at different stages of our lives, we’re all in our 20’s but separated by a couple of years, so we each brought something different.
The older actresses, in particular, were very excited. They had never seen anything like it, and were stoked to be playing something that doesn’t have a male gaze over it. It was important to us to have an overarching feel and tone to the show, but also for our own episodes to stand out. We wanted our own episodes to have our own voice, which was tricky to do but I think (and hope) we did.
LD: Do girls like Catherine and Nina exist in real life?
JP: Oh 100% yes! Totally. I think we just don’t often see it on screen, where we see women as complicated, complex characters, and I think we have to do it for men too. There’s a myriad of different humans in the world, but for so long we’ve been representing them a certain way and its really taken a toll.
For the first 6 months we just sat around with a glass of wine talking about our own experiences, some of them even made it in the final cut. We wanted to make it lighthearted and fun, and let women have their own locker-room talk without being overtly sexualised for it.
You’re automatically put in a box, and as a director I’m so often put in the political director box, but none of my male counterparts get that label. We can’t even accept and treat equally people we’re supposed to procreate and reproduce with. The moment we start treating humans as equals is the moment feminism is considered, and men will get a fairer go as well.
LD: In the first episode the radio show gets cancelled, what do you think about Cancel Culture?
JP: Take Harvey Weinstein for example: He was expelled from Hollywood and taken out of the Academy, and a guy in the 60’s or 80’s, stole some DVD’s and got the same punishment. Peoples lives were hurt, traumatised and ruined by Weinstein, and he got the same punishment as someone who stole a DVD. Maybe that’s not the best example? (Laughs)
We need to stop the double standards. When I was younger, my older brother was allowed to walk down the street and I wasn’t. On a basic level. Don’t tell your daughter not to wear that, teach your son respect. At our core, we’re humans before we’re any gender. Don’t criticise what you don’t understand, if you’re not in that other persons shoes you have no right to comment or judge. Sorry Im not sure if I’m answering the question? (Laughs)
Cancelling is always going to exist at some level, by nature we judge people. I think we need to start teaching from an early age that we’re humans before we’re put into any category.
We’re not going to solve the problem with our show, we can’t represent and solve everything, all we can do is tell our story correctly.
LD: It might now solve everything, but I think shows like this really are making a difference.
JP: I really appreciate that. After the screening, I caught up with my family and we had a conversation about pegging. If this series can bring families together around the dinner table to talk about some uncomfortable shit, then Amen!
LD: That scene is in the first few minutes, isn’t it?
JP: Yeah. It’s like, strap yourselves in, literally. (Both laugh)
Single Ladies is out now on https://hyvio.com/singleladies
Interview by Liam Docherty