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Counting On Kendra - Treatment - Original TV Pilot

In a previous newsletter, I asked my friends to vote on my next project. The suggested Counting on Kendra. So, Maya Montrell and I will post updates as we go. Here's our version of a TV script treatment/pitch.

Would you like to collaborate with us? Send me an email or shout at me on Twitter.


Title: Counting on Kendra

A dark comedy by Maya Montrell and Onicia Muller

Logline:


When her prestigious forensic accounting career is paused, a Black woman (30) with an undiagnosed chronic illness stumbles into the risky world of private investigations. Now the Chicago Police Department is determined to stop her as her work uncovers their major deficiencies.

Summary:


ACT I
We open on a stylish but unkempt apartment and hear the tail end of a video on the secret ways supermarkets get shoppers to spend more. This is the type of content Kendra (30) lives for. She downs a handful of meds with a water bottle from her nightstand. She tosses the empty bottle across the room.

Just then a video call notification from her best friend, Avon, appears on her laptop. “Why is it when Damon Dash offers a deal on Shark Tank these raggedy entrepreneurs constantly decline his offer as if his money ain’t good? Racism! That’s why.” The friends yap about several shows related to money and business while Kendra dresses to go out. She winces while using a very stylish cane to get about.

At a nearby department store, Kendra updates Avon on her ongoing medical issues. All she wants is for her doctors to accept the symptoms as she explains them and to actually follow up on her concerns. They’ve had this conversation many times over.

Kendra is third in line for the register. She’s not rushed at all. Hmm, that’s interesting. She notices the black woman has multiples of almost every item in her cart. Oh my god, is this an extreme couponer in the wild? It is! Patricia, the woman in line, poses for a selfie with Kendra and allows her to livestream the ring up.

ACT II

Oh no! The cashier voids the transaction because they think Patricia is abusing the coupon policy. Patricia attempts to calmly explain the difference between ‘per transaction’ and ‘per purchase.’ Kendra can’t sit back and let them take away her live extreme couponing experience. She flexes her CPA status and couponing knowledge to confirm that the customer is correct. When Patricia asks for the manager, the cashier instead calls for loss prevention (security). Kendra continues the livestream even up to when the police is called to the scene.

Luckily, the ladies’ encounter with loss prevention and Officer Farber doesn’t end in arrest or murder.

The livestream gains enough traction that Kendra and Patricia are invited to share their story on Good Morning Chicago. Avon is so excited that his bestie is going to be on TV that he promises to record the segment using several devices.

Kendra leaves her cane backstage because she wants the moment to about #BlackGirlMagic and not about health issues. She’s happy to let the host know that she’s unfazed by Officer Farber and that she’s living her best life: yoga in the park, taking time to calculate which stores have the best prices, and even experiencing all the local tourist attractions.


Vlad, Kendra’s superior, watches the Good Morning Chicago replay and is not pleased.

ACT III

Vlad offers Kendra an ultimatum: come to work today before noon or accept termination. Kendra can’t come in and even if she does, she can’t fullfil her work duties because of her illness. Kendra has been on sick leave for 6 months. Her doctors haven’t been able to offer a concrete diagnosis and have lowkey been hinting that she might be faking it. She hasn’t, but to Vlad the ‘complimentary’ weight loss and her upbeat spirit during the interview is hard evidence that Kendra has been scamming the company.

Elsewhere, Officer Farber is having a horrible day. People recognize him from the livestream and the morning show. He’s being called a racist and other nasty things all because two broke black women wanted hundreds of dollars’ worth of product on the cheap.

Losing her job makes being sick even more unbearable. Kendra calculates she has a few months of cash left before she needs to find a real job. Avon tries to cheer her up by forwarding positive responses from people online. She finally agrees to read Avon’s emails. 

However, before she gets to her fan mail, she sees an email from someone claiming to be a friend of Patricia (the extreme couponer). Word is Kendra is good with money and this person wants help proving to the court that her deadbeat ex-husband (a cop) can afford more in child support.

LUPE is in her apartment watching Patricia on Good Morning Chicago. She pauses the replay and ends the call when her doorbell rings. It’s her ex-husband and their son. Lupe tells, Rodger his child support check is short. They argue. He leaves. She turns back to the TV and it’s on Kendra’s twitter handle on the lower thirds. Lupe takes her phone and starts typing an email. 


Avon encourages Kendra to help this person because it might bring her good karma and take her mind off the pending job hunt.

Project status August 2019:

Concept development/plotting first season.

About the team:


Maya Montrell - Writer/Creator

Maya Montrell is a Chicago-based improviser and writer with a not-so-secret passion for floral arrangements. Originally from the South, she planned on going into a career in public health but instead found her calling in the creative arts. When she’s not performing improv or writing sketch comedy, you can find her at the yoga studio.  


Onicia Muller - Writer/Producer


Onicia Muller is a Caribbean writer and comedian currently freezing her buns off in Chicago. A former crime reporter and children’s columnist, she's found her happy place writing about women in entertainment. If you're into oversharing, read her weekly humor column Just Being Funny in The Daily Herald’s Weekender. In June 2018, she received IGNITE Caribbean's 30 Under 30 Caribbean American Emerging Leaders and Changemakers award for her work as a cultural influencer. http://www.oniciamuller.com/bio.html



Want to collaborate on this project? Tweet me using #CountingOnKendra or email heyonicia[at]oniciamuller[dot]com.
Created on St. Maarten. Based in Chicago. Onicia Muller (@OniciaMuller) writes, says funny things, and enjoys hanging with creative minds. Originally published in The Daily Herald's Weekender, Just Being Funny is a weekly reflection where Onicia laughs at life
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