Merritt and Hylan are returning to their high school for their ten year reunion. Friends and roommates, the two complete each other in being completely different; Hylan — a confident, sexually active and adventurous extrovert, and Merritt — a shy, hopeless romantic who is struggling with her sexual identity. Unlike Hylan, Merritt does not enjoy sex or physical intimacy and believes she may be asexual.
Narrator: Steve Rizzo
Hylan: Hannah Ehman
Merritt: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Driver: Sean Ballantyne
Get to know the writer:
1. What is your screenplay about?
A-OKAY is about Merritt, a hopeless romantic, grappling with the fact that she's asexual... or somewhere on the asexual spectrum. Still longing for romantic fulfillment, she sets out to define the boundaries of her sexual identity.
In this pilot episode, Merritt goes to her ten-year reunion, planning to reconnect with her high school flame, Rohan. She's accompanied by her best friend/roommate (and probable nymphomaniac) Hylan, who has plans of her own for revenge against an old high school bully.
2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?
Comedy. Light dramedy. Contemporary/timely.
3. Why should this screenplay be made into a tv show?
There is so much room for comedy in the cognitive dissonance inherent to landing on incongruent areas of the asexual and aromantic spectrums. A-OKAY shines a spotlight on these two spectrums, providing an easy access point for everyone to see romantic and intimate relationships from an unexplored perspective.
4. How would you describe this script in two words?
5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
I'd like to think it's THE WAY WAY BACK, but realistically, it might be TOY STORY.
6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
I started this one in January 2023.
7. How many stories have you written?
Four are on paper and a bunch of others are living in my head.
8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)
It has to be "The Middle" by Jimmy Eat World.
9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
Because there are so few examples of asexual perspectives in popular media, I've gotten in my head about sharing too much of my personal experience versus feeling like I need to expose the audience to the entirety of the asexual spectrum. I have to give a big shoutout to my class from UCLA's Professional Program in TV Comedy Writing for their feedback and support; thank you Emma, Ethan, Armando, Philip, Naveed, Megan, Laura, and our teacher, J Fish!
10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I'm passionate about comedy; I want to spend as much time laughing as I can. I love finding the perfect TV show, film, and/or comedy special to share with my friends. I'm also obsessed with dogs, being in air conditioned rooms, predicting awards season results, and volunteering for the nonprofit Launch Leadership, based in my home state, Nebraska.
11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?
FilmFreeway has been a great resource for discovering competitions and fellowships. It's a smooth process to submit through their platform, which is the key to my heart.
12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
The price of entry was discounted, and I liked the promise of a full page of reader feedback. The feedback I received was super encouraging!