Sex, drugs, Rock & Roll... and kids.
When 80’s rock gods are away, their wives, children, and nannies, will play — hard.
Short Series Synopsis
The most famous Rock family in the world, a competing second-string glam-rock family, and a sycophantic working class roadie-clan tangle in this female-driven, brutally dark comedic drama set amidst the drug-addled, booze-drenched, and sex-crazed UK of the 1980s.
DALLAS, IPHY and ELLY (ex models) are the wives of 3 of the world’s most respected and famous rock musicians of the past 2 decades. Their closest friend NEIRA (a working class hairdresser) is married to SIMON - a tour roadie and sometime drug dealer. It’s hard to “keep up with the Joneses...” when the Joneses are gods, but NEIRA and SIMON, (their three kids CLEO, GEORGE, and LESLEY trailing behind them) are hell-bent on keeping up. Even if it leads to bankruptcy, jail, or circling child protective services. A gaggle of nannies and au-pairs weave in and out of homes substituting the maternal gaps left by the distracted mothers.
White Snakes is a satirical comedic family drama (6 x 60min eps).
Write what you know? OK. Well, Angela Dee knows British Rock.
Raised alongside the children of some of the world’s most famous and revered rock bands, Angela’s real-life story is set against an epic Rock & Roll back drop. While her own family was a struggling lower-middle class group of Scotts and East-Enders, they found themselves trying to keep step in a world that was far outside the norm. From month-long trips to the Mediterranean, bypassing wait lists to in-demand private schools, games of murder-in-the dark at a Beatle’s castle-like mansion, parental affairs with nannies/ musicians/exchange students, premature deaths from overdoses, car crashes and cancer, lessons on how to roll a hash joint at 10 years old (and other fun prepubescent encounters with hard substances), to the plain old debauchery and neglect that comes with the territory, this world is a rich mine of precious heavy metals, and Angela Dee sits at a unique vantage point to spin complex true-story yarns to lure in her audience and make a poignant mockery of it all.
I mean, seriously. You can’t make this shit up.
How does the show work from week to week?
The action will swirl back and forth between the wives (the White Snakes, if you will), their children and nannies. The Rock Gods will serve merely as satellites to the women, only dropping in occasionally to mark their territories and flip life into turmoil before darting off again.
What is the experience of watching it?
Cringe, cringe, cringe all the way with a little self-conscious snicker thrown in for good measure. As the 80s represented the acme of excess for a time, this show will be a warning and an acknowledgement of our obsession with fame over content. These are deeply personal stories and feature painful glimpses into a world where superficiality, money, and social standing beat out basic human decency - even though everyone is trying their best. Our heroes are anti-heroes. We want them to succeed but they rarely do, walking into traps they set themselves.
What is the tone of the show?
It’s not worth telling these dramatic stories without a spoonful of satirical comedy to make the medicine go down. While there are poignant messages to share about the neglect, addiction, and abuse that comes with fame, it is hard to bypass the absurdity of it all. Using the 1980s as a backdrop makes things easy - hair extensions, Jane Fonda aerobics, hip-flexor bikinis, neon track suits worn without a trace of irony - there will be plenty of opportunities to laugh at and enjoy the White Snakes world while holding the pain and discomfort of these fracturing lives at the helm.
What are some cinematic references?
Docu-style, hand-held/steady camera photography. Movies with realism, grit and beauty like Boogie Nights, Blue Valentine, What Maisie Knew, and Black Swan. Camera’s up close and personal, immersing the viewer in this otherwise closed-off, private world.
What is the world of the show?
This show is about people and relationships first and foremost. Opulence frames what are essentially simple and intimate scenes suggesting the world‘s decadence with flashes of mansions, yachts, recording studios, private schools, sunny islands, skiing villages, stadiums, hotels, all juxtaposed with the very real and gloomy recession of the time. With great rock stories comes great global landscapes but people are just people at the end of the day.
What is the audience demographic?
White Snakes will hit with anyone who has ever loved Rock music.
It is a show that can cross the pond and be made for either a UK audience in Britain, or for an American audience in the US by substituting London for New York, or the River Thames with Rodeo Drive. Or it can serve both by making two versions as per Shameless (wouldn’t it be incredible to make a show here and then take it to the UK for a change?). Or it can live in the in-between creating a transatlantic appeal with both an American and British cast and hit a massive global demographic in one fell swoop.
The Central Message
There is so much more to life than fame. Everyone dreams of it and most of us have certainly fantasized about it: being in front of an adoring crowd of 60,000, lighter-waving fans singing our own songs back to us while we bask in the glory of it all. But this world is not what you think it is and with her sharp satirical wit Angela will unmask all the glam and glitter for the festering and comic lie it is.
White Snakes is a show about women & girls, about sexual repression & expression, rock & roll, and the absurdity of celebrity. Race, class, and social standing emit peals of feedback in this meteoric battle of the bands.
The Central Characters
GEORGE McLAIN - (10/F) She is the show’s protagonist. Named after her war-hero grandfather, she is a tall, skinny misfit who doesn’t fit the mold in which she has been cast. The roadie’s daughter.
NEIRA McLAIN - (40/F) GEORGE’S mother. Hairdresser. Very promiscuous and sexually liberated while maintaining the facade of being happily married to the tour roadie even though she isn’t.
DALLAS DYER - (42/F) Rotund Earth Mother. Ex-model. Married to the greatest guitarist on the planet. Always clad in angelic white. A color therapist. “Friends” with the Dalai Lama.
IPHY & ELLY CORCRA - (42/F) Twins. Ex-models. Married to brothers from a one-hit-wonder rock band. Yin and yang, enabler and addict, surgery and botched surgery.
JEANNIE (18/F) The McLain family’s nanny. Working-class. Perfectionist. The heart of the family and moral compass of the show.