2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

Graphic by Megan Koch

NUTV release new femme-driven series Dames World

By Sheroog Kubur, March 14 2023

NUTV has been the heart of film production at the University of Calgary and they’re kicking off a new year with a new series headed by women, for women. Dames World is NUTV’s first femme-driven series following two dames trying to make sense of their university life. The showrunners are Abby Kendall and Lisa Weaver, two students passionate about film and even more about putting together a good series.  

Weaver compares Dames World to shows like Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson’s Broad City and Lena Dunham’s Girls — two stoner comedy series led by women. Both series have been instrumental in the comedy sphere for women, getting critical acclaim for their audacious characters and witty writing. The series also is inspired by Mike Myers and Dana Carvey’s Wayne’s World, a classic in the two-friends-getting-into-shenanigans subgenre. 

“Ingrid [Vargas], who is the head producer at NUTV, had been talking about how she’s been wanting to make a stoner comedy for a while, and she actually approached Lisa and I separately,” said Kendall about how the show was initially pitched to them.

“A question with Ingrid was who would we do it with,” Weaver said about working with Kendall. “After meeting Abby, it was like, oh this is going to be perfect.”

True to their inspirations, Kendall and Weaver play exaggerated versions of themselves. This includes a played-up valley girl accent, à la Paris Hilton, and exaggerated facial expressions for some visual intrigue. While the characters are dramatized versions of the duo, the jokes all come from them — no facades required. 

“We do have a lot of the same ideas — like when we throw an idea out there the ball gets rolling and then we have a whole episode planned,” Kendall said about the writing process for the series.

Both Kendall and Weaver have a background in film, Kendall being a current film studies student at U of C and Weaver having studied television production at SAIT before joining NUTV. Weaver attributes her love of filmmaking to the shorts she would make when they were able to experiment creatively in class and Kendall fell in love with the medium after taking an introductory film course. The passion led Kendall to direct a short film, Alleviate, which was able to be premiered at multiple film festivals.  

The duo attributes much of the passion behind the project as it being a collaboration between them and other NUTV members on board. They emphasize the importance of having a female-driven comedy series to show that not only can girls be funny, but they deserve a place in film too. Having the support from others in the studio to bring the series to life has played a big factor in alleviating concerns and revitalizing the project when times may have gotten tough. 

“When you get an idea, it can be super ambitious and it doesn’t really always come into light. When we came up with Dames World, we talked about it a lot. But having a group together and a big team has been really great,” Kendall said about the support they received while working on the project. “Just having people have our backs and show us we can happen.”

Weaver also emphasizes that the film industry can become a boys-only club and while the crew at NUTV had been very supportive of the series, it’s important to have femme-driven productions to combat this precedent. 

“Film is a little bit of a boy’s club and this TV show that a girl could watch that is made by girls, starring girls, written by girls to show that it’s not just a boy’s club,” Weaver said. 

The series premiered on NUTV’s YouTube channel on March 10. The ambitious duo don’t plan on stopping any time soon and plan to start production for the second season in the fall. In true stoner comedy web series fashion, it’s only a matter of time before these dames get picked up by a network for a full-fledged series.

Hiring | Staff | Advertising | Contact | PDF version | Archive | Volunteer | SU

The Gauntlet