Everyone loves an underdog

Today I’ve got something a little different for you. Two brave, funny, relatable Toronto women contacted me to see if I would mention their new web series on my Twitters. I watched the trailer, and fucking loved it, so I asked if they’d be willing to write a guest blog instead (plus we know I’m lazy  I love a good guest post). Check out what Michelle and Sophia have to say and then watch the shit out of the teaser!

Over Under poster image.Patrick Hodgosn

First off, can we say thanks to Steph for being so game for us to write a guest blog post. She’s awesome and encouraged us to use colourful language here. We fucking love the shit out of that! WOO! Thanks Steph!

Second, let us introduce ourselves: we’re Michelle Alexander and Sophia Fabiilli — the co-creators behind a new web series called Overachieving Underdogs about two Toronto girls. We wanted to connect with Steph because we think her blog is smart and honest and funny… and that’s totally our jam! We’re so pumped to be writing this post. Again, WOO!! (yes we ARE writing this sober).

Truth be told, Michelle and I spend way too much time a totally normal amount of time talking about dating and our careers, which is a polite way of saying love, sex, and money (or lack there of). That’s essentially what Overachieving Underdogs is about: two women on the verge of thirty who are on a quest for personal happiness, fulfilling careers, and true love (a topic no one has ever written about before every woman, including ourselves, seems to be on these days). We aim to explore the questions: Can you truly change who you are and achieve the life you want? And with all we’ve achieved and is available to us living in this awesome city of Toronto WHY ARE WE NOT HAPPY?

The two women in question are best friends, Tess and Polly: Characters we created who are completely different but equally bad-ass ladies who simultaneously realize how desperately unhappy they are with their seemingly-perfect lives, AND if they want to change that, it’s gotta be now or never!

Michelle plays Tess, a health-conscious party girl who has spent her 20’s managing the trendiest vegan restaurant in Toronto. Despite her ultra cool exterior, deep down this clean-eating Tinder queen fantasizes about a 9-to-5 job with benefits and a pension plan (and free office supplies. Yes, she’d like some free office supplies, too).

In contrast, Sophia’s character Polly is the picture of young urbanite success: she’s got a stable job, fiancé, cute as fuck condo, and African foster child. Polly has been so busy checking items off her ‘LIFE: TO DO’ list that she hasn’t stopped to realize that the dude she’s been building her life with … isn’t the right one.

In one night, Tess quits her job and Polly breaks up with her fiancé — check out our teaser to see how they do it. (Note: It’s weird and ridiculous and there’s a scene where $50 worth of McDonald’s gets smeared all over the window of a vegan restaurant via someone’s ASS! We’d recommend watching it if only for that moment.)

Like we said, we get these characters … and it will probably come as no surprise that Tess and Polly aren’t far from who we are as people.

Michelle’s scary reflection of herself compared to TESS:

There’s a quote pinned on my ‘inspiration board’ at home that says:

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.

I really fucking believe that! Like Tess, and frankly like a lot of Toronto girls I know, I understand the comfort of just fulfilling what people expect (and like) me to do, rather than challenging it, exceeding it, or being fully driven by what I want out of life. Why? Because it’s comfortable! But with that comfort zone comes a serious lack of satisfaction.

Tess has been so preoccupied with her place in the ‘social pyramid’ of the Queen Street West crowd that she’s lost track of what actually makes her happy. In her own way she’s a people pleaser: her peers expect her to be that ‘cool girl’ so she spends her energy fulfilling that for them instead of tending to her own needs and desires. When she chooses to say ‘FUCK IT’ and follow her dreams she’s terrified, BUT she commits because despite her fear she knows this is the only way she has a shot at happiness.

That terrifying feeling of being out of her comfort zone isn’t Tess’ favourite … and it isn’t mine either (at all, it feels awful and embarrassing all at the same time). Whether it’s Tess donning a business suit or me becoming a web series creator for the first time, going all in and re-inventing yourself is scary as shit … but you can only depend on yourself to change your personal definition to become ‘who you decide to be.’

Sophia’s scary reflection of herself compared to POLLY:

Oh Polly. It’s easy for me to hold my character Polly at arm’s length and say, ‘Oh we’re soooo different,’ (full disclosure: I don’t have any of a partner, a condo, or an African foster child), but what Polly and I do have in common is die-hard pragmatism and the fact that we’re both closeted romantics.

In her drunken/high stupor, Polly finally grows the balls to break up with her partner of 10 years (she has literally spent all of her twenties in a relationship). I think the reason Polly stayed with her BF for so long was that there really wasn’t anything wrong: they loved each other, they supported each other, they liked all the same things on Netflix. When Polly’s heart told her she was missing something, her brain said,’There’s really nothing wrong, no relationship is perfect, and of course things will get less passionate after so many years together.” Oh God, that sounds familiar…

I can totally relate to Polly’s conflicting feelings about love. No one wants to be the girl going around saying ‘Oh me? I’m just looking for my soulmate, I know he’s out there.’ That makes me feel like barfing. Plus, the Toronto dating scene is daunting, discouraging, and a lot of work. It feels like your hometown video rental store: You go in looking for something really specific, you can’t find it, and end up taking something home that you didn’t really want and wishing you watched Netflix instead.

Overachieving Underdogs starts with a key turning point for Polly: She chooses to open her heart up for love knowing that she might (spoiler alert: she will) get really burned. And I think that’s what we all have to do … myself included.

Basically, we’re two gals trying to do a very hard thing, which is to get a new web series off the ground. We’re creating this show to make all the crazy-awesome overachieving underdogs in Toronto (i.e. women you like you) laugh and to encourage the “YOU DO YOU” way of life. We’re trying to spread the word, so thanks for reading and if you dig the Overachieving Underdogs teaser, please share it!

Teaser link again, just cause: bit.ly/1SozZ9W

Also, if you’re reading Steph’s blog it means you’re probably kickass and we would LOVE to hear from you, so please connect in whatever fashion you please: telepathy, smoke signals, love letters tied to the wings of carrier pigeons, or there’s always social media, too:

FB: overunderseries/
TW: @overunderseries #OverUnderSeries

Insta: @overunderseries


To find out more about the show, you can also visit our snazzy website: www.OverUnderSeries.com


p.s. thanks again Steph – YOU FUCKING ROCK!!




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