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Sweet Tarts Takeaway: New web comedy series offers smart online entertainment for women

Watch Episode 1.

OTTAWA, ONTARIO, 10 February 2011 — The social media revolution has made communication more democratic than ever. Today, anyone with the right talent and determination can be a writer, a journalist, a rock star, an actor or a producer. Because there are no barriers to posting your work online, the old systems of big money and corporate approval are falling apart.

The most interesting development is how women’s voices are suddenly becoming more prominent. Women’s issues, like breastfeeding rights and sexism in advertising, are now hot topics online — with considerable social clout.

But it’s not just women’s social issues that are receiving long-due attention. Women entrepreneurs have more opportunity than ever to reach large audiences with their own brand of entertainment. Heavyweights like comic Sarah Silverman and Lady Gaga owe much of their fame to online viewers and communities. But with a seemingly infinite medium, there is also endless opportunity for new players.

Bonnie Robinson of Ottawa’s YOW! Productions sees an untapped market in online “TV” series for women. And she’s betting her latest creation, web comedy Sweet Tarts Takeaway, will be just the thing audiences are hungering for.

“I just want to provide smart, funny online entertainment for the dominant demographic on the Internet: women,” says Bonnie, who is the series’ writer, director and producer. “Sure, we all love those cute kitten videos—and I do watch them all—but women want and deserve more in their online entertainment.”

The show is a kind of “Repo Man meets Nigella Lawson”. Its two main characters, Janis and Sue, run a failing catering operation with great food but bad business sense. When their delivery van gets repossessed, they end up making a deal with the repo man, Bob, to work off the debt by handling more “delicate” repossessions from other women.

The pilot has an “I Love Lucy” feel, with classic misadventure ensuing as Janis and Sue take on their first assignment at a gym. It’s light, witty, and short enough for online attention spans.

"Sweet Tarts Takeaway is a project I'm happy to say I've been involved in from the word go,” says Kel Parsons, who plays Janis. “I find the concept original and funny and love the fact that Sue and Janis are like women one might actually meet. Except . . . well, they're repo agents."

The show is also planning to appeal to the online foodie movement, featuring “product placements” of real recipes donated by local chefs, and provided to the Sweet Tarts online community.

Sweet Tarts Takeaway is filmed in and around Ottawa, starring veteran local actors Kel Parsons (Janis), Kate Drummond (Sue), Riley Stewart (Bob) and Jerome Bourgault (Dan).

Watch the trailer.

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