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Pass the ice cream. Sudance hated my script — Onicia Update

TL;DR: Sundance didn’t love my submission this year. And I’m okay with that.

When we last saw our hero, I was sad because ‘Counting On Kendra‘ (co-written with Maya Montrell) only earned a semi-finalist spot in Sundance’s 2020 Episodic Labs writing program. I wasn’t completely discouraged because that (semi) win bumped my submission stat from 50% to 66.66% semi-finalist success rate.

Unfortunately, the Sundance gawdz read the first 5 pages of ‘Matched,’ and were like, ‘Thanks, fam, but we don’t need to read anymore.’

I didn’t cry as much as I did last August, but I was pretty distraught. I’ve been developing ‘Matched‘ for almost 5 years. I went through several drafts and finally produced a script that came close to the vision in my mind. erica, the good web developer and talented screenwriter even created some dope fan at.

Anyways, here’s ‘Matched,’ my half-hour comedy about two frugal jerks. Send feedback and requests to option the rights to HeyOnicia[at]OniciaMuller[com].

In other news, I recently celebrated my birthday. I’m now 16^17 (only super OG franz will catch that one). I’m proud of myself for sticking close to God, being fearless in chasing my dreams, and being blessed with loving friends.

Shout out to my roommate for buying my 10 pints of ice cream! Read it again T E N P I N T S of premium Haagen-Daz I C E C R E A M. God is real!

Double shout out to my homegirl Maya Montrell (@CarefreeBlkLady) for gifting me a lovely sushi dinner.

Triple shout out to everyone who purchased greeting cards or donated to the ice cream fund. I’ve legit gained 15 lbs. (#Blessed) Your donations help me pump out funny thoughts on command as well as pay off my student loans. Y’all da real MVPs.

Please consider donating to my ice cream fund. Alternatively, you can always shout nice words to me on Twitter (@OniciaMuller).

P.S.: Ziwe Fumudoh and Josh Dela Cruz are not associated with ‘Matched.’ However, maybe they will if we tweet them the ‘Matched’ script enough times.

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Stories TV Scripts

Counting On Kendra – Original TV Pilot by Maya Montrell and Onicia Muller

Logline: When a jaded accountant with a mysterious chronic illness and an extreme couponer go viral, her scam-obsessed best friend pushes them into the wacky world of private investigation.

Counting on Kendra advanced to round 2 of Sundance’s Episodic Lab (2020).

Pilot Synopsis

ACT 1

KENDRA watches finance videos in bed. AVON, calls to say that his nonprofit job agreed to have Kendra host a financial literacy workshop. Kendra fears committing because of her chronic health issues. She’s even too sick to buy toiletries.

With Avon’s support, a bedazzled cane, and a motorized shopping cart, Kendra makes it to the store. Kendra doesn’t see PATRICIA grabbing all the air fresheners in the household and cleaning supply aisle. She’s on a video call telling Avon about an alternative healing retreat. 

Kendra finally notices Patricia, her binder of coupons, and overflowing cart when she joins the check-out queue. Patricia says Kendra can livestream her ring up.

Kendra and Patricia politely to explain the difference between ‘per purchase’ and ‘per transaction.’ Unfortunately, the cashier and manager are convinced they’re committing coupon fraud.

ACT 2

Apparently, couponing while black is an arrestable offense, so Avon hops on Instagram live to raise awareness.

Dr. BIAGI shoots down any talk about alternative remedies and offers what Kendra considers is bullshit advice for her ailments.

While Avon is in the hospital’s bathroom confronting a man who refuses to wash his hands, Patricia calls Kendra with good news. She got them booked on Good Morning Chicago (GMC). Kendra ends the call when Avon enters chasing Mr. Dirty Hands.

VLAD (Kendra’s boss) tells REGINA from HR to set up a meeting to discuss Kendra’s extended medical leave. At this point, Kendra has been sick longer than she’s been employed.

Patricia tells her online community that her GMC appearance is uncertain because she hasn’t heard from Kendra.

In their meeting, Vlad and Regina tell Kendra to return to work full-time or lose her job. She has the weekend to think it over.

Upset that she lost a great PR opportunity for her couponing website, Patricia calls Avon to find out what’s up with Kendra.

ACT 3

Avon cleans Kendra’s apartment while reading comments and emails from fans.

Lupe knows Kendra is an accountant, not a lawyer. Still, the recently divorced mother of one hopes Kendra can help investigate her ex’s finances.

Kendra ain’t trying to be Harriette the Spy but Avon convinces her to at least do right by Patricia by contacting GMC. Also, if Kendra loses her job and ends up needing a GoFundMe, GMC is the perfect platform to get the word out.

MEL and AMIR, hosts of GMC, have differing opinions about couponing. Kendra snaps when Amir makes several indirect comments calling couponers moochers.

Couponers aren’t frugal jerk unwilling to pay full price. Sometimes you’re the only person in your family who “makes it ” and uses coupons to help your community. Sometimes your scumbag ex won’t pay their fair share of child support, so you’re stuck maintaining a household on a single income. Some people have invisible disabilities and can’t work a 40-hour week. Unlike Amir, Kendra won’t shame people for trying to survive or leave them hanging when they’re counting on her.

Maya Montrell - Chicago scriptwriter - Onion Features contributor - Counting on Kendra

Maya Montrell – Writer/Creator

Maya Montrell is a Chicago-based writer and improviser. This Southern Belle with a not-so-secret passion for floral arrangements once dreamed of a career in public health. Now she’s following her heart by pursuing the creative arts.

Maya is currently studying Anthropology and Linguistics. In 2019 she was a part of The Onion’s Diverse As F*ck writing workshop. This year she created and produced the five-week improvised medical drama, ‘Code Grey’ at The Annoyance Theater.

Her creative work centers around uncovering personal biases. She’s interested in exploring the intersection between linguistics and medicine. 

When Maya is not in class, she’s at the yoga studio or on Twitter impersonating Angela Bassett’s missing Oscar. She is equal parts carefree, careless, and careful.

If you enjoyed our original half-hour comedy pilot, ‘Counting on Kendra,’ email us at HeyOnicia[at]OniciaMuller.com with feedback, collaboration requests, and icecream donations.

Lead Photo by Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash