Staying on top of the competition is a daily challenge for every entrepreneur. For a flamboyant and outspoken cosmetics designer, that struggle is only the start of a hilarious new set of circumstances in season 2 of GAZELLE. The acclaimed series’ second season premiered its first of 8 new episodes on June 18th, with each being released weekly on GAZELLE’s web site and YouTube channel (see additional links below). The show’s season premiere can be viewed at the embedded link below.
Created and written by Peter Hignett, and starring Beth Mayoh in the memorable title role of Gazelle la France, GAZELLE’s second season features new characters, new comedy, and a new sense of dramatic depth to its storytelling. Fresh from last season’s high profile rollout of her latest makeup line, Gazelle faces a fierce new rival as designer Kandice Krane (Debra Leigh-Taylor) threatens her dominance with high-end cosmetics of her own.
While trying to fight off Krane’s threat, Gazelle recruits personal assistant Gary Crisps (Thomas Ian-Grime) to help her with the day to day tasks of running her beauty products empire. Helping to represent the high maintenance maven is Gazelle’s agent Ron Fiddle (played by famed British comic Jim Davidson). Still, one question remains unanswered: what happened to Gazelle’s stepdaughter/investigative reporter Samantha (Dana Smit)?
Just like its first 3 episodes, GAZELLE’s signature humor and characters remain the heart of the series. However, as Hignett explains, that’s not all that viewers can anticipate when they check out its subsequent installments.
“The writing, the characters and the comedy, is much tighter this time around,” he says. “Vol. 2 (of GAZELLE) looks a lot more polished. The story is a lot bigger than last time. We have a lot of laughs, but we also have more drama, especially towards the end of the season.”
Production of GAZELLE’s second season was far more extensive than its first, but it wouldn’t begin without some much needed coffers. “We knew that to make the show bigger, better and longer, we’d have to source some sort of budget,” recalls Hignett, who credits its successful crowd funding initiative with making new episodes possible.
“We managed to shoot the first season on a few hundred pounds, but this time it took several thousand. We launched our Kickstarter project back in February and managed to achieve our target with four days to spare, which we were thrilled with! We managed to raise just over £2,000.”
For Hignett, doing a greater amount of episodes provided him with a chance to grow the characters he introduced in its initial season. The show’s eponymous protagonist is evidence of that evolution. “Gazelle herself is much more layered. She’s not just shouting all the time,” he says. “Dare I say, there may even be moments where you feel sorry for her!”
As a result of GAZELLE’s 12 day filming period, Hignett would gain an important addition to his cast; one that would prove to be an equally memorable part of the show’s wacky cast of characters. “…We managed to get British comedian Jim Davidson on board. He plays Gazelle’s agent, Ron Fiddle. That character was originally written to be voiceover only (he’d ring up Gazelle from time to time), but once we had Jim on board, we just had to have the character on screen.”
A longtime fan of the classic Britcom ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS, Hignett continues to lure fans of that series and others to GAZELLE through various means.
“We’re aiming to attract anyone who likes absurdist, camp comedy! We do have bonus/additional content, but that won’t be ready for a few weeks yet,” he adds. “We have a Twitter and Facebook page, as well as our YouTube page. We’re trying to grow our audience by having much more content this year, compared to last.”
On the hit reality competition series PROJECT RUNWAY, legendary supermodel Heidi Klum always warned contestants that in the world of fashion, “one day you’re in…and the next day, you’re out.” That quote could also be applied to Gazelle la France, and season 2 of GAZELLE examines the astonishing heights – and devastating depths – that she reaches in her ongoing efforts to dominate the business world.
“We focus on ‘celebrity’ a lot in the show. This idea that so many people have; that becoming famous, whether you’re talented or not, seems to be the ultimate goal,” Hignett says. “It’s not about being happy or content, but (about) yearning to be in the spotlight, more than anything else.“
In a world where reality TV has redefined the meaning of fame itself, GAZELLE looks at how quickly notoriety can disappear – and how far one woman will go to recapture it. “We also focus on what can happen when your grasp on fame starts to waver. I suppose we want to ask the question, ’is that all there is to fame?’ Or, of course, the takeaway message could be: don’t mess with a mad woman who’s pretending to be French.”
(NOTE: Hignett says that season 2 of GAZELLE will be closed-captioned.)
ON THE WEB: www.gazelleseries.com