There's an adorable new Web series that dog people (you know who you are) will love: "Fetching" launched today (watch the entire series here), conveniently coinciding with International Take Your Dog to Work Day.
From AOL and Michael Eisner's Vuguru, the series follows Liza (Colette Wolfe), a former lawyer who ditches her job and her fiance to start a new life for herself and her rescue pup Oscar as the owner of a doggy daycare and boutique called Fetching.
The series was written by "Sex and the City" scribe Amy Harris -- who's also in charge of The CW's new "SatC" prequel series "The Carrie Diaries" -- and the topic of four-legged friends is very near and dear to her heart.
I spoke with Harris about the series, working with dogs and her target audience, which just so happens to be me. (Proof: I conducted this interview while my dog Otis was sitting on my lap at work.) She also dished about whether or not we can expect to see cameos from the original Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda in her new series.
How did this series come about?
Well I'm obsessed with my dog. I'd never had a dog growing up, and my parents were stunned when I got a dog, like, "We don't do dogs. This is very disturbing." And I was very nervous. I wanted this to work out; I wanted to build a life for myself where a dog fits into it, which means either he comes to the office with me, or I get home in time to be with him. As I was falling in love with him, I realized that this is one of the most intense, beautiful relationships I've ever had -- I know that sounds goofy, but I realized there are so many things about dogs that represent who we are in relationships of all shapes and sizes. Sometimes I felt like my dog was my boyfriend, sometimes he was like my baby and sometimes he was just an awesome companion. Then I realized I bet a lot of people feel the same way.
If you live in a city like New York or L.A., you often end up with a doggy daycare situation, and I realized people who are attracted to work in an environment like that with dogs are people who are very special, often eccentric, always lovable and interesting because they love animals. So I realized that was an environment I wanted to tell stories in. And they know things -- my dog walker knows more about me than probably most of my friends, and when I was breastfeeding saw way more of me than pretty much anyone but my husband. [Laughs.]
There's a cute scene in the first episode where the dog walker comes back from a client's house and says, "I think he got lucky last night because there was poop all over the floor." They totally know.
Exactly! I wanted to tell those stories about people who are sort of intimately involved in people's lives through their animals.
Is your dog actually in the show?
He has a little small cameo in it. He's the dog in the party scene being massaged and then wheeled by in a little doggy baby carriage.
We got really lucky in that we ended up, mostly, with people who love dogs. Colette has a dog and Elaine Hendrix is very involved in the ASPCA and rescue/no-kill shelters. It was really a labor of love for so many people who really love dogs. You know, everyone says children and dogs are sort of a nightmare to film with -- which is, to some degree, true -- but what is amazing is the magic that sometimes comes from a look a dog gives or a moment when they do something surprising. And it was super fun to have dogs around between scenes, too ... and once again I got to have my dog at work because he was an extra. My husband was the director of the series, so between shots we'd go walk our Oscar -- yes, we named the lead dog after our dog. We would've made our dog the lead on the show, but he's not well trained enough. [Laughs]
Besides being well trained, were there any specific criteria you were looking for when casting Oscar?
We only felt it was important that the dog that's the lead be a rescue dog. I felt it was important to talk about how cute dogs are from the rescue world.
That made me happy. It's worth noting that you've got quite a lot going on these days. We just posted our snap judgments of The CW pilots, including "The Carrie Diaries" ...
I saw -- you all were really nice about it! I was thrilled. It's been an interesting thing because I'm obviously incredibly proud of it, but I know a lot of people have a lot of different opinions since it's based on a beloved franchise. The fact that people seem to be responding so well -- beyond that it's a project that I'm very passionate about, that I feel like I protected the thing I worked on before -- is very exciting for me.
But we have to wait until midseason! Are you all happy to have the extra time to get it up and running?
We're thrilled. It's really giving us the time to do it right. We're actually going to craft the first season the way we would've crafted an HBO season of "Sex and the City," so I'm thrilled. I know for people who are excited to see it, it's disappointing, but we're very excited.
I feel like you can't do anything "Sex and the City"-related without Kim Catrall saying what kind of part she'd like to play in it ...
[Laughs.] Totally! Those are four women who really love the show and appreciate all the things that came with it. I couldn't be happier that I was part of something that actors still feel proud to have been a part of.
Has there been any talk of trying to give them little cameos, as a wink and a nod to the audience?
We haven't discussed that as of yet. I don't know ... I'm not sure ... it really never entered my mind because it feels like it would break the fourth wall. But who knows -- maybe!
"Fetching" is playing now on AOL On; "The Carrie Diaries" premieres midseason 2013 on The CW.