Hey all!! I am part of fabulous Rachel’s team for the blog tour for Production Values by Liv Bartlet
One of Monkey & Me’s new TV ventures has hit the skids. The other, Void, is premiering with great expectations, while tension grows between Kat and Bea.
Void premiered on a Saturday in a grand Hollywood premiere event at Le Chateau in Hollywood Hills. The Getty Center shone down on them with white marble, heaven above the hell of America’s busiest freeway. Getting here had been a nightmare. Almost two hours to make the twenty-mile journey from apartment to venue.
Bea and Josh had opted for full French fashion to highlight the roles of Dom and Claudette, including French cuisine and wait staff in tails. Bea worried over every detail, including her own look—a 1950s couture French cocktail dress in black and white with a ragged hemline, and black stilettos with a three-inch heel. Her red hair fell in long waves disrupted only by a single small, French braid that extended from ear to ear. Droopy bangs brushed her cheekbone below her right eye. Soft makeup. Pink lips. Head-to-toe Parisian chic.
At the entrance, Kat approached the venue at a near-run, dragging Philip—that handsome teddy bear—behind her. She was Hollywood now, with jagged-edged, layered hair colored a variety of lowlights and highlights. Her daringly-cut gossamer dress twinkled as though covered in the entire cosmos.
She was starry-eyed and sparkly—and, Bea hoped, a little happy. Gah, they could use some happy after the catastrophe of last Friday.
K-town died at upfronts. The toxic social media blitz brought too much culture war to a show about patriotism and youthful enthusiasm. Enough people wouldn’t let the argument die that mainstream advertisers said No, thanks. The network retooled the series as a one-and-done summer limited event, devastating Kat.
Maybe Bea had gone wrong, pushed too hard for concession. Maybe she’d failed Kat.
No, not maybe. Probably.
Philip paused at the railing with Kat. It was a funny thing about Kat, that for her all her feminist bents and rantings, something in her leaned toward the idea of being someone’s woman. Philip tugged on her waist, then he wrapped his arms around her from behind and whispered in her ear until a wide smile broke across Kat’s face. She turned and gave Philip a lingering, love-filled kiss that ended on a laugh.
Philip had gifts no man had possessed where Kat was concerned. He calmed her, centered her, found a way inside when all Kat wanted to do was push away. He was the first boyfriend Bea couldn’t find a thing wrong with—well, except for the full-throttle midnight sex, but that wasn’t new with Kat. The pleasant change was that Bea didn’t resent trying to engage in breakfast small talk with whatever Tarzanian yeller Kat entertained.
Bea wandered over to the railing, careful not to disrupt their moment. She waved at Josh, who stood below to greet arrivals. He mouthed, Save me. Bea shook her head no, and then smiled when Josh flashed a grimace-grin and turned back to the crowd.
Kat took notice of her as she grabbed a glass of champagne from a circulating tray. “Pressure’s on, Bea. We need a Monkey & Me success.”
There was a hint of bite to Kat’s words. Or maybe Bea expected there to be one. She opted for the high road—small talk until Josh joined them at the railing.
“What are you doing up here?” Josh chided, trying to pry Bea from her comfortable perch. “Come and meet your first flock of adoring fans.”
“Don’t be overconfident, Josh. You recut the pilot last night and we haven’t tested it beyond a small focus group. Flat could be where it’s at.”
“Everyone knows Josh does his best work in the crunch,” Kat fawned, perhaps trying to get back in his good graces despite yesterday’s insistence that she’d never go to Vancouver. Best thing in the world would be Kat’s renewed fervor for Void.
Josh wormed between Kat and Bea. “Have you met the cast yet? Want an introduction before everything gets crazy?”
Kat beamed at Josh and slid a hand along his elbow. “Yes, of course. I have sneaked some peaks at the recent dailies, you know, despite Bea hoarding them like nuts for the winter.”
Bea let the burn sting. She was still the official villain of K-Town’s demise.
Philip offered his arm and Bea took it. He half-smiled at her and then let Kat take an extra step ahead. “Should I apologize for that?”
A prince. A true prince. Kat should propose to this man and be wed in a fortnight. “For that? No. I’ve taken a lot worse. She’ll forgive me eventually.”
“She will. I’ve heard all the best-friends-forever London shenanigans at least three times over. You’re like sisters and all sisters fight.”
“Maybe. I’ve never had a sister. And she deserves to feel a little upset over K-Town. She wanted that show; it had become very personal.”
“She’s one of those creators who make everything personal. K-Town had gone too far to be truly fixed. You can’t sell a network a shoe and then give them a handbag. There’s too much money at risk.”
This was more than Philip had ever admitted, and the admission had terrible timing. Kat and Josh had paused to talk to a TV critic, and Bea and Philip nearly tripped over the pair on Philip’s last sentence
“Mornings like this I can understand the appeal of killer high heels. How they click with command down the sidewalk: Get out of my way, I’m in charge and I’ve got the footwear to prove it.”
At the age of 28, Kat Porter has become the it-girl of British TV Production. Gut, gumption, and artistry have carried her through a dozen impossible scenarios to arrive at her first run as Executive Producer, and now all three muses point to Ian Graham’s star power as the key to Los Angeles and golden statues.
But disaster looms as Ian twists Kat into a chameleon fit for success. Ian’s young daughter is thrown into the spotlight and Kat must face the consequences of her neverending quest for acclaim.
Production Values takes a biting but fun look at Hollywood—from the way we interpret female ambition to the influence of the paparazzi on how TV shows and stars fail or succeed.
Author Bio –
Liv Bartlet is the pseudonym for writing partners Becca McCulloch and Sarah McKnight, who have been building worlds and telling stories together for more than a decade. They’ve logged hours of behind-the-scenes movie and TV footage and challenged each other in a friendly Oscar guessing game every year this millennium. Lifelong Anglophiles, their Monkey & Me world sprang to vivid life on a trip to London that included divine pastries, sublime art, and a spectacular pratfall in the British Museum.
Becca is a professor, a scientist, and a secret romantic who insisted their first order of business in London was a meandering five-mile walk to see Big Ben. She lives with her husband, children, and an ever-expanding roster of pets in Logan, Utah.
Sarah is an Army brat, an Excel geek, and has a lot of opinions on the differences between science fiction and fantasy. She lives with her cat, Sir Jack—who is featured prominently on Liv’s Instagram —just outside Salt Lake City.
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