The only thing worse than being a white, heterosexual cis-male is not being able to enjoy it.
Equal parts buddy comedy and cunning social satire, Evolved is a show about two brothers trying to be progressive, but their overwhelming social privilege thwarts them at every turn.
Evolved slyly asks: can white, heterosexual, middle-class, cis men really have it all?
The script was a finalist in the 2016 Sundance Episodics Labs.
The pilot episode explores the show’s central question — what does it mean to be ‘evolved’?— along professional and romantic lines, as both brothers push the limits of their own progressivism.
Nate wants a promotion at work but an equally-qualified black single mother, Phoebe, is also up for the position. When he realizes his office is riddled with subtle unconscious bias as well as flagrant misogyny, Nate must choose between getting ahead and sticking to his principles.
Meanwhile, younger brother Ben wants to be the kind of man his girlfriend Rachel wants to be with. But when she asks for a rumspringa (a temporary sexual walkabout), Ben sets out on a heroic journey to have a meaningless one-night stand.
At the end of watching Return of the Jedi with Aiden, Nate worries that princess Leia was objectified — did he just teach his toddler the male gaze? Shit.
Driving around in his Fiat convertible, Ben blasts Beyoncé’s ‘Formation’ but when he stops at a red light, he quickly changes it to Bruce Springsteen's 'Born to Run'. Gotta love The Boss.
Rachel would camp out at Burning Man just to have the experience. But secretly she would think the music was garbage and the sculptures were crap.
Phoebe adopted her daughter and is raising her by her own damn self. She figures if Shonda Rhimes can do it, so can she.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!
The first season explores what that term means — ‘evolved’— for each of the characters.
After he and his wife ‘consciously un-couple’ (Gwyneth + Chris Martin style), Nate moves back to Austin. Over the first season, we watch him acclimate to his new setting (the suburbs of Austin), social milieu (as a new bachelor and first-time single-parent) and office culture (a den of hyper-masculine ex-college football players turned advertising execs). At work, Nate tries to secure the corner office while advocating for gender neutral bathrooms.
Ben’s new role as uncle/ nanny/ surrogate-parent creates turbulence in his relationship with the militantly free-spirited Rachel. Oscillating between two worlds, Ben drives straight from shopping for Aiden’s ultra soft wet-wipes (Target) to buying Rachel’s endurance butterfly nipple clamps (Q Toys).
Using both slapstick and satire, Evolved lovingly chides every character who variously reinforces and/ or tries to deconstruct the organizing principles of social life.
In short, we’re all implicated. Hold onto your butts.
CAST + CREW
(Director, Producer) is a filmmaker, writer, editor and activist who completed her BFA in film at Miami International University of Art and Design and her MA in Women's Studies at Florida Atlantic University. She's created shorts, features, podcasts, fantastic whiskey drinks and a book. Check out her dope-ass documentary Fattitude (coming soon!).
(Writer, Director, Producer) is a Canadian-born TV and sketch comedy writer in New York City. After completing a BA at McGill University and her MA at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Danielle promptly turned to the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB NY) for her post-post graduate work. Evolved is her second original pilot. The script was a quarter finalist in Slamdance 2016 and a finalist for the 2016 Sundance Episodics Labs.
(Nate Reynolds) Michael performs regularly at UCB NY. He is the founder of The Ally Program, a diversity initiative that identifies talented and motivated UCB students and offers them mentors and free workshops. He co-wrote and starred in Good Dads, which screened at NYTVF.
(Rachel Sevigny) MK’s background is musical theater. She toured with WICKED, where she played the little role, Elphaba. She also played the axe-wielding murderess, Lizzie, in Portland Center Stage's LIZZIE the musical.
(Director of Photography) Kieran John Delaney is a cinematographer and graphic artist. His work includes ‘A Day’s Work’ (2015), a documentary investigating the temporary staffing industry, and ‘In What Distant Sky’ (2016) a single-channel video currently on exhibit at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.
Have a message for Danielle? She can't wait to read it.