Pictured (from left): Samantha and Laura Leigh Abby | Bravo
The Internet is one of the last bastions of nearly unhindered, sometimes troublesome free speech. While some use it to get away with ignoring political correctness, there’s a wave of people using it express themselves in a positive way, and appeal to smaller audiences. Samantha Abby is one of those people and with The Curious Cook, a popular web series on her résumé, is ready to keep the momentum going. Now she and her wife, Laura Leigh Abby, sorority sweethearts who met while at Emerson College, are preparing to share their romantic lives with the world when they're featured on the second season of Bravo's Newlyweds: The First Year (premiering March 10). We caught up with Samantha to find out what motivates her creative side and what prompted them to reveal their intimate side for a year in front of the cameras.
What’s the story behind your production company, Penny Lane Pictures?
It’s really a hodgepodge of different kinds of content. Most of my relationships that I’ve built over the last two and a half years is people in and around New York City coming to me with ideas from reality shows to web series. Right now, my wife and I are in Tennessee working on a pilot based on the articles she’s had published in the past two years. The entire company I about putting out content we believe in.
Where did the idea for The Curious Cook come from and where is it headed?
My wife and our two best friends were cooking one night, crammed into a small kitchen, and I was thinking about how we were all lesbians who work in different fields and we love to cook and share our stories. Then I thought it’d be really fun to have a gay cooking show where prominent gay people come on with a chef and cook their favorite meals. You can be lawyers, radio hosts, NBC weathermen, and still be gay and cook with your friends. Now, NYC Media, a public television station, has picked it up. It’s a much bigger budget and a different format, so you need longer segments and more compelling guests to grasp the audience.
Why the focus on web series? Why's it different from television and film?
I don’t play well with rules. That’s my favorite thing about creating and producing for the web — anything goes. In TV and film, there are so many fine lines to follow. I love that you can say something that really means something and get that across in such few words. You can really define your audience on the web.
No one still really knows how the web works, and I love catering to niche audiences and the challenge of figuring it all out.
You’re also featured on Newlyweds: The First Year this month. What was that like?
A friend of mine works in production and let us know they were looking for couples to shoot, so we got in touch with them. The show filmed our first year of marriage — from our wedding to our first anniversary. It was fun living like that. They would come to film us once a month. And we had a great crew.
Newlyweds: The First Year premieres March 10 on Bravo. Watch a sneak peek of the show below: