What happens when diabetes shows up at the worst possible moment? This is the premise of a comedy series written by diabetes advocate and author, Erin Spineto. A Bad Case focuses on four characters (three with T1D) who imagine themselves in impossible situations. For instance, the pilot episode will dramatize this hypothetical scenario: you’re wanted for murder and being chased by the cops, but then you experience a low blood sugar. What happens next?
Spineto told Insulin Nation that the web series is intended to be therapeutic, because finding comedy in a crappy situation (having diabetes) can make it easier to cope with that situation. “You’ve got to keep a sense of humor,” she says. According to the film’s website, “[This] is not some PC, educational crap about fighting stereotypes and bringing a message of hope and happiness to the world.” A Bad Case “is purely for entertainment value and laughs.”
Each episode will nod to or spoof another work of film. For instance, one episode will be a parody of Mean Girls, while another will invoke the popular 1990s television series, Felicity. The creator says Monty Python also heavily informs the entire script.
The six-episode web series will play on platforms like Youtube, Vimeo, itunes, and Amazon. Each episode will range between 5-8 minutes, making it easy for viewers to watch the entire series in one sitting. “This is the new direction for film,” Spineto said of the web series format. She is confident that young viewers will be especially receptive.
The cast will include different diabetes personalities. Of the three characters (one male and two female) with diabetes, there will be a “Type A Type 1,” who is extremely scrupulous. Another will be afraid and overwhelmed, while the third will be relaxed and kind of negligent but still managing well enough. This ensemble suggests that there is more than one approach to diabetes management, and each has advantages and drawbacks.
Spineto hopes to involve members of the diabetes community as actors. “Type 1 actors don’t often get Type 1 roles,” she explains. This series would give them a chance to make diabetes a focal point. She adds that one doesn’t need film experience to audition, as she is more than willing to cast individuals who have a connection to diabetes and who love dark comedy. “Comedy is a collaborative effort,’ she says, “so actors in this series will have the opportunity to ad lib.” This is why first-hand knowledge of diabetes is essential—actors need to understand the nuances and challenges of diabetes to effectively improvise. Another reason why a personal connection to T1D is a must? “Because we are the only people who can really laugh at the stuff we deal with.”
Spineto is accepting self-recorded auditions until February 20, 2018. You can read further instructions on her website. After casting decisions, she’ll bring the team together to film the pilot this spring. Then, she’ll broadly release the pilot episode to gauge reception of the script. If it is well received, production will resume with the goal of releasing the full series in the fall.
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