The greatest casualty of the writers’ strike of 2007-2008 was IFC Channel’s The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman.
What’s that you say? You’ve never heard of it? We’re not surprised. This was before IFC became a cool kids channel, which is a shame because the Laura Kightlinger-David Punch pitch-black comedy deserved a massive audience. (Kightlinger and Punch’s 10-minute web pilot, Drunk and Disorderly, is reminiscent of Minor Accomplishments but less polished.)
In a nutshell, Jackie (Kightlinger) is a struggling screenwriter who can’t drive in L.A., who’d rather get drunk and high with her lowly studio exec friend Tara (Nicholle Tom) than advance her career. She has a shitty job writing for one of those trendy publications staffed by a waif and a screaming queen; her screenplay idea is stolen by a comic book geek who gets her hired to work with him by telling the studio Jackie has breast cancer; she and Tara pretend to be lesbians for the discounts and job opportunities it affords them; and she takes a new medication that turns her into, as the episode’s title puts it, a “Republicunt.”
The first season is on DVD, and it’s pretty solid. Kightlinger’s deadpan, hoarse delivery sells even the weakest lines, and the list of guest stars is delicious. Sally Kellerman guests in the pilot as an insane, cult-member version of herself (“Please,” she tells Jackie, “call me Sally Kellerman”); Mary Kay Place plays Jackie’s mother. But it’s the unavailable second season when the show really found its bizarre groove. From the psychopath living in Jackie’s building to Tara trying to make it work with a hunky rich man with premature ejaculation problems (one of the funniest scenes in all of TV), everything clicked. Two episodes are available to watch here; otherwise, we highly recommend jumping on the first season DVD. If you enjoy this portal into our minds at all, you will not be disappointed.
Some choice lines?
“There’s no ring on this cock.”
“Do you ever feel like the teeth in your head aren’t your own?”
“You know how I had an agent for all of five minutes before I fucked it up by being myself?”
Tara: How was his penis?
Jackie: In retrospect, a little too big. You know how sometimes you want to save half for later? Like a sub?
Kip: “The taste that you grew up with?” This tastes nothing like my father’s cock!
Jackie: Yes it does.