The first time I attended Austin TV Festival was a few years ago when I used to still live in Austin. I loved being surrounded by fellow TV geeks like myself.
I met people who were hardcore Gilmore Girls fans; I got to see the reunion of the Ugly Betty cast and interview a few actors like Eric Mabius; I learned about a new Freeform show that was premiering (Guilt) that year. That’s just a few of many things I loved about the festival.
I knew I had to go back this year! With a great lineup of TV industry panelists and old and new series screening, I didn’t want to miss out on the fun. Luckily, the ATX TV Festival team granted me a press badge for this coverage. The annual 4-day festival took place June 6-9 in downtown Austin. I was only able to attend for June 8-9, so my recap encompasses those days.
Saturday June 8
So my love for Archer didn’t actually start to blossom until a few weeks before this festival. A while ago, I watched the first season of Archer. Wasn’t a huge fan. But then I realized the crew and H. Jon Benjamin were attending this festival and with my boyfriend being a huge fan of the series, I decided to give it another go. And I’m so glad I did! I binged seasons 2-5. Although I was not caught up and I was going to be exposed to spoilers, I didn’t care. The screening and panel was an excellent start for my Saturday. I learned a lot that went on behind the scenes.
Let’s Talk About Sex (Scenes)
This panel was PACKED. These ladies talked about navigating sex scenes from a writer’s POV, a showrunner’s POV, an actress’s POV, and an intimacy coordinator’s POV. What’s an intimacy coordinator? Read my recap and find out more!
Breaking the Stigma: Mental Health
I wasn’t able to get a fast pass for this panel so the line for it got pretty long. Mental health is important and the way it is depicted on television matters. Stephen Falk of You’re the Worst, Meredith Averill of The Haunting of Hill House, Arielle Kebel of Midnight, Texas, and Mike Royce of One Day At A Time came together for this panel. They talked about their shows depicted mental health. For Arielle Kebel, she spoke about dealing with her own mental health problems and how her character on an upcoming show deals with mental health.
Lauren Ash from Superstore
I got to interview Lauren Ash, who plays Dina from NBC’s comedy Superstore. Although the press room was tiny and cramped, I was able to speak with Lauren for about 15 minutes about her time on Superstore, what she loved the most about her character Dina, and her role as Scorpia on Netflix’s She-ra and the Princesses of Power.
Sunday June 9
The Good Place: The Podcast
I actually didn’t start watching The Good Place until after it was available on Netflix or Hulu. The Good Place stars lead actress Kristen Bell and I knew I wanted to give it a chance, and I’m glad I did. I watched the third season as the episodes became available on Hulu and I knew I didn’t want to miss out on this podcast recording panel. Marc Evan Jackson plays Shawn, a demon from The Bad Place, and D’arcy Carden plays the android Janet. Both actors shine their brightest on this show. I had not heard of the podcast until coming to this year’s festival. I can’t recap the entire podcast recording but it was fantastic. Please give The Good Place: The Podcast a tune in!
The Female Gaze
Saracho and Blake were at the “Let’s Talk Sex (Scenes)” panel on Saturday and I wanted to check out another panel focused on women in the industry. “The Female Gaze” panel was not a disappointment. Though by the time this panel took place, I was tired AF. I loved getting to hear from Jenny Bicks and Kim Raver. All the panelists really shed light on how women in the TV and film industry needed more opportunities. The situation is getting better but still has a ways to go.
Featured image credit: ChinLin Pan/Geek Gals