Mama drama: Park Slope mom creates dark TV comedy about her own kind

Mama drama: Park Slope mom creates dark TV comedy about her own kind
Photo by Jordan Rathkopf

Even television shows are locally sourced in Park Slope!

A Slope mom is collecting cash from neighbors to bring a comedic series she penned about life in the stroller capital of Brooklyn — and the parental utopia’s dark side — to the small screen.

“Park Slope is very interesting in that everything looks pretty and is politically correct on the surface, but then you scratch that a little bit and find it’s not quite what you thought,” said Alexandra Foucard, who has lived in the neighborhood since 2002. “The show explores the area’s underbelly, and that’s where the comedy comes from.”

Foucard’s “Park Slope Moms” focuses on the exploits of made-up matriarchs who serve on the parent-teacher association of PS 519 — a fictional elementary school — and the mothers’ struggle for power within the cutthroat organization.

The association’s leader is ferocious lawyer turned stay-at-home mom Carlotta Fuller-Fowler, a character whose tyrannical reign as president leads lesser members down a Machiavellian path to reclaim their once stress-free bake sales, according to the show’s creator, an actress whose resume includes roles in theater, film, and television.

“She runs the PTA like she used to run her law office, and the women are so tired of it, they try to do her in — literally” said Foucard, who will play Fuller-Fowler in the series.

The maniacal president helms the group comprised of other characters including pill-popping wino Paula Osterberg; association underling Angela Polo, who lives outside of Park Slope but offers to assist Fuller-Fowler in the hope that her hard work will help her to relocate to the coveted enclave; and inveterate schemer Nina Stanfield, who claims to be a government spy and relentlessly plots the mom-in-chief’s downfall.

And although the learning house and its mothers are figments of Foucard’s imagination, powerful Park Slope parent-teacher associations are anything but, according to public-policy watchdog the Center for American Progress, which last year released a report naming the association at Seventh Avenue’s PS 321 as one of the country’s 50 richest after it netted more than $1 million in revenue in the 2013–14 school year.

The moms’ passive-aggressive infighting will constitute the dark comedy’s major plot line, but the show will also skewer plenty of other Park Slope clichés — including French-language knitting classes, trips down the aisles of the local Food Co-op, and lots of hot yoga, Foucard said.

“Each character has her preferences, but all the characters are constantly in yoga pants,” she said. “That’s what Park Slope moms wear. I’m literally in a pair right now.”

Foucard’s writing is what attracted the show’s director to the project, according to the woman who signed on to sit behind the camera, who praised the dark script as “wickedly funny.”

“I’d never seen mothers written like that,” said Annetta Marion, who has directed programs for the Oprah Winfrey Network as well as for ESPN and MTV.

And Park Slope itself will feature as a full-fledged character in the homegrown series, the director said, requiring her to bring the neighborhood to life through on-location shoots — which will of course include numerous tricked-out strollers.

“When I think of Park Slope, I think of those really fancy baby strollers that are like cars,” said Marion, who lives on the distant isle of Manhattan, but once dated a Sloper.

Locals who can’t wait for “Park Slope Moms” to debut can watch Foucard, Marion, and the rest of its creative minds conduct a table reading during an April 9 fund-raiser the crew is hosting to collect money for production costs, where prizes including a weekend getaway to Cape Cod will also be doled out.

And if all goes according to plan, the director hopes to start filming later this year, she said.

Help fund locally sourced television at Brooklyn Burgers and Beer [259 Fifth Ave. between Garfield Place and First Street in Park Slope, (718) 788-1458, www.brooklynburgersandbeer.com] on April 9 at 7 pm.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixs[email protected]glocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.