Food & Culture

Catch the Premieres of These Seattle Screenwriters

Two Seattle writers' works are coming to a screen near you

By Gavin Borchert March 6, 2019

SHRILL - Episode 4 - Annie & Fran attend the Fat Babe Pool Party. Annie is so empowered by the experience and so furious with her boss, Gabe, that she posts a body positive article to the paper's website that explains exactly what it's like to be a fat woman in today's world. Annie (Aidy Bryant) shown. (Photo by: Allyson Riggs)

This article originally appeared in the March 2019 issue of Seattle Magazine.

This article appears in print in the March 2019 issue. Click here to subscribe.

Seattle-born writer Lindy West’s ascent, in just a decade, from writing for The Stranger to contributing to Jezebel, The New York Times, This American Life, The Guardian and beyond is due to the power of her searing and eviscerating voice as she takes on society’s most contentious topics: abortion, fat-shaming and online bullying, among others. And now that voice has taken her to Hollywood as one of the writers of Shrill, a six-episode Hulu series premiering this month (beginning 3/15) and inspired by West’s 2016 essay collection of the same title. Saturday Night Live’s Aidy Bryant stars on the body-positive-focused comedy a clef, set at a Portland alternative-weekly newspaper. Drawing on West’s own life, Bryant said, her character, Annie, “has a family and friends and a job and love and all these things. I don’t think that has always been the case for fat characters on TV.”

The work of another irrepressible voice, that of Maria Semple, has also been adapted into a screenplay. The Seattle transplant’s 2012 Seattle-based best-selling novel, Where’d You Go, Bernadette, comes to theaters August 9. Its A-list, Richard Linklater–directed cast, including Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup, Kristen Wiig, Judy Greer and Laurence Fishburne, was filmed largely in film-industry-friendly (and Seattle stunt double) Vancouver, British Columbia. But at least one scene was filmed here, at the downtown Seattle Public Library. And for former Los Angelena Semple’s new hometown, a UNESCO City of Literature, that seems as good a cameo as they come.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated from the print edition. 

Join The Must List

Sign up and get Seattle's best events delivered to your inbox every week.

Follow Us

Datebook: Fall Arts Finds

Datebook: Fall Arts Finds

A look at some of the upcoming season’s hottest works

As the long, hot days of summer melt away into cooler temps and earlier evenings, Seattleites are about to make the seasonal shift toward indoor activities. While monthly art walks and occasional museum visits are popular year-round, for those in the know, back-to-school sales also signal the start of Fall Arts: the time of year…

A City by Design

A City by Design

Seattle Design Festival seeks to create equitable, thriving communities

THE LARGEST DESIGN FESTIVAL in the Pacific Northwest is right around the corner, and organizers are asking residents to weigh in on Seattle’s future self. The Seattle Design Festival, which began in 2011, runs from Aug. 19-24. It features interactive cultural events across the city with an overarching theme of “Curiosity.” Festival organizers anticipate that…

Blender Bender

Blender Bender

Seattle's experience research lab tells stories through artwork, installations and architecture

Back in March 2021 — just as the drab Seattle winter started to give way to lighter days and slightly higher temperatures — a storefront niche on the always-thronged corner of Capitol Hill’s Pike and Broadway intersection underwent a transformation. Formerly an easy-to-miss entryway sandwiched between a coffee shop and Neighbours Nightclub, the small, windowed…

Discovering Taylor Swift

Discovering Taylor Swift

A mosh-pit era music fan attends the Taylor Swift concert and finds a culture of kindness in Seattle

The takeover was complete. King County Council named July 18th-25th Taylor Swift Week, “for serving as a positive role model for women and girls,” the proclamation read. She would become the first artist to play Lumen Field two nights in a row. I said to myself: that’s cool, with a shrug. I was not a Taylor…