Ruby Skye PI Season 2 Premieres Wednesday

Tweens solve mysteries with edutainment and a charitable twist

Ruby Skye PI Season 2 Premieres Wednesday

Ruby Skye PI is an online-only show for tweens and teens where the titular character has to solve a mystery that spreads out over the course of the entire season with the help of her younger sister and some surprising clues/characters. I had a chance to chat with the show's writer-producer, Jill Golick about the show's second season, what makes Ruby so special and their special connection to the I'm Just a Girl campaign for season two. 


I’d love to hear a little bit about the back story of Ruby Skye PI – The show is going into its second season, how did the first season come about?
I’ve always loved tech and the web. I have been playing around with experimental storytelling using social media since 2007. I love the challenge of figuring out how to use this new medium to tell stories. I have been a television writer for more than 30 years and have written lots of children’s television and lots of mystery. My writing partner Julie Cohn and I had developed a story about female teen detective and a mystery involving an email scam. In 2010, when the Independent Production Fund had their first call to support the creation of web series, I decided to submit that idea. In June of that year, we got the word that the IPF would support Ruby Skye P.I.: The Spam Scam and the adventure began. We went to camera in August and had the show on line in October. We were so thrilled with the experience, we decided to do it again. Ruby Skye P.I.: The Haunted Library launches October 10 with new episodes
Wednesdays for nine weeks.
What are some of the goals when creating a season of Ruby Skye PI?
Our number one job is to tell a great and entertaining story. I wanted to recreate the kind of story experience I had as a kid reading novels – the ones where you get to the end of the chapter and you need to read another chapter immediately. So we were trying to make the video version of a page-turner. We want our characters to look like real kids. We know kids are bombarded with media images of people with perfect hair and perfect bodies. We want try to give our audience a mirror so that they can see themselves in the characters.
Ruby is a very strong female character – was it always set that your lead would be a smart, strong girl?
Yes. For much of my career as a children’s television writer we heard the conventional wisdom “girls will watch boys shows but boys won’t watch girls shows.” I always found that a frustrating environment to work in. I think we in the media do a huge disservice to our daughters. We feed them a steady diet of shallow and stereotypical images and characterizations of women and girls. Not everything, but a lot of it. I love female characters who are daring and driven by something entirely internal, like Ruby’s crazy
Tell me a bit about how you got connected with the Because I’m a Girl campaign.
One of our big goals with Ruby Skye P.I. is to introduce kids to organizations that are working for the greater good – environmental, pro-social and kid-focused causes. We want to show kids simple things they can do to make the world a better place. I personally am a big fan of the work Plan is doing with Because I Am A Girl. I’m so inspired by their campaign to “unleash the power of girls”.
In addition to the storyline involving Because I Am A Girl, we have a real life fundraising campaign going on. You can make a donation to our campaign right here, through Hailey’s Tumblr or directly on our fundraising page.
Why do you think it’s important to connect with tween and teen girls and do you think you’re filling a gap for this type of female lead?
It’s a great age. Difficult to live through, because everything is incredibly important when you’re a teenager. But that’s what makes this age group’s stories so compelling. It’s also a formative period, a lot of ideas about who you are and who you can be are formed in these years. Having stories and characters in your life who show you a wide range of human possibilities allows kids a safe way to imagine different futures for themselves.
What’s it like working with all these talented kids?
Delightful! They are full of energy and optimism. The younger members of our cast – Madison Cheeatow (Ruby), Marlee Maslove (Hailey), Elena Gorgevska (Diana), and Scott Beaudin (Edmund) – are all extremely professional. In our first season, we took a little extra time to shoot things and added lots of rehearsal into the schedule. This season we found we didn’t need it. We shot The Haunted Library at night – from 5 pm to 6 am. I have to say the younger cast members handled the all night shoots better than a lot of the adults!
Ruby Skye has won numerous awards for web-series; any plans to take this show to television?
We would love to bring the series to television. I think some of the interactive elements we’ve included in The Haunted Library would work extremely well with TV’s trend toward “second screen” experiences. The television offerings for this age group over the last few years have been mostly animation and sitcom, but maybe the time has returned for family oriented mystery. We’d love to find a broadcasting partner who is ready to try something a little different.
Where can we check out Ruby Skye PI?
You can find Ruby Skye P.I. on YouTube and wherever fine video is shared. For the best experience, watch it on our website RubySkyePI.com. The first mystery, The Spam Scam, is online in its entirety. Our second season, The Haunted Library, premieres October 10th with a new episode every Wednesday
until December 5th.
I'm a big fan of the idea that someone's actually thinking about tween girls and their appearance in the media - and that the show, while focused on a female lead isn't only for girls. And the Because I'm a Girl campaign is something that is helping young girls the world over in many different ways. 
Spill it! Have you watched Ruby Skye PI with your kids? Will you start?

Two Confusing Relationships

Musicians! What are they thinking?

Two Confusing Relationships

Two little tidbits came across my desk this week and they're both weird to me for different reasons. 

The first one, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. Kimye. Something about this coupling is amazing. I love these two basket cases together. Especially after Kanye's Amber Rose years ("Imma let you finish..."), I think Kim is the perfect partner for Yeezy. 

This week, Kanye deleted ALL his tweets (his tweets are epic) and left us with this:


That's it. One tweet. I saw it the other day in my feed and I thought, "Where the hell is he going?" Well, he's following Kim. On Twitter. 

Only Kim. 

He unfollowed everyone and only follows his lady love. Whom he dresses. He picks out her outfits, she bought him a million dollar car. This match is made in crazy-celebrity-reality-show-heaven. I think I love them. 

On the other side of the coin, something I am finding reprehensible: Rihanna and Chris Brown are back together. They claim they are "just friends" but have been caught kissing and went on a date to a Jay-Z concert (Jay will NOT be happy about this—Ri is his protege and he HATES CB for that infamous fight) a few nights ago. While Chris' girlfriend, Karruche Tran sat at home. When news broke of their date on the blogs, Karruche tweeted, "Bye baby" and a few hours later, Chris tweeted something about everyone being "free."

I understand that people make mistakes and that they can change, but I'm worried about Ri's decision and what it says to her young fans. He may be very sorry, and maybe he's changed, but I'd be hard pressed to explain to my 12-year-old daughter (the hypothetical one here) why she shouldn't' stay with an abusive partner even though her favourite singer appears to have gotten back together with hers. 

I'm shaking my head at this one big time. 

So, spill it! Do you think it's a good idea that Rihanna has gotten back together with Chris Brown? Are Kimye a perfect match?


Who Are You Calling Fat?

Celebs are embracing their bodies more and more.

Who Are You Calling Fat?

Fat is a word that's been thrown around a lot in the last few weeks—especially in relation to two of today's hottest singers.

First, Lady Gaga's weight was called into question as she's put on a bit of weight. At first, she admitted she'd gained some weight and said, "who cares?" (I'm paraphrasing) However, she didn't want to leave it at that and last week, she poured her heart out to us, explaining that she has been bulimic and anorexic since she was 15 years old. Not that she WAS, that she IS.

She took this moment in her history to admit that she has a very debilitating illness. However, she was in Italy last night, celebrating with Donatella Versace.

This doesn't look "fat" to me.


I think Gaga looks PERFECT. If this is fat, then we've got a real problem on our hands. I must say, though, I totally applaud Gaga taking this admission to create her Body Revolution campaign on her website. Her ownership of her body, her health and her beauty, while admitting it's been a hard road for her gives many girls hope. Hope that this doesn't have to be life-consuming.

And then, there's Christina Aguilera. The Dirty singer recently did an interview, and there were a number of quotes attributed to her including her supposedly telling her record label that they are "working with a fat girl" now. This quote supposedly came from Christina saying that when she was younger, she was told that she'd put on too much weight just before her tour with JT (Justified/Stripped Tour) and that she would put a lot of people out of work by being so fat. So she lost the weight. Supposedly. She also supposedly said, "During the promotion of my album Stripped [in 2002], I got tired of being a skinny, white girl. I am Ecuadorian but people felt so safe passing me off as a skinny, blue-eyed white girl."

Well, yesterday, Christina said the quotes were incorrect. She never said it. While it's a shame that she didn't say these body-promoting things, she did say that she is comfortable with who she is (and you just need to watch her new video to see that) and that her new album Lotus is a new beginning for her.

It's interesting (and great) how much these women are fighting back against this bullshit, and I hope it continues. I'm thinking this may be the beginning of the end of the tyranny of trying to pigeon-hole all women into one "ideal." Each and every one of of us is our own personal ideal. And having celebrity role models like these prove that to our sons and daughters every day.

So, spill it! Are we in a new age of female body acceptance?