Bleak, created by Kate McLennan and Kate McCartney, is a comedy web series about rebuilding your life in a home that’s falling apart.

Filmed in Melbourne, Bleak follows the mourning process of the unlucky, heartbroken, and homeless Anna O’Brien, who has been sacked from her job and cheated on by her boyfriend with an acrobat. Anna subsequently crawls back into her parents’ home to lick her wounds and eat free food.

However,  moving back in with her family proves to unveil that she is not the only O’Brien hovering beneath a black cloud.

Series creator Kate McLennan says that her and McCartney’s inspiration came from acknowledging the not-so-nice aspects of their lives. They then joined forces to turn their story of heartbreak, low self-esteem, alcohol and drug abuse, poverty and depression into a web series about heartbreak, low self-esteem, alcohol and drug abuse, poverty and depression. In a humorous way, of course.

The series is blindingly dark and offers up a tone that tiptoes the delicate line between tragedy and humour, touching on themes of betrayal, addiction, unemployment, sexuality and over-sized vaginas.

McLennan says that they don’t want the audience to learn anything from the series — there is no take home message. The only long-lasting response that they’d hope to engender is a thirst, which leads viewers to cracking open a bottle of domestic sparkling.



How do you finance your series?  

The series was funded through a Pozible campaign, along with the generous in-kind support of our friends and family, and a cast and crew who invested their skills, equipment and time.


Is it an ongoing project? If so, can you give us some clues about what comes next? 

In 2011 we were lucky enough to receive the Kit Denton Disfellowship, which allowed us to develop the concept into an 8-part television narrative comedy. Since the web series went online there has been interest from a broadcaster about developing the show further, which we’re obviously excited about. If this doesn’t work out we’ll definitely look at the potential of expanding the series for the net.


Why make a web series?

Initially we wanted to make a web series because we thought that no-one else would want to make Bleak into a TV series. But really, it was because we wanted creative control and to take risks, two factors that don’t seem to be part of the model when developing content for television.

We definitely wanted to series to appeal and be seen by an international audience, which is obviously a huge drawcard with web based content. It’s so validating and overwhelming to receive feedback from people all around the world who have connected with the show.


Trivia: please tell us a quirky and/or interesting fact about yourself or team that’s unrelated to your web series.

If you like cats you should follow Kate McCartney on Instagram. She has a cat called Henry Beans who is threatening to take over the world with her constantly evolving media profile.

Bleak on the web:




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