Another short one (*sigh*). I had a really well-researched entreaty on why they should do a Damage Control series and how it could be executed, and then I found a bunch of articles detailing that they are producing EXACTLY what I was detailing. That’s actually pretty exciting!
Here is the third in the ‘slice-of-life’ stories that I’m offering (the first being Code: Blue, as a procedural, the second being the abandoned Damage Control article, which was presented as a comedy and reports have indicated that is exactly what is in development). This third one is also meant to fall into a genre other than those which focus on super heroics:
Excelsior Models (a.k.a. Models, Inc.)
The comics: The actual Marvel series entitled ‘Models, Inc.’ was a four-issue miniseries produced in 2009. It focused on the lives of a group of models who were related to some of the characters of the primary Marvel Universe, headed up by Marvel’s original model character, Millie Collins. Millie and her friends: Toni Turner, Jill Jerold, Chili Storm, Patsy Walker (a.k.a. Hellcat, a.k.a. Jessica Jones’ best friend on the Netflix series), and Mary Jane Watson (a.k.a. Peter Parker’s occasional wife). The story focuses on a murder mystery during Fashion Week, with Millie as the primary suspect, and is a pretty charming read, overall.
Beyond this series, though, Marvel had a long history, back in the Golden and Silver Age, of producing comics around Millie and her friends, with ‘Millie the Model’ lasting from 1945 to 1973 (!) and offering a slew of spin-offs. As with the mini-series, the focus was on offering ‘comics for girls’ in order to entice female readers (which may or may not have worked), but were, in many ways, ground-breaking (which the mini-series, decidedly, was not).
The series: Altering the title from ‘Models, Inc.’ (as this was a series on FOX which spun off of Melrose Place), the story about Millie and her colleagues, rivals, and friends is an exciting way to present to a number of remarkably disenfranchised demographics, the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Focusing on Millie, Chili, Jill, Brandon Sharpe, brothers Simon and Eric Williams, and agency owner, Hedy Wolfe, the series also has an array of secondary characters with recognizable names.
Millie, for instance, is a regular on Trish Walker’s (portrayed by Rachel Taylor) radio talk show, having met when Millie was just getting started on Walker’s TV show, ‘Patsy.’ She also has a high-powered lawyer as roommate, named Jennifer Walters, who is hiding a dark secret, but is still always willing to help out when Millie has a legal question or issue. Millie’s love interest, for the first season, Wendall Vaughn, is another one with a secret, one which is eventually revealed to be that he is an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.!
Each of the main characters has their own brand of pathos and many have ties into the MCU, at large, providing a unique, peripheral insight to the Universe-at-large and a new means by which to access it.
Why they would watch: First off, allow me to state, for the record, that this is not meant to be ‘the girl show.’ While it does focus on strong female characters in storylines that have, historically, been reserved for shows aimed at women, the goal is to widen the demographic net. It’s notable that the Millie the Model comics, in general, had a significant male following, as have shows like Sex and the City, Gilmore Girls, and Pretty Little Liars. While some men might find shows that seem to be aimed at women inaccessible, others embrace them and enjoy the insights. Excelsior Models would fit into that same niche, embracing high-fashion settings and storylines relevant to those that enjoy dramatic arcs.
We’re not making a ‘girl show’ because there is no such thing, but rather a show that seeks to find an audience with those who enjoy an algorithm that has been assigned that label.
Next week, I’m hoping to finish this up with three shows spun directly from the current Marvel Cinematic Universe! Otherwise, this series might last even longer!
Until then, I beseech you ABC, Netflix, and Disney…
Make More Marvel!
Here’s links to the other articles in this series:
Marvel Concepts that Could be Turned into Amazing Ensemble Shows, Part 1 (Man-Thing, Weirdworld, and Legion of Monsters)
Marvel Concepts that Could be Turned into Amazing Ensemble Shows, Part 5 (Wrecking Crew, Howard the Duck, Moon Knight)