Price, Lily, and Ryan Are Now Taking Your Questions About Their Amazon TV Pilot, Supanatural

By Lily Sparks, Price Peterson, and Ryan Sandoval

Apr 23, 2013

Ed. note: At the end of last week, Amazon posted eight comedy pilots online for all the world to watch and rate. Basically, over the next month or so, the company plans to sample the pilots to anyone who wants to see them, and then it will take viewer feedback into account as it decides which ones to order to series. Since many of you have already checked them out and also since one of them was created by three friends of—writers Price Peterson, Lily Sparks, and Ryan Sandoval—we asked the three of them to tell us a little more about how this thing came to be. Below, you'll find their answers to some "Hey, Should I Watch This?"-style questions, and we encourage you to ask more in the comments, so Price and Lily and Ryan can do their best to answer them. 

So, three writers made a pilot?  

Yes! Three writers have earned the opportunity to put their money where their mouth is: To stop saying what makes good TV and try to actually make it. That show, Supanatural, is available NOW, on Amazon Prime, for FREE. It was created by Price Peterson, Lily Sparks, and Ryan Sandoval, and we’re not going to just do a normal “Hey Should I Watch This?” because let's be real YOU DEFINITELY SHOULD.

Pretty bold statements, you shameless self-promoters. What is Supanatural even about?

Ryan Sandoval: Supanatural is about two best friends with big attitudes who are the world's leading experts on the paranormal. They also work at the mall.

Price Peterson: To these ladies, larger-than-life dangers ain’t even a thing.  They handle demons, ghosts, ghouls, and nightmare creatures on the regular but frankly they'd rather just clear their DVR and gossip. Their most pressing issues are just the real-life concerns we all deal with: jerk bosses, lazy landlords, and that one hussy who works across the hall.

Lily Sparks: And they have to keep working day jobs, much like Indiana Jones did, because just recovering artifacts from temples doesn’t make you rich, you know? That artifact suddenly belongs to like, the Chilean Natural History Museum. And you’re out the $50 you spent on a pith helmet and bug spray.

R: It’s your typical story of overqualified people stuck in dead-end situations. Everyone has unappreciated passions or hidden talents. I can juggle chainsaws, but I’ll be damned if any office supervisor gave a care about it.

L:  Supanatural is set in basically my old hometown, a busy Connecticut city with ancient, colonial roots. So there’s a bunch of strip malls and fast food joints and Redbox disc rentals located right next to/on top of very old graveyards and haunted Victorian mansions. So yes there are pilgrim ghosts but they might just haunt a store that sells "YOLO" t-shirts.

P: In our pilot episode, the ladies are tasked with recovering an ancient doomsday device, a crystal skull. Unfortunately the hottest pop song of the day, "Junk Dick," samples the same melody that activates this doomsday device.  So of course that song is playing everywhere all the time, and all hell breaks loose when the crystal skull comes alive and tries to destroy the universe. Even worse, though, is the fact that the crystal skull is a HATER.

Who is behind Supanatural again?

R: Criminals.

P: The three of us, besties since college. And two amazing producers in Jason Micallef (Butter) and Kristen Schaal (Flight of the Conchords). Plus a dozen of the most hilarious working comedians alive.

Who is the intended audience for Supanatural?

P:  North Korea, ghosts, most sea mammals (NOT orcas).

R: Supanatural is for folks with attitude, or those who wish they had it.

P: It's also for people who love references to '90s R&B.

R: Supanatural is for people who are tired of seeing only hunky studs fight evil and go on adventures.

P: I am personally not tired of hunky studs fighting evil, but I'm definitely tired of super serious, unfunny people on my TV in general.

R:  Get off the TV, unfunny people.

P:  Jump in a dumpster, boring people.

L: And I think it’s important to say that every episode will be a mini horror movie made by people who love horror movies. The scary stuff is actually scary and we want to continue referencing horror and making it scarier and scarier.

 Bottom line: We wanted to create a scary world navigated by main characters WE'D want to hang out with. That they are women of color shouldn't be such a big deal, but that aspect alone does make it pretty special too.

What do you think makes Supanatural work?

P: It's animated! We can have tons of voices, huge, huge celebrities! There is swearing and nudity. And it's heavily improvised, so our punchlines and tangents can be pretty unpredictable.

Obviously you're not going to tell me what's wrong with Supanatural, you're incredibly biased. So what did you learn by trying to make your own show instead of just making fun of somebody else's?

L: I really appreciate all TV shows on a whole new level now. Seeing how a single vision gets passed from highly specialized department to highly specialized department like a baton in a relay, it takes so many people working so hard together, and that makes the shows I love seem that much more special.

R: Be nice to the animators. Feed them candy and give them back rubs—sensual ones, if need be.

P: Right, this might sound shocking, but merely writing about TV (a.k.a. nitpicking episodes to death) is way easier than actually MAKING TV. We suddenly have a huge appreciation for people who do this for a living. I still hate procedurals, but holy moly, it's a miracle ANY show makes it to air at all.

Why Amazon, and why you guys?

P: Ryan, Lily, and I have been working on comedy ever since we met in college 45 years ago. We're talking live sketches, videos, things of that nature. At some point some of our work came to the attention of a couple of really funny producers we knew and they asked us if we had any ideas for a TV show. We definitely did and we made a little animated sizzle reel to prove it. A few pitch meetings later we were part of the new Amazon development process (itself a very open and futuristic way of doing things). That was last spring. After that came a long but exciting summer of developing the project, and then we finally got the official green light in the fall. We were set up at Titmouse Inc. (the amazing animation house behind Metalocalypse, China, IL, and countless others) and our pilot went from treatment to finished product in four months. It was all so fast and juicy!

R:  We also got free lunches.

P: Lunches were in the budget!

L:  And then like an idiot I went on a diet when what I should have been doing was mainlining hoagies.

R: “Woulda, shoulda, coulda...” —Lily’s tum-tum

P: Amazon is obviously the new kid in town, but in this case the new kid is this mysterious, very handsome, and effortlessly cool presence. Makes the girls swoon, is what we're saying. We simply can't believe how easy the process has been, and how laser-focused on quality Amazon has been. Everything Amazon wants to build in the realm of TV is futuristic. From letting audiences help pick shows, to the type of content it's interested in. Not that we're biased. This is a 100 percent bias-free interview, you guys.

R:  Amazon saved us from a life of e-crime.

P:  I'm actually e-criming people in another browser right now (sorry).

R:  Better open up on a new tab.

P:  PLEASE WATCH OUR SHOW, everybody! And if you like it, rate it? And maybe tell your friends? You sincerely have the power to help us make more episodes, and we made this show for you. Our friends and peers. We really hope you like it.

If you've already seen Supanatural (watch it here), what did you think? And what other questions do you have for Price, Lily, and Ryan about the show and/or the TV-making process? They're now taking questions in the comments...

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  • jonelliott127 May 16, 2013

    If for some ungodly reason Amazon doesn't pick up the show, do you guys have plans on pitching it to a major network? I love love love this show and have been doing anything I can to get it higher on Amazon's approval list. Your guys' idea is so unique and the writing is great!

  • valeriel May 12, 2013

    Watched it....loved it! The characters, the dialogue, the hatin' crystal skull! My favorite quote? "Spider, please!" LOL! Good work, hope it gets picked up!

  • punkin May 08, 2013

    I had posted a similar query on Lily's most recent Once review, but it appears to have been removed, so it was probably too off-topic. In any event, this is an honest question:

    One topic often discussed on that forum (after Lily's reviews, which are quite often the best part of the show) is that the producers/writers can get so off course without any apparent corrective mechanism in place. A sort of classic The Emperor Has No Clothes situation.

    I am in a line of work where there are a lot of legal, ethical, peer feedback and science that strives to help us do good work much more often than not. But in the arts, of course, those sort of back-up, quality control devices simply are not relevant, as so much of it is individual effort.

    So, as a group of 3 who have spent quite a bit of time as critics, now that you are on the other side of the table, are there any 'protections' that you are setting up to try to help yourselves see through what I will simply call 'the fog of the writer's room'?

    I am genuinely curious. I am always fascinated by the ways we humans try to keep our work as high quality as possible, and yet how spectacularly we can sometimes develop blindness, even so.

  • LilyRoRoSparks Apr 27, 2013

    PS, we didn't embed this into the review but here is an HD trailer!;

  • Isobel Apr 26, 2013

    I saw a thumbnail for Supanatural on IMDB!! IMDB!! THE HOME PAGE!! I was so excited and proud, and excited.....

  • bealiop Apr 26, 2013

    since you asked what made me laugh, i made a list. its a big list...

    favorite lines of the episode:
    hez: consummation of all fears is upon us, ya'll
    skull: hahahahaha hold on to your butts

    favorite comedy:
    hez: thats an outcome i did not anticipate
    hez: plan b, threefeathers, i will pay you back with a sexual favor of your choosing
    hez: threefeathers, i now owe you two sexual favors

    favorite reading of a line:
    lulu: girl, skull dont mean that, quit playin
    skull: girl , skull yes he does

    runners up (they were great, but had to pick a winner.)
    delinda: that is a bad burrito. that burrito went inside me, it fought with every organ in my body, that is nothing that a mexican would serve anybody in the morning.
    lulu: spider, please.
    lulu: this day is crazy!
    hez: it tickled when he licked it off my fingers.
    lulu: demon is just another word for scrub.
    skull: how rude
    larry the store manager also had some fun office lines.

    bonus points:
    speaking in latin!

    some of these have already gotten stuck in my head. i'm going to be quoting a pilot that no ones ever seen nor heard of. blank stares ahead!

  • torontogirl98 Apr 25, 2013

    Just checked out the show because I love you all so much not sure I am the target audience but it was a fun very interesting show for sure! And I am so so impressed you have actually made a tv show from start to finish that is an astonishing achievement. But I miss you all so much on the site with all your hilarious recaps and reviews, my tv viewing experience just isn't the same anymore. Goodluck anyway!

  • 84ale84 Apr 25, 2013

    oh price i miss you so, and love your work, best wishes

  • bealiop Apr 25, 2013

    Sure, theres a junk dick mp3, but what about the "you are my friend" song?? love your pilot, writing, characters, everything!

    i'd love to see more horror stuff and adventures and linear plot. love absurd linear plots like the frisky dingo tv show. plus demons like ugly americans, plus friendships like hey monie.

    are we going to see hezbah in a green hat doing a jig trying to catch the leaprachaun? because we need to see that. plus yoga showboating. and 'the bus'. the continuting adventures of hezzie and lulu!

    ok whats on the shelf? a green bowling ball, a book thats been stitched shut, a giant gem, an alien/dino egg, some kind of pandoras box, a little mummy guy and a tool box.

  • LilyRoRoSparks Apr 26, 2013

    Thank you so much! There will definitely be dancing and small hats if we go to season. Joe Wong was our composer and he made two original songs "I Wanna Be Your Boo" and "You Are My Friend" that are continually stuck in my head.

  • RyanSandoval Apr 25, 2013

    Wow good eyes and ears! Hopefully we'll get to send Hezzie and Lulu on all sorts of adventures. Thank you for your kind words!

  • Muderboy Apr 25, 2013

    As an older person - I just turned 65 - I still like what the young people like in some cases and I watched this out of respect for you guys on my favorite website ever. It wasn't bad is my initial reaction and I didn't laugh, but that doesn't mean anything. It was very watchable and I liked the characters, but Sam and Dean are definitely not in danger of losing their gig over this. Unlike many I have never thought Supernatural ever bad, just better at times than others. I don't understand why you chose this as it's pretty hard to make a decent parody of an excellent parody. I liked the whole mall thing and Crystal Skull was pretty cool. And I didn't find the gals annoying as there are much more annoying young people out there - and old ones too. I liked it that even I could relate to your characters and like them. The difference between generations is not all that much anymore and nobody has called me a curmudgeon yet. So you go guys, make it work for yourselves...

  • ben45tpy Apr 26, 2013

    I don't think it's intended to be a parody of Supernatural, it helps to see it as its own show.

  • Muderboy Apr 26, 2013

    Okay, that seems fair enough, but you can surely see how I came to my conclusion there. And Supernatural surely is a parody of sorts. Okay, I have written a book recently which will be published soon based on you guys - primarily Tim's - final articles on the great show Fringe when it finished. Tim recognized the paradox problem at the end and stated that he didn't care but that Fringe was good enough to overlook this little problem. So I wrote a rather stirring comment explaining how he was not wrong and gave a more than reasonable explanation of how there was really not a problem with the ending. But I never posted it. I showed it to my wife and she told me I should write a book about it, so I did. The book is entitled A Brief History of Time Travel, which of course is about literary time travel as it the only kind that exists. Do I hope to gain favor for my title being so close to Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time - you betcha. Does anyone else on here equate Supra Natural with Supernatural? My guess would be yes. And I did say I liked it, I merely posed a question...

  • Muderboy Apr 26, 2013

    Oh, and sorry about that Supra Natural thing, I must've misread it but now know it's SupaNatural - at least I think I do...

  • ben45tpy Apr 26, 2013

    Yeah, using Occam's Razor you would assume that Supanatural is a parody of Supernatural.

    To your other point, I definitely want to read your book! How can I get a copy? I think there was an unresolved paradox problem with Fringe's ending but I'm sure there could be a detailed solution that could explain it. The biggest problem is that with a point so tenuous the show should have addressed it properly but it was ignored because there was too much for the episode to do with providing emotional closure for the series. In my opinion you don't get credit for happening to be right unless you can back up your results.

  • Muderboy Apr 26, 2013

    I did a lot of research for the book and it's very comprehensive. I even sent an email to Hawking at Cambridge but haven't heard back as I hear the good professor is not doing too well these days, him being even older than me. As for the Fringe thing, the paradox was so obvious that the writers had to know about it and my explanation was confirmed in my research by David Gerrold who wrote the wonderful book The Man Who Folded Himself just to screw with time and backed it all up with incontrovertible logic. I have many friends on this site and when the book is released, hopefully in early May, I will offer it free on for one day just to give something back to my friends on this wonderful site. So yeah, you can get a copy - and thanks so much for asking.

  • Muderboy Apr 26, 2013

    This comment has been removed.

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