My Year And A Half With Gigi
I’ve been offline for a good chunk of the day, and so I’m only now catching up with the reactions to today’s WTS episode. This one isn’t just a big episode for the series, but a big one for me personally.
When I initially pitched the idea of telling Gigi’s story through social media, I joking referred to the arc as “How Gigi Got Her Groove Back.” Slowly introducing the audience to her through her music and movie choices was one of my favorite parts of LBD, and one of the big test cases to prove how well the whole transmedia storytelling aspect could work - especially to see how long of a lead we could have for a a character who wouldn’t appear on screen for months and months.
And then we cast the extraordinary Allison Paige, who stepped into Gigi’s shoes and filled her with such joy and soul.
I lobbied hard to write episode 82, where she revealed what happened between her and Wickham. The reaction to the episode was - and continues to be - nothing short of astonishing. Both Allison and I have heard from fans who have experienced abusive relationships and who found some measure of solace and even inspiration from Gigi. The idea that our work has maybe helped inspire someone to escape such a situation is humbling.
But in some ways, the external enemy is the easy one to defeat. It’s the internal one that can be harder to overcome. And so when the opportunity arose to do Welcome To Sanditon, and to use Gigi in the place of Charlotte Heywood, we found ourselves with the opportunity to explore Gigi’s evolution even further.
Today’s episode is the culmination of a character journey that’s been almost 18 months in the making. She’s been with us for so long, it’s going feel really weird to not be continuing with her story after next week.
And oddly, this didn’t occur to me until just now, but there’s something else important that fueled our version of Gigi. While our relationship is very different than the Darcy siblings, like William I am an older brother and my sister Dana is one of the most important people in the world to me. She had a health scare a couple of years ago. And there was nothing I could do to help - even if I had Darcy’s fortune, there was no way to wave a check and make it go away. But she handled the situation with incredible courage and grace, much more than I could have shown in an analogous place. She’s my hero.
So I’ve just realized that a lot of my contribution to Gigi’s story is about the strength and resilience of little sisters, who are assumed by many to need help and protection but can really be the strongest ones of all.
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