This teen comedy drama series, starring a young Fleur Saville, turned traditional teen drama conventions upside down.
15-year old Eve is something of an amateur anthropologist. She observes and questions everything, trying to make sense of the confusing adult world she lives in. Eve addresses the viewer directly, down the barrel of the camera. She asks questions, muses on problems and makes wry observations. The series also features vox pops from real teenagers responding to some of Eve's questions.
Being Eve was co-created by Gavin Strawhan and Maxine Fleming. Fleming commented on the show's motivations: "As a mother of pre-teens, I really wanted my kids to watch a show that wasn't centred around navel-gazing American teenagers." Episode titles including 'Being in Love', 'Being Popular', 'Being Beautiful', 'Being Bad', 'Being Kissed' and 'Being Betrayed' illustrate the range of early teen experience that this series explores so well.
Unlike most television drama, the baby that was Being Eve had a relatively easy birth. In 1999, NZ On Air put out a request for proposals for a drama series aimed at nine to 14-year-olds. It was later said by NZ On Air staff that Being Eve floated high above the other proposals. TV3 liked it, too, and so the series was commissioned.
Being Eve is visually interesting, combining straight TV drama shooting and editing with documentary realism and 3D imagery. The weight of the series rests on the shoulders of young Fleur Saville (then aged 16). She was chosen from more than 1000 teenage girls who attended open auditions all over the country.
Vanessa Alexander (who had attracted attention directing the low budget feature Magik and Rose, 1999) proved herself as a capable producer on the series (she has since produced or executive produced a number of award-winning short films (eg. Two Cars One Night) and continues to direct.
Being Eve also developed the talents of young directors Armagan Ballantyne and Peter Salmon. Salmon has since directed several successful short films and television series (Fog, Outrageous Fortune) and Ballantyne's debut feature The Strength of Water has achieved festival success.
Awards for Being Eve include an Emmy nomination for Children and Young People, a gold medal at the New York Festival and, in 2005, Being Eve won Best Children's Programme at the New Zealand Screen Awards.
Being Eve has played to audiences all over the world, selling to more than 40 territories and screening in the US on Nickelodeon and its (older) sister channel, The N.