Web series 'Tough Love,' created by 2 New Yorkers, up for Daytime Emmy

Wednesday, April 26, 2017
A look at the web series 'Tough Love'
Sandy Kenyon has the story.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- This weekend, the best in television will be honored at the Daytime Emmy Awards.

And there, among the big casts and long-running shows, two New Yorkers will represent their much smaller project: a web series called 'Tough Love'.

It's a show that tells the story of six New Yorkers in a way, the creators say, they weren't seeing anywhere else.

The show comes from two entrepreneurs who fell in love and decided to create a TV series in their own image.

"Tough Love is a web series about six millennials in New York City going through hardships," said writer Roni Simpson. " We are in a relationship. We've experienced tough love."

Roni Simpson and her fiancé Caleb Davis took the familiar advice to write about what they know. But the way they distribute the show is anything but traditional.

"We just publish it straight to You Tube, and our fans give us instant feedback," said Davis.

The series grew out of an Instagram account started by Roni, who was upset about the way African-American couples were being shown on-screen.

"A lot of arguing, a lot of 'Baby Mama', 'Baby Daddy' drama, and it's like that's not what I see on a regular basis," said Roni.

And so began a different sort of drama.

"I love the creative control. I love being able to put out my own ideas: not have it filtered," said Roni.

The couple paid for the first season themselves and raised money for the second by asking for donations on the Internet.

"Tough Love is a guerilla filmmaking type of web series," said Caleb.

They depend on the kindness of others such as the owner of a Midtown restaurant.

"We come in, and we get shots within 30 minutes and you know, we're in and we're out," said Caleb.

All their efforts have paid off with their first Emmy nomination.

"And when I saw it my heart literally stopped and I was like 'this is insane!", Roni said.

The pair are traveling to L.A. for this weekend's Daytime Emmy Awards show. Roni and Caleb plan to get married in June.

They say compromise is the key to making their relationship work, on and off the set.