The Show Bible
Created by Jeanne Pleines
Directed & Produced by Aaron Seals
Executive Produced by John Guild
A diverse staff of quirky stylists and their eccentric clients
juggle personal dramas and each other in a busy Queens
salon. The Hairkutterz solve your hair problems, then your
A heartwarming and comedic journey of self-discovery and
friendship revolving around the eclectic staff of a
Queens-based salon, who navigate the challenges of life,
love, and the pursuit of happiness, while unintentionally
becoming local celebrities, only to realize that true fulfillment
lies in their humble beginnings and genuine bonds.
A funky low-end hair salon, with lots of dated themes & color combinations.
Tone and Style:
Fast moving dialogues, quick jokes and bright colors.
A hair salon in a middle-class neighborhood of Queens, New York that’s located in a shopping area, fronted by a main street (bus route), and surrounded by residential homes and an apartment complex.
The target audience for HairKutz would be adults aged 25-65 who enjoy comedic dramas with a touch of absurdity, ensemble casts with quirky, relatable characters, and themes of friendship, ambition, and the humorous side of everyday struggles.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Office, Seinfeld
About the Main Characters:
Rocco Caruso, HairKutz Owner/Boss/Barber
Originally from Calabria, Italy, Rocco still retains a strong accent even though he’s lived in the United States for over thirty years. At fifty years old, Rocco is short and on the portly side, but always well-dressed in clothing made in Italy. Rocco’s hair is thinning on top partly because whenever he’s upset, he pulls at it.
Rocco lives in a house in Whitestone with his wife, Gemma, and son Anthony, eighteen, who attends cosmetology school. His daughter, Sofia, twenty-five, and husband Shamus live on Long Island.
Having a good instinct for location and the people he hires, Rocco’s successful in the salon business. He’s an old-school barber, and his clients won’t go to anyone else. It works for Rocco, who books his own appointments, and comes and goes as he pleases. He would rather that his salon manager, Gina, deal with all problems that concern staff, clients, or anything other than his money, which Rocco watches like a hawk.
Rocco can often appear befuddled, but he cleverly keeps an eye on everything that goes on in HairKutz. He can drive his staff crazy with his cheap ways of being penny-wise and dollar foolish, but they stay with Rocco because he’s a likable boss who isn’t always around.
Family and old friends are important to Rocco. The Caruso family is “connected” and sometimes Rocco will receive visits from his paisans (old country friends), or from those he may owe money to. Rocco has a bit of a gambling problem, and this may account for some occasional cash flow issues.
Rocco loves gossip and can be a great deal of fun to hang out with, but his staff fully understands the level of loyalty and respect that Rocco expects from them.
Gina Calabrese Goldstein, Salon Manager/Stylist
Gina has been with Rocco from the start when he had a barber shop around the corner. She’s an attractive, curvy, Italian woman around forty years old with a trendy short haircut with highlights, who dresses in flowy tops, designer jeans, and artsy jewelry. Gina’s married to Mark, forty-five, who’s an accountant and a mensch; both were married once before. Mark has a daughter, Amy, who lives in Manhattan, attending NYU. They live in a house in Bayside and love to travel.
Gina is organized and mature, but also loves to party hearty and have fun, sometimes with consequences.
The rock of the salon, Gina expertly handles the HairKutz staff and business for Rocco, who trusts her completely. Gina loses her patience with foolishness, is very punctual, and doesn’t like it when staff or clients are late, or when she runs behind. Chaos and disorder put Gina in a testy mood.
Fair but firm, Gina will come to the point in a blunt but effective fashion. A good listener, Gina receives respect from her coworkers, both as their immediate superior and as a confidante. She’s a keeper of many secrets but finds perverse pleasure in hearing all the gossip. Conversely, Gina prefers to keep her personal business to herself, sharing only what she wants others to know. Secretly, Gina has a passion for romantic novellas and is president of a fan club.
With her hair styling, Gina is a “by the book” girl rather than taking extreme creative risks. Expert at what she does, Gina has a huge following, and it’s a major catastrophe when her clients can’t get their desired appointment with her, or if she happens to be out sick and must cancel them.
Without Gina at the helm, HairKutz would not have grown into the salon it now is. Being aware of that, Rocco will usually bow to Gina’s decisions concerning his business.
Rhonda Schiller, Assistant Manager/Makeup Artist
Rhonda, twenty-nine, is a pint-sized fireball who assists Gina with anything necessary to keep HairKutz running smoothly while entertaining everyone all day long. She’s also a great makeup artist.
Physically, Rhonda is short and trim, with Lucille Ball red hair and a bohemian style of dressing. Of Jewish descent, Rhonda is single and lives in an apartment in the immediate area of Fresh Meadows with her cat, Marmalade.
Because she has ADHD, Rhonda can be a bit klutzy and all over the place. She is loud, dramatic, loyal, sincere, open, and trusting of others. Rhonda loves all people and hasn’t an ounce of discrimination against race, religion, or sexual-
orientation, she just wants to help and heal the world.
Rhonda will always defend her friends and any underdog around. She is extremely sensitive to criticism but forgiving of those who have been unkind to her. She will put on an impromptu performance if she hears a song that gets her going and will be terribly upset if anyone laughs at her.
When at the desk, Rhonda has the capacity to remember all the clients’ names (pets included), which is terribly flattering to them. At times she can be a real Jewish momma, calling people “momma sheina”, sweetie, or honey.
Everyone loves Rhonda, but her boundless energy can be too much at times, especially when she decides to blast the music. Rhonda would give you the shirt off her back, but at times needs to be reined in because she can spin out of control if left to her own devices.
Although she can come off wild, Rhonda’s zaniness belies the solid person that she is underneath.
Betty Jean Baker, Stylist
Thirty-three, tall and slim with long blonde hair, Betty Jean is an attractive woman with an obsessive/compulsive disorder. She lives in an apartment in Queens Village with Gracie, her pet tarantula, collection of Barbie dolls, and Star Trek memorabilia. Betty Jean’s a big Trekkie.
Often aloof, Betty Jean can go for days without speaking to anyone and then suddenly become friendly and chatty, with a great dry wit. No one knows why, but they get used to it and accept her as she is. Also, Betty Jean refuses to use the internet or text, preferring her pink flip phone over newer styles.
Betty Jean is very fastidious and doesn’t like being touched, so it is odd that she would choose a career in hairdressing. Between haircuts she will methodically remove every bit of hair off herself, while her clients wait patiently for her to complete her ritual. Nonetheless, because of her discerning eye, Betty Jean is a sought-after stylist.
Often late, Betty Jean goes by her own clock (deliberate) that drives Gina crazy. Because she has been working for Rocco a long time and has a loyal following, Gina lets Betty Jean be, perceiving that her eccentricities started early on, although her past is a mystery.
Betty Jean is a catalog shopaholic, and her taste runs on the expensive side. She has a keen eye for detail, and the girls will often ask Betty Jean’s advice on accessorizing an outfit even though she only wears her uniform of yoga pants, shirt, and a smock over that at work.
Betty Jean is frugal and not a fan of staff collections or outings. She doesn’t believe in tipping although she derives a big part of her earnings from tips.
Angel Rivera, Stylist/Colorist
Angel (pronounced “Ahn-hel”) is a tall, slim, gay Puerto Rican man of thirty-four. He shares an apartment in Corona with his miniature poodle, Trixie. Because of his mastery of color and fabulous cuts, Angel’s clients hail from all over and follow him wherever he works.
Super neat with his appearance and environment, Angel wears his long black hair pulled back in a sleek ponytail and loves to show off his lean physique in trendy styles that are all black and accessorized with antique jewelry.
Angel loves to gossip, is sweet to those he likes, and very sarcastic to those he doesn’t. He parties a lot and can be quite bitchy with a hangover but will skip around the salon when “in love” or if he’s heard some good dirty gossip.
Angel likes anything Hollywood or high society, is extremely opinionated and bad at keeping secrets, but is loyal to his friends, especially Ambrosia. He has an obsessive distaste for Nicky, hating his style of dress, constant preening, and lack of (what Angel calls) class.
He leads an erratic lifestyle of partying, attending art openings, and going on extravagant vacations with his friends.
Angel enjoys hanging out with the girls and is eternally on the lookout for the right man.
Mallory Rosenthal, Receptionist
Mallory is a “JAP” (Jewish American Princess) who didn’t know how to hold a broom until she came to work at HairKutz. (The receptionist is expected to help when it’s busy.) Twenty- five, slim and very pretty, with long highlighted hair and perfectly manicured nails, Mallory still lives at home with her doting parents in toney Jamaica Estates. She will only wear good jewelry and designer clothing.
Mallory is a “good” girl (not the sleep-around type) who knows what she wants and how to get it. Taking business administration courses two nights a week, Mallory saves and invests her money earned at HairKutz.
A social butterfly, Mallory enjoys working at the desk and interacting with the clients. She is used to receiving lots of attention and gifts from admirers, taking it all with a grain of salt. However, when Mallory feels unappreciated, overwhelmed, or is not feeling well, she can be pouty and short tempered.
Mallory has a very sharp business mind and takes very good care of the salon’s money. This attribute, along with her good looks, makes Rocco very happy with Mallory.
Those who don’t know Mallory may think her superficial, but those who do know her know that she truly cares about how a person is feeling and will hear anyone out who wants to talk. The clients like Mallory a lot because she is cute, fun, and personable.
Mallory enjoys going out, and is never short of a date, but they soon learn that our Mallory is high maintenance!
Nicky Gallo, Stylist
Nicky is twenty-seven, single, and lives in the basement of his parent’s house in Howard Beach. Fancying himself to be a real “Italian Stallion”, Nicky is always preening in the mirror, and dresses to accentuate his (body builder type) of body with tight pants and form-fitted shirts. On the short side, Nicky wears cowboy boots or shoes with lifts in them to appear taller and therefore more appealing to the ladies.
Part of the original crew at HairKutz, Nicky is an exceptional stylist who flirts with all the pretty women who come into the salon. He goes clubbing every weekend, and loves his car, a souped-up red Camaro.
Nicky is a sweet guy who truly loves women, especially his mother. Nicky’s thinking tends to be old country and when he’s ready, Nicky expects to settle down with a sweet young virginal type of girl, but in the meantime...men will be men!
Sarcasm is lost on Nicky, even Angels’ mean remarks go over his head because Nicky is not too sharp. His conversation revolves around girls, clubs, working out, and cars. However, Nicky has a huge heart and is very gregarious, often bringing in “Mamma’s cooking” for everyone to enjoy. These two traits make up for everything else, and most people take to him, even if they roll their eyes whenever he launches into one of his tales, or fusses with his appearance.
Because he can do dumb things that infuriate them, Nicky often has his share of problems with the women he dates. He has a huge crush on Mallory because she doesn’t sleep around and is so pretty and smart.
Nicky is a simple guy, a benign buffoon who is incredibly loyal to his family and friends. You can always count on Nicky to help you out.
Lisa Polanski, Manicurist/Waxing
Lisa is twenty–nine years old and amply endowed, with a cute face and big hair. A divorcee, Lisa lives in her condo in Forest Hills and loves to get dolled-up, go out, and meet men. Given her overt sexuality, Lisa attracts her fair share of male attention.
Because she tends to live a haphazard lifestyle dating men of dubious nature, Lisa is often hurt when the relationship doesn’t work out. After her last fling, Rocco and Nicky had to rescue Lisa from a field in Jersey where she was dumped after a fight with a former boyfriend.
Lisa’s ability to get into these ridiculous situations gives Angel much to gossip about, but thankfully, she always manages to land on her feet. Undaunted, Lisa will get right out there again, on the prowl for a “great guy”.
Lisa does seem to relish the drama and attention that these episodes bring. She is a pro at living chaotically, always looking at the positive side of things but often disappointed.
Nonetheless, Lisa will always be the ultimate professional at work: on time, and ready to go. Both clients and staff love her stories and talk about her, but she gets along well with everyone because she’s not a phony and is a lot of fun to be around.
Ambrosia Jackson, Assistant
Ambrosia is an African American woman of thirty-five, a single parent who rents/lives in a small house in Hollis with her sister Lakita, seventeen-year-old daughter Amber, and two Doberman pinchers (Elvis and Nefertiti).
Supremely confident, with a quick wit and commanding presence, Ambrosia has no problem with telling it like it is. Strong and curvy, she will deck herself out with lots of “bling” and wear hairdo’s that change weekly with colorful extensions and fancy accessories.
Aside from working at HairKutz, Ambrosia has a side hustle with Lakita and Amber where they do up custom gift baskets for all kinds of events, including the unorthodox.
Interested in making lots of cash, Ambrosia knows how to pam-per her clients, thereby securing excellent tips. She has a great rapport with them, and they love her take-over style, as she crooks her finger, saying “Hey girl, let’s get you prettied up”, and complimenting them when they’re done with “looking good” or “look at you!”. They all leave her area feeling well taken care of both physically and mentally.
With everyone else, Ambrosia will pull no punches, and never hold back her opinion or quick retorts. Her wisecracks give Angel a thrill because she is very quick to sum things up and will often hit the nail on the head. As long as Ambrosia gets the run of her space, and makes her money, she is content and fun to be around.
Rocco gets a kick out of Ambrosia’s incredible confidence and drive and lets her do her thing without interference.
Pilot – (Part One) HAIRKUTZ
The pilot introduces each of the main characters, starting with Angel, who answers an ad in the window of the new HairKutz salon and goes in to apply for a stylist position along with his mini-poo, Trixie. Each character is then introduced and developed as they appear throughout this episode.
This storyline takes the audience from the salon, staff, and hiring, to escapades such as where Trixie goes missing, causing a lot of drama (she’s ultimately found), and one where the new manicurist, Lisa, brings on a mad burrito attack.
This ends with a cliff-hanger where Rocco is in deep trouble with their landlord when he loses an envelope full money.
Highlights: Full staff, especially Rocco
Pilot – (Part Two) BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS
It’s the Grand Opening and the newbie’s suspect that something’s Up because the original crew (Rocco, Gina, Betty-Jean, Nicky and Rhonda) are acting so weird. Betty Jean goes into Star Trek mode while Ambrosia figures out how to solve the problem, thus saving the future of HairKutz.
Gina’s longtime client, Mrs. McGowan, is introduced as well as is Goldie, who has declared Angel to be her new stylist. The newly divorced UPS delivery man, Charlie, makes an impression on both Lisa and Betty Jean.
After a crazy day, everyone heads to Hula Hun’s (neighborhood bar/restaurant) to continue celebrating where Rocco’s paisano, (and Lisa’s latest squeeze) Vinny, is introduced and not happy with Lisa’s actions. Later, after several drinks, Rhonda has to be subdued and Nicky is confronted by an angry girlfriend.
This episode ends with the full staff standing outside of the salon waiting for Rocco to find his keys so that he could light up the HairKutz sign to happy applause.
Highlights: Full staff and supporting characters
Episode 3 – CASH FLOW
Rocco’s weakness for the ‘horses’ causes a cash-flow issue while a sudden catastrophe at the sinks brings on the funny vignettes and highlights Rocco’s persona with how he interacts with staff.
Angel shows his weakness, and everyone (but Rocco and Nicky) appreciates the hunky plumber that shows up to the rescue.
Feeling rejected and disrespected, Rocco finds a way to get even and offset his cash-flow problem in a very clever and vengeful fashion.
While the original crew expects some backlash, the newcomers, not used to Rocco’s way of handling things, are terrified of what his response will be, and Angel enlists Mallory’s help in driving away the negative forces.
While all this drama is going on, Ambrosia walks away with the prize.
Highlights: Rocco, Mallory, Angel and Ambrosia
Episode 4 – RHONDA PLAYS BALL
This episode centers around Rhonda, Gina, and a famous baseball player (cameo) that Rhonda invites to come to HairKutz for a haircut, causing a lot of excitement, gossip and laughs.
Given her exuberant ADHD personality, Rhonda can really create a scene with her “out there” drama. Not appreciating any of it is Gina, as she is kicked to the curb while Rhonda leaves for a very long lunch date.
In the meantime, Nicky tries to impress Mallory with his new acting career. Lisa learns not to mess with Rhonda, and Betty Jean and Gina surprise each other in a very compromising situation.
Highlights: Rhonda, Gina, Nicky and Betty-Jean
Episode 5 - The Robbery
In episode five, a robbery takes place while Rocco is out on personal business. How each of the staff and their clients react to the situation further develops their personalities and makes for clever comedic vignettes, such as with Angel and Goldie who hide together in the tiny bathroom with Angel confessing his disappointments in love.
Meanwhile, throughout the day, Mallory is dealing with a stalker boyfriend who won’t leave her alone. Also, Lisa and Vinny have a huge argument that leads to Lisa being stranded, and Rocco having to rescue her.
In the end, Vinny ruins the thieves escape plan in an effort to reconcile with Lisa, and Angel finally learns what true love is while Mallory gets rid of her stalker once and for all.
Highlights: Mallory, Angel, Lisa, Vinny and Rocco
Episode 6 – COMPROMISING POSITIONS
It’s Gina’s fortieth birthday and the staff has planned a fun surprise for her. Meanwhile, the “Italian Stallion”, Nicky, has gotten himself into a scary drama with his girlfriend, Pina, who brings the ultimate showdown to HairKutz, impressing the girls.
Ping, the Chinese delivery boy is introduced. Lisa and Vinny are off again and when Mallory goes downstairs to eat her lunch, she catches Lisa and the new towel guy in a very compromising position that brings on the gossip and funny remarks.
Meanwhile, after her “surprise” client, Gina leaves early to continue celebrating old school style with her husband Mark. This doesn’t end well and Rocco bails them out of a sticky situation.
Later, Rocco comes to the salon to check on a large delivery and finds Charlie locking lips with Betty Jean in the basement! However, in the end, it’s Gina and Mark who steal the show.
Highlights: Nicky, Gina, Lisa, Betty Jean, Mark and Ping
Season 2: The team discovers their golden formula for success, and by the end of the season, HairKutz is completely booked. Thanks to an appearance on a reality show, ‘Queens Time’ Betty Jean earns the title "The Hair Whisperer," putting the salon on the map. Soon, the entire crew becomes a sensation, gaining celebrity status, but fame starts getting to their heads.
…by Season 5: Having a major hit with the ‘HairDu by Rocco’ hair dye & gel line, the gang is Living a life of opulence akin to Colombian warlords, Rocco and the crew now have sprawling mansions, lavish pools, and relationships with much younger partners. However, the success and fame blur their vision. Their chain of salons and product line starts to decline. Gina, with her 25 cats in tow wherever she goes, is a spectacle. The financials are skewed, forcing them to sell HairKutz to a wealthy entrepreneur. (Maybe John Paul Mitchell)
…by Season 8: Rocco and Gina, now jaded with their affluent lifestyles, long for genuine fulfillment. They decide to return to their roots, managing the original HairKutz salon in Queens. Meanwhile, the billionaire owner of HairKutz leverages its story, turning it into a reality TV series, followed by a TV movie, and eventually a full-length feature film where renowned celebrities act out iconic moments from the salon's history.