Season Premeire Review: Playing House
I bought a season pass from iTunes to make sure I don’t miss an episode. The first two episodes–Pilot and Bird Bones–ran back to back so I prettymuch got 40 minutes (no ads WOOT!) to start with.
Before I give the recap, here’s an overview of the TV series courtesy of IMDB:
Childhood best friends Maggie Caruso (Lennon Parham, “Best Friends Forever”) and Emma Crawford (Jessica St. Clair, “Best Friends Forever”) have shared countless adventures growing up together in the charming town of Pinebrook, CT. Now, Maggie and Emma are in store for one of their biggest adventures-raising a baby. When Maggie discovers that her husband is having an online affair with a muscular German woman, Emma gives up her burgeoning business career in China to stay in their hometown and help Maggie raise her baby. Meanwhile, as Maggie prepares for the birth of her first child and the fallout of her marriage ending, Emma must confront the past that she abruptly left behind thirteen years ago — her first love and local cop Mark Rodriguez (played by Keegan Michael Kay of Mad TV fame), her prim-and-proper mother and a small town that she’s never felt comfortable in. Despite their differences – Emma is brash, bold, and assertive while Maggie is grounded, rational, and safe – the women complement each other the way only best friends can.
The pilot opens with Emma returning to her hometown from China for Maggie’s baby shower. During Emma’s presentation at the baby shower Maggie finds out her husband has been having an online affair with a woman in Germany. The same night, a lapse in judgement forces Emma to chose between being there for Maggie or her career. Obviously she choses Maggie it this wouldn’t have had an Episode 2. Emma declares she will move in with Maggie and help her take care of the baby.
Speaking of Episode 2 (Bird Bones), you get a glimpse into the ladies’ shared past with the introduction Mark’s wife Tina. Tina, who suffers from Osteogenesis Imperfecta (more commonly known as Brittle Bone Disease) was the subject of the ladies’ teasing when they were in high school. Emma and Maggie end up spending the day with Tina while Mark deals with a wierd case involving garden gnomes. Know that scene in the trailer where Maggie randomly kicks in a door? It happens in this episode after Emma accidently spills the beans about how mean they were to her in high school. Tina locks herself in the master bedroom. While Emma is on the phone with Mark, Maggie is trying to get the door open. Tired of waiting around, she kicks the door in. As for the bath robes, the ladies were messing around in the bathroom and accidently tripped the shower.
So far I give the show a 7/10, which is respectible. It’s prettymuch hit or miss with the jokes. Luckily this wasn’t taped in front of a studio audience (“Applause”, “AWW!”, “Laugh”, etc.) or it would’ve gotten real annoying real quick. The hilarious misunderstanding at the end of the Pilot episode will likely be explored to death in fanfiction as FemSlash just like another fandom I know wih two female leads.
Keegan is a treat to watch on the small screen though I’m sure many of you know him from the horror movie spoofs he’s co-starred in. I think I said this in my other blog post but the belly on Maggie is fake. Lennon actually had children and though they made her look younger for the show, I think her body was a good fit for the role. It’s said you can tell if a woman’s had kids just by looking at her breasts. Not that I’d know but in her case, they fit well with the fake belly she wears. It looks natural even though I know she isn’t actually pregnant. Unless the fake belly is a prosthetic (which costs a bit more than wbat’s usually used for women playing pregnant characters) they’ll probably use a body double for bare belly scenes (though it looks like it is a prosthetic to me).
According to IMDB the first season will have 10 Episodes. That can mean anything from their wanting to see how Season 1 does before filming Season 2 to filming Season 2 while Season 1 is airing. My guess is Maggie will give birth by the end of Season 1 and if not, early Season 2. The track record for a pregnant character with live actors being pregnant for too long (unless the actress is really pregnant) isn’t that long. There’s also the possability Emma or Tina might get pregnant at some point and if the writers know what they’re doing, they could make it work.