Entries from October 2009

CHECKING IN: Modern Family

October 30th, 2009

Modern Family was one of my favorite pilots of the season. It centers around three different, fairly atypical families that are all related to each other. The patriarch of the family is TV legend Ed O’Neill, who is married to a much younger Sofia Vergara. Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Julie Bowen play siblings, and Eric Stonestreet and Ty Burrell play their partner and husband respectively. The show is full of incredibly wonderful, hilarious and touching moments. Whether it’s Manny (played by the adorable Rico Rodriguez) and his words way beyond his years, or Cameron and Mitchell’s adventures in parenting…this show has done no wrong so far. One of my favorite moments is the song written by Alex’s boyfriend, entitled In The Moonlight (Do Me):

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzKtgPXS7PE]

But there’s also so many other amazing moments: when Mitchell bumps Lily’s head on the ceiling but she is protected by a Donna Summer wig, when Phil tries to bond with Jay and ends up getting hit in the face by a model airplane, when Shelly Long guest starred as Mitchell and Claire’s mom and they talk about “the incident” at Jay and Gloria’s wedding. Each episode is full of great moments like this, but even more than that, it has what many comedies lack: heart. At the end of this week’s episode, Claire lets Phil win in a running race to spare his feelings. And Gloria, despite her ridiculous antics, really loves Manny and Jay and her new family. Clearly, in my opinion, this show has absolutely kept up its momentum from the pilot, and it just keeps getting better every week. I always expect great things from this show, and it constantly exceeds my expectations.

Grade: A

The Office: Subtle Sexuality Video

October 30th, 2009

subtle_sexuality_logo1

I tried to post this yesterday, but the internet forces were working against me. So, better late than never right? The Office is full of brilliant moments, and sometimes, they will come out with gems like this. Kelly Kapoor and Erin Hannon (the talented lady duo Mindy Kaling and Ellie Kemper) formed a girl band “Subtle Sexuality,” and dropped this single called Male Prima Donna. It is pretty fantastic.

Check it out here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6k5FHJqFde0&hl=en&fs=1&]

Four shot

INTERVIEW: Jessalyn Gilsig (Terri Schuester) from Glee

October 28th, 2009

Glee1I don’t think I can say enough good things about Glee. It is just a wonderful show with an incredibly talented cast and an absolutely incomparable creator. Each week, I look forward to the ongoing war between various cliques, the drama, and of course the tear-inducing musical numbers. I recently had a chance to chat with Jessalyn Gilsig who plays Terri Schuester (Will’s crazy wife that everyone loves to quote and sometimes hate). I think she is one of the most interesting characters on the show, and I love the scenes where she is featured. We talked about Ryan Murphy (the aforementioned creator), what the future holds for Terri and Will, and what she was like in high school.

I adore Glee.
Yay! Thank you so much!

What originally drew you to the role of Terri?
Well, first of all, Ryan Murphy. Because I had worked with him on Nip/Tuck. And that was one of the best experiences as an actor I’ve ever had in my career. He really challenges you as an actor, and he really pushes you, and he really puts a lot of faith in actors to be able to — I think go further than they’ve ever gone before. Certainly for me on Nip/Tuck. You know, for obvious reasons…things I never thought I’d do. (laughs) But also just emotionally and character-wise and comedically. Every script was just this amazing emotional gymnastics. So that first of all: I was like great, I’d love to work with Ryan. And for me, the opportunity to do a comedy is something that I’ve been itching to do for many years now and also if I was going to do that–which is kind of a big risk for me–to be able to do that with Ryan, who I know so well, and then so much of the crew that I was familiar with from Nip/Tuck was kind of a dream scenario I would say.

19163131There has been a lot of different reactions to your character Terri. What do you think of her?
(laughs) Oh my God, it’s so hard being Terri. It’s so lonely. I mean, it was the same with Gina [her Nip/Tuck character] I guess. No, I understand her. I feel like you know, we’re all a bunch of crazy people just navigating the planet and I feel like we all make really stupid decisions that we then sort of spend the rest of our lives trying to you know, make sense of, or apologize for, explain. I think she’s arrested, you know, I think in many ways she’s still in high school. And so much of high school is about scheming. You know, if I do this, and she’ll do that, and won’t it be perfect. We’ll have babies. It’s so high school for her to say “If he believes that I’m pregnant, he’ll never leave me.” And that’s basically as far as her plan has — you know, as deep as she thought it through. It’s also like–you have to be, as an actor, if Terri wasn’t hard to swallow, then the fact that Will is flirting with another teacher would make him unsympathetic as a character. So I have to be, kind of unpleasant, so that everybody can support that relationship. It’s kind of like a self-sacrifice for the bigger picture.

Have you gotten any interesting fan reactions to Terri?
Oh my God, it’s been so mixed that I don’t even look anymore. People get so angry. It’s a comedy, it’s a TV show. People get really upset about it. It’s fun for me the morning after because a lot of people will quote her to me. Like today, I got this email on my Facebook that was like my favorite this line this week — it was my line about how I had a big crush on the Karate Kid (laughs). So, she definitely has some great gems of lines and people like to quote those to me. And I think there are just a lot of people who think she’s a nut job, basically. Which I guess she is. But it’s fun to play those parts. You kind of want to be the person who stirs up controversy. It keeps the show interesting I think.

Yeah, I definitely think it makes the show more interesting that way.
Yeah, otherwise, they’re all so adorable. Will’s so cute. Emma’s so cute. And then you’re at Disneyland.

You don’t want to be at Disneyland every year of your life.
You don’t want to live at Disneyland. I mean, maybe you do want to live at Disneyland, but Terri’s not going to make that call for you. (laughs)

Are you good friends with Jayma? Is it hard to be mean to her on set?
It’s really fun. I love it. We joke so much about it. It’s so fun. All the crew gets into it. Like the day that we had the scene that already aired in Vitamin D where I come to her office and tell her to step off my man…the crew was so excited. They were like “oh my God, here comes the cat fight, the show down.” And even Jayma and I in the makeup trailer start taking our opening shots. That just makes it so much fun, when we’re all in the dynamic of the show.

Talk a little bit about your relationship with your sister on the show. She gives you some crazy advice.
I know. Well she’s great, because I think she makes Terri seem normal. So I’m really grateful to [the actress] Jennifer Aspen because she’s such a nut job that suddenly Terri looks like she fits in with everybody else. I guess it’s kind of that same high school thing. Terri just adores her big sister. She thinks that she has access to some kind of logic, and her life seems to be functioning, and she has a house, and she has kids and she has a husband whose devoted to her. So sometimes, you do get advice from friends and the little voice in the back of your head says “wait, that doesn’t sound right,” but it seems to be working for her, so maybe I’ll try it. Again, you know, Terri’s analytical mind is under-developed.

You and Sue (Jane Lynch) recently teamed up to get in the way of Will and Emma’s relationship. Will there be any Sue and Terri scenes in the future?
I hope so. I think that there should be, I really do. I think we’re united in our cause. We might have different motivations but I think that we’re both seeing the same world. So I would love it. Especially because Terri has a history in cheerleading. So I’m hoping that gets exploited with Sue at some point.

19098002Can you give us a little teaser of the rest of the season–what might happen with Quinn’s baby and Terri’s storylines?
There is like–the way I’ve been thinking about it–is there is a reckoning. I mean the great thing about Ryan is he kind of bends things off — like that’s impossible, that could never happen, that’s beyond–he sort of sends things off into the ether. And then he always lands the plane. So it will land. And we will step into reality, and there’s going to be a reckoning. There just has to be. So it gets pretty intense, as we go deeper and deeper into the season.

I’m sure you get asked this a lot, but do you think we’re going to see Terri in any musical numbers?
(laughs) I do get asked that a lot. I haven’t sung yet. And I don’t know, I’m so curious. I heard that they have a lot of great stuff for the back 9. And I kind of want to know if I sing, and I’m kind of terrified to find out. But you know, I think she’s got a song in her. We’ll see. It’s intimidating. Every week, I watch it and I see the musical numbers and I’m like Oh my God, these kids are unbelievable. It’s definitely intimidating.

Do you think you’ll be a part of the concert tour?
(laughs) I don’t know. I don’t think anyone’s asking “Where’s Jessalyn’s solo?”

(laughs) I’m asking that!
Thank you, thank you! Maybe we’ll start a little campaign.

Definitely.
I mean, it’s so great. All of it. It’s just–our presence on iTunes, the fact that there is a concert, and all of it. It’s just this amazing stage for the show. I’m open to any challenge. Again, with Ryan, your best way to approach your job is to just say yes and have faith that he’ll protect you. And he always does. And you always end up doing things you never thought you could do. So if I’m asked, I’ll just say yes, and follow their lead.

Sounds good to me. And what were you like in high school? Can you relate to these characters?
Yes, very much so. I was an art geek. I was most comfortable in art class and in theater class, so that’s when I felt most like myself. And then when those classes would end, and you go back out into the hall, I was uncomfortable. I found high school kind of hard. And I knew that when I was in the arts, that was when I felt like I could be myself and I was accepted and understood and I could feel a real connection with other people. So in that way, I really relate to the show. I think it really speaks to the high school spirits. Whether or not you’re in the arts or the sciences or sports or whatever it is, you hope to find that club that speaks to you.

Definitely. And also, Terri hated her job at Sheets N’ Things, for good reason. Do you have any good stories from your worst job?
I was a chamber maid in a hotel. And I just remember–I couldn’t believe how people leave their hotel rooms. I had no idea. It was almost as if they’re entire visit–the goal of the visit was to just leave something disgusting for me. And the first night I stay anywhere, I always tip the housekeeping, because I just want to send a message–like respect. Because that was seriously so brutal. I don’t know if I’ll ever get those images out of my head.

Ugh.
Yeah, it was nasty. People don’t care. They just leave and they don’t care. Or even sometimes people were still staying there. And I think, I’m probably going to bump into you and you’re still not self-conscious about this?

You should feel bad about yourself.
Yeah! Aren’t you even like a little bit embarrassed?

What else do you have coming up? Any chance you are returning to Heroes?
I don’t know! I hope so, I want to go back. There’s so many great fans for that show. They were so great about my character, Meredith. I would like to go back, but I haven’t heard anything. I have a little independent film coming out called “Fifty-Nothing.” And I’m in the Stepfather [which premiered last week]. And then, we’re lucky–we’re going back in January. So I’m kind of at that great moment where I’m suspended between jobs, and I can just enjoy my daughter. I’m so grateful for that. It’s so rare.

Thank you so much.
Thank you. I’m so glad you like the show. I hope you can forgive Terri.

I love Terri. Maybe I’m one of the few…
You might be alone in the fan club, but I would love to have you.

We will form a 2 person fan club.
Awesome! (laughs) Thank you so much!

Glee returns on Wednesday, November 11th with all new episodes on FOX.

CHECKING IN: Melrose Place

October 27th, 2009

Have shows improved since their premiere or have they gotten worse? Have new shows been able to keep up their momentum or have they fallen short? These are all questions I am going to answer in a new segment I like to call Checking In. Throughout the fall season, I will be “checking in” with specific shows, and giving them my grade and analysis. There are definitely some pleasant surprises this season. But there are others which are not living up to the hype. I will start with Melrose Place.

melroseMelrose Place has some large shoes to fill. Whenever there is a remake of a show, it runs the risk of being criticized and closely compared to the old one. The pilot did not impress me. I thought there were too many characters to keep track of, and not enough depth. There was a murder mystery to keep it together, but overall, I wasn’t sure if it would earn a season pass on my DVR. However, when I watched the 2nd episode (written by the super talented Liz Tigelaar), I became a little more hooked. The writing sharpened up, the characters became more interesting, and I heard there would be some cast members returning from the original show to play their old parts.

The show has slowly continued to build on that 2nd episode, and I have to say, I’m really enjoying it. Katie Cassidy is by far the best part of the show and she is truly unstoppable. Her ruthless character Ella is a take-no-prisoners PR maven, who has to deal with a terrible boss and difficult clients. Any episode that highlights Ella is always fantastic. Daphne Zuniga (Jo Reynolds from the original) returned this week, and I thought she was great too. I’m not sure how crazy I am about Lauren’s (Stephanie Jacobsen) whole storyline about becoming a prostitute to pay off her medical school debt. And Ashlee Simpson-Wentz’s character Violet is mysterious, but I’m not sure I like it. Recently however, the show announced that Simpson-Wentz and Colin Egglesfield (he plays Auggie, and I do enjoy him) are not going to be on the show anymore (after the episodes with them in it have been filmed). I was slightly surprised about Egglesfield (the network said his character is too dark), but taking Simpson-Wentz out of the picture is a pretty good decision.

I enjoy Riley and Jonah, as well as finding out everyone’s secrets. And I’m excited for the return of Heather Locklear (Amanda). I think the show is really making a name for itself, and while it has big plans to incorporate the old characters, it is very different from the original. No matter what the title of the show is, it’s still a completely different cast of characters…even if they still live at the same address. And in my opinion, it’s definitely better than it’s Tuesday night companion, 90210 (also a remake).

Melrose Place may not be my all time favorite show of the season, but I thoroughly enjoy it every week. I look forward to seeing where they go from here, and what storylines they have planned for the new (and old) characters. Be sure to tune in every Tuesday at 9 pm on the CW!

Grade: B+

In Treatment Renewed for a 3rd season

October 23rd, 2009

gabriel byrneIn Treatment is probably the most unique and fascinating show on television (even though it is not technically on television right now). Based on an Israeli series called Bei Tipul, it finished its triumphant 2nd season earlier in the year. It follows the life of therapist Dr. Paul Weston (played by the incomparable Gabriel Byrne), his patients, and his sessions with his own therapist Gina (played by the lovely and talented Dianne Wiest). Each week was more compelling then the next. Each character was incredible, and insightful. Each episode made you feel like you were going through therapy and life changing events with the characters. I even found myself wishing I could sit on the couch across from Dr. Weston.

Despite it’s numerous accolades, awards and critical acclaim, it was unclear whether or not In Treatment would be picked up for a third season, because the Israeli series only had two seasons. However, I was thrilled to get this piece of news this afternoon. Michael Lombardo, president, Programming Group and West Coast Operations, HBO, said: “In Treatment is synonymous with inspired writing and brilliant acting,” noted Lombardo. “This is the kind of show that could only flourish on HBO, and we’re proud to bring it back.”

Well done, HBO! I am eagerly awaiting In Treatment’s return.

ADVANCE REVIEW: Series Premiere of White Collar

October 23rd, 2009


White Collar is an action packed crime drama, that centers around the unique partnership between a FBI Agent and a con-man who he’s been chasing for years. When FBI Agent Peter Burke (played by Tim DeKay) catches criminal Neal Caffrey (played by Matt Bomer, “Chuck”), Neal suggests that he should assist the FBI with their investigations, and in return, he won’t go back to jail. White Collar also stars Tiffani Theissen (of “Saved By The Bell” and 90210 fame) who plays Burke’s wife, and Willie Garson (“Sex and the City”) who plays Neal’s crime buddy.

I find that some crime-solving TV shows can focus too much on the crime, and not enough on the characters. However, White Collar is very much the opposite. The acting is truly phenomenal. And in the midst of crime and serious cases, the show has it’s incredibly funny moments as well. I think the premise is unique, and it works very well. In the beginning of the episode, Burke is frustrated by his FBI team of Harvard graduates who can’t seem to solve any cases. Along comes Caffrey who knows everything about crime, because he’s already committed them. The partnership is interesting not only because they are sort of yin to each other’s yang, but also because deep down, they each have an extraordinary amount of respect for one another. (Even if Burke’s “respect” for Caffrey is more of a masked, hateful respect).

In any case, I don’t want to spoil too much more. But I will say that I have incredibly high hopes for this show, because the pilot is just fantastic. Also, Matt Bomer is pretty nice to look at as well.

Don’t miss the series premiere of White Collar TONIGHT at 10 pm on USA Network.

REVIEW: Glee "Mashup" + Videos

October 22nd, 2009

Glee knocked another one out of the park last night. It centered around the guys making the choice between Glee and football, as well as the war of the “slushies.” I thought it was amazing to see Matthew Morrison and Jane Lynch do a dance number together (and then promptly for Sue Sylvester to start hating Schuester again). I also think Puckerman (Mark Saling) is incredibly amusing, so his storyline with Rachel and wanting to dating a Jew was great. Also, the guy can sing! His rendition of Sweet Caroline was great! And not to mention Matthew Morrison’s singing of Bust A Move.

Emma and Schuester’s dance sequence to “I could have danced all night” from My Fair Lady was adorable. And obviously, I’m hoping this bogus wedding between Ken and Emma doesn’t actually happen. Although where was Terri and all her crazy/wonderful-ness? And Kurt “taking one for the team” and throwing a slushie in his own face made me love that character even more. I think what Glee consistently does week after week is entertain me. While at the same time, I am blown away by the talent of the entire cast. Ryan Murphy and his creative staff never fail to amaze me.

Favorite quote of the night goes to Rachel: “I just think you want it too much, which is something I can relate to. I want everything too much.”

So while you wait anxiously for next week, enjoy these Glee-tastic videos!

Puckerman singing Sweet Caroline:
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMV4QevheIA]

Bust A Move:
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o74PGawqZys]

White Collar GIVEAWAY!! – CLOSED

October 20th, 2009

I am thrilled to offer this fantastic White Collar giveaway!

To solve the hardest crimes, hire the smartest criminal! USA NETWORK’s new series, White Collar, premieres Friday, October 23 at 10pm/9c. WHITE COLLAR, stars Matt Bomer (“Chuck,” “Tru Calling”), Tim DeKay (“Tell Me You Love Me,” “Carnivàle”), Tiffani Thiessen (“What About Brian,” “Fastlane”) and Willie Garson (“Sex and the City,” “John from Cincinnati”). WHITE COLLAR is about the most unlikely of partnerships between a con artist and an FBI agent. The story unfolds after charming criminal mastermind Neal Caffrey (Bomer) is caught by his nemesis, G-Man extraordinaire Peter Burke (DeKay). Rather than returning to jail for this daring getaway, Neal suggests an alternate plan – providing his expertise to assist the Feds in putting away infamous and elusive criminals in return for his freedom. Join us online: Official Site, Facebook Fan Page, and Twitter.

Two Winners will receive a White Collar Gift Bag! Each gift bag contains:

Six-in-One Game Set

The Modern Gentleman

Neal’s Little Black Book

White Collar T-Shirt

*Prizes courtesy of USA Network* Open only to U.S. residents, 18 yrs of age or older.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment with your favorite crime-solving TV show. Or if you aren’t into that, just leave a comment with your favorite show of the season. It’s that simple! Who doesn’t love free things? And free things from a hot new show! Enter now! Also, be sure to tune in for the premiere Friday, October 23rd on USA at 10 pm.

In Gayle We Trust GIVEAWAY!!! – CLOSED

October 19th, 2009

I love offering fantastic swag on my site, and this is a great one. In Gayle We Trust is the newest web series from NBC Digital. If you read the Q&A, you know that this show (the brainchild of Office writer Brent Forrester), stars Elisa Donovan (of Clueless fame) as Gayle, a sweet insurance agent forced to balance her family and her job. It is funny, quirky and just so enjoyable.

All of the webisodes are available here!

However, I have a SIGNED SCRIPT to give away. The script is signed by Elisa Donovan, Brent Forrester and Brian Palermo (who plays Gayle’s husband). It’s an awesome collectors item for anyone to have. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment to this post with your favorite line from “Clueless.” If you don’t like the movie (As If!), just leave me a comment!

Q&A: Elisa Donovan of "In Gayle We Trust"

October 19th, 2009

In-Gayle-We-Trust If you haven’t seen the latest NBC webseries “In Gayle We Trust,” you really should check it out. Each episode is several minutes long, and contain a delightful look into the life of Gayle (an insurance agent), played by the wonderful and talented Elisa Donovan. It is the brainchild of Brent Forrester, a writer for The Office. I recently had the chance to participate in a Q&A with the former star of “Clueless,” where she spoke about her inspiration for the way she plays Gayle, working with kids, and how great it is to finally be playing a nice protagonist.

On juggling family and work: Well, you know, it’s funny, Brent does have children, yes, the creator and director. I don’t have children but every – all of my friends who – many of my friends do have children – and they have all responded so strongly. I mean it’s really funny because I think all right well, I mean, I’m having a great time with having a child onscreen but I don’t have the actual experience of it. And in particular one girlfriend of mine in New York, (Eileen), who’s a teacher, called me and was just in hysterics and she said this is what we do with our – this is what we do with my son at the table. And she has literally had that experience with the voices and the things. And she is like oh I can’t even tell you how great it is. And she passes it on to all of her, you know, her associates because she’s a kindergarten teacher. And everyone clearly has had that experience before. And, you know, I have nieces and nephews and friend’s kids but that’s what I’m drawing from.

Favorite insurance moment on the show: Oh I love, I mean, they’re all hilarious but I love the man who comes into get insurance for his dog. When he – in case, you know, in the unlikely event of his demise. And it’s hilarious because he’s clearly delusional first of all but he thinks that the dog is completely in love with him and, you know, needs his companionship and then you realize that the dog has simply left the building and is desperately trying to get away from this man. So I think it’s really, you know, it is something that I’ve realized and people who deal in insurance that you are really dealing with people’s personalities and their fears and their, you know, their apprehension at losing they love and it gets incredibly personal which is really something that I never thought about it from that angle. So we kind of exacerbate that dynamic to the fullest. But it is pretty real, you know, because people are talking about losing things that they love so it – it’s pretty I guess it can be pretty intense.

On playing a sweet character vs. a saucy one: You know, that’s so funny, I’ve been asked that before and well I have to say I am really pleased to be playing such a nice person now because it’s nice to take, you know, you take these characters home with you and you live with them. And it’s amazing how – what a difference it is to bring home such a nice person who’s happy to be there and everybody’s happy to see her. And it really is a very different experience. But I love being, you know, the spice in the soup which is Amber or Morgan or those kinds of characters but they are, you know, they generally are – they are the spice in the soup so you can have too much of them or else it overpowers everything. But somebody like Gayle is just, you know, she can be around all the time because everybody loves her. You know, and she’s just as flawed as everyone else but she’s, you know, the hero. And I love it; it’s been so much fun. I base her a lot on my mom. And my mom is not from the Midwest but she has this just relentlessly positive attitude that, you know, you could just see the edges of her patience being stretched after, you know, an inordinate amount of pressure. So I kind of base Gayle on my mom who I love being around so.

On how her previous roles have helped her prepare for this one: I think they made me deserving of this one – to finally get to play someone nice. You know, when you – I always approach characters from the opposite place so, you know, if you’re playing somebody, you know, it’s the old idea of like if you’re playing Iago in Shakespeare who’s this horrible, horrible man you have to see, you know, the human side of him or why he does these things. So, you know, that’s an extreme example but you look at the opposite side of things. So in terms of Gayle or Amber or Morgan I would just always see them as these very human people who just had different, you know, had specific needs and saw the world from a certain perspective. And so with Gayle, you know, maybe her – I sometimes look at her relentless positivity as, you know, maybe she’s just afraid of losing some things on the other side so she, you know, doesn’t want to hurt people. And you kind of look at it from the opposite perspective so that there’s a certain level. Because, you know, if you watch Gayle there is just a little bit of impatience that comes up towards the ends of certain episodes. And you see, you know, she does have a boiling point; she’s certainly human. But, you know, she has a bit more patience than most.

On what she has learned about kids: In particular I just love Shane, he’s just a doll, this kid. And I have definitely learned that, you know, it’s really easy to be the onscreen mom or the buddy and you can, you know, they look up to you. And I really have learned the difference between having to – the amount of patience and time and nurturing it takes to really have a child. Like I only have them, you know, when I work with them for 12 hours or day or really eight hours I think is what kids – that’s the most they can work. And I realize how impressionable they are, you know, and how you can – anything that you say they really pick up. And with Shane in particular he’s so – I just – I really, really adore him and we had a great rapport immediately. And he’s really – he’s really curious and really smart. And he’s one of these kids that is – he’s unusual. I think I was an unusual kid. And so I – unusual meaning that he’s really perceptive and he talks about, you know, feelings and things he observes. And he’s a really great kid. And, you know, it teaches – I think it just teaches me about life and, you know, in general. So I’m enjoying it.

elisa-donavanOn whether or not she hopes this will become a 22 minute comedy series: …like yes it is the hope. I mean, I think ultimately that would – that’s probably the goal in the traditional sense but I really think that, you know, this is such uncharted territory so I think nobody really quite knows where all of this stuff, you know, where it’s headed. But certainly, yeah of course, you know, I would love to make Gayle a half-hour sitcom that’s in primetime, absolutely I would love that because, you know, you reach a wider audience sort of in a more saturated way. And you know, then the budgets get bigger, everything kind of gets easier. But, you know, I would also love to do it again just as it is because ultimately you just want to work with great people and on material that you love. And in this case that’s absolutely what it was for me. I mean, (Francis) just a gorgeous human being and a great man and super kind and uber-talented. So, you know, you – for me that’s more what it’s about. And then you want to reach people. So certainly, you know, we don’t want to do it in a vacuum. You know, I don’t know if that’s even a consideration, you know, I don’t know if that’s something that they look at when they create these things. I think it starts, you know, as it is and then you see what happens.

On how hard it is to tell a story in 5 minutes or less: This is where Brent is a genius and where the writing is just the most – one of the most important elements because you really do have to have an entire arc in a couple of pages. And, you know, I – that is completely Brent genius. It’s more like a sketch really in that, you know, structurally speaking. So you have to really distill down what it’s about. So you know, okay, this particular scene is about Gayle trying to tell these two people that they can’t come in here anymore for their relationship issues. So you know from the beginning that’s what it is. And you have to get to that point really – like everything has to kind of go there directly. And the humor then comes out of it. So it’s – I guess what you have to do is be really laser-focused in what the intention is in this scene so that it doesn’t meander because you don’t have time, you know, you don’t have time to kind of let something develop; you have to know what it is immediately. And it’s really fun in that way too because it’s very clear and you know in the writing exactly where you’re going. And that’s super important like I can’t stress that enough that the writing is really important. As much as in certain – some of the episodes we improv’d a little more than others and, you know, went off script which Brent wanted us to do. But that was really only possible because he had created the structure that was very clear.

On the similarities and differences between her and Gayle: Okay well I think the similarities are I really do just love people. And I think I generally am a person that likes to – that cares about people, that is interested in their welfare, that I have a real support – I’m a really generous and supportive person so I think those are definite similarities. The differences I would say is I have – my patience is not nearly as extensive as Gayle’s. I am a bit more – my sense of humor is – is maybe – I wouldn’t say more biting but definitely I think I’m a little – I might be a little more combative than Gayle I would say. I think most people are. She was, you know, bordering on sainthood I think.

On what sort of research she did for the part: I was given some information about, you know, the American Family and the insurance company that were working with. So I knew kind of what sort of – what their brand means and what their way of working is and how they deal with clients and I had to learn about what’s, you know, what’s confidential information and how to – how they deal with their own clients and that kind of thing. And then in terms of other research it’s more, you know, being a parent, that’s – I just talked to other parents and things like that.

On her own problem-solving abilities: I would like to think that I’m brilliant at it; I’m not sure I am. But I definitely do play the role of people – I wouldn’t say coming to me for advice necessarily but more for support and insight. I certainly do play that role I think in a lot of my friendships. But I have – my friendships are that way like we’re very supportive of one another and very verbal also in that way. So it’s a really open dialogue. But I definitely think that, you know, and with a lot of younger people for whatever reason I’ve always been that way, you know, where young people – and I don’t know, you know, it could be because of the roles that I’ve played not the specific roles but the shows and the movies, you know, between Sabrina and Clueless especially that, you know, that age group of people they kind of always, you know, look to those characters – look up to those people. So I think I’ve always kind of, you know, been a little bit of a role model and not to sound too egotistical here but, you know, where girls do – they ask me questions and things. So even in that capacity yeah I have – I do kind of play that role.

On her favorite resident of Maple Grove: Oh that’s a good question. You know what, I’d have to say my – well aside from my husband and my son I would have to say my rival because he just really, really needs a lot of love; he needs a lot of – a lot of support. And I think that, you know, Gayle is really the person to get him on the right road.

New episodes of “In Gayle We Trust,” air every Tuesday night on nbc.com. Also, look for a great giveaway from the show!