Alan Thicke is picking at a hors d’oeuvre that’s not to his liking. The actor, songwriter and famous TV dad gives up on the food when his wife, Tanya, arrives with a small pizza she got one of the cooks at the party to make for her.
The scene is an example of the relationship Thicke and his fiery wife have – one viewers of their reality show, “Unusually Thicke,” saw in the first season. That will continue when season two launches on Sept. 21 on Pop.
“It wasn’t hard to convince me to do this show because they let us change it,” Thicke says between bites of pizza. “We were more interested in a show where we could tell stories. What happens on our show could be turned into any sitcom script.”
The original concept for the series was a reality show with more of a “Housewives of ..” format. That would have meant a lot more tension and conflict between family members. “Unusually Thicke” is more like the reality show “Family Jewels” about KISS singer Gene Simmons and his family. That format is not scripted, but there is a basic outline of what is going to happen when the cameras start rolling.
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The story lines for season two of “Unusually Thicke” include a same-sex prom, an “accidental” porn shoot, Tanya brawling with some social media haters, a wedding, a divorce party, and the first Cannabis commercial. Look for Thicke’s three sons – Carter, Robin and Brennan - to make appearances.
Tanya had mixed feelings about opening up their home to cameras. But, it wasn’t the constant exposure that worried her the most.
“It’s easier to work with strangers than your own family,” Tanya says. “I asked God before we started the show, ‘Please let my marriage stay intact.’ If we didn’t end up divorced because of this show, I would be happy. If anything, it brought us closer together.”
Pop will air back-to-back half-hour episodes every week for the show’s 14-episode season.
It was a feeling of “ragey” that prompted Phoebe Waller-Bridge to write the autobiographical play, “Fleabag.” That stage work has been adapted into a new series for Amazon Prime that features Waller-Bridge in the starring role.
“I think it had something to do with how sort of confused I was about feminism and about how to be a kind of good feminist and also how I was allowed to express myself or how much sex women should or shouldn’t be having,” Waller-Bridge says. “All those sort of questions were happening, being asked by my contemporaries.”
Waller-Bridge didn’t realize all of these emotional feelings were churning in her until she performed a one-woman show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. During that show a naughty, dark-hearted character emerged.
The series features Waller-Bridge as the title character, a woman without a filter in search of emotional healing. At the same time, she rejects anyone who tries to help her and keeping up her bravado.
Fleabag is wiling to share her feelings directly with the viewing audience and often leaps right through the fourth wall.
“I really wanted to play with the idea of complicity with the audience and make them feel like they’re actually connected to Fleabag and that she’s keeping you complicit in the story, so she can look at you and say, ‘You know what I mean?’ And even if you don’t, you’re kind of involuntarily complicit in her story,” Waller-Bridge says.
The cast also includes Brett Gelman, Olivia Colman, Bill Paterson, Hugh Dennis, Hugh Skinner, Jamie Demetriou, Jenny Rainsford and Sian Clifford.
- 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, Pop
- 12:01 a.m. Sept. 16, Amazon Prime