Female friendships are often maligned in entertainment. Many portrayals of girls as besties offer a level of catty jealousy or competition to the mix, but in my experience, that’s not what best friendships are like between women. Best girlfriends are, for better or for worse, like sisters, and I’m really loving the shows that are showing all the nuances of that relationship, like USA’s Playing House. Starring UCB vets and comedy geniuses Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham (their other show on NBC, Best Friends Forever, was taken from us too soon), Playing House’s portrayal of best friends Maggie and Emma helping each other through a rough spot is hilarious and heartfelt. But something is about to change — Parham’s character Maggie just gave birth to a baby girl named Charlotte. How will this baby change Maggie and Emma's dynamic?
Here’s a rough synopsis of the show, for those of you who somehow haven’t seen it (and should go watch it right now). St. Clair plays Emma, the workaholic who runs from her problems, while Parham’s Maggie was a very pregnant woman who just found out that her husband was cheating on her with a German dominatrix online. In the wake of kicking that no good hubs out of the house, Emma vows that she will move back to her hometown to help Maggie raise her baby. Of course, hilarity ensues. Also popping up in the show are Keegan-Michael Key as Emma’s high school flame, Zach Woods as Maggie’s little brother, Lindsay Sloane as Mark’s wife, and Jane Kaczmarek as Emma’s mom.
As evidenced by the show’s synopsis, Maggie and Emma would do anything for each other, all while singing Kenny Loggins into each other’s boobs. These women are best friends, roommates, and now partners in parenting, but sometimes emotions get in the way. Though Maggie had slight feelings (and great a cappella aspirations) for her divorce lawyer, she tells Emma that it’s “totes kewl” that she goes out on a date with the guy, even though it wasn’t. When Emma finds out that Maggie hangs out regularly with Emma’s mother, who she is partly estranged from since running off to work in China’s finance market, Emma feels betrayed. What would a baby bring into this situation?
A whole lot of calm, honestly. Though the arrival of a baby is in itself the antithesis of calm, it really forces a person to prioritize his or her life. When you know you're going to wake up to a screaming baby at 3 a.m., all of these small squabbles will wash to the side to make room for more important matters — like how to get that baby to stop screaming. Only the big stuff will take precedence with baby Charlotte now in the picture, and I suspect that Emma and Maggie’s bond will just strengthen from here on out.
Bruce, is also in the picture — Maggie hasn’t kicked him out of his paternal duties.
But what’s interesting to me is that Charlotte will be raised in a home where
she recognizes that female relationships, though sometimes complicated, are
really the best relationships of all. They’re where you can go for moral
support, ice cream feasts, and, perhaps most importantly, people to help cover
up potential evidence.
Bring on the
Kenny Loggins, TV viewers, and settle in for Season 2 of Playing House on USA. I promise you’ll laugh, cry, and love it even more now that Charlotte is in the mix.
Images: Michael Yarish/USA Network; Giphy (3)