‘Playing House’ Season 2 Spoilers From Lennon Parham & Jessica St. Clair Tease Big Returns, Sea Life & Romance
Whether you're turning your Mom into a Jammer by suggesting she binge Season 1 or working on your livetweet game each Tuesday night, Playing House on USA is the place to be this summer. The sitcom's new season is already in full swing, and I can't wait to see what happens next. I recently had the opportunity to speak with the two stars/creators of the show, and asked Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham to describe Playing House Season 2 using emojis as their only method of communication. Since the actresses are both writers and improvisors as well, it should come as no surprise that they were up to the challenge.
To be honest, I can't think of a better way to describe this show in general. First of all, it features porcupine cupcakes that are so cute they make you wanna punch someone — much like some emojis. They're sincere. Also, these little pictures pepper our daily conversations with best friends we'd happily drop everything to raise a baby with, just like Maggie and Emma.
Here's what Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair came up with, after much discussion and a few outtakes I vow never to reveal until the season is over, if at all. Playing House isn't full of as many twists and turns as, say, The Walking Dead, but see what you can gleam from these cryptic symbol spoilers:
I will only explain one thing and that is that the shrimp is a proxy for a different variety of shellfish that the ladies requested. That's all I'm saying! No more! If you're a fan of Playing House, I reckon you can figure out what, or who, that little critter is referring to this season. The ladies and the baby are probably Maggie, Emma, and Charlotte. Since the series takes place in New England, which is chock full of coasts and lakes, a sailing adventure doesn't seem too out of place. Fingers crossed that the dancing lady means the return of Spaghetti Night, the "Magic Mike meets The Full Monty" episode from last season and one of my favorites. Finally, I would assume that the laughing cry face is representative of the feels I'm gonna have at the end of the season, but inappropriate laughter in a situation makes for good comedy too.
As far as that smooch and overall shipping goes, I did ask about Mark and Emma's relationship, especially after the big confrontation with them, Maggie, and Tina in the season premiere. Do we root for them to get together? Should we root for a different kind of closure? "We always want our characters to be striving to be better," says Jessica St. Clair, "and now that they have a baby it's even more important." She tells me that the (potential for a) romantic arc between those two characters was the most contested thing in their writer's room up until the very last moment.
"Everybody had intense opinions about what should happen between them [...] we just took a leap and we're all so happy we did and I think that we tried to treat this relationship not in the kind of TV way that people tease out 'will they or won't they' because they have to fill the season.
She describes the Christmas Special of the British The Office, another comedy with short seasons by our standards, as "the hottest thing I've ever seen in my entire life" when something major happens between Dawn and Tim (OG Pam and Jim) — but the reason it's so affecting and satisfying is because it's realistic and true to the characters.
Therefore, I wouldn't take that or the kissy-face emoji as a spoiler in either direction. Lennon Parham in particular assures me that despite everything they told me, I have no idea what's in store for these characters, and that both character growth and choices were important to them for the development of the season. "We wanted Mark and Emma and Maggie both to make hard decisions and move forward and by the end of the season be in a different place," she says. Season 2 of Playing House may only have a handful of episodes left, but "big things are coming."
Image: Robyn Von Swank/USA Network; Leah Thomas/Bustle