'Playing House' Can't Go the Way of 'BFF'

by Rachel Paige

Amidst the cancellations and extended series orders for all these new fall shows, there's one show from last spring that still has its fate dangling in limbo: Is USA's half-hour comedy, Playing House , ever getting renewed? I get that there are all sorts of other pressing issues in the world right now, but this one is kind of important. What gives, USA? Or are you planning to drop 10 new episodes on us like a surprise Beyoncé album when we least expect it? If not, then why are you dragging your feet with the renewal of Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair's best friend-driven comedy? We need answers, and we need them now.

Playing House premiered way back in April with 10 episodes that lasted through June. It featured Parham and St. Clair playing best friends — the two are actually best friends in real life — and the hilarity that ensued when Parham's Maggie has a baby, and St. Clair's Emma relocates from her big-shot job in Japan to help her out. It featured a supporting cast with Keegan-Michael Key, Zach Woods, and Jane Kaczmarek. At one point there is a joke about Emma eating four pounds of cheese. When I think about it, I still laugh.

What's disconcerting about Playing House's future is the fact that there is no paper trail of the show's second season on the internet. Usually, when a show hangs in limbo like this for an extended period of time, there's chatter as to why it hasn't been renewed yet. I hate to bring up Bunheads again, but let's talk about Bunheads. The show didn't get a second season renewal right away, with lame excuses like "more cost effective production" and ABC Family looking for other ways to trim the budget. It stayed in limbo for five months. While Bunheads waited for a final decision, at least people were talking about the how and why of it. It seems like Playing House could be headed in that same direction — but in this case, no one's talking about why.

Don't tell us the show is too expensive, USA. I'm pretty sure if given the choice, Parham and St. Clair would do the show in a basement somewhere in their pajamas with only the image capture on a MacBook Pro. 90 percent of the show is simply Maggie and Emma interacting with one another, and getting into the craziest life situations. Honestly, how expensive could it be to film the two of them for 30 minutes and do some editing?

Playing House never earned a huge audience, but it did collect some diehard fans, myself included. The show is so wonderful because it's rare to see a raw, hilarious female friendship so perfectly done. Plus it has not one funny female lead, but two. Anyone else watch their short-lived sitcom on NBC, BFF ? Playing House is the second coming of that, and I don't want these two women to go away again. Honestly, USA would be foolish not to give it a second season. Because if they cancel it, what will their excuse be? Money? Time constraints? Trying to make way for a reboot of Burn Notice?

It's not too reassuring that the official Playing House twitter stopped tweeting in July. But Parnham and St. Clair continue to keep the Twitter dream alive, and it seems that many fans are, too. The hope for a second season of Playing House continues to live on. Maybe if we put it on our holiday wish lists? #RENEWPLAYINGHOUSE. Viva la revolution!

Image: Neil Jacobs/USA Network