The One Thing Keeping 'Playing House' From Turning Into 'Gilmore Girls'
The best friendships include both shared interests and a few crucial "agree to disagree" moments. We all have to bring different strengths and passions to our relationships, and that goes for the real life gal pals who star in Playing House on the USA Network. One of the things that the two comedians disagree on is Gilmore Girls, which is funny, because Pinebrook on Playing House is a lot like Stars Hollow, and the similarities don't end there. In a conference call with reporters, I asked Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair about the homages to Gilmore Girls in Playing House and essentially whether or not Parham can help it at this point.
"I think I'm the only thing standing between our show becoming Gilmore Girls," says Parham, per her understanding from fans. "I mean I have seen some of Gilmore Girls; it wasn't my cup of tea."
Of course, the two shows are not the same. I'm not saying that. Parham and St. Clair have practically developed their own language on Playing House. The way they work pop culture references into dialogue is unlike an Amy Sherman-Palladino production. It's the townies in Pinebrook and the small town New England feel that make me compare the two. Maggie and Emma also form an unconventional family not unlike Lorelai and Rory — though I actually think that the former pair might be better friends to the other people in their life overall, if I do say so myself.
Other moments, like how Episode 4 in the most recent season ends with no dialogue and acoustic guitar paired with lyric-less singing, will remind you of the quiet gut punches that Gilmore Girls delivered.
"I guess I could watch more of it," says Parham, "but I feel like honestly if I did people would say 'hey your show is too much like Gilmore Girls,' and me not having watched it is the only thing that is allowing us to say 'Oh no, we're not doing that, because Lennon's never seen it.'"
This isn't their only cultural divide. "Here's the thing, adds St. Clair. "I have Gilmore Girls. Lennon has Ru Paul's Drag Race. Like, I can't really watch Ru Paul's Drag Race. It doesn't do it for me."
The two of them are both major fans of Anne of Green Gables and The Great British Bakeoff, which was mentioned in the conference call, but not all friends love all the same things. "We have lots of beautiful differences," says Parham, summing it all up. "That makes us so much better together."