‘Single Drunk Female’ Timely Amidst Pandemic, Says Creator
More people are drinking to cope, and more 20-somethings have moved in with the parents
Single Drunk Female, about a 20-something alcoholic who moves home with her mother with the hopes of getting sober, begins on Freeform January 20. Sofia Black-D’Elia plays the young woman, Samantha, and Ally Sheedy portrays her mother.
Creator Simone Finch began writing the project back in 2012. “The idea was, what if I got sober on my mom’s couch?” she told B+C, “instead of Los Angeles? And here we are.”
Finch executive produces alongside Jenni Konner and Daisy Gardner, among others. Gardner called Konner a mentor in her early days of being a comedian in Los Angeles. She recalled Konner, whose credits include Girls, inviting her to watch the pilot of 2006 Ted Danson comedy Help Me Help You get shot.
Konner recalls it differently. It was, “Can you come for free and be as funny as you are for free,” she said, “and help our pilot get better?”
Moving home to Boston, Samantha works at a grocery store and battles the temptations to drink, with some success. Two episodes premiere January 20. Episodes stream on Hulu the day after their premiere.
The project has gotten more relevant amidst the pandemic, said Finch. “So many people are using alcohol and drugs to cope,” she said.
Gardner added that many 20-somethings have also moved in with their folks the past couple years. “I’m grown up, I’ve grown past this place, and now I’m in my childhood bedroom,” she said.
Phil Traill, Nora Silver and Leslye Headland also executive produce Single Drunk Female.
Finch described Samantha as annoying, loveable, funny, kind and self-obsessed. Konner called Sofia Black-D’Elia a genius in her portrayal of Samantha. “She’s so funny, so smart, vulnerable and always surprising,” she said.
Black-Delia’s work includes The Mick, Gossip Girl and Your Honor. Gardner said Black-D’Elia has a knack for digging into a script to find the real funny. “She’s read the scene 50 times, she’s analyzed it, and found stuff in the scene you haven’t found yet,” said Gardner.
When the scene is caught on camera, the producers and writers credit themselves for crafting brilliant lines. Gardner said plenty of credit goes to Black-D’Elia. “She found the thing that made the scene turn,” she said.
Finch is a big fan of Ally Sheedy and never thought the show would land her. “We met her and she said, yeah, I want to do it,” said Finch. “I was like, what?”
Sheedy’s work includes films The Breakfast Club, St. Elmo’s Fire and High Art, and a bit of television, but not many regular roles.
Konner credited Finch for penning a script that Sheedy could not turn down. “It’s a testament to Simone’s writing that she could create a character to lure Ally Sheedy to television,” she said.
The producers single out Freeform for having their back on a unique project. “They take chances on women, on women’s stories, on women EPs, women showrunners, women storytellers,” Gardner said. “We are super grateful for that.” ■
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.