Where There’s a ‘Will,’ There’s a Way; ‘Odd Mom’ Gets Dark; ‘Adam Ruins’ Season

Shakespeare and Craig Pearce, creator of Will, which debuts on TNT July 10, go way back. Pearce wrote the screenplay for Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 film Romeo + Juliet, and as a boy, helped his mother, an amateur actress, learn her lines when she played Juliet.

Will tells the story of Shakespeare arriving in London with hopes of being a playwright. There’s a punk-rock spirit to the series. Theater at the time, said Pearce, “was like rock ‘n’ roll, very passionate and very visceral.”

Pearce did a “huge” amount of research to craft his portrait of a twentysomething Shakespeare. While everyone knows the Bard’s name, and much of his work, Pearce said people know little about the man. He had “an incredible ability to see into the souls of human beings,” said Pearce.

One could also say that about Jill Kargman, creator of Odd Mom Out, which has season three starting up on Bravo July 12. Kargman expertly satirizes the Manhattan mom elite on the show, which borrows from real-life headlines, too. Season two closed with a Ponzi scheme rocking the Upper East Side, and the new season offers a close-up of its effects.

Kargman said Bernie Madoff lived a block away from her before he relocated to a Federal Correctional Institution in North Carolina. She’s friendly with some of his victims. “I was very much immersed in the fallout,” Kargman said.

Each new season of Odd Mom Out reveals a little bit more of its creator. Kargman said season three is “the balsamic reduction of me.” The new batch of episodes leans into her darker side a bit more. “It’s the purist version of me this year,” she added.

Asked how long she sees the series going, Kargman quipped that 30 seasons would be nice. “There’s so much material,” she said. “I’m living it — I get more and more ideas every day.”

And Adam Conover has plenty of ideas for the new season of his myth-busting series Adam Ruins Everything, which starts on truTV July 11. The premiere sees Adam ruin having a baby. “There’s a huge amount of misinformation about that life stage that people go through,” Conover said.

Conover said his inquisitive ways go back to childhood. “I was the kid in class questioning why we were being taught this way, and what the truth was. It got me into trouble.”

Conover consumed science shows insatiably as a boy on Long Island; he called the ’90s the “unappreciated golden age of science TV.” Those shows, such as Beakman’s World and Bill Nye the Science Guy, have left their mark on Adam Ruins Everything, such as when Conover tells the viewer why they should care about a given topic.

“I did not realize how much our show resembles those science shows,” he said.

Michael Malone

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.