Around the LaineyGossip offices (read: email threads) I am the go-to for Mae Whitman stuff. This was mostly a holdover from falling in love with her on Parenthood, combined with the knowledge that she and Lauren Graham had kind of adopted each other (more on this later). I am the official love-haver for anything she does, not that it’s hard and not that there aren’t other team members totally ready to take up the mantle.
So I was a bit surprised at the mixed feelings I experienced when I read that she’d been cast in a pilot called 'Good Girls'.
I shouldn’t have mixed feelings. The pilot is written Jenna Bans, who’s a longtime Shondaland alumni, and wrote The Family which I think got a bit of an unfair shake last year. The cast is great – it’s got Retta!! It’s got Matthew Lillard and Kathleen Rose Perkins, that actress you recognize from Episodes and Fresh Off The Boat. And it’s by NBC who has proven they know what to do with Mae Whitman, which is no small deal.
But I just have a bit of a case of melancholy about it all. First of all, the title feels a little too soon, given that I’m still pretty raw about the cancellation of Good Girls Revolt on Amazon. This is a totally different show and a different title, but it does make me think of what could have been, and of Mae’s Parenthood costar Joy Bryant.
And of course, a pilot is NOT a show. There’s no guarantee a show gets made, or that it stays on the air if it does. But I’m a little sad that it might pull her away from other projects. I was ridiculously excited when, in 2015, it was announced that Mae and Lauren Graham would adapt "The Royal We", written by the Fug Girls. In her most recent book Lauren Graham refers to Mae as “my producing partner and husband, Mae Whitman”, and that’s a relationship I’d really like to see play out.
We haven’t heard a lot about that project lately, which is also super normal for something in development. It doesn’t mean it’s not happening and in fact there’s no reason they can’t both happen concurrently… but, you know, if you book a weekly series, things get busy (except on Parenthood, which was notoriously civilized, which is why Lauren Graham started writing in the first place, according to her).
I will take the people I like any way I can get them, and the description of Good Girls (who, you got it, go bad) sounds like a show I would really love. It’s just a fact of life in this business that sometimes you can’t have all the things you love all at the same time.
Here's Mae at AOL Build the other day.