Wednesday June 7, 2017

Apple decided to drop the first episode of Planet of the Apps last night, somewhat unannounced (more below).  That said, OF COURSE I watched the 1st episode.  The article below is pretty much spot on.  It's a weird mix of The Voice + Shark Tank, but what's missing (to me anyway) is any sort of true payoff.  You pitch your app and have 60 seconds to sway the "judges" to press yes, meaning that they want to hear more.  If you can convince one of the 4 judges / mentors to stick with you, you get to enter a 6-week incubation period with said judge / mentor.  After 6 weeks, you pitch your app to a panel of 4 venture capitalists who decide whether or not to invest.  If they do invest, they commit to a dollar amount (call it $1M), but we aren't told the company's valuation and I have no clue what role the judge / mentor plays thereafter.  I'll stick with it because I'm a sucker for these entrepreneurial / start up shows, but don't go subscribing to Apple Music just so you can watch this.

The cast of This Is Us joined Billy On The Street.

Nicolas Cage said no to appearing on an episode of season 2 of Master of None, as himself.

A recap of day 2 of the Bill Cosby trial.

I agree, Jonathan Banks definitely deserves his own series.

Jerry Seinfeld completely dissed Kesha.

Kevin Hart offered his take on Bill Maher, in case you care.

Buzzfeed has a look at the celebrity power wielded by Jennifer Lopez.  "The key to marketing herself in a way that feels admirable to her fans is controlling her narrative utterly. She’s done this through her movie choices (playing romantic, enterprising, and tough, by turns) and TV work (playing herself on Will and Grace and allowing her persona to be sent up, and her recent appearance on James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke) and her music (she moves with prevailing trends but crucially never leaves behind her core fandom), but it is away from those ventures that she has shaped culture most pressingly. Think about this: In 2000, she inspired the birth of Google Images, thanks to That Dress; in 2002, she reinvigorated the largely dormant celebrity fragrance game by releasing Glow; in 2003 she gave us a new touchstone — and set a Razzie record for its time — for the noble turkey misadventure with Gigli. Her critically lackluster later films is outstripped by her vast cultural influence — and it is remarkable that we are not fatigued by her presence, despite her seeming ubiquity. Amid soured love affairs, it is Jennifer Lopez who emerges most unsullied and still fragrant, having avoided the most insidious celebrity crime of all: oversaturation (a near miracle, especially post-'Bennifer')."

I knew this one was inevitable: "HBO has put in development Brown Girls, a comedy series based on the OpenTV web series, which debuted on Elle.com in February. The duo behind the breakout web series, writer Fatimah Asghar and director Samantha Bailey, also will shepherd the TV adaptation as writer/executive producer and director/executive producer, respectively. Brown Girls centers on a queer Pakistani-American writer and a commitment-phobic Black-American musician who rely on their friendship and sisterhood as they try to rise above their lives’ messiness in pursuit of their dreams. The project is not related to the Freeform comedy pilot of the same name."

Aaron Rodgers still isn't speaking to his family despite no longer being in a relationship with Olivia Munn.

Connie Britton is open to a Friday Night Lights reunion.

Which TV characters would you most like to hang out with?  

A review of Claws.

"Apple Music has set the premiere date for its first original series, Planet of the Apps, with the first episode set to hit the streaming music service… [LAST] night!

"The news comes after the premiere was screened at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference on Tuesday. The premiere will be available to stream Tuesday night (June 6) at midnight ET/ 9 p.m. PT on Apple Music, as well as for download on the iTunes Store, with the rest of the season rolling out weekly.

Planet is equal parts an investment and strategy game and a narrative about budding developers looking for their big breaks. Think Shark Tank meets The Voice, and the figurative spinning chairs are held in this series by the fab four of entertainers and one serial investor.

"The series stars Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Alba who have become known for their top-earning businesses Goop and The Honest Co., alongside Will.I.Am, owner of the wireless earphone company Buttons, and Gary Vaynerchuk, the digital advisor to mega-brands who now touts his own incubator for Silicon Valley startups. Beats 1 DJ Zane Lowe serves as host.

Planet of the Apps marks Apple Music’s first foray into original programming. The streaming service also has an adaptation of James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke set to premiere in August."

Per The Hollywood Reporter, "The Mindy Project dropped not one but two bombshells when it unveiled its season-five finale in March.

"Onscreen came the surprise that Mindy (series creator and star Mindy Kaling) had eloped with beau Ben (Bryan Greenberg) — a decision she appeared ambivalent about, to say the least, as she looked out the subway window in the final moments of the episode.

"The following day came the surprising offscreen news that the show had been renewed for its sixth and final season.

"Those major changes ahead have only added to the creative process behind the scenes at the half-hour comedy, which opened its writers' room several weeks ago ahead of a September return to Hulu.

"'Everything has a lot of emotional weight in ways that other seasons haven't,' Kaling tells The Hollywood Reporter. 'When you only do 10 episodes for a final season, every character and all of her interactions in every storyline have so much more import because it's the last time we're going to do it.'

"With the writers hard at work on the final season and all those final moments, Kaling and showrunner Matt Warburton talked with THR about the thinking behind Mindy's 'impulsive' choice, their new rule for the final season and the 'satisfying' ending they're writing toward:

Speaking about the finale, where did the decision come from to have Mindy get married?
Matt Warburton: Part of it came from our knowledge that we had one more season left and so it felt the perfect timing to do something like that. Also, I think you can tell from the last shot of the episode that Mindy's not 100 percent sure it was the right idea and people are going to notice that that is the first thing we deal with.

It's important for the character, over the course of six years, to have checked off all the different boxes of the things that she's trying to learn about herself to see what she wants. Which are the things that she's dreamed of since she was a kid that will ultimately be still important to her as a fully integrated adult and which ones are maybe just fantasies. The audience will like how we handle it, to give her a little time to process this really big thing that, I think, for Mindy as a little girl and for a lot of little girls they assume is going to be the biggest moment in their life. Some people thought it was very tossed off and happened very casually. The character thinks that, too, so it's one of the first things that we're going to address moving forward in the last season.

What more can you say about that last look? There's a lot to unpack there.
Mindy Kaling: We have this saying, and it's been very useful when a series goes for longer than a hundred episodes, which is this character can never get what she wants when she wants it. We enjoyed it because it felt very real to her character to make a big impulsive move and it seems like she has everything, this instant family, a guy she loves and then there's a moment of panic.

Warburton: To us, it was our Graduate moment. It’s a character that’s gone through five years of growth making a decision that harkens back a little bit to her impulsiveness earlier in the series, and so what I think she's going to have to do is wrestle with, and this is something we've been talking about a lot in dealing with season six: to what extent is she a completely different person than she was when the show started because of all the things that she's gone through, and to what extent does she feel like there's still value to the person she was before.

In any show with a character that you really love, one inclination is to cure them of all their flaws but you remember that you like those flaws. Those were really cool things about that person and flaw is just a negative word for what might be something that makes you unique or interesting. One of the things that we're going to have to deal with this season, and I'm excited about the direction we’re going, is having her find that balance. We've done so much work curing her of the various things that we loved about the character at the beginning, but we want to make sure that she's able to say, "Yes, I've grown in different ways but I'm still myself." The marriage was, in some ways, her most pragmatic move she's ever made and her most impulsive.

What made you want to explore marriage and see Mindy as a married woman in the final season?Kaling: What Mindy has in common with a lot of women in their mid-30s is that she's obsessed with marriage. It’s the entire premise of the show. The pilot is her wanting to get married and her ruining her ex-boyfriend's wedding. For someone who fetishizes marriage so much, we're like, "OK, let's give it to her and let's see if it's as good as she thinks it's going to be." That's been the fun of the beginning part of this season is showing her what the challenges are of being married.

How soon after the finale does the premiere pick up?
Warburton: It will be about six months later.

How does marriage itself impact and change Mindy in the final season?
Warburton: One of the things is Ben, Bryan Greenberg's character, is so different from Danny that she's basically going to say, "Well, I tried the Danny thing and it was a colossal disaster. I'm going in a very different direction with Ben and the second I pull trigger, I have all these qualms about it." I think she has to say, "OK, if all these different extremes are a problem, is it me? Is it them? Is there something wrong with me or something wrong with the world? What's going on here?" She going to be thinking about that a lot.

How has knowing it’s the final season impacted the work and the writing process?
Kaling: Everything has a lot of emotional weight in ways that other seasons haven't. When you only do 10 episodes for a final season, every character and all of her interactions in every storyline have so much more import because it's the last time we're going to do it. It's been really helpful saying, "OK, where do we want each of these characters to end?" We have 10 episodes to do it and working backward from that, I kind of envy my friends who have always been on a cable network because this is really that great benefit of doing it this way. When we did 26 episodes two years ago, you can't even think about the end of it because it would make you go mad. And we also know what works, we know what people want to see, we know what we enjoy writing.

I want it to feel very satisfying, the ending, so you've felt like you were going on a journey and we were trying to lead you somewhere. So going into that, it's made it extremely funny but also a very emotional season.

Warburton: When you have only 10 episodes to do and you know there's so many fun things that you have left unresolved, you have to figure out what happens to all of your supporting characters. We can definitely promise the audience we'll be bringing back a laundry list of fan-favorite guest stars. People would kill us if we didn’t bring back some of these people. So we get to see everybody and find out what happens to them, and take Mindy on this big epic, 10-episode journey.

What else is your personal bucket list for the final season?
Warburton: Mindy has such personal relationships with all of our supporting cast, Jeremy and Tamra and Morgan. We're leaving them behind, but they all still get to be friends with each other. It's sadder for us than for them, so we just wanted to make sure that we revisited a great moment or storyline between them and there will be a lot more of romance among the people at Shulman and Associates. We ship the characters just like the fans do so hopefully we’re doing it the same way and land in a good place for everybody.

At this point, do you know how the show ends?
Kaling: Yes, Matt and I have known for about a year and a half how we want the show to end. For the last season, we've kind of said no new friends, so we've just had people who had been there from the very beginning because we've had so many amazing guest stars, but we've decided in the last year to scale it back and just have the people that are series regulars and our recurring guest stars that everyone has known and loved, like Mark Duplass and B.J. [Novak], but we also decided to do that because there's so little screen time but we have some fan favorites coming back for their little swan songs.

What can you say about that last episode and that last scene now that you know what you're moving toward?
Kaling: I really have a fondness and affection for the pilot and I think it did a lot of cool things that I hadn’t seen in a show before. So we really studied it in a way that I haven’t for the beginnings of others seasons — and really the whole first season — looking back six years ago when I had just come from The Office and what I was trying to say back then. I feel like we don't revisit our younger idealistic selves, you just get in this pattern of churning these episodes out. Now I was like, "Let's try and get in my mind back then," because my life personally has changed so much, too. I just thought, "What was I trying to say? And now can I make it look like it was all part of one larger story."

"The final season of The Mindy Project kicks off in September on Hulu."

Per EW, "Wigs! Weed! Whimsy!

"All that and more was on display in the trailer for Broad City’s fourth season, debuting Aug. 23 on Comedy Central. The video finds Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer up to their usual high jinks, but with a key change: The series now looks colder… and RuPaul-ier.

"We spoke to Glazer and Jacobson on the phone to find out everything we could about the new season:

Let’s talk about the upcoming season. In a general sense, what should viewers expect?
ILANA GLAZER: Oh my goodness. We are so excited about it, and the writing was so hard. It seems to get harder every year, but what was hard about it I think is that we made more changes in the character storylines, because it’s been so much time. It feels like it’s been years since the last season, so I think we made bolder changes to account for the time that’s gone by — in love and jobs and the condition that we live in. It was a wild writing and a wild shooting season.
ABBI JACOBSON: It was also the first season that we shot in the winter, so, you know, the look is a little bit different. The wardrobe is obviously different too, and some of the storylines are a little bit different to reflect that — because it’s primarily been a summer show so far. We’re excited to do that.
GLAZER: Yeah, and it’s such a different feel. There’s this carelessness in Broad City that…
JACBOSON: There’s more like a shadow of… a cloud of doom in winter in many ways.

Summer does seem to suit the show’s manic vibe really well. How does the season change affect Abbi and Ilana?
JACOBSON: I think this season more than any, we got to talk about some things we wanted to talk about. As Ilana was saying, the characters are changing a little bit. You know, after you’ve been in New York and lived in New York for a number of years, you sort of go through some s–t and you kind of have to rethink what’s going on and what you want to do. And I think that the characters are going through that a little bit. So we get some successes and some failures, like we usually do, but I think we swung a little harder.
GLAZER: It was like a sadder season. Because the winter’s like so sad here. There are a lot more highs and lows.

The show always brings on a lot of great special guests — the last season included the likes of Hillary Clinton and Vanessa Williams. Who’s in store for season 4?
JACOBSON: Fran Drescher is one we’re really excited about.
GLAZER: And RuPaul! RuPaul Charles, hot off the presses.

What’s RuPaul going to be up to?
JACOBSON: Oh my goodness, we can’t reveal that. RuPaul is…it’s unbelievable.
GLAZER: Seeing him in this show… it’s incredible. He’s just so delicious and so omniscient or something, so omnipresent, and, like, a little godlike. I am not even kidding. So godlike, it’s just so funny. Even him doing like normal s–t in the show it is just titillating. Fully f—ing titillating."

Per TheWrap, "T.J. Miller stunned most Silicon Valley fans with the recent announcement that Season 4 will be his last as the maniacal Erlich Bachman. But Zach Woods, one of Miller’s co-stars, says it wasn’t unexpected.

“'We’d talked about it — it wasn’t a great surprise,' Woods told TheWrap. 'I love T.J., and I love Erlich — I think that character is super funny. I’m excited to see what he’ll do coming up.'

"While Woods says that Miller’s departure is 'sad,' the Office alum calls the writers 'very adaptive' and trusts them to make the adjustment feel seamless.

“'I do think there’s definitely opportunity in the change,' says Woods, who plays the gentle and passive Jared. 'I’ll miss Erlich, but I also think the comedy is so widely distributed among so many different characters, I’m not worried about the show.'

"Woods also tells TheWrap why he never watches the show, why he affectionately refers to himself and his co-stars as “dumb kids” and how he decided on the voice for Jared’s smooth-talking alter ego 'Ed Chambers:'

The “Ed Chambers” persona in Sunday’s episode was hilarious. How did that come about?
In an earlier season, they tried to do a story like that, except the guy’s name was Steve Dasher, but I guess it didn’t make it for time. So they brought it back this season. I think because Jared is such an unflaggingly positive, gentle person, his aggression and more antisocial impulses have to leak out in weird ways, like how he screams in German in his sleep. It makes sense to me psychologically that once he gets this alter ego, it’s an outlet for all this unexpressed bro-iness. In terms of how to play it, I just tried to think of those guys who are really aggressive, and then also really aggressively affectionate — those guys who are like, “I love you! F— you, dude! I love you. I f—ing love you.” All you know is that they’re high-impact — you don’t know if they’re affectionate or hostile.

What’s next for Jared?
As the season progresses, in the last three episodes, Richard [Thomas Middleditch] kind of faces a moral crisis a little bit, and it’s the first time that you really get to see tension between Richard and Jared, which was really fun to play with.

What will happen with Erlich gone? 
They’ve done such a good job of expanding the universe of the show. I think if in the first couple seasons, we lost Erlich, it would have been more of a foundational disruption, and now it’s just like a beloved character who I love and who everyone loves who will be missed, but it doesn’t pull at the fundamental fabric of the show.

It does seem that after these guys have spent all this time in the incubator, this could be a chance for the show to evolve a bit.
I think that’s true! I just think the writers are very adaptive. Even in the first season — it was a very, very, very different situation, but when Chris [Evan Welch, who played Peter Gregory] died, at that point Peter Gregory was such a huge part of the show, and they were able to deal with that in a way that I thought was respectful, and then move forward in a different direction. I think the writers are pros — they know what they’re doing. I do think there’s definitely opportunity in the change. It’s just another opportunity to not fall into schtick or to not fall into established patterns of the show, to keep it surprising.

Was it emotional to film Erlich’s final scenes?I wasn’t in those scenes, but certainly it’s sad that he won’t be around. We’ll miss him. I think he’s a phenomenally talented guy, and it was really fun shooting the show with him. I wasn’t there for the last few scenes, but it was sad reading them.

What has Jared not gotten to do that you’d still like him to do?
I’ve always thought it would be fun to see Jared’s extracurricular friendships — who Jared’s friends are outside the hacker hostel. In this season, there’s a throwaway line where the auto-lock is on in my car, and I say, “Oh, I’m sorry — I was babysitting for my friend Gloria’s great-grandchildren.” So that means that Jared is friends with a great-grandmother, like that’s his pal. [Laughs.] And so I would love to see those kind of relationships — what is this friendship with Gloria like? Also, any time it’s Jared in extremis, I like it — any time you see him at the limits of his comfort or his safety.

You’ve mentioned that you don’t watch “Silicon Valley.” Why is that?
It makes me feel self-conscious. I’m sure once it’s all done, I’ll go back, and I’ll watch it. But the problem if you watch yourself, is sometimes you’ll see problems that don’t exist, and you’ll start correcting things that aren’t actually a problem. It’s like a way of protecting the performance a little bit because I don’t want to have dysmorphic self-critiques that I then implement that mess up Jared. I trust my own instincts while we’re shooting it — I don’t trust my own eyes viewing it after the fact.

Is it hard to keep a straight face while shooting? Does the cast break a lot? 
Oh, my God — all the time. Inevitably, it’s when you’re in a real crunch — it’s when you’re moving into overtime, because you can just feel the stakes. But it’s funny — sometimes people think because it’s a bunch of comedians on the set that it’s really a witty set, but it’s not. Everyone’s just dumb as can be — we’re all so dumb with each other. It’s just the most primitive stupidity — we’re literally grabbing each other and making weird sounds. It’s just affectionate, dumb kids hanging out together, and it’s so fun — because then the writing is so smart [that] your brain gets massaged by the material, and your ape brain gets massaged by the on-set dynamic. Don’t get me wrong — everyone’s really smart on the show, but it’s not a lot of people standing around making Oscar Wilde-style quips. And that keeps you loose, too.

How does the vibe on the “Silicon Valley” set compare to that of “The Office”?
Just the number of people — “Silicon Valley’s” a relatively small, core cast, whereas “The Office” was enormous. Also, I feel more of a sense of ownership of “Silicon Valley” because I’ve been there from the get-go. But “The Office” was such a great first job. That is what was surprising to me about “The Office” — [with] someone coming into the show in the sixth season, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for people to be a bit standoffish or skeptical, but that wasn’t at all how they were. Everyone was so welcoming and kind and inclusive, and they explained things to me."

Per The Hollywood Reporter, "[t]he new Bachelor in Paradise cast is what a devout Bachelor Nation fan would expect — and yes, that means Corinne Olympios is set to return.

"On Tuesday, ABC announced the first 16 men and women who will be appearing on the fourth season of the summer series, and among them are two runner-ups (Raven Gates from Nick Viall's season of The Bachelor and Robby Hayes from JoJo Fletcher's season of The Bachelorette); two returning Bachelor in Paradise stars (Amanda Stanton and Vinny Ventiera); and four villains (Olympios and rival Taylor Nolan of Viall's season; Alex Woytkiw, who sparred with Chad Johnson on Fletcher's season; and DeMario Jackson of Rachel Lindsay's current season of The Bachelorette). Jackson was eliminated on Monday's episode after it was revealed to Lindsay that he had an unfinished relationship back home.

"Bachelor in Paradise reunites former stars of the franchise in the hope they find love with other former contestants. Last year's cycle ended with three engagements, though only one couple, Carly Waddell and Evan Bass, are still set to walk down the aisle.

"The former Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants who will head to Sayulita, Mexico, for the summer spinoff have been heavily teased for months, and as recently as on last night’s episode of The Bachelorette. Fan favorites from Viall’s season of The Bachelor — Olympios, Gates, Alexis Waters (aka, the dolphin-shark) and Jasmine Goode — returned to offer their advice to Bachelorette Lindsay on the episode. Their cameos for Lindsay's mud-wrestling group date marked their second time on the Dallas native's journey to find love after a visit from several Viall castoffs on The Bachelorette's premiere.

"Maltby, Olympios, Waters and Schulman were not shy about their interest in returning to the ABC reality show when speaking to The Hollywood Reporter at last season's Women Tell All special in March.

"Waters could not have been more enthusiastic: 'Hell, yeah. I’m 100 percent down for Bachelor in Paradise. [Rachel] better get good guys [on The Bachelorette] because I’m going to take her leftovers.'

"Maltby was a bit more hesitant. 'I'm hopeful to find love at some point, I don't know if that's with the Bachelor franchise or if that's just in everyday life,' she said. 'I'm definitely going to stick with nursing, but I've always been a person where with every opportunity that comes my way, if I feel like it's a good one, I'm going to do it.'

"Olympios in March had not 'even explored the idea yet' of joining BIP, but was 'already doing some auditions for some big stuff.'

"Schulman was 'open-minded,' but told THR she was 'not going to rely on finding love on The Bachelor or any [part of the] franchise. If it happens in a real-life setting, great, because that’s ultimately what I want.'

"Gates had previously announced her return to the franchise on Viall's After the Final Rose special. The Arkansas native made it to the final two before Viall broke up with her and proposed to Vanessa Grimaldi. He and his Bachelor winner remain engaged. 'I just believe in the process,' she said about being confident in finding love this summer.

"The Paradise group also traditionally includes a few contestants who were relatively unknown during their first round on the dating series or have been far removed from the franchise for years. This year's pack, however, contains few surprising newcomers.

"Though the cast list has been announced, more surprises will be in store. This first batch of Mexico-bound singles only includes the initial group confirmed to set foot on the Chris Harrison-hosted spinoff. The cast of BIPshuffles each week, as a handful of contestants join the dating competition midseason to shake up relationships. Unfortunately for them, some arrive to the beachfront property several weeks into the show, after a decent number of couples have formed and are well on their way to a TV proposal. 

"Many of Lindsay's future exes — who are still competing on The Bachelorette — are likely to make an appearance. The 'Whaboom' catchphrase could reach Paradise's watersLee Garrett could return to stir up some drama and even Johnson could be be back to claw his fingernails on a hotel suite door.

"A full list of the Bachelor alums returning to find love on Tuesday, Aug. 8 (the series moves to Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC in its second week) is below:

Contestants from Rachel Lindsay's season of The Bachelorette:

DeMario Jackson

Contestants from Nick Viall's season of The Bachelor:

Raven Gates
Corinne Olympios
Alexis Waters
Kristina Schulman
Danielle Maltby
Jasmine Goode
Lacey Mark
Taylor Nolan 

Contestants from JoJo Fletcher's season of The Bachelorette:

Derek Peth
Nick “St. Nick” Benvenutti
Robby Hayes
Alex Woytkiw
Vinny Ventiera

Contestants from Ben Higgins' season of The Bachelor:

Amanda Stanton

Contestants from Kaitlyn Bristowe's season of The Bachelorette:

Ben Zorn

"Additional bachelors and bachelorettes will be announced at a later date."

Per Vulture, "[a] talking dog, two advertising guys, and a Fargo star walk into the Sundance Film Festival. That’s not the setup for some hipster comic’s hacky punch line; it’s the story behind ABC’s new rom-com, Downward Dog. Allison Tolman stars as Nan, a Pittsburgh-based Everywoman with two male influences in her life: her sweet, maybe-boyfriend Jason (Raising Hope’s Lucas Neff) and her dog Martin (Ned, a real-life rescue pup). The latter, an overly sensitive creature who tends to speak passive-aggressively about his owner’s shortcomings, delivers mockumentary-like asides to hyperanalyze their lopsided relationship. (In short: Nan should, like, totally appreciate him more, given he’s, like, totally obsessed with her.)

"Vulture talked to Tolman about working with Hollywood outsiders, Martin’s monologues, and the preexisting condition that comes between her and her co-star:

Talk me through how you became part of this show. I’m picturing your agent saying something like, “Two words. Allison: Talking. Dog.”
Very close. It was two summers ago and I was on set for The House and I got an email: “Here are several projects that we’re looking at for you … um, and this is a new show we think is really cute and funny. There’s a talking dog in it.” I was like, “Oh, dear.” I was immediately horrified. “Oh, it’s a kids’ show like Dog With a Blog. I’m not interested in doing that. I don’t even have kids. I have no reason to do a kids’ show.” And then I read the script and I was doubly confused. Clearly, it was really smart and really funny. The jokes were there and this woman was interesting. But then I was like, “If she’s so smart and funny, then why did you put a talking dog in this?” I still didn’t get until I watched the shorts the show is based on. Then I was like, “Oh, I get it. It’s hyperrealistic. I understand now.”

Do you think Samm Hodges and Michael Killen’s outsider status ultimately made the show better?
Yes, I do. I think it made it harder to get made, but I think it made it better. Everything that makes the show what it is exists because this came from outside the system, down to the fact that we shot it on location in Pittsburgh and Samm is the voice of Martin. They wanted to keep it that way; they didn’t want a voice-over artist to come in. The key was having showrunners who really knew the system and knew how network television works and how Hollywood works.

He has this bloated sense of self-importance. He constantly downplays Nan’s contributions to the household. But it’s refreshing because Nan isn’t bothered because she can’t hear it.
Oh, man. You just fucked up my whole weekend. I’m just going to be thinking about that. I love this!

Samm Hodges’s vocal performance as Martin is brilliant. It’s full of these vocal tics usually gender-coded as female: the vocal fry, the overuse of “like,” the uptalking. Is that how he talks in real life?
He puts on a bit of a millennial voice when he gets into the booth. It’s not a full-on performance. It’s very much Samm’s speech patterns and the way he uses words, but he definitely puts on the vocal fry and he doesn’t say “like” nearly as much as Martin does. There’s a little bit of a character that I think he slips into when he gets into the booth.

There’s plenty of good comedy on TV right now, but a lot of it is auteur-driven and heavy. How would you would describe the show’s comedy?
Well, I’ve never been allowed to be a romantic lead. In a lot of other shows, there’s no way that I would be cast, even though in the real world, all sorts of people are meeting and falling in love and having sex and breaking up. I think that’s helped our show a lot. The key to our show — oddly, besides the talking dog — is the realism. I have trouble describing the show as a comedy because it feels limiting to me. A lot of vehicles for comedy-drama like this have a lot of heart and can be both of those things, but we haven’t seen that on network.

So according to your IMDb bio, you’re more of a cat person in real life?
[Laughs.] Yeah, I’m a cat owner. I’m actually allergic to dogs. I grew up with dogs and cats, but then I moved out of my parents’ house and I got a cat when I was 19 and I think I just developed an allergy to dogs. So I have to take allergy pills when I go to work.

Allison, you buried the lede [sic] of this interview! You’re allergic to your co-star! This is insane!
I know, it’s dumb.

When did you tell them?
I told them after we were underway, after I was cast and after they cast the dog. “Guess what? We need to keep Benadryl on hand.”

You also worked as a professional dog walker.
I did, when I first got out of school. I got a job in a suburb north of Dallas at a vet’s office where I would walk all the dogs that were being kenneled. That’s what I did for that summer. I think at this point in time, I was close enough to living with dogs that my allergies hadn’t developed yet. But it was fun. It was a job. This one’s better. I like this one better.

The last time you spoke with Vulture, you talked about making the transition to the working life of an actor and the anxiety of not always knowing when your next paycheck was coming. Have you grown more comfortable with that?
I’m still not fully comfortable with it. As the paychecks get larger, you have a longer period of time that passes before you start to think, “Oh, shit. What if I don’t get another job?” You’re comfortable floating along for longer. If Downward Dog doesn’t get a second season, then I’ll be like, “Oh, man.” I’ll miss that regular paycheck because you can plan. I can plan to have no money, but it’s a plan. I don’t think that’ll ever go away. That might just be my personality. That might just be how I operate.

You famously nabbed a guest spot on The Mindy Project by tweeting at Mindy Kaling. Are there any other shows you’d like to give shout-outs to?
Oh, man, yeah. I was never on Girls, which was a real bummer for me. I love Transparent, big fan of Transparent. I think Handmaid’s Tale is awesome and I hope it’s up for a second season.

It already has been renewed, yes.
Yeah, I would love to do something with them. There’s so much good television out, it’s bonker-balls right now. If Downward Dog isn’t renewed, it would be such a bummer. After I was done mourning for that, I would be really thankful but also immediately looking for another show that was my show. I really wanted to have a show that was my own vehicle, and I was lucky that this one came along and I didn’t have to write it for myself. So I don’t know, maybe I’d have to start."

This interview has been edited and condensed.