What’s old is new again in the world of entertainment. Several hit television shows from the 90s and big name actors and actresses are making their way back to living rooms across America. Jodie Sweetin, Beverley Mitchell and Christine Lakin all became household names in the 90s. Sweetin starred on “Full House”, Mitchell made a name of herself on “7th Heaven” and Lakin carried the torch on “Step by Step.” These three women have been friends for a long time and work together on a hilarious PopTV show called “Hollywood Darlings” where they improv and exaggerate the most ridiculous moments of their lives and careers.
Season two of the show premieres tonight and Sweetin, Mitchell and Lakin chatted with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith about their lives in the 90s, the show and what they remember most about growing up in the business.
DJ Sixsmith: How did the idea for this show first come together?
Beverley Mitchell: I was approached by Jimmy Fox years ago. He told me about this little show he had and he wanted to put a team of superhero 90s actors together. I was a little concerned at first because I was like, I’m not quite into reality. Then he mentioned who else he was talking to. My original concern was also that I didn’t want to get on the show with people I didn’t like. He told me about Christine and Jodie and we all go back and we all have a relationship. Once he put the three of us in a room together, we realized we wanted to create more of an improv comedy. We take things from our lives and put them into these extreme situations and amplify them to a whole different level. I realized that we were on to something and had something really special. It was quite obvious that the three of us had an amazing dynamic and we had a show that was different and special. All of our fans can relate to us in this new space.
Christine Lakin: When I was first approached about “Hollywood Darlings”, it was an interesting idea. Although, I wasn’t into reality at all. We are playing versions of ourselves and riffing on the ideas that people have grown up with us and know us, yet we are moms, actresses and businesswomen. We have these other lives. There’s also the ridiculousness of what it’s like to be in this business and grow up in it where people think they constantly always know you while you are just trying to live a normal life when no one will let you. All of that had so much comedy fodder and that’s what drew me in. Most of it is improvised and that drew me in since I come from a theater and improv background.
Jodie Sweetin: The fun thing about this show and working with Beverley and Christine is that we’ve been friends for a very long time. Getting the opportunity to do a show with friends is something that is really fun. The really great thing about our show is that it is an improvised comedy and there is so much play and leeway with what we get to do. That was something fun and different from anything we’ve ever done before. The humor is much more adult than any of the shows we’ve been on in the past. It’s a little bit more geared to the people who grew up with us originally and are fans of our shows.
DS: The three of you have been friends for a long time. When did you all meet and how important are these friendships in empowering each other?
BM: Jodie and I started acting together at the beginning of our careers. I did an Oscar Meyer commercial with Jodie when I was like four years old. We used to always go up against each other in auditions for years. I’ve known Jodie for the entirety of my career. Christine was actually on 7th Heaven. We officially met there, but in our business we all go to events and we all see each other. We all have been in the same circle for a very long time. We all know friends of friends. When you put us in a room together, we just kind of take over. We’re very in tune with each other and have a phenomenal connection. Our friendship is based on the understanding of what we’ve all been through. We genuinely love each other. These girls are my ride or dies.
CL: Working with Jodie and Beverley has been an incredible experience. So few times do you get the opportunity to do something you love and do it with two people who you love so much. It’s a gift. Every day coming to work is a blessing. We have so much fun together. So many things that we stick into the show are random things that happen in the trailer before we even step on set. The other thing is that we are three very strong women who support each other. There’s a lot of collaboration and very little ego when it comes to making the show the best it can be. That’s not something that I’ve experienced with other women in this industry. It’s something that’s changing and needs to change. It’s an incredible example of what can happen when women support each other. Personally, I’m very proud of this.
JS: It’s fabulous. I get to have fun with these women and we are executive producers on the show this season. We really get to have a big voice and opinion about the way the storylines go and how we want the show to look. We have a female director and two other female executive producers. It is a really strong grounded female team this year which was amazing that it worked out that way. With everything that is going on in this business right now, it felt really good to do a female-led and female-driven show. There’s nothing better than coming to work with your friends and feel like you are doing something great for female empowerment and moving women along in this industry.
DS: You all grew up as kids and grew up in the business on hit shows during the 90s. What stands out the most about that time in your lives today?
JS: Growing up in this business and growing up as a kid is hard. We had to balance work and life, which is hard enough as an adult. I had to go to school in the morning and then work in the afternoon and do homework in the car on the way home. Then you have to maneuver friendships and other relationships as well at a young age. That stuff is difficult if you are just a normal kid going to school every day. Balancing all of that becomes a juggling act, but I think it served me well to come back into the business as an adult. If I can do all of that, I can definitely manage to be a mom, have work and doing all that sort of stuff today.
CL: There were so many moments of the 90s that were so heightened and will always be kind of larger than life. Those were some of my formative years. That was the time before the Internet, we were using dial-up. Cable was around, but it didn’t have a lot of original content. People were sitting down for appointment television. Those were the things that shaped my view of comedy. We all have that shared history of pop culture. The stuff that sticks out in my memory might be a little warped compared to other people’s versions. I remember going to a mall with my co-star Angela Watson and being mobbed and realized I couldn’t go to a mall anymore. There’s a lot of self-deprecation in my humor and that makes its way through in the season.
BM: I’m an only child. I grew up in the business with a big family on television and I had this incredible extended family. In a long-term career, you create these relationships that are so strong and mean so much to you. The best part of growing up in the business has been all of the amazing people I’ve met that continue to be a great part of my life.
DS: Season two premieres tonight. What can people expect when they tune in?
CL: The look of season two has stepped up in every way. This show went from looking like a mocumentary to looking like a real single camera comedy. Although we still come from this unscripted “Curb Your Enthusiasm” type place, it’s got this really polished feel. Tonight is a flashback to the 90s. There’s a lot of really hilarious moments that people are going to resonate with. A flashback to some of the poor choices they made like I made. There’s another episode that’s a takeoff of “Big Little Lies.” We had a lot of fun this year in playing with the style and the content. Some of our guest stars are people you will know from the 90s and some Upright Citizens Brigade people that you will not know, but their improv skills are off the charts.
JS: This season, we did a lot more with how the show looks. It looks a lot less like a docuseries and it has a much more single camera comedy look. We did a really fun “Big Little Lies” spoof for one episode. It is all a learning curve. The first season we were trying to figure out how this improvised comedy world worked. We had a much better handle on that in the second season. It’s like riding a bike and we are able to steer the ship a lot better this season.
BM: Tonight is the flashback of all flashbacks. It’s also known as my hell. It’s a flashback to the 90s and some of my very poor choices. All the things you should never do, we brought them back. It’s a really fun episode. It’s a flashback to where we began and where our friendships were back in the 90s. It’s a fun take on what we remember and it’s a little different for each of us.
Watch “Hollywood Darlings” tonight at 8pm EST/PST on PopTV. PopTV is a joint venture of CBS Corporation and Lionsgate.