An­drea Sav­age wrote the role she wanted

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - Showtime - Broward - - TV - By Chris Bar­ton

Fre­quently spot­ted in some of the sharpest TV come­dies of re­cent years (“Episodes,” “Veep” as Pres­i­dent Laura Mon­tez), An­drea Sav­age gets a se­ries of her own with “I’m Sorry” on truTV.

In­spired by her real life as an alumni of the Groundlings, Sav­age por­trays a com­edy writer who is oc­ca­sion­ally ham­pered by an im­prov-honed, in­ap­pro­pri­ate mind as she and her hus­band (Tom Everett Scott) nav­i­gate Los An­ge­les’ awk­ward mo­ments as adults and par­ents.

Reached by phone, Sav­age talked about her new se­ries. The fol­low­ing is an edited tran­script.

Q: How did this show come to­gether?

A: I had an idea for want­ing to do one of those sin­gle-point-of-view shows that was like kind of play­ing a ver­sion of your­self and based on your life. I de­vel­oped a lot of shows over the years and script de­vel­op­ment, and I re­ally was just get­ting a lit­tle weary of the mom roles that were com­ing to me as I was ap­proach­ing 40 and was like, “Why does ev­ery mom role have to be mar­ried and sex­less and bor­ing, or a ter­ri­ble mother?”

I was like, “I’m a mom, but I also do a lot of other things, and I’m lay­ered and nu­anced.” I have funny sto­ries that have to do with par­ent­ing but also have noth­ing to do with par­ent­ing. I wanted to show a fe­male char­ac­ter on TV that I had never seen be­fore.

Q: Usu­ally in half-hour come­dies, there’s the wacky hus­band and the dis­ap­prov­ing spouse. This se­ries flips it on its head.

A: It was sort of (the idea), but also as we go along in the se­ries, (we didn’t want to) give Tom the thank­less spouse role ei­ther.

I didn’t want to show a cou­ple that has a child who have been to­gether for a while and are sick of each other. I re­ally wanted it to be like they still like each other and get a kick out of each other.

Q: On the show, your hus­band works out­side of com­edy. Is that what the dy­namic is like for you in real life as well?

A: It is. My hus­band is also in the en­ter­tain­ment busi­ness; he’s a tal­ent agent. So in the show, Tom’s char­ac­ter is an en­ter­tain­ment lawyer, so it’s sort of sim­i­lar in that there’s an un­der­stand­ing of the busi­ness, but it’s not the cre­ative side. So my hus­band, like Tom on the show, he wears a suit to work ev­ery day. But he also un­der­stands the world and isn’t com­pletely out of it. And he’s much more straight-laced than I am.

Q: Tom’s char­ac­ter also func­tions as sort of a com­edy critic while you’re riff­ing with him. Is that also drawn from real life?

A: Com­edy critic to a point, but like in the show, my hus­band gets very mad at me be­cause he’s like, “You don’t think I’m funny.” And I’m like, “Well …” (Laughs.) That’s def­i­nitely in the show as well. It goes both ways, you know, like in life. Some are good and some are bad when you tell jokes. Why should all of them be good on TV? Be­cause a lot of ones in real life re­ally are ter­ri­ble.

Q: The re­la­tion­ship with your writ­ing part­ner on the show (Ja­son Mant­zoukas) is such a great de­pic­tion of the com­edy dy­namic. Is that how it is with writ­ing part­ners in the Groundlings or oth­er­wise, where there’s this dif­fer­ent sort of in­ti­macy?

A: It kind of is. Ja­son is a very close friend of mine, and this is pretty much he and I in real life. We’ve worked to­gether many times. We’ve never writ­ten any­thing to­gether, but we’ve been in many projects to­gether.

But, yeah, this is what it is like with some­one who has a sim­i­lar comic sen­si­bil­ity to you and your writ­ing. It’s mostly re­ally kind of be­ing mean to each other, but in a lov­ing way, be­cause you love them. But it al­ways man­i­fests in tak­ing the per­son down con­stantly. It’s (like) the way you show how much you re­spect the per­son is by re­ally tak­ing them down.

Q: Right, it seems like this open­ness where you could only be close friends and talk to each other like that.

A: Oh, my God, I al­ways say, “If I’m be­ing nice to you, I prob­a­bly don’t like you.” (Laughs.)

GETTY/AFP COUR­TESY

Sav­age’s “I’m Sorry” was in­spired by her own life.

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