Annie Murphy all in for risky, Worcester-set ‘Kevin’ sitcom
After an Emmy-winning career breakthrough with “Schitt’s Creek,” Annie Murphy faced the pleasing prospect of deciding what to do next.
The answer is the decidedly daring and intentionally different spin on classic American sitcoms, “Kevin Can (Expletive) Himself,” Sundays on AMC and AMC+.
“I definitely do think this is a risky show,” Murphy, 34, said on a Zoom call last week.
“But I have no doubt in my mind that this was the right role for me to take. I think that without taking risks on television we would live in a very boring world and I’m just so thrilled to be part of a show where people are willing to try something new and think outside the box.”
Murphy’s visibility changed as Alexis Rose, the rich-gone-poor Rose family’s fashionable daughter. Not only did she win the Emmy and a SAG award, she was nominated for a Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice and three Canadian Screen awards.
“A lot of people knew me as Alexis — and wanted to keep seeing me in that kind of role,” the Ottawa native acknowledged. “So when this came along, not only was the character so different, the script was so different from any script I’ve ever read. I jumped at the chance.”
“Kevin,” created by Valerie Armstrong, spins the classic sitcom as existential nightmare. Set in Worcester — and actually filmed in Brockton and Randolph — Murphy’s Allison is coming apart after 10 years with her idiotic, clueless husband Kevin (Eric Petersen).
Whenever Kevin appears, the series plays as an exaggerated take on a silly sitcom. Whenever he exits, Allison finds herself in a darker zone, sabotaging their relationship and contemplating killing him.
“The writers did want to make the sitcom aspect of things true to the real sitcom that we’ve come to know so well over the years as possible,” Murphy said.
“But right out of the gate, you see the toll that ‘jokes’ made at Allison’s expense in the sitcom world have taken on her brain and her heart and her soul.
“After that, I started watching the sitcom portion through a very, very different lens: She is at a point of crisis.”
“I definitely feel this show is fueled in a large part by feminine rage and frustration. But this is a show that not just women will be able to identify with, especially after a year that we’ve just been through.”