“It’s a rarity to get a second season, so I think we were all pretty psyched to spend another year hanging out with people that we really love and exploring new storylines,” says Zoe Lister-Jones about being back for a second year of the CBS family comedy “Life in Pieces,” in which she plays Jen, a lawyer and a new mom. You’re lucky to get a second season in the TV business, but she’ll be getting a third as well: CBS renewed the sitcom in March.
The show’s pilot episode began with Jen giving birth. Then at the end of the first season in which she and her husband Greg (Colin Hanks) raised a newborn, we found out that Jen was pregnant again. However, when the show returned last fall it was revealed that this wasn’t going to become a long-term pregnancy storyline — Jen had miscarried. “I personally was shocked. I had no idea that that’s the direction the story was going in,” says Lister-Jones. “But I do think it’s important to bring awareness to miscarriage and the stigma that surrounds it and how painful it can be for women and their partners who are going through that sort of loss.”
But there was more light than dark during the second season, in which the new parents saw their child through significant milestones, including her first birthday and her first steps. And in the upcoming third season the actress would love to explore more of “the balance of being a working mother … It is something that so many women relate to, especially now that Greg is the at-home dad — what that does to the gender dynamic and how it shifts things in a relationship I think would be awesome to explore.”
In the meantime Lister-Jones will be busy this summer promoting her directorial debut, “Band Aid,” an independent comedy that she also wrote and stars in about a couple that turns their arguments into songs. “I had been interested in exploring the ways in which long-term couples fight for a long time because I think that it’s such an indication of the way that they also love,” she explains. The film premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was picked up by IFC Films. It opens in theaters on June 2, and Lister-Jones hopes to direct more, maybe even on “Life in Pieces.”
“TV in general I think is such an exciting space right now,” she says. “The opportunities for female directors I hope are growing because I think that there has been a little more attention placed on the under-representation of women in that position. So I am hoping to have many more opportunities to direct.”
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