“What if your best, happiest, truest life looked nothing like you thought it would? Would you have the courage to live it? So it’s about polyamory, but it’s about so much more,” explained creator John Scott Shepherd about his new comedy series “You Me Her” following a special screening for SAG and TV academy members in New York City on March 22. (Click the image above to hear the Q&A event.) “You Me Her” premiered the same night on DirecTV’s Audience Network.
The series follows Jack (Greg Poehler) and Emma (Rachel Blanchard), a suburban married couple whose relationship is stuck in a rut. Then they both meet Izzy (Priscilla Faia), a college student making extra money by working as an escort. Both Jack and Emma are smitten with Izzy, and Izzy is drawn to them as well, which at first seems to be a threat to the marriage, but it might instead be a way to strengthen it.
Shepherd defines polyamory as “polygamy’s younger, cooler cousin,” and one of the main challenges of developing the show was whether he could tell a story “about real people and not really make it about sex. So I make it a romantic comedy that just happens to involve three people, and I have real emotional stakes, put them in the real world.”
Poehler admitted, “I didn’t know anything about the concept of polyamory. I’m like the last to know,” but “if there are three people who are consenting adults in a relationship, why can’t they be together? … It’s somewhat controversial, but it feels very real, and that’s what I liked about it.”
Blanchard was drawn to “You Me Her” as it offered both the opportunity to work with director Nisha Ganatra (“Transparent“), who helms the entire first season and because it explored stories about relationships, “especially alternative relationships. Obviously [these characters] have more challenges and there’s more at stake for these three people, but the problems inherent to the relationship are similar to monogamous couples or almost any close relationship.”
Faia wasn’t fazed by the subject matter. She was just impressed by the script, and in promoting the show she’s discovering just how normal this “alternative” lifestyle is becoming. “On our press tour,” she explained, “there have been tons of people coming up to us and saying, ‘I’m in a polyamorous relationship. Thank you guys for bringing this to us.'”
Emmy spotlight: DirecTV launches ‘You Me Her’ in comedy races
“You Me Her” competes for Best Comedy Series, Actor (Greg Poehler), Supporting Actress (Rachel Blanchard, Priscilla Faia), directing, writing and other categories. Make your Emmy predictions using the menu to the right or below.