If you haven’t yet tried out NBC’s newest comedy, I Feel Bad, don’t feel bad!
After debuting a sneak peek two of the first two episodes last month, the show officially arrives tonight, alongside the returns of Will & Grace, Superstore, and the latest ep of The Good Place. The comedy from creator Aseem Batra and EP Amy Poehler tells the story of a working mom who’s just doing her best.
Before you watch tonight, check out a few fun facts about the show!
The Show Takes Inspiration From the Book I Feel Bad. All Day. Every Day. About Everything.
Orli Auslander‘s 2017 book of illustrations and comics about the guilt felt by simply being a woman and not being perfect provided the idea for the series, and many ideas for stories, like “I hate other people’s kids.”
Star Sarayu Blue says she related to the story “immediately.” “We’re all kind of just trying to get by,” she told E! News. “We all have so many balls in the air, and something’s gotta give, and this show really sort of connects with that part of us that’s failing at something, because there’s too many things going on at once.”
Storylines Also Come From the Writers’ Real Lives
Batra confirmed that they did ask all the writers for the things they actually feel bad about, as well as the cast.
“It’s such a rich thing,” Batra said during the TCA panel. “It’s not just women, but guys have it. Like, ‘I don’t work out enough,’ and ‘I don’t make enough money,’ or whatever men have too.”
“Just check and see how many times you say “I feel bad,” in a day,” she continued. “It’s kind of crazy.”
“Each episode kind of touches upon all these little things, and the hope is that that reveal connects us, but it is something that you don’t always want to admit,” added Poehler.
Star Paul Adelstein confirmed that men also “feel bad,” saying that “all these people are living with a certain kind of modern anxiety that they feel bad about.”
It’s a show starring a woman and created by a woman, but shockingly, it’s a pretty universal tale.
Star Sarayu Blue and Creator Aseem Batra Share a Shorthand
Both Blue and Batra were born to immigrant parents from India in 1975, and while the similarities mostly end there, they did find that they communicated easily about the show’s central character.
“I think we can have a shorthand because we understand where our parents were coming from as immigrants,” Batra said during the NBC portion of the summer TV Critics’ Association press tour. “So when we do a scene where there’s pressure on her, I think she understands where it’s coming from. Like that our parents came here hoping that we would have an easier life in some ways or more opportunities.”
Creator Aseem Batra Was “Super Excited” To Fill the Writers’ Room With Diverse Voices
Batra says that she wanted to “bring in voices that don’t always get heard,” to tell fresh stories that haven’t been told before, and to take opinions and lives from the sidelines and into the spotlight.
“I think it’s a way to elevate material,” she said.
Emet Wasn’t Originally Written to Be Indian
Blue says the role was “just a role” when she read it, and was made more specifically South Asian when she got the part. While the fact that her family is interracial and her parents are Indian plays into her story, the show steers away from stereotypes.
“You know, none of the tropes of, oh, the parents want you to be doctors or to have married this person or that,” says Brian George, who plays Emet’s father. “It’s just about difficult parents or dopey parents and dopey in-laws…it’s just a dopey family with problems that they get through.”
I Feel Bad premieres tonight at 9:30 p.m. on NBC, and you can catch the first two episodes on NBC.com or Hulu.
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