April 11, 2023
After a jaw-dropping Succession, Ashley turns to the TV Club hotline to answer listener questions about the episode that left everyone shook. But first, we time travel back to 1980-something to chat with The Goldbergs’ Wendi McLendon-Covey about the acclaimed sitcom’s final season, Reno 911 stories, Wendi’s dream acting roles, and so much more.
What We Watched:
Tiny Beautiful Things
Love Is Blind
Last Week Tonight
Seeking Brother Husband
Tiny Beautiful Things
Love Is Blind
Below Deck Sailing Yacht
If you have 2 minutes, please help TV I Say grow by filling out this survey: podsurvey.com/tvisay
S2E38 — The Roys & Goldbergs w/ Wendi McLendon-Covey
[00:10:46] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: I’m so honored to be here.
[00:10:48] ASHLEY RAY: I am so obsessed with you. since Reno 911!, you have been one of the people who, to me, defines being a strong, funny character actor. You were twice nominated for Bev Goldberg, who… I’m going to miss her. I’m going to miss her. I don’t know what my life is going to be without Bev.
[00:11:07] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: She lives forever in syndication. She’s always going to be there to boss you around.
[00:11:14] ASHLEY RAY: You don’t get to ten seasons and your show’s not on some channel all the time, all day.
[00:11:19] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: Right, right.
[00:11:21] ASHLEY RAY: So, I’m curious. When you started on The Goldbergs, did you think it was going to run this long?
[00:11:26] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: I sure didn’t. I just didn’t even have that in my head that I would ever be on a network show at all. So, when they came to me, I was like, “Yes, I’ll do this.” I mean, it was at a time when, you know, I was between jobs and fielding offers and whatever. And everything that they wanted me to read, I just didn’t like it. But this? It was like, “Oh, I think I can do something with this character. This just seems like it would be fun.” So, I just took it because I thought it would be fun. No one else had been cast yet, so I was the first one. And I was like, “Yeah, this will be fun. What a hoot.” And then as you keep going, your feelings start getting more enmeshed with the crew and the other cast members. And you’re like, “No, this has to go. We have to keep going because I don’t want to quit this. I want to keep going forever with these people.” And I mean, what a gift that we got to go for a decade.
[00:12:35] ASHLEY RAY: A whole decade. It’s still just as funny. Just as smart and clever. This new season has been so great. I’ve loved seeing you work closer with Tim Meadows. What is that been like–the two of you getting to vibe off of each other? I say this as someone who is obsessed with both of you.
[00:12:50] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: I adore him. And I’m such a fan. I mean, I watched him on SNL for years. When he got hired to come in and do the role of the guidance counselor, I couldn’t sleep the night before. I couldn’t believe I was going to meet him. And now, like, this is someone that I could text if I wanted to right now. Like, it’s amazing. Listening to his stories because he’s got so many good ones, you know, about being in the business–it’s just a master class every time he’s on set of, “Oh my God, just tell me stories. I know we should be running lines, but no, tell me more about, you know, your whole life.” So, it’s been such a wild ride.
[00:13:39] ASHLEY RAY: Yeah. And you two have so much chemistry. Like, I personally thought we were going to finally get, like, a romance with Tim. And then he just kind of became, like, the family friend.
[00:13:52] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: Yeah, he kind of moved next door and became one of our tenants. You know, Tim never stops working either, so we were lucky to get him all the times that we got him. You know, we’d have to schedule things so that when he was between jobs, he could fly out and be with us for a little while. So, the fact that he even did that for us was amazing. But I think he had fun on the show, too. And we’ve had so many incredible guest stars over the years–most recently, Judd Hirsch, who I’ve been watching for decades! And I just can’t even believe that we know each other.
[00:14:32] ASHLEY RAY: The Steve Guttenberg episode–that was so good. I’m telling people all the time, “You got to watch The Goldbergs.” And they’re like, “Really? All ten seasons? You want me to just sit down and binge ten seasons?” And I’m like, “Yes, absolutely. I do.”
[00:14:45] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: You’ll be better for it. Yeah, it’s a bomb.
[00:14:49] ASHLEY RAY: I would love to talk about how you created Bev as this character because she is in some ways your stereotypical sitcom mom. And then she’ll launch an F-bomb. She is overbearing in a way that is just so ridiculous and over-the-top and comical. It’s just this perfect mix of someone who is so not afraid to offend, who will insult all of her friends, and then at the same time just wants to be a cuddle bear to her kids. How did you find that balance?
[00:15:19] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: You know, I was raised by a mom that was very similar. Except my mom was extremely religious, so she didn’t cuss like that. But she always screamed first and apologized later. And I mean, I’m sure that’s a generational thing in some respects because, you know, back in my day, Ashley, no one cared how you felt about anything as a kid. Your parents were too busy to worry about your feelings. They just wanted to keep you safe and fed. So, if you were about to do something stupid, you were going to get yelled at until there were no more words left to yell. And then when you cried, then they would apologize. But, you know, that’s how I was raised and that’s how I remember us dealing with conflict. We had no Dr. Phil. We had no Oprah. We had none of that. So, my mom was always walking a fine line of screaming at me and telling me I looked like a prostitute with all that makeup on. And then, “Oh, I love you so much. I’m so glad God gave me to you as your mama.”
[00:16:31] ASHLEY RAY: How did she feel when you got the Reno 911! role?
[00:16:34] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: She was not happy at all. Very disappointed in me.
[00:16:39] ASHLEY RAY: Was that one of the shows she skipped that you were in? Just not going to watch that one.
[00:16:44] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: She didn’t skip it. She hate-watched it.
[00:16:46] ASHLEY RAY: Oh, that’s kind of better.
[00:16:48] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: Just to know, like, “Okay, well what are my friends going to rip into me about with my, you know, negligent daughter?” But I think in the end she realized, “Oh, everyone knows this is a TV show–that my daughter isn’t actually a pot smoking cop.” Yeah, mom, I think people can figure that out. But anyway, she’s made her peace with it and everything’s fine. But, yeah, that’s definitely how I was raised. And the real Bev–she is just the same. Like, “You don’t come after my kids. I demand excellence of anyone who’s around my children. And if you don’t give that, you’re going to hear about it. So, it’s best for you if you just do it my way.”
[00:17:33] ASHLEY RAY: I was curious. Did you get to spend a lot of time with the real Bev Goldberg? I love every episode that ends with clips of the family and kind of getting to compare what we just saw with, like, the real footage. Did the cast get to do a lot of, like, you know, research with the family?
[00:17:47] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: No. No, not at all. We finally met them, like, midway into Season One. So, our stuff had already been established. And she lives far away. Bev lives in Florida with her husband. And we haven’t seen her for a while because of the shutdown and everything. But she would come, like, once per season and hang out with us. But, you know, we didn’t really get to hang with the family. And while the show is loosely based on the family, these are fictitious characters. So, I hope no one thought they were watching a documentary all this time–all these years.
[00:18:28] ASHLEY RAY: I have to imagine Adam’s real brother, Barry–not like that.
[00:18:32] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: Well, he is a doctor, I should say that. He really is a doctor, and so is Eric Goldberg. There is no Erica, but there was an Eric. And so, they’re both surgeons. And yet I think Bev is probably more proud of Adam than anybody else because, you know, she can show people what her son does because it’s on television. So, I think that might be an easier thing to do.
[00:18:57] ASHLEY RAY: And you get all the guest stars. Come on.
[00:18:59] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: Exactly.
[00:19:00] ASHLEY RAY: I know you probably want to do a lot of non-Goldberg things in your future. But I know a lot of fans were saying, “Well, maybe there could be a spinoff where Geoff and Erica are the next generation of Goldbergs and Bev comes to visit to, you know, take care of the granddaughter.” How would you feel about that?
[00:19:15] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: Yeah, that could absolutely happen. And honestly, I think a spinoff could be had with Johnny Atkins, the kid who’s into Rush and has a little ponytail, and his girlfriend, Carla, the crazy one. I thought that would be a good spinoff.
[00:19:32] ASHLEY RAY: Oh, yeah. That and him managing the, like, 1950s diner.
[00:19:36] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: Yeah.
[00:19:37] ASHLEY RAY: Everything about that plot is so funny to me this season.
[00:19:39] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: Yeah, it’s so funny. You know, like, the kids that never got out of their hometown. I think there’s a lot of fun to be had there. But right now, you know, I don’t know that anyone’s thinking about a spinoff or anything. We’re still just kind of getting used to the idea that, you know, we won’t be going back to work in August like we have every year for the past ten years. But it’s been beautiful.
[00:20:04] ASHLEY RAY: Yeah. Did that come as a shock? Were you kind of thinking, “We’ll get the renewal?”
[00:20:09] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: I thought we might get a half season renewal, but look, what can we complain about? We’ve been very lucky. Ten years is exceptional, especially in this day and age. So, you know, I think that the episode that will be our finale is a good one. And it’s a good one if people want to write fan fiction because there are some interesting things that happen.
[00:20:37] ASHLEY RAY: Yeah, I mean, maybe I do have some Goldberg fan fiction. Maybe I’m writing a lot about the things I do to Geoff. I don’t know. He’s such a sweet boy. He’s such a sweet boy.
[00:20:48] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: You have no idea what could happen. Yeah, but it’s always not fun to find out because then that means you have to say your goodbyes.
[00:20:59] ASHLEY RAY: Yeah.
[00:21:00] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: And I hate goodbyes. I don’t like that word, “goodbye.” I say, you know, “happy trails” or “later,” but I don’t say “goodbye.” I expect to see these people again–every last one of them.
[00:21:15] ASHLEY RAY: I can’t see there not being some kind of Goldberg reunion–something later down the line.
[00:21:21] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: Yeah, something. A holiday movie or something.
[00:21:24] ASHLEY RAY: Holiday movie–would love that. ABC, get on it, please. So, what are you excited about in your new post-Bev world? What do you want to work on? Is there something? You want to go the complete opposite way–play, like, a drug dealer?
[00:21:37] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: Oh, always. Always, okay? I’m always looking for my Tony Soprano or my Walter White role, you know? And I do want to say that being on this show for ten years–that hasn’t stopped me from doing other things. Every hiatus they allowed me to do whatever I wanted. So, I’ve made movies, I’ve done animated things. I’ve gotten to do a lot.
[00:22:01] ASHLEY RAY: Yes, you did my favorite character in Bob’s Burgers; you voiced Mudflap.
[00:22:07] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: Mudflap. Yeah.
[00:22:08] ASHLEY RAY: The pregnant biker mom in one of my favorite episodes.
[00:22:14] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: And I also play a biker mom on a show called Big City Greens for the Disney Channel.
[00:22:20] ASHLEY RAY: Yes.
[00:22:21] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: And, you know, what an honor. What an honor to play a motorcycle mama.
[00:22:28] ASHLEY RAY: My little nephews–they watch this. They do all the Disney plus shows. And I’m always just like, “Oh, yeah, I know her from Reno 911! and The Goldbergs.” And they’re like, “What are those shows? Are those from the ’70s?”
[00:22:39] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: “Don’t worry about it.”
[00:22:42] ASHLEY RAY: But you’ve been in so many things. Hot in Cleveland, The Office, Kath & Kim. I mean, you must have stories. What’s one of your craziest, like, onset stories? What’s the one that you’re like, “Oh man, this day on The Office…”
[00:22:57] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: Let’s see… Okay, so being on The Office–that was a trip because I had just been fired from another job. I was in Michigan to shoot a movie, and they fired me within 24 hours because one of the money guys thought I was not pretty enough. So, they fired me. And I’m crying on a plane back to Los Angeles, like, “My career is over. Oh my God.” And when I got home–when I landed at LAX–my phone was blowing up because I had an offer to do The Office. And everybody saw that episode. Nobody saw this stupid little movie.
[00:23:37] ASHLEY RAY: Exactly.
[00:23:39] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: In fact, that movie was quite the career killer for a few people.
[00:23:45] ASHLEY RAY: The person who got your role? Wow.
[00:23:46] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: Yeah, I’m not going to mention who was in it. So that was kind of wild–that it was like, “Oh, see, this is, you know, how God works.” Redirection is protection.
[00:23:58] ASHLEY RAY: Exactly. And I mean, that was the Business Trip episode of The Office, which I think is one of the fan favorites. It’s always on TV. Just you–Reno 911!, The Office–I feel like you’re part of that set of character actors who defined sitcom TV. Do you kind of see yourself that way? Are you like, “I’m like the TV Margo Martindale”? That’s what I would call you.
[00:24:22] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: I’ll take it. I will take it. You know, I don’t often back up and look at myself that way. But I guess that’s not bad. I mean, I am, you know, a utility player. And if you bring me in, I will do a decent job for you.
[00:24:41] ASHLEY RAY: You’re going to crush it.
[00:24:42] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: I’ve said a couple of funny things in life. Sometimes I can be funny. I don’t know. I’m just lucky anybody pays attention to me, actually. And I’m lucky that I work at all.
[00:24:53] ASHLEY RAY: We love you. I think your appearance in Barb and Star go to Vista Del Mar–everyone was just like, “Oh my gosh. Wendi’s in it. Wendi’s in it. This is amazing. Please. Yes.”
[00:25:05] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: Such a fun movie. That was one of the silliest, weirdest things I had seen in a long time. And I just love it. I love strange humor like that. You know, it’s like a live action cartoon almost. And it was what we needed during the shutdown.
[00:25:21] ASHLEY RAY: Absolutely. I watched it probably five times. It was like the only thing that could make me feel anything positive at that stage.
[00:25:31] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: “I’m going to go practice my calligraphy.”
[00:25:35] ASHLEY RAY: Do you have any, you know, dream comedy roles or shows you’d like to be on now? You know, I mean, I feel like there’s other sitcoms that would be so happy to have.
[00:25:44] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: Well, I just booked a pilot for NBC with the people that did Superstore and American Auto.
[00:25:50] ASHLEY RAY: Oh my gosh.
[00:25:51] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: A couple of them did write on The Office. So that’s called St. Denis Medical. And we’ll see if that goes. We’re shooting the pilot next week.
[00:26:00] ASHLEY RAY: Come on. The magic behind Superstore on American Auto and you? This has to work!
[00:26:05] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: I mean, so far everybody’s insanely sweet and nice. And I’m really looking forward to it. But, you know, you always feel like the new kid in school when you go to a new set, and you get those nerves and woodpeckers in your stomach. And that’s kind of where I’m at.
[00:26:23] ASHLEY RAY: Even you. And I feel like everyone would be, like, intimidated by you on set. “I got to look good in front of Wendi.”
[00:26:30] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: Oh, God. Or they just think I’m some big weirdo that just wandered in. Yeah, I’m actually doing some producing right now as well. And there’s a few shows that I really want people to see. And I wish I could tell you more. I can’t talk about some of these, but I’ll just say that I am also an enthusiastic audience member. And there’s some people that I just love to watch. And, like, I don’t need to be in every single project, but I want to watch certain things–selfishly. There’s friends of mine or just people that I admire that I would love to just hand a project to and let them go crazy with it.
[00:27:12] ASHLEY RAY: What are some people that you would be excited to see or shows that you like to watch? Like, what’s your kind of go-to genre?
[00:27:18] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: So, I love Veep. Okay? Everybody on that show is a star as far as I’m concerned. Even the under-five line people, I think are amazing. There’s some people on there that I would love to do something with. Sandra Barnhart–I’ve been a fan of hers, like a rabid fan, since the late ’80s. And now we’re kind of friends, and I’m in the mix on kind of helping her produce something for herself. And, like, she’s someone that I think is such a specific spice in the rack. That when she hits, she hits really big.
[00:27:58] ASHLEY RAY: Yeah.
[00:28:00] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: And so, there’s stuff that I want to see her doing.
[00:28:02] ASHLEY RAY: Yeah, she was my favorite part in this new season of American Horror Story: New York City, where she plays the lesbian activist. She was incredible. And I just was so happy to see her on the screen again. It feels like we’re finally getting–I don’t want to say a renaissance–but it’s like finally Hollywood is paying attention to female actors over 40. They’re like, “Oh, they’re still so talented and good. Oh, yeah, yeah. You should be in a show.”
[00:28:29] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: Yeah. Oh, yeah. And luckily, there are some people like Ryan Murphy out there who are into, like, interesting casting things. They want to make every role interesting. And so, they’ll reach back, and they’ll find people that are not, like, household names and make them household names. Yeah. Like I said, I’m always looking for my Tony Soprano, Walter White situation. So maybe that won’t be funny, but it’ll be interesting.
[00:28:57] ASHLEY RAY: Yeah. I mean, the idea of you working with Justin Spitzer from Superstore… I absolutely love what he’s doing with Ana Gasteyer on American Auto. It’s like finally she is getting the role. She’s been waiting for–the attention she deserved. It’s so, so funny.
[00:29:12] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: Yeah. And she’s amazing, too. And she was on The Goldbergs for a while and on the spinoff, Schooled. And she’s exceptional. And she’s another one that’s like, “Oh my God, I can’t even believe I know you. You’re so talented.” Like, I took comedy classes at the Groundlings, and she was in the Groundlings right before she got swept into Saturday Night Live. And I would watch her and be like, “How does that mind work? How can you do a song improv like that? You are brilliant!”
[00:29:42] ASHLEY RAY: And just the way she’ll find or read a line where it seems like it should be so regular. The tone makes it so funny. She’s just incredibly talented. And I think Justin–he’s going to get you that show where everyone finally… I’m not gonna have to beg them to watch ten seasons of The Goldbergs. I’m going to be like, “This show. You just hop right in. It’s her vehicle.”
[00:30:04] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: I’ll take it. Whatever you have to do–however you have to sell me, Ashley–it’s fine.
[00:30:10] ASHLEY RAY: Yeah, like, that’s how it goes. So, I did also want to ask about Reno 911! We have so many TV Club fans who just– What was that experience? What was it like working with such a team that uses improv, finding that chemistry together as an ensemble? And thank you for still making new Reno 911! all these years later. We thank you.
[00:30:36] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: Yeah. Isn’t that interesting how that all kind of came around again? You know, lucky me. You know, Reno was different in that–I can’t stress this enough–every line we said was improvised. Every line we said. So that was a challenge in that sometimes you would get guest stars that would kind of take you off on a tangent that you knew was not going to be usable. Yes, we’re improvising, but in the end, this is a 22-minute show. So, you’re going on all this lengthy backstory; like, “No, just stick to what’s right in front of us. We got to service this scene that’s happening right now.”
[00:31:19] ASHLEY RAY: Can you think of an example of someone where you were like, “Okay. Come on. Reel it back in. Come on.”
[00:31:25] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: Oh, I can’t think of anything right now, which I know sucks because we’re talking about it. But I will say that we shot that show so fast, no one understood how fast it actually was. Like, we would do a season in three weeks.
[00:31:43] ASHLEY RAY: Oh my gosh.
[00:31:44] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: And then be off.
[00:31:46] ASHLEY RAY: Yeah.
[00:31:47] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: But everyone assumed that we were working for months and months and months. So, when Quibi came around… I don’t know if anyone out there remembers Quibi. It was very short lived. But we got to make some episodes for Quibi. And it was amazing–just falling right back into that same routine after being away from these people for 13 years or whatever. And there was a movie that we did. We’ve done a couple of movies now. But The Hunt for QAnon–
[00:32:16] ASHLEY RAY: That was my favorite.
[00:32:19] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: And we got nominated for an Emmy for that, which is, you know, not nothing. But that was super important for us to just stick to the topic. “Stick to the topic. We have two weeks to shoot this motion picture on a haunted boat.” Okay? We shot on the Queen Mary, which is haunted AF. Yeah, just watching it and then remembering, “Oh no! There were all these other things we did, and we couldn’t keep them in.” So, it was painful sometimes, knowing that some of your really good stuff had to be cut for time. But you gotta forget it. You got to just go on. Keep moving.
[00:32:58] ASHLEY RAY: Just let it go. And is it wild to kind of see where everyone in the cast has gone? I mean, Tom Lennon is playing dads and, like, nice uncles. And Niecy Nash is, like, blowing up with Claws. And just everything. Like, has it just been wild to see, you know, Reno 911!–you’re staying, you know? That cast had so much talent.
[00:33:18] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: Yeah. It is pretty wild because, you know, that was a little basic cable show that paid hardly any money, but it’s never been off the air. It’s been on the air for 20 years. So that’s kind of gratifying because we’re the little show that could. It was a silly, little thing we were doing on the cheap for basic cable. Okay? And it’s still boomeranging around the world. Like, still to this day, the clip of me doing the drunk driving stop with the drunk driver, who was Cedric Yarbrough, by the way.
[00:33:55] ASHLEY RAY: Yes. Huge. Yeah.
[00:33:57] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: That was, like, the first thing I ever filmed for the show. And people still send it to me saying, “Can you believe this?” I’m like, “You know that’s not real, right? You know that’s me. Don’t you recognize my voice?”
[00:34:13] ASHLEY RAY: It’s acting.
[00:34:14] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: People sending it to me, like, “I’ve never seen this before.” I don’t know. It still fascinates me.
[00:34:19] ASHLEY RAY: It’s incredible. And listeners, you know, there’s a whole channel out there on TV where you can watch Reno 911! all day long. So, if somehow you haven’t watched it, go do that. We are nearing the end of this interview. I’m going to wrap it up. So, thank you so much for joining us.
[00:34:33] WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it, Ashley.
[00:34:42] ASHLEY RAY: Thanks again to Wendi McLendon-Covey for being so awesome to talk to. Make sure to watch The Goldbergs final season airing now through May 3rd. It just came back from a little hiatus, and if you ask me, it came back with the heat. But I absolutely love any episode that focuses on Geoff, Sam Lerner. I think he is so funny. Just him and Barry–those two actors–they know how to be in a sitcom. They know how to sitcom act. And actually, I learned Sam Lerner–his father in the show is played by his real dad. And this past week, his uncle passed away–Michael Lerner–who was incredible. He was in Elf, Barton Fink–I did not connect that they were all related. So, I just want to say, you know, R.I.P. to Michael Lerner. Your uncle’s out here doing great things and your brother on The Goldbergs. So, I connected those dots, and I was like, “What a talented little family. No wonder that kid has got it.” You know, like I said, if you want to do The Goldbergs spinoff and make it about Geoff and Erica, I’m right there with you, ABC. I’m right there with you. Everyone is like, “Ashley, literally stop pitching that to us.” Anyway, coming up, I’ll finally dive into my thoughts on Sunday’s episode of Succession. And we’re going to respond to some listener voicemails on the TV Club Hotline. Stick around. Welcome back to TV, I Say. Okay, it’s Succession time. I’m warning you. We’re going to play some voicemails about the episode that have spoilers. I’m going to say spoilers. So, if you’ve somehow managed to make it to today, Wednesday, without hearing what happened–if you have a bubble where somehow TV, I Say is the only thing that penetrates it–now, you know. There’s spoilers, stop listening. Okay. Now before we dive into these voicemails, you know, the big, big spoiler is that Logan died. Obviously, knowing this was the final season, I knew this had to happen. Did I think it was going to happen so early? Did I think it was going to happen in episode three? No! Like, it felt like we were just getting this final, big setup of, you know… Like Conn had just said in the previous episode the night before–this all takes place the weekend of Connor’s wedding–truly the night before Conn is like, “So this is how it shakes out. You three and me and dad outside of the foxhole.” And it was like, “Oh, we’re finally getting this, like, weird family blow up. Like, this is going to be it. Can they come back from it?” And then life happens. You know, to say that it wasn’t realistic to have it happen in a way where it almost felt like a trick. I think when you’re originally watching and you see Tom had already been calling and some of the frantic energy and you don’t see Logan, you’re like, “Are they trying to trick the kids in some way? Are they trying to throw the kids off the scent of the dad going to Sweden to try to, like, work this deal out?” And then you see Logan on the floor and you’re like, “No, the show’s really going there. It’s really going there.” I’ve seen a few people where they said, “Succession feels like the master show in getting you to care about nothing happening,” which I think is true. You know, most of the time we’re watching and we’re just like, “Oh my gosh, did you see the way Ken walked away from that interview?” Like, very rarely do big, big things happen. I don’t think we’ve really seen something huge happen since Kendall’s car crash in season one. So, this is back on that level of, “Oh, okay, things are about to change. Things are about to happen.” And they set up the pieces for this last season so wonderfully. Getting rid of the king when we thought it was so clear how it was going to play out. I’m a big Tom girl. I think Tom is in it to win it. Tom is our Midwest boy to riches story. So obviously I’m all about Tom. And he had so perfectly just played his way up to Little Prince. You know he had done it. He, like, got the favor of his ex-wife’s dad, got himself in the inner circle. And now his entire security blanket is gone, and all he really has to hold on to is, you know, he was on the plane. That gets to be his story. And I do wonder what level of guilt the kids are going to feel, knowing that first of all, they’re the reason their dad had to go to Sweden. If they hadn’t, you know, caused all this fuss, he would have been there at the wedding. No issues. But at the same time, you have Roman, who… When Logan’s last words to all of them together was, “I love you, but you’re not serious people,” you have Roman who gets to sit there and be like, “Actually, dad’s last words to me or something like, ‘Romulus, I need you.’ Like, he needed me. I’m a special boy.” I think that’s as close as we get to “Who got the kiss from Daddy?” And it’s my boy, Roman ROY. You know, I think we would have seen that Roman-Tom evil energy if we hadn’t lost Logan. Oh, gosh, it was just perfect television. You know, you want to sit around the water cooler and talk about these moments. So that’s why I wanted to open up our voicemail line, the TV Club Hotline, and hear from you. I want to hear from you–what you thought about this. So, let’s start playing some of these voicemails.
[00:40:38] CLEAR QUARTZ: Baby! Logan going out on the toilet on the plane. I have so many questions. Why did it take them so long to land? First of all, y’all just got off the tarmac, and now you’re hovering around the sky for X amount of time. Like, the disconnect. What’s the whale? First of all, what is the whale looking like? Marcia–he’s still not divorced, technically, right? Like, my God, this is what I want in the finale. This is how Succession should succeed.
[00:41:24] ASHLEY RAY: That is from Clear Quartz. Yes, yes, yes. I have to agree. Why did that plane take so long? We just saw Tom and Logan get on the plane. Logan is like, “A bit more aggressive.” Thank you. I know my Logan impression is very, very good. Thank you. He’s like, “Be a bit more aggressive.” And, you know, Tom is like, “Yeah, yeah.” They get on the plane. We do see that almost immediately from that moment, Tom is calling Shiv, who he calls first, which is kind of our first clue that something bad is happening. I am sure that he tried to call Shiv as soon as he saw they were trying to get into the bathroom. So, if Shiv had answered her phone when her ex-husband called twice while with her elderly father… Sorry, Shiv, I just… I’m on the Shiv is Not Smart camp, okay? I know people hate when people are constantly like, “Shiv isn’t as smart as she thinks. Oh, Shiv’s father gave her a playground, and she thought it was the world.” But they are all right. Okay? Because Shiv, just like, wanting to be Ms. Badass, ignoring the call. Okay. Anyway, it seems like it’s not too far after that. So, like, how come it took them so long to land the plane? But I also think that is part of the way they shot this. So, from the moment they get the news, it was done in a 28-minute one shot. And the after show talked about this. They used different film cameras, so there was always one ready to go as soon as the last one stop filming. So, it created this sort of smooth tension that feels longer than it actually is, which I think is how it feels when you’re in those types of emergencies. So, I don’t think it really probably took the plane that long to land, but it feels like it takes forever. And yeah, I am so curious about the Marcia of it all. Yes, Logan and Marcia are still legally married. They are separated. Marcia is shopping forever in Dubai. Well, not anymore, baby. But I do feel like Logan is not the type to play around with his will, right? I think if Logan wrote those kids out of the helicopter contracts, he absolutely got them out of the will. He thought this deal–this Gojo deal–was going to go through, and the kids would have enough money that they wouldn’t need him. You know, after the karaoke incident, we see him like, you know, yelling about how his kids would have to live like unhoused people. And so, I think he was like, “Get them out of my will. Let them fend for themselves. Finally get out of my life. Maybe I’ll respect them as people.” And frankly, I think he was already thinking about the next generation with Kerry because he was saying all that weird stuff about sperm and Kerry and virility. And it was just weird. So, I actually think Kerry is pregnant. That’s why she was all smiles. And she knows that she’s in the will and those kids are not. They’re going to have to scramble to stay in charge of the board. And that is going to be great to see. Let’s listen to this next one from Erica.
[00:44:36] ERICA: We obviously lost a titan in this week’s episode. It’s episode three of the season. Bold move. But I really, really want us to keep Colin in our hearts, moving forward. The man is on the job. He was the only person Logan respected because of competency. And now I’m just afraid of what Colin knows and who he’s dangerous to. So, keep Colin in your heart.
[00:45:05] ASHLEY RAY: Oh, baby. The Colin of it all. We cannot forget about Logan’s security guard fixer, Colin. Colin and Kendall Roy are pretty close, as you remember. I brought up Kendall’s little waiter incident. Colin is the one who fixed that up. And Colin is never afraid to let Kendall know that. Remember last season, he got up in his face and was like, “I know who you are.” I don’t know why I made him sound like Bane. But yes, Logan respects him. We saw that in this, like, wonderful little diner scene they had together that was a really, you know, wonderful moment of connection, where you really see who Logan has in his inner circle. And Colin following him through the park–he really does care about this man. And now that Logan is gone–ooh–Colin knows a lot. And I don’t think Kendall and the kids are smart enough to realize that. Okay, there’s a quick shot of Colin in the episode. He’s, like, at the airport and he’s, like, on the tarmac, looking up. And he looks like he expected, you know, more information, like he expected to be looped in with the children. He looks like a confused puppy. And he just kind of realizes–oh–he’s finding out with the rest of the world. as the body is coming off, he’s like, “Okay, yeah, this is it. This is real.” And that just broke my heart. So, Colin, I think, is going to get his. Colin is going to find a way to get his money. I doubt he’s in the will. I feel like Logan was not that nice of a person that he would, like, put his help in the will. But I think Colin will find a way to get his money. Let’s play this next one from Kate.
[00:46:47] KATE: Oh my God. The marriage still happened. I want to know what that afterparty was like. They probably still banged, though, right? Wedding night bang. You know what I’m talking about. Keep killing it.
[00:47:03] ASHLEY RAY: Thank you, Kate, for asking the important questions. Do you think Connor and Willa had sex on their wedding night? Let me know on Twitter. I think that they absolutely did. I think Connor immediately was like, “I’m free. I’m free to do what I want for me. None of this matters for my father anymore.” And I think he married Willa the way he wanted to and the way she really did, where it was intimate, and it was just the people who actually care about them. And in their own weird, beautiful way, it was so romantic. And I know that that night they had sad missionary sex, where Willa was on the bottom and she was just, like, looking past him and he’s, like, you know, buried in the pillow–can’t see her face at all. And she’s just, like, looking at the ceiling, like, “This is my life.” And then slowly Connor starts crying, and she just, like, holds him. That’s exactly how I think it went on their wedding night. Do I want to see it next episode? Absolutely. I really do because I ride for Connor and Willa. I ride for them. They get each other. And when he finally just comes out and is like, “Is it the money?” And she’s like, “Well, yeah, there’s a sense of security.” But I think she respects that security because the money doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to be a good person, right? Like, you know, we’re about to find out Logan had all this money and was dating Kerry. Did he keep her in a secure situation? Probably not. Maybe if she was pregnant. But Connor, no matter what, because he is the kind of guy–or he views himself as the kind of guy–who would always sort of protect the women in his life in a way, or, you know, take care of his wife. You know, Willa can expect that from him. And that’s, I think, what she respects–that Connor is someone who sees what is wrong with his father and his family and tries to be something different. Whereas the other kids want to be their dad and just don’t want to admit it. Let’s listen to one more Succession take from Rosha.
[00:49:14] ROSHA: My name is Rosha from California, and I need to talk about Looney Cake. I need to discuss the origin of it. I need to discuss them stumbling through that explanation. I just feel like it’s getting overlooked. I feel like Looney Cake needs to be discussed.
[00:49:32] ASHLEY RAY: Okay. See, you are right there with me, Rosha. When I tell you I ride for Connor and Willa, that was one of the moments I was like, “Put it in their fan cam because that is them getting each other.” Willa is just immediately disregarding that Connor is upset about something. You know, she’s like, “Oh, he’s, like, lost it over some Looney Cake. Don’t even know he means. Don’t care. Just Connor being Connor.” And then the siblings are the ones who are like, “Oh, yeah. By the way… When they took Connor’s mom, they fed him, you know, a bite of sugar just to get him happy.” You could tell Kendall was so quoting their dad when he goes, like, “Oh, you know, bite of sugar. Just a bit of cake to get him through.” And then it turns out Connor eats the cake all week. And the cake at his wedding reminds him, I suppose, of this cake. And is Willa at all like, “Oh, what am I getting into? Oh, should I not marry this guy? Wow, that’s really heavy. That’s some emotional damage right there. A whole cake? The Loony Cake? What?” But no. Willa doesn’t even a miss a step. Willa just goes, “Oh, right.” She’s just like, “Oh, right. Right. Looney Cake.” She just immediately adds it to the lure of Conn. She is just like, “That’s my man. I’m sticking with him. That is my boy. There it is. Now, I understand my man just a little bit more. That is why I love them.” That is the essence of Willa and Connor–that they just click. “Got it. Moving on with that information. Doesn’t change anything.” And that is, I think, at the end of the day, the kind of stability that Connor needs and why Succession is a true love story. There you go. That is it for Succession. With our last caller, we are going to pivot to Yellowjackets because that’s also happening. Okay. There’s so much TV again. Yellowjackets–I am liking this season, although I do think they are leaning a bit heavy on some of the visuals. You know, I think it’s clear that what a lot of the people are seeing in different timelines or time periods isn’t accurate. And there’s going to be this reveal that I think some people don’t exist or, you know, some reality we’ve assumed is true isn’t true. You know, so let’s get into this. Little spoilers for Yellowjackets. Just FYI.
[00:52:17] ADRIANA: Hey. My name is Adriana, and I don’t think this is a particularly hot take or anything that’s deeply insightful. But regarding Yellowjackets–I think it’s very clear–we all know that Shauna’s baby is absolutely going to get eaten, right? It’s a succulent roast duck. That baby’s going to be turned into buffalo wings–five sure. And I had a friend try and say, “Well, maybe what if the baby is actually Shauna’s kid from today?” And to that I say, “Do you know what a teenager is? Or did you know that somebody from 1996 isn’t a teenager anymore? They’re an adult who pays taxes.” That baby’s going to get eaten. And it’s going to suck when they do it.
[00:53:11] ASHLEY RAY: Thank you, Adriana, for calling in with that. Yes, this is some quick math the show has laid out for us. In the newest episode, Misty reminds us it’s been 25 years since the crash. So, if this child was alive, it would be, like, 25 years old, 24 years old. So, no, it cannot be Shauna’s current child, who is clearly a teenager. So, we know that the baby Shauna has now–that happened later. So, what happened to Shauna’s baby. And again, there is this moment where Lottie is like, “The boy.” I think it’s going to be a boy. So, we clearly know Shauna doesn’t have a boy. So, yeah. I think they’re going to eat the baby. I mean, it’s just kind of what makes sense. But here’s what I actually think. This is my true little guess. Their coach was not in good standing the last time we saw him. He was, like, in bed looking at half dead. I feel like maybe he’s been dead. They, like, haven’t accepted it yet. And they think he’s just sleeping on his bed. And then they’re going to be like, “Oh, he died.” And then they’re going to eat him first. And then when you’re two bodies deep, I feel like eating a baby? You’re just kind of like, “Well, this baby’s going to be miserable.” I don’t know. Hungry people make crazy decisions. That is it for the TV, I Say Hotline. Thanks for calling in. Keep calling in. And if you have more to say, if there’s a show you’re watching that I have not talked about… The Power on Amazon Prime Video is out. You want to get into Jury Duty more. Remember, you can leave me a message any time at speakpipe.com/tvisay. Hit me up on Twitter. Hey, let me know what you think. I want to know. I love talking to you people about TV. And if you love this podcast or just enjoy this episode, please share it with a friend. Let them get hooked, too. You know, TV Club is always accepting new members, so spread the word. And I have a feeling after that episode of Succession, people are looking for a place to talk about it. So, let’s get into it here at TV Club. I’m going to give you just some little, little homework. Not too much. Tiny Beautiful Things. Get into it. It’s an interesting little show. Couples Therapy will be back on April 14th. I am very, very excited for that. Single Drunk Female is coming back. Again, another show I love. They’re giving us the entire season for Season Two at once. Last time, Season One aired weekly, so… I hope we get a Season Three. I really love Single Drunk Female. Again, Jury Duty–we’ll have some new episodes out. I just have to keep saying because I really do love that show so much. We’re going to have a big Love is Blind-a-palooza. And oh, I’m sorry, Below Deckies–my Deck Headies– my Deck Heads–my Deck Babies. Did you think I forgot about you? No, I didn’t forget about you. I know that Sailing Yacht is back. We are back with Captain Glenn. We have Daisy. And more importantly, Colin is finally single. Colin’s finally single. I think Colin has always been the hottest, hottest, hottest, perfect boy in every single variation of Below Deck. And now he’s finally single and on Sailing Yacht–one of the messiest, messiest boats–I am pumped for this season. Anyway, Below Deck Heads, I got you. We’re going to dig into it next week. That is your homework. Thank you so much for listening. We’ll be back next week with another episode. TV, I Say with Ashley Ray is an Earwolf production made by me, Ashley Ray-Harris. It’s engineered by Abby Aguilar and produced by Amelia Chappelow. And our original theme song is by RaFia. It means so much to me if you go rate, review, subscribe. Follow TV, I Say. Let us know what you think and tell your friends. Share with your Golden Girls. Tell your Boys. If you love my TV recommendations, let everyone you know know. For special TV Club members, join my Patreon. And you can also find my full archive of ad free episodes of TV, I Say over on Stitcher Premium. Use Promo code “tvisay”–all one word–for a one-month free trial at stitcher.com/premium.
November 28, 2023
Guest Sona Movsesian
Gilmore Girls, Friends, The Office – what TV do you put on to drown out your family during the holidays?
November 14, 2023
Do you remember where you were the first time you heard Meredith Grey’s infamous line, “Pick me, choose me, love me”? Shaun Diston joins Ashley to discuss and act out some of their favorite TV monologues from shows including Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Designing Women, Andor, and more.