I found a new favorite show. Have you watched The Kids Are Alright yet? If not you should. The comedy takes place in 1972 Southern California where a working class family (consisting of 8 boys!!) as they nostalgically navigate through daily life. It mostly follows Timmy (Jack Gore), a 12 year old who just wants to stand out in the family a little bit.
Plus the family is full of gingers. And I love that because my own family has ginger blood. In fact my son bears a striking resemblance to Jack (minus the freckles and about 4 years). I mean look – they could be brothers…
While I was in Los Angeles for The Nutcracker and the Four Realms I got the opportunity to tour the set of The Kids Are Alright with one of the stars of the show Caleb Foote. Caleb plays Eddie, one of the middle boys of the family. He was so excited to show us all around the set, including the back yard where we met with creator and narrator Tim Doyle (whom the show is based on).
Plus I got to quickly meet Michael Cudlitz….
For those of you who don’t know, I am a HUGE fan of The Walking Dead and with that a HUGE fan of a character named Abraham. I loved his witty one-liners, his brawny attitude, and his red hair. I cried hardcore tears when his character was killed off. Sorry, spoiler – but really if you watch the show you would have already known his fate.
I didn’t get to chat much with Cudlitz as they were right between takes and so time was tight, but just a quick meet and greet was all I needed. Actually I would have loved to site down and chat with him about switching gears from a action/drama to comedy but another time for that.
One of the more interesting conversations I had was with the set decorator Claudette Didul and production designer Michael Whetstone . The set was based on a small ranch-style home director Randall Einhorn found for the pilot and just loved. Didul has the fun task of decorating in 1970’s family style – kitschy vintage embroidery hanging on the walls, crocheted afghan draping the brown couch, and several – and I mean several – copies of the red and white checkered Better Homes and Gardens cookbooks which I am pretty sure every single family growing up in the 1970’s had. I know we had at least 2 editions.
There are so many little details that would be easy to miss but add to the nostalgia and warmth to remind you of the house you grew up in, or your grandparents’ house or best friend’s house. Things like stacks of TV Guides, board games, little army guys, even the saloon doors that were so popular in the 1970’s. The whole set is aged and given a “lived in” look with nuances like dirty doorjambs and a pile of laundry. Even the fridge magnets are vintage.
Going outside provided a whole new air of times past – the 70’s car was my favorite part (although if it was a white 1970 Ford Pinto I think it would have been even more nostalgic for me). The detached garage, drying rack, and even the tree house reminded me of when I was little.
We also chatted with costume designer Susan Michalek about dressing a family 0f 10. Turned out there are at least 5 wardrobe changes per character on an average episode – that’s over 50 changes, not including extras and guest stars. So she has her work cut out for her but she loves it.
I could go on and on about how much the set visit tugged at my heartstrings and reminded me of days gone by, but you can experience that feeling yourself by watching The Kids Are Alright Tuesdays at 8:30/7:3oc on ABC or stream on the ABC app!