I watched this week's "My Boys" while still disoriented from jet lag, so I don't feel qualified to discuss it. So instead, after the jump I'll put a few excerpts from my conversation with Jordana Spiro at last night's Turner networks party. Feel free to talk about the episode if you want; I just have no idea whether it would have actually been funny to someone with access to all their faculties.
I asked Spiro about the removal of the sports metaphors from PJ's narration. She said that she loved the idea of the sports metaphors back when she first got the pilot script, but that in the original draft, the references were much more specific, the kind of thing you'd get only if you were a serious baseball fan. TBS was worried that this would alienate anyone who didn't know about, say, OPS or the infield fly rule or whatever (these are my suggestions; she didn't provide examples), and so they asked "My Boys" creator Betsy Thomas to make the references as generic as possible. And, after a while, the writers ran out of sports metaphors that were both easy to understand and actually interesting.
"People got tired of the sort of cliche aspect of them," she said. "As soon as you start to make them general, they get a little bit annoying. I think they just started to annoy people."
She said she misses the focus on PJ's job this year, though she understands why they were toned down.
"The writers had to decide whether this was a workplace show or a friends show, and they knew that it was a show about friends. But PJ is so much like me, and the one big difference was her passion for baseball, and so I miss getting to play that side of her as often."
She said Thomas has described the arc of the series to her as "to watch the evolution of someone in this extended adolescence into becoming a woman," and talked for a while about the laid-back atmosphere on the set, which in turn contributes to the chemistry between her and the rest of the cast.
On the day of the first table read, before Kellee Stewart had even been hired to play Stephanie, she and the guys all felt really nervous -- "You could cut the tension with a knife and serve it on a plate" -- so as soon as it ended, "We all looked at each other and were like, 'Can we all just go and get a beer?' And it was, like, noon." So they walked out in search of the bar closest to the set, started swapping stories, and that esprit de corps was born.