Melissa Joan Hart on what to expect in season 2 of Melissa and Joey, life after Clarissa and the appeal of cable television
We recently made our inner child’s dreams come true by getting on a call with Melissa Joan Hart as she made the rounds promoting the second season of her ABC Family series, Melissa and Joey (premiering May 30th at 8/7c)
Melissa Joan Hart rose to fame after playing Clarissa on the wildly popular 90s series Clarissa Explains it All and Sabrina on Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
Melissa Joan Hart is all grown up now and leading ABC Family’s first adult comedy series Melissa and Joey along side fellow 90s star Joey Lawerence.
Recently we had a chance to get on a call with Melissa Joan Hart. During the call Melissa Joan Hart touched on many subjects. Here is what she had to say about what fans should expect from season 2 of Melissa and Joey, the possibility of romance between the two lead characters, post-childhood stardom and why audiences are attracted to cable television shows.
Don’t forget to tune in for Melissa and Joey (premiering on ABC Family at 8/7c on May 30th)
Melissa Joan Hart on What Fans Should Expect for Season 2 of Melissa and Joey:
“In the second season we just have funnier, more solid episodes…There are some surprises …. This season it was really about keeping it light. Not having that very special episode. We don’t like to do those. We just want to make people laugh.”
Melissa Joan Hart on the future of Melissa and Joey’s relationship and the possibility for future romance in Season 2:
“…Once we moved back in together I think the whole idea was that we realized we can’t have a working relationship and—I think the idea behind that was that when we were thinking about living separate lives we could maybe date, but the fact that we’re under the same roof kind of trying to raise these kids together, again, doesn’t leave much room for romance. So that got left behind in season one.
So season two will pick up sort of the same way season one did, which is just that constant, ‘Is he the right guy for me?’ ‘Is she the right girl for me?’ ‘Am I missing the person that’s right under my nose,’ and then that whole, ‘No, I don’t want to be with that person.’ So it’s that cat and dog, that constant flirting but never really getting together moonlighting kind of thing… , we’re fine with hinting at it once in a while and winking at the audience a little bit like we know we should be together but it’s not going to happen. But we don’t think that that relationship, unless we can come up with a really interesting new twist, the Ross/Rachel sort of thing.”
Melissa Joan Hart on how her background and Joey Lawerence’s background as teen actors helps them with their young coworkers, Taylor and Nick:
“Joey and I are constantly rolling our eyes and having flashbacks to our own years on sitcoms when we had aunts and uncles and parents on the show, and now here we are basically the aunt and uncle of these teenagers. On Sabrina I had two aunts. So now I’m the aunt. It’s weird. I hear myself saying things that they would say to me like, ‘You need to wear a bra.’ I hear myself say it and I go, ‘Gosh, I remember rolling my eyes at Caroline Rhea when she said that to me.’”
Melissa Joan Hart on What She Loves Most About her Character, Mel:
“She’s really determined. She sets her heart to something. She thinks she’s got the—when she thinks she’s on the right path or she thinks there’s a mission to accomplish she will get to it. She will finish that mission. She is one of those women that is determined and has her convictions and sees things through, but she does it in a really silly, funny way.”
Melissa Joan Hart on the aspects of Mel that she enjoys playing the most:
I love that she’s a mess. She’s a big hot mess and I love that because every other show I’ve played the characters have sort of been really put together and, you know, they’ve been careful with their choices and sort of always been the grounded centered ones of the show. And this one I like that my character gets to be an absolute disaster and has to get her way out of—It’s kind of like I Love Lucy. She’s constantly getting herself in a mess and having to figure it out, and I love that.
Melissa Joan Hart on the irony of working with ABC Family, a network known for show with strong female leads after being Nickelodeon’s first female lead:
ABC Family has been doing great things for years now. Well they had Sabrina on the air for many, many, many years and they also did my wedding as a reality show way back when, nine years ago. They’re just one of those networks that has gotten stronger over the years. They’re backed by Disney and Disney’s principals, but at the same time they’re much more grown up. They’re able to take more risks probably even than ABC proper just because it is cable.
But yes, it’s female driven and I think that they’ve realized that females are the consumers. Females are the ones that are watching more TV while the men are tuned into ESPN, yet another Disney channel. The women and girls are watching ABC Family.
I love that they took a risk with this show, especially Melissa & Joey, just being that they don’t really have adult humor on the channel. They don’t really have comedy. So now they’re starting to build these comedy blocks and they’re realizing that they’re actually drawing in men with our show as well, I think.
Melissa Joan Hart on why audience are drawn to cable television shows:
I think people these days, the audience is really searching for shows like this because there’s just not that much left on network. There are great shows on cable and whatnot, but I also think a lot of those are big time commitment. They’re these shows that are episodic. So if you miss one week you’ve missed a lot. I’ve missed the last few weeks of House. So I feel like I’m totally lost.
But then with a comedy there’s not really that many like Friends, like The Cosby Show shows on the air. And that’s what we really wanted to do was put that back out there. I think they’re finding that it’s a real draw and that when people are finding it they’re really sticking with it.
Melissa Joan Hart on future ABC Family crossovers opportunities for Melissa and Joey
The fact that they don’t really have any comedies it makes it tough for a crossover with our show. But last season we had a guy play my love interest for three episodes who was from Greek. So that was fun. He had so many fans on the network of course that tuned in to see him on our show that we got new fans because of that.
But hopefully they’ll bring—they have these new comedies coming out, and hopefully we’ll be able to get some really great actors to kind of come in and cross over a little bit, but as of right now we haven’t really had that discussion yet.
Melissa Joan Hart on her successful transition from childhood star to adult actress:
“…I think that I learned that if I want longevity I’ve just got to stick it out. I’ve got to work hard, and that’s—I’ve never given up. No matter—this career, in this business you just go up and you go down. There’s no finding that soaring star to hitch onto and carry you off into the galaxy. It’s constant work to reinvent and figure out the next role and keep working upward.”
Make sure to tune in for Melissa and Joey’s Season 2 Premiere on ABC Family at 8/7c.