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'The Female Buddy Comedy' - Rebecca Blumhagen Deliberates The Girl's Guide To Depravity, Season 2

27/09/2013 16:17 BST | Updated 26/11/2013 10:12 GMT

Take the show Girls, fast-forward five years, incorporate a healthier, mature bank balance and a meandering road littered with complicated relationships, missed opportunities, misleading directions to love, the glint of a light at the end of an elusive tunnel, and you have The Girl's Guide to Depravity; the post-hipster 'female buddy comedy' as coined by the show's producer. Last season, the US TV show followed the lives of Sam (Rebecca Blumhagen) and Lizzie (Sally Golan) as they took on a philosophy on relationships that would protect them from getting hurt, but which would maximize satisfaction and pleasure. A flawed philosophy, we saw the women enduring hilarious situations and scenes and painful realties as they decisively followed the rules 'to getting laid, without getting screwed,' and as the season came to a close, the pair who'd seemed so close and connected at the start, began drifting apart.

Joining the cast are Tessa Harnetiaux as Meghan, Meg Barrick as Jenna, Nicole Rodenburg as Amy, Chasty Ballesteros as Rachel, Nick Clark as Dean, Jesse Pepe as Ryan, Blake Lowell as Sam's brother Charlie and British actors Kirk Barker as Ben, Victoria Atkin as Camilla, and more, inviting the audience to a colourful comeback.

2013-09-26-RebeccaBlumhagen_MichaelCreaghFinal2web.jpg Rebecca Blumhagen Photo credit: Michael Creagh

Season 2 sees Rebecca Blumhagen co-writing the show as well as playing awkward and subtly funny Sam. A writer, director and actor, she's a woman not short of talent, and is humorous, sincere and enthusiastic, to boot. Here, Blumhagen talks about the changes in season 2, the challenges her character will face, her friendships, new and old and the enduring goal of 'getting laid, without getting screwed.'

So, you've got some new characters in season 2. What can you tell me about them?

Yes. Last season was predominantly about Sam and Lizzie. About our friendship and our world. Whereas this season, we start to see Sam's world expand and become more full. Her brother Charlie comes and crashes on her couch for a few episodes, a new neighbour moves next door and she reconnects with an old friend from high school. The goal was really to fill out this world we'd created last season, to flesh it out and bring a lot more fullness to the show.

Every character has their own fantastic story and even the characters who appear in just one or two episodes in the season, bring something special.

How close do you get to your character in real life?

Well, in the sense that I always feel awkward at parties, and rarely know what to say on a first date, I would say very close. Also, Sam goes after everything with all that she's got. As soon as she decides her goal, she gives 100% to go after it and achieve it - even if it is the wrong thing. I connect with her on that. This season is really a journey for Sam of self-discovery, and that's something I can empathise with. However, when it comes to dating, I like to keep things a little tamer!

At the end of the last season, Sam and Lizzie's relationship seemed strained, will we see the characters being less interdependent this season? Where is their relationship headed?

I think Sam was always looking up to Lizzie and Lizzie was the strong one - the one who was always setting the tone; deciding where they were going, what they were doing - and Sam was open to trying anything Lizzie proposed. And yes, you see at the end of season 1, that Sam starts to resist that - that she might want to go out with Jason, even though Lizzie doesn't approve.

Lizzie and Sam have one of those delicate relationships, where one person is the leader, the alpha, and the other is the follower. When the follower begins to attain a sense of independence from the alpha, you start to see cracks in the relationship.

Sam is now in a relationship, How has the way she views her love life changed?

Well, Sam was hungry for a real relationship all last season. She saw having a boyfriend as the route to being happy. Of course she discovers that this idea is flawed. Having a boyfriend brings something different into her life and sometimes things are good and sometimes they can be a little scary, and she soon realizes that having a boyfriend isn't going to be the thing that truly makes her happy. You see her in the first few episodes struggling with this - she's conflicted; she got what she wanted, a boyfriend, but we see her asking the question 'and what now?'

What are the challenges that Sam faces in her new relationship?

While Sam has both Jason and Lizzie in her life, there is a sense of balance - together they fulfill her relationship needs. But as her relationship with Lizzie changes, so too does her relationship with Jason. They make a great couple, but without Lizzie, Sam begins to change and it's seeing whether Jason can adapt to that change and change with her, that's the challenge. She begins to question whether a relationship is even really what she needs. And you'll see Sam going back and forth throughout the season, trying to figure this out.

All the characters appear to be living this comedic tragedy. How do you balance this journey with some hope for the characters?

I think elements of hope are found in truth and honesty; being honest with ourselves about our flaws and addressing them. All the characters in some way or form embrace this. The idea of perfection and the attainment of it, is idealistic and mostly unrealistic, so it doesn't have a place in the show. But fulfilling relationships are attainable, so even when the characters are experiencing difficult situations, it's easy to realize hope for each one of them. The journey of each character is messy and complicated, just like real human journeys are. So hope comes in the way of these evolving friendships, speaking the truth and moving towards finding liberation and seeking attainable goals.

The characters are always so well put together - are these costume choices deliberate?

You'll definitely be seeing Sam in more casual wear, sweaters, jean shorts, boots, sweats and tank tops - looks that are more realistic to a situation, such as lounging at home. It's also great to see Sam's fashion choices change as she herself changes - you get to see this change through her fashion choices.

One of the new characters, Megan [Sam's neighbor], is a little like a chameleon; she changes her appearance according to who she's dating. So if she's dating a guy who's really into sports, she'll appear to be just as into sports. Jenna [Sam's high school friend] is a yoga teacher and sometimes shows up at the bar wearing a leather jacket thrown over her yoga clothes. We had a new costume designer this season (Oana Draghici) who did a great job of bringing specific style to each of the characters, and also making that style true to life.

2013-09-26-RebeccaBlumhagen_MichaelCreaghFinal3web.jpg Rebecca Blumhagen Photo credit: Michael Creagh

You're an actor, writer and director. What came first?

When I was 16, my mum gave me a book called 'The Teenage Liberation Handbook - How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education'. It totally blew my mind. The idea that the book instills is that if you go after what you want based on passion, you'll acquire the skills you need from a place of passion and not a more traditional, compartmentalized academic approach. I've studied acting and writing, both at university and with great acting teachers, I've worked as a writer and theater director and collaborator in the US and in Africa, spent hours and hours in class - but at the end of the day if that doesn't come from a place of passion, your audience won't care. I really care about telling stories and telling them well and bringing authentic voices to whatever project I'm working on or am a part of. Sometimes that means acting, sometimes writing, sometimes directing. It's about telling the story well, trusting the other people on your team, and letting the role you play in any situation be based on what is most needed to tell the story in the best way possible.

On the subject of directing, I want to give a shoutout to our brilliant director Alex Merkin. He directed all 13 episodes and made our set feel like a family. We all gave our heart and souls to make this show what it is, and we couldn't have done it without his leadership.

Can you give us a sneaky glimpse into season 2 without giving too much away?

I can tell you that Sam is going to meet someone!

2013-09-26-RebeccaBlumhagen_MichaelCreagh6Finalweb.jpg Rebecca Blumhagen Photo credit: Michael Creagh

What is next for you?

I shot a romantic comedy last month that I'm very excited about opposite Jamie Kennedy (Scream, Ghost Whisperer, The Jamie Kennedy Experiment) - it's a Cinderella story in reverse (I'm the prince, naturally). That will be coming out next year. I'm working on developing some writing projects this fall and am looking forward to what's to come on the acting front!

Follow The Girl's Guide to Depravity on Twitter @depravedgirl

Follow Rebecca Blumhagen on Twitter @rblumes