Hulu’s upcoming “Hotwives of Orlando” adds a new flair to the parody genre, taking the opportunity to add real characters to the “Real Housewives” spoof. While it’s clear that the show is drawn from the successful franchise of reality programs, the streaming comedy adds a hint of traditional comedic storytelling to the mix.
“You follow their relationships, their wants, their needs, even if they seem a little bit ridiculous,” said Danielle Schneider, one of the show’s creators, Saturday during a panel at the Television Critics Assn. summer press tour at the Beverly Hilton.
Created by Schneider and Dannah Feinglass Phirman, “Hotwives” stars comedy vets Tymberlee Hill, Angela Kinsey, Andrea Savage, Kristen Schaal, Paul Scheer and Casey Wilson. The largely femme cast agreed that working on the comedy was a new experience. “The fact that it was all women and all hilarious – we had the best time,” Schneider said.
“Gals want to do crazy stuff too,” added Kinsey, speaking on the differences between “Hotwives” and normally male-dominated writers rooms. The environment allowed the women to grab hold of the story, and improvise and play with their characters. Though all seven episodes of the show were shot in seven days, extra takes were often used to allow the cast to improvise and try their own hand at the story.
Hulu also granted near-complete freedom to the show’s creators, which helped in creating the unique “Hotwives” experience. The cast repeatedly remarked that the streaming service was the most passionate about the show and allowing it to develop freely. “They let the creators do the show that they wanted to do with literally zero interference; that’s something that I’ve never experienced anywhere else,” said Scheer.
Ultimately, the show is a parody of the reality programs, however, the cast assures that knowledge of the “Real Housewives” universe is not necessary to enjoy the new show. “Reality is so ubiquitous…people are familiar with the shows even if they don’t watch,” said Scheer. Kinsey herself had never seen the reality show before working on “Hotwives,” but said it was clear what kind of show Schneider and Phirman were going for.
As far as their own reality guilty pleasures go, the cast is not ashamed to admit that they’ve taken in the fare. An unabashed “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” viewer, Wilson admits that she’s “watched them take every city you can imagine.”
There is no straight-man – or woman – on the show. Instead, the story shifts to allow each member of the cast to shine and be funny. “It was a great creative collaboration,” Kinsey said. “Every day someone cracked me up and we were laughing, it was a lot of fun and I think you experience that when you watch it.”
Produced by Paramount Digital Entertainment, “The Hotwives of Orlando” premieres on Hulu July 15.
(Pictured: Paul Scheer, Danielle Schneider, Casey Wilson)