Season 3 of TV Land's "The Exes" kicks off Wednesday at 10:30 PM and features the guys (Wayne Knight as Haskell Lutz, Donald Faison as Phil Chase, and David Alan Basche as Stuart Gardner) trying to repair a vintage ... err, let's just call it a "pleasure device" of Holly Franklin's (Kristen Johnston).
Yahoo! TV visited the set of the multicam sitcom where the cast talked about what viewers can expect from the new season, the actors who are most and least like their character, and how their strong off-screen bonding has lead to better onscreen chemistry.
Johnston and Faison preview the season premiere:
"When we left off, Holly finally got a boyfriend" (played by guest star Diedrich Bader), Johnston recaps. "So, we're connecting with Holly — and all of them really — at this moment in their lives when they're transitioning into new lives."
Johnston is extremely proud of "The Exes," and it's clear that she's a huge fan of her co-stars as well. "What we have to do as a television-watching society is that if there is something decent — that's written and acted well — you've got to support it," Johnston says. "And I love my 'Survivor' and I love my 'Drag Race,' but there's something to be said about supporting an actual 20 minutes of comedy. When I watch this show, I laugh out loud five or six times."
Knight ("Jurassic Park" and "Seinfeld") and Basche reveal that we're going to see a lot more of the characters' backstories in the new season, although Haskell and Stuart are still trying to find where they fit in as divorcees. "Stuart is always trying to fix everything in all of their lives," Basche says of his tightly wound character. "Season 3 picks up right there. Stuart is just as neurotic as he was before."
"Haskell is a couch potato, just trying to leave a mark," Knight explains. "But we learned last season that he was a pro bowler, and we learn this season that his ex-wife is about to remarry. And something happens on the way to her getting married that affects his life in a way that he didn't anticipate. This season the inter-dependence between the characters has become much more genuine."
Knight points out that this is the season in which the cast has started to feel like a family. "When you're in your 20s and you get a series, you just immediately start hugging," he explains. "But when you've done this before and you come together, it takes a while before you cast your lot with each other. And I think we have now. We actually ask about each other's families and what's going on with each other's lives. ... And we actually care. We're not just perfunctory. When you toss a ball to someone and you know they're going to hit it back, you don't worry. So the flow comically gets better."
"We're all very happy to be here now," Basche adds.
Faison agrees: "When you have a bunch of people who have been in the business for as long as a lot of us cast members have been in the business, you're off to a good start."
And that on-set camaraderie has bled off screen, too. "We saw 'Star Trek' together, we have plans to see 'Man of Steel' together. ... It really feels like we've gone through it and have come out the other side, and now we're better off for it," Faison says of the cast spending their free time together. "As for Phil's trajectory this season, things get really interesting for Phil. Phil has an unsuspecting girlfriend it looks like. The fans won't see it coming." We will now!
We asked the entire cast who they thought was most like and unlike their character?
Kelly Stables (Eden) immediately answered, "Hands down, David Alan Basche is most like Stuart. There's a scene where before the scene started he was supposed to clean up the apartment, and he started dusting off a plant, and he admitted to actually doing that at home." She says she is the person least like her character.
Knight and Basche think Johnson is most like Holly, and Basche admits that he's similar to Stuart.
"I am nothing like Phil Chase. He's a ladies' man. The fact that I was on television is why I've done well on the dating scene," Faison jokes. "And Wayne isn't really like Haskell. There's a process behind everything Haskell does."
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This season of "The Exes" will continue to feature a number of great guest stars, including "So You Think You Can Dance" host Cat Deeley, who will play a potential love interest for Stuart; Faison's "Clueless" co-star Stacey Dash; and "Melrose Place's" Grant Show.
"It's completely out of my comfort zone," Deeley tells "omg! Insider" about her upcoming appearance. "It's not what I normally do. I think it's quite nice to sometimes get a little bit scared."
So, where would the cast like to see "The Exes" go from here?
Stables sums up everyone's answer with humor: "Syndication."
It seems like this crew is well on their way to that goal!
"The Exes" airs Wednesdays at 10:30 PM on TV Land.
- Arts & Entertainment
- David Alan Basche
- Donald Faison
- Kristen Johnston