By: Jim Halterman
It’s time, Marika…
If you’ve been watching “Super Fun Night,” the ABC sitcom starring Rebel Wilson, you know that one of the storylines this entire first season has focused on Marika (Lauren Ash) slowly figuring out that, well, she plays for our team.
She’s denied it, fought it but in last week’s episode it was a kiss from straight-girl Kendall (Kate Jenkinson) to wake her up and realize she’s a lesbian.
Now, as we’ll see in tonight’s episode, the season finale, Marika faces the challenge of telling her friends what she’s discovered and, as you’ll see in the following Exclusive clip sent over by Warner Brothers Television, Marika may not be fully ready to let her friends in on her self-discovery.
We also had a chance to chat with Ash about the season-long journey for Marika and what she’s hearing from fans who may be able to relate to exactly the often difficult coming out process.
I’m so glad this storyline has finally kicking into gear. I’ve been waiting all season for it.
LA: Yes, I know. Everyone has!
Tell me about the talks you had with either Rebel or with John [Riggi, Exec Producer] about just the way the story was going to go. Was there a lot of discussion?
LA: At some point it was shared with me kind of the idea of how this would happen and that Kendall (Kate Jenkinson) would play a role in Marika figuring things out for herself. And there was some back and forth for sure, but I really did feel like it was a really great way of handling it. And I love the scene with Marika and Kendall [in last week’s episode]. I just think it’s just so cute. I [thought] that the Internet was going to explode as that happens. I think Twitter is just going to like invert itself!
Knowing the back-story of Marika and all the girls and just their social awkwardness, this is something that probably has not even entered Marika’s mind? Is that how you feel?
LA: Yeah. You know, it’s interesting because a lot of people have said like ‘oh there was an episode where she was at the art gallery, where she first meets Frankie (Hana Mae Lee) and she has that moment where she’s like ‘I’m not gay.’’ And, you know, a lot of people online and stuff are like ‘what do you mean she’s not gay?’ This means she’s not gay? I was like ‘Guys, she’s on a journey here.’
Right. Calm down.
LA: I know! She’s confused. We have to remember that those three girls have been literally holed away in their apartment for 10 years since high school. They’re all kind of in this stunted adolescence. Kimmie just lost her virginity within the past few episodes. And Helen-Alice (Liza Lapira) it took her something like 14 episodes of knowing Benji before she did the kiss for the first time.
You know these girls are all really innocent and I don’t think [they’ve] even explored or entertained what a relationship may be or mean out of your wanting to just stay within their bubble, which is comfortable. I think they’re bored.
It’s realistic that Marika doesn’t really know and hasn’t really thought about it and is forced to kind of look at herself and look at her feelings and what maybe is in there. And she’s kind of been ignoring or not looking at for sometime. So I think that it’s really lovely that she kind of gets to have that little bit of a journey rather than just a certain episode and all of a sudden it’s like ‘Hey, she’s gay. It’s over!’
What have you heard so far from fans as far?
LA: I definitely hear from a lot of teenage girls who definitely feel like outcasts and that they don’t fit in necessarily and that there isn’t necessarily a place for them or what there place is in the world yet. And you know they always tell me that they’re so inspired by the story of the three of us and just putting ourselves out there and taking risks and trying new things.
You know, it always makes me cry when I get these messages from these teenage girls because I just love that if we can give them some sort of voice to relate to or inspire them in some way to kind of challenge themselves to do things, it’s amazing.
There’s a girl who was like ‘I always wanted to be in the school play but I just kind of felt that I didn’t really belong. I wasn’t part of that group. But then I was watching the show and I thought what would Marika do? Marika would go up there and audition. And now I’m the lead dancer in my school play.’ And, of course, I’m like blubbering as I’m reading this.
That’s so awesome. What can you tease about the season finale?
LA: Frankie does round out the season with me for sure. And the next step after Marika figures this out obviously is trying to figure out how to talk to Helen-Alice and Kimmie about this. Because of course they’re best friends. They’re inseparable, but obviously this has been a huge discovery for her and so she’s also trying to figure out how to approach communicating that to these people that are closest to her, which obviously can be a very stressful experience.
Is this your first time playing a gay role or a character exploring sexuality?
LA: My portrayal of Marika is based on the same kind of character I created when I was working at Second City. That’s why when I read the script for Super Fun Night originally, the pilot, I like lost my mind because I was like ‘oh my gosh, this is just like my character!’ But I developed this character for improv that is very similar to her, a little bit broader obviously because it was for stage. It’s just somebody who so desperately is trying to figure out who they are, is fighting it, and ultimately comes to terms with it…it’s just such a joy to get to kind of bring that to life on television and have people respond so positively to it.
“Super Fun Night” airs its season finale on Wednesday at 9:30pm on ABC.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.