Netflix’s Country Comfort takes a classic sitcom setup and transfers it to the country cool world of Nashville. Katharine McPhee stars as Bailey, an aspiring country singer who finds herself literally begging at the door of Eddie Cibrian‘s Beau. The widower makes the mistake of assuming she’s there to apply for a nanny gig, a job Bailey snags after winning most of Beau’s five kids. The series is a country music-infused version of The Nanny for 2021 and Netflix’s newest bingeable comedy.
Country Comfort was created by veteran sitcom writer (and Nanny alum) Caryn Lucas and features a rare mix of screwball comedy, country music, and raw grief. While most of Beau’s kids breeze through life making quips, eldest daughter Cassidy (Shiloh Verrico) is still clinging to the memory of her deceased mother. It causes friction between her and Bailey (and any woman who tries to take her mother’s “place”). Bailey is also in the throes of heartache as the series opens with her long-time boyfriend and breaking the news that she’s being cut from their band. The two break up, leaving Bailey without love or musical outlet. It’s in this state that she winds up at cowboy Beau’s ranch looking for help in a storm.
Decider recently caught up with Country Comfort stars Eddie Cibrian and Katharine McPhee to talk about the ways in which the legacies of The Nanny might influence the show and how the show’s blend of joy and sorrow mirrors the country music soul…
DECIDER: My first question is for Eddie. Obviously this show has a lot in common with one of my all time favorite sitcoms, The Nanny. I still have a crush on Mr. Sheffield. I was wondering, are you prepared to be sort of that kind of Mr. Sheffield-level of crush for a new generation of people watching the show?
EDDIE CIBRIAN: Oh, no, not at all. Trust me, I get upstaged by all the beautiful little kids that are on the show. I’m not really worried about that. I think I have some handsome sons and some beautiful daughters. So I think that they’re gonna take all the shine.
Speaking of which, I was blown away by all of the kid actors on the show. I thought that they’re all amazing. The little girls, especially. Katherine, you have a lot of amazing scenes with the two girls, what was it like working with them and were you just so blown away by what they brought to the table?
KATHARINE McPHEE: Little Shiloh [Verrico], I have a lot of my scenes with her, she’s kind of a very important part in the first [episode] talking about the loss of their mother and really setting that tone that these kids have had loss in the last few years of their life. She’s the one who seems to be struggling with it.
I remember at the table read, she had like, these tears coming out of her eyes, and I was, oh, she was so good and I wanted to be like, ‘Save it, save it for the actual day. You’re so good, I hope you’re gonna be back good on the actual day!’ and she was. She was that great and she’s got a really great range.
What I like about working with these kids is that there’s still an element of them being green, in a really great way. It’s kind of really joyful to be around them because they’re not, you know, they’re not miserable. I mean, they do understand that it is sometimes, it feels like work, it doesn’t always feel like a joy ride. But for the most part, they know when to be kids and they know when to be professional. So it’s been really, really great for me, and Eddie just because, you know, we’re kind of like the jaded adults on set, you know, and we’re like, okay, but then we don’t have to reel them in at all. They’re just really, really good kids.
I was struck by how loss and comedy are both at play. And I feel like that’s a theme and country music, how important was it that this show kind of captured that up and down vibe of the country music soul?
KP: I didn’t even think about that. But you’re so right. I mean, country music has so many themes and one song, right, and it’s like, grab a beer, grab your girl, wallow in your sorrow, so many themes in different country songs. So I didn’t even connect that parallel to country music. But I will say that our writers do a pretty amazing job of the comedy, but also like, you just won’t expect that there’s just this really heartwarming side story that makes you suddenly feel like you’re gonna cry, which, you know, a good sitcom should do that.
EC: I think you’re right. And I think that balance is what’s so great about our show. I mean, obviously, it’s a sitcom. So obviously, we expect that you’re gonna laugh occasionally, hopefully a lot. But you’re not going to expect that you’re going to be touched and that you might cry.
They just sent us the first six episodes and I watched them last night with my wife, [Leann Rimes]. Every episode, I look over to the left, and she’s sitting and watching, and she has tears coming down her face, and I’m like, ‘Okay?’ and she goes, ‘Oh, my gosh, I just love it.’ And she didn’t expect to cry. But she cries because, you know, it touched her. Then you know, the next minute you have some levity, and you start and you laugh. And I think that that’s what’s what makes a great sitcom is that you can do that, as opposed to those kinds of just visions.
Country Comfort is now streaming on Netflix.
Originally published at https://decider.com/2021/03/19/country-comfort-katharine-mcphee-eddie-cibrian-interview/ on .