BET + First Wives Club really gave us something to celebrate in season 2: a hopeful outlook for our best daughters!
Hazel (Jill Scott), who fought throughout Season 1 to get what she was due of her insignificant and unrepentant cheating husband Derek (Malik Yoba), has found a new love with his Jamaican boo Nigel (Mikhail Keize) in season 2.
They faced several key challenges in their relationship, including a significant age gap and different income levels. Despite these obstacles, however, the couple happily concluded the season in love and engaged. More good news, it looks like her new label is on the way, now that Regina (Deborah Cox) has formed a girl group with Kelly Price, Chanté Moore and Shanice.
Meanwhile, Ari (Ryan Michelle Bathé) and her husband David (Mark Tallman) paid the price for a long-distance relationship – he stayed in New York to pursue his political aspirations, while Ari opened his own practice. lawyers in Los Angeles – and weren’t on the same page for most of the season. David, however, ended up making a big romantic gesture that saw him fly across the country to show Ari, he loved her rather than keep taking her for granted.
Additionally, Bree (Michelle Buteau) turned down a romantic invitation from her new boss (played by Gary Dourdan) to focus on her marriage to Gary (RonReaco Lee). The couple continued to struggle to balance their busy schedules and romantic lives and made the important decision to return to therapy.
With so many breakthroughs this season – including the addition of newcomer Jayla (Michelle Mitchenor) – TVLine has reached out to creator and showrunner Tracy Oliver to tease what lies ahead if the series is renewed for season 3. Additionally, Oliver gave us an update on this planned Girls trip sequel and teased what to expect in his upcoming Amazon Prime series, Harlem.
TV LINE | Did you always know you were going to end the season with a performance from Regina, Kelly Price, Chanté Moore and Shanice? Can we expect to see this great group again if the show is renewed?
Very early on in the writers room, someone sent me an Instagram video of Tamia and Deborah Cox doing a duet together, and it inspired me to think about how cool it would be if we could put a bunch of divas together. of R&B and that they could all play together at the end of it. I thought it would be a great fellowship time and another chance for me to pay homage to the original movie if they were all dressed in white. I was hoping all of these ladies would say yes, but since we were filming in COVID, I wasn’t sure they would. I was glad they all agreed. It was pretty surreal having them all and the fabulous Jill Scott together in one scene. I haven’t decided yet if we’ll see them again in the coming seasons, but I know this: fans of the show want to see a tour in real life. The response to the fictional “Ladies First” tour has been incredible.
TV LINE | Season 1 focused heavily on getting revenge or trying to be heard. This season, we see Hazel, Ari and Bree in the trenches of their relationship and trying to make things work. Why was it important to tell these stories this season?
I wanted to show that marriage and all types of relationships take work and effort, that even if you get rid of a divorce and get back together, that doesn’t mean you’ll live happily ever after without conflict. In the first season, I really wanted to honor the essence of the original film, and in season 2, I tried to go beyond that premise and really explore the challenges of modern dating and relationships. Relationships are hard work and require effort on both sides to function. With Ari and David, we got to explore the long distance relationships between two career-driven people, and with Bree and Gary, we got to see some of those relationship conflicts that led to their separation in first and seeing they try to get over that in therapy, and with Hazel and Nigel, there’s a noticeable age gap and a difference in income levels that we’re exploring. It was important for us to dive into different types of relationships and, in a comedic way, explore the challenges of trying to keep them going.
TV LINE | You also introduced Jayla this season. How do you think this will affect the dynamics of the group going forward, especially with Ari in Los Angeles?
I loved the character of Jayla, and actress Michelle Mitchenor, who plays her, was such a joy to work with. We definitely want her to stay in the circle of friends as she was a good addition to the main crew. I really hope to have Ari back in New York with our daughters in a bigger capacity in Season 3, because like many fans of the show, I love seeing the three ladies – Hazel, Bree, and Ari – together in the same physical space. They have amazing chemistry together, which I think comes from being friends in real life and all being fire signs (two Lions and an Aries).
TV LINE | Have you heard of season 3? Are there any plans to do another one? If so, what do you hope to tackle next season?
Absoutely. It’s a very successful show for BET +, and they’d love to do a season 3, as long as all of the cast’s schedules can work. I am optimistic that everything will work out. In a season 3, there are so many options on the table for directions to follow. I haven’t landed on anything specifically yet, but there will definitely be new love interests emerging and more surprise cameos.
TV LINE | Between First Wives Club, Run the world, Harlem and so many others, we are seeing an increase in projects focused on black female friendships. Why do you think this is happening right now? What would you attribute that to?
Frankly, Girls trip! Girls trip was the only reason Paramount executives offered me First Wives Club. They had developed an earlier version which ultimately did not go into series, and after seeing Girls trip, I received a call regarding First Wives Club because they thought I might have an interesting and fun take on a TV adaptation. I am convinced that much of the reason Amazon ordered Harlem to the series, it is also the massive success of Girls trip. There was this idea before it came out and brought in $ 150 million that black women weren’t commercially attractive in the same way as white women. Corn Girls trip came and kicked down that door, and now I’m so grateful that I can do shows like this, where I can explore black love, black brotherhood, and black joy.
TV LINE | You have another show, Harlem, to take out. What are you most looking forward to exploring with this series? What can you tease about it?
Tonally, it is more anchored than First Wives Club, and the characters are closer to my age range and where I am in life, as a single woman in her thirties looking for love. One of the random things that excites me is an original Broadway musical that we produced as a parody but turned out to be pretty amazing. I love it, and I hope Jordan Peele likes it when he sees it too. I will stop there.
TV LINE | Any word on Girls Travel 2? Does this happen?
This is the craziest thing. I am ready to write it. Tiffany Haddish is set to do it, along with the rest of the cast. Tiffany and I talked several months ago about how we might do this. Nothing yet, but the interest and the desire to do it are there.