USA premieres its new series Sirens on Thursday, March 6 and the cast, including Kevin Bigley, Kevin Daniels, Jessica McNamee, and Michael Mosley, as well as executive producers Bob Fisher and Denis Leary were on hand at the winter Television Critics Association tour to talk about the show.
First up, here is the official synopsis from USA:
From the distinct comedic point of view of Denis Leary (Rescue Me) and Bob Fisher (Wedding Crashers), Sirens follows three of Chicago's best EMTs whose sometimes silly, self-righteous and even self-destructive personalities make them unqualified for sustaining relationships, friendships and most occupations. They are, however, uniquely qualified for saving anyone who winds up in their ambulance. Johnny (Michael Mosley) is a good-looking, sports-loving, Chicago EMT working with his best friend Hank (Kevin Daniels). Brian (Kevin Bigley) is a wide-eyed and excitable new EMT who still lives with his parents. Jessica McNamee will play the female lead, Theresa, a smart female cop with the Chicago PD who still loves her ex Johnny, but ultimately had to move on when he wouldn't commit. And now, here are 6 reasons you need to watch it.
Two Words: Denis Leary
Denis Leary made his presence on the panel known immediately when he asked the press in the room: "How f***ing bored are you guys?" The joke, based on the fact that the event was about 2 weeks long, immediately brought a laugh and Leary continued to joke throughout the entire panel. If the guy can get a room full of press to laugh out loud, he's bound to be able to bring that kind of hilarity to Sirens. Plus there's his track record as a comedian and with a little show called Rescue Me. If anyone can make the lives of a bunch of EMTs funny, it would be Leary.
It's Based on a British Comedy
America has no problem taking great British TV shows and making them over hear. Ever heard of The Office? The fact that it's already a hit elsewhere bodes well for the US version. Leary spoke about taking on such a big responsibility and said he was glad he had Fisher on hand to make sure he wouldn't be "fully responsible for f***ing up the British series."
The Hilarity Comes from Reality
Though the show is a comedy, it is based on what can be a serious job and sometimes the reality is what makes the hilarity. Leary said, "We got a lot of these stories from that world. But it does allow us to be absolutely, insanely funny without having to carry the weight. Because I think the job gives them some liberty too, but there's a lot of funny things that happen in their jobs."
At the core of Sirens is the friendship between Johnny and Kevin. The fun part is that Johnny just so happens to be straight and Kevin just so happens to be gay. Mosely said, "I think that what's great about the show. And that's what I love about this, is that it's not a big deal."
Daniels added, "It's not at all. But I love that. I love that relationship in the British series."
Daniels said he was happy with the way the US version was handling the relationship. "Their friendship is just a friendship of two guys who work together and they're EMTs and one is gay, big whoop. It's not like, 'ooh, wrap your mind around that.'"
The Stories Come Directly from the Source
The funny EMT stories aren't just being made up in the minds of guys like Leary, they are coming directly from the source, according to Bigley. "We talked to real EMTs. We have real EMTs on the set, and they have an amazing sense of humor and the way they tell these stories, they find almost, like, the comedy themselves. From people who aren't comedians finding comedy in all of these moments. So they're able to see the comedy in all of these really weird, surreal situations."
Sirens Will Push Boundaries
USA has been known as the "blue sky" network with a few shows that were sexy and fun, but didn't push the boundaries too far, like Psych and White Collar. But with new shows like Suits, they began a light push against some boundaries and Sirens will take that journey farther. Leary said he had to "draw some personal boundaries" when writing the show, but pointed out that it's all about trying to make things as funny as possible.
"[USA has] been pretty good, you know. There's some stuff in these shows. Again, only if it's funny. We can only really get away with it if it's funny. If it's not funny, it's not going to fly."
There is Still a Moral Core
Underneath the boundary-pushing laughs, there is at least one character with strong morals who will help keep everyone heading in a good direction - Brian. As the rookie of the group, Brian still isn't afraid to be himself, which is something that Leary admires about the character.
"One of the beautiful things about Brian is that he does always think he's right, but also, he has a moral core, and he has a really strong moral ethic code that he keeps trying to impose on these two, and he's not a dumb guy," Leary said.
What do you think now that you know more about Sirens? Do you plan to watch the premiere?
(Image courtesy of USA)