This week, USA will debut a brand-new drama called Satisfaction, which stars The Glades alum Matt Passmore as one-half of a couple at a crossroads in their marriage. The series poses the question, “What do you do when having it all is not enough?” BuddyTV recently visited the set and talked with the cast about how Neil’s marriage is affecting him, working in the escort business, living in a “gray area” world and more. Read on to find out what makes Satisfaction such an intriguing show.
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What Do You Do When You’re at a Crossroads?
Matt Passmore started off the interview by describing his character’s strengths first before transitioning into his faults. And this is important because Neil Truman is likable (“hard working, very responsible, very loving husband and dad”), but he does end up getting himself into situations that are based on bad choices.
“He’s just come to that point in his life where he’s really searching for his identity and who he is now and what he is and what he represents,” Passmore said. (This applies not just to his marriage, but to him as an individual as well.) “And the thing that I like about him is he goes out and does something about it. … If there’s one thing about Neil, he definitely takes action on things, even though most of the time, that ends up falling flat on his face. But he doesn’t just talk about it, he actually does something about it.”
If you’ve been reading about this show in recent weeks, you might have heard that Neil gets involved in the escort business. And it’s a really interesting way that he does, though I won’t spoil that here — all I will say is that it ties back to his marriage with his wife, Grace. Some might hear the concept and make comparisons to the HBO dramedy Hung. When he first signed on to the series, Passmore wanted to make sure that Satisfaction could stand on its own.
“When I first went in and spoke with the producers, I said, is this another Hung? Because if it is, I’m not interested.” Fortunately for him, he realized after reading through the script that it wasn’t. “It’s fun to talk about because it’s a hook. … It’s taking an idea to the extreme of what’s happening within this relationship and within these individuals as they’re trying to find themselves. It’s almost expressionistic.”
His character Neil’s frustration shows through along the way, when he has a couple outbursts, including at his boss and on an airplane.
Adriana: A Businesswoman and a Pimp
During the pilot, Neil meets Adriana, played by Katherine LaNasa, who is involved in the escort business. Instead of putting the label madam on her, LaNasa considers her to be a “businesswoman and a pimp.” She feels that her character is “fulfilling some emotional and psychological needs for her more than it is her main source of income.” She went on to say, “To me, Adriana is a sort of mysterious jack of all trades and I think a deviant, really. I think that the madam thing is more a deviation than a necessity for her.”
This role feels “a bit more mature, almost like a Joan Collins type of role,” LaNasa explains. “Instead of playing it … really sophisticated, I felt like I could take this bend on it where I made her like an old-school girl.”
LaNasha believes that Satisfaction is the type of show that’s perfect for those in their late 30s to early 50s. “I honestly think that it is a show for my generation. … It’s all about what it feels like to be married and, in this time period, to be a working, successful businesswoman, the apathy that it addresses and a sort of disconnection that I think is happening now.”
Part of that disconnect, she believes, has to do with the world we live in today, where it’s very technology-driven and things like text messaging many times take precedent over face-to-face communication.
The show also “addresses sexuality now, where I think I maybe represent a different type of woman; [it’s] now sexually acceptable to be this type of woman. It just feels really, really relevant.”
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“Gray Area is the World We Live In”
The word ‘identity’ and phrase ‘finding yourself’ is brought up a lot among the cast when talking about Satisfaction, and those are very fitting descriptions. Yes, this show involves the escorts, but they would probably argue that it’s being used as a vehicle (or at least one of the ways) to finding your identity. And with that comes what is called the “gray area,” meaning these characters aren’t solely “black and white” characters — they’re not just good or bad, which is a model that many shows are following nowadays.
“Whether it be a show like Dexter or Breaking Bad or Mad Men,” Passmore said, “I think gray area is the world we live in. The black and white, maybe in television we’ve evolved from The Brady Bunch and we realized that’s not real.”
He went on to say, “There is escapism television, absolutely, and there’s a place for that and we realized that’s not real. But this show absolutely falls into that gray area. And it’s entertaining and sexy. It’s also uncomfortable and very truthful and raw in a lot of places and in a lot of ways.”
Satisfaction premieres Thursday, July 17 at 10pm on USA.
(Image courtesy of USA)
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
Jeff Dodge, a graduate of Western Washington University, has been a TV news editor for many years and has had the chance to interview multiple reality show stars, including Randy Jackson, Nick Cannon, Heidi Klum, Mel B and John Cena.