“Guilty Party”: Kate Beckinsale and others talk about privilege in black comedy

On the surface, Guilty Party is a show about a struggling woman just trying to rebuild her broken reputation. But as viewers will notice, there is so much more past.

The black comedy, which premieres this Thursday on Paramount +, follows Beth, a renowned journalist played by Kate Beckinsale who finds herself in disgrace amid a major scandal. His redemption arc serves as a starting point and becomes an unlikely team filled with unexpected twists and turns.

Season 1 follows Beth’s attempts to reconstruct her name by addressing the story of a woman incarcerated for murder, and she ends up ruining her life even more along the way.

“She’s been in a tough spot,” Beckinsale told TVLine. “She is very humiliated and hurt. His identity is in question, [and] she tries to find her way in her career, in her marriage, in herself. She doesn’t necessarily make the most rational decisions, and she’s pretty reckless and impulsive, and does stupid things, but she’s actually a good person. She just has a lot of blind spots.

Beth’s plan to help the imprisoned Toni, who claims her innocence, is wrong. She sees this as an opportunity to clean up her reputation, not realizing that she is doing it at the expense of a black woman’s pain.

“I often say that she’s not our hero, but she’s the protagonist,” says series creator and showrunner Rebecca Addelman. It was a conscious decision to make her a very privileged white woman. She walks into the situation with Toni thinking, ‘This story may help me.’ This is something Toni can detect right away, and Beth isn’t used to what people call her. [not] used to having some of his privileges checked.

When Beth first meets Toni, “she asks me all these questions,” says Jules Latimer, who plays Toni. “At the end of [the interview], I say to myself: ‘Have you looked for me? Do you know who I am? ‘ You can just say that these are two flawed people who are trying, for me, to live freely, and for her, to be a successful journalist, and we continue to fail in those two areas. Throughout the season, you only see two people doing their best, and they just don’t get it. It doesn’t add up, and for some reason how imperfect they both are, we have this connection that’s almost indescribable. It’s like, ‘I don’t know why I’m staying with you,’ and she doesn’t really know why she’s staying with me, but we need each other.

Jules Latimer in Guilty Party Season 1The unlikely partnership forces Beth to look inside and realize that she might not be as bad as she thinks she is. “That’s one of the cool parts of the show, seeing someone who’s very caught up in the drama of their life, then meeting someone who actually has some really tough things that they haven’t been through. “, adds Beckinsale. “It makes her grow a bit. “

Although it is a comedy, the series tackles a multitude of issues such as race and class, the prison system, the fetishization of America with guns, and even the way we consume them. information.

“What was fascinating for me was having the opportunity to talk about perspective and knowing who can tell the story and whose story is told,” Addelman shares. “We have historically attributed objectivity to journalism, that there are facts to be found. And yet, what the show does, what Beth’s character is our go-between to help us say and do, is there’s no objectivity. It’s all subjective, and everything you’re going to watch on this show comes from someone’s perspective and experience. We very consciously created characters that had very specific backgrounds and lives so that we could filter the show through their perspective. “

Addelman also notes that there are “certainly some very funny, absurd and ridiculous episodes and scenes, and there are times when we allow ourselves to get serious and dramatic.” Fans can expect unique characters to appear this season, including a woman named Patti (played by big screen vet Linda Kash). “I can’t wait for everyone to see Patty’s many personalities to come,” she concludes.

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