I sat down with comedian/writer/actress Fielding Edlow to talk about her new award winning comedic web series entitled, Bitter Homes and Gardens (season one can be seen on Bitterhomesandgardens.com) I watched all 8 episodes at the sold out premiere party at Nerdist in LA a few weeks back and was laughing so hard I peed my drawers.
Bitter Homes and Gardens is based on Fielding’s and her husband, character actor, Larry Clarke’s (Criminal Minds, NCIS, Private Practice, etc.) marriage. Fielding plays a snack blogger who has to pay a high priced escort/fixer/personal organizer to be her friend while Larry Clarke, her husband, plays a middle-aged character actor who is “big brothering” an African American dude from Brentwood. They’re both looking for their big break and navigating daily life/marriage while hilariously bickering.
You can’t help but instantly love Fielding on screen and in real life. She is an interesting and talented lady. Fielding is from the Upper East Side of NYC. Her father worked in finance and her mother was a Freudian therapist. Ironically, with a mother as a therapist no one talked about how they felt in her household. She said to me, “I grew up in a very silent scorned Jewish household. We ate our way through everything.”
It was no surprise that Fielding took to talking about her problems with food and substances like drugs and alcohol. What is most noticeable talking to Fielding is that she is smart. She went to an Ivy League school, University of Pennsylvania, where she joked, “I had a double major – bukkake and coke with a minor in women’s studies. “
Shortly after graduating college she got sober and decided to pursue her love of acting. It was very important for her not to be shut down like her family and to express herself though her art. She soon found herself in Los Angeles training at UCB. She wrote her one-woman show, Coke Free JAP in 2010. The show was turned into a pilot for Showtime. It was too similar to GIRLS, so unfortunately, it didn’t get picked up.
Since then she has been performing as a stand-up comedian and has her own show at the Improv called, Eat, Pray, F**k. She is also the voice of Roxie on the animated series, Bojak Horseman.
Fielding met her husband, Larry, when they were in the same writing class. They were antagonistic from the beginning but their relationship worked in its own dysfunctional, funny way. They finally got married in 2008 after Fielding postponed the wedding…TWICE.
I would say their relationship is very much like Stella and Stanley from A Street Car Named Desire. She told me, “We’re an updated Tennessee Williams play. Instead of booze, it’s double stuff Oreos and central air.”
They fight but underneath there is great love for each other. I can see how it works. Larry is Irish Catholic from Maryland and came from a family where fighting was normal, and Fielding just wants to feel and express herself. It’s like paprika and red pepper, they go together but the mixture is explosive.
Anyone who is married can relate to Bitter Homes and Gardens. We can all can get behind loving but also kinda wanting to stab our partners in the shower, prison style. It’s a very universal theme. Fielding believes in open and honest communication, “Couples need to speak, speak out no matter what.” And that is what Fielding and Larry do in the webseries.
It amazes me that with all the talent Fielding and Larry have that they haven’t won Oscars or Emmys. But I think their time is coming. Fielding’s writing is so stellar in the webseries. Some of my favorite lines were from Fielding and Larry discussing their lousy sex life.
Fielding said, “Why do you think I haven’t waxed my pussy in seven months? Because I would rather use that time promoting my blog than give you a friendlier eating out experience.”
Larry responded. “What are you, Bennigans?”
What’s also great about Fielding in real life and in the webseries is that she is a girl’s girl. She admittedly has a fascination with all things feminine, she even has a crush on her gynecologist. She wears her wedding shoes to her OBGYN appointments. In the series she speaks to the real reason why women want to get married.
Fielding said, “That’s why you get married to lay in bed and talk about people you hate and then you get to snuggle, that’s marriage.”
Larry barked back, “Get a kitten.”
In the end even though their marriage/webseries can seem like bitter lemons, it’s really sweet lemonade. Enjoy Bitter Homes and Gardens; you will howl with laughter and it will also make you feel better about your own relationship.