In a TV era where there are reality shows featuring housewives from New York, New Jersey, Atlanta and assorted other spots on the map, it would almost take a conscious effort not to have stumbled across one of the many reality show franchises.
It wasn’t intentional, but Angela Kinsey — you know her best as Angela Martin from “The Office” — had never seen a single “Housewives” spat, battle, back stab or cat fight. That wasn’t so bad until Kinsey found herself cast in the new Hulu comedy “The Hotwives of Orlando.” The seven episodes in the first season of the reality show spoof will be available on Hulu on Tuesday.
Kinsey joins Casey Wilson (“Happy Endings”), Kristen Schaal (“Flight of the Conchords”), Tymberlee Hill (“Drunk History”), Danielle Schneider (“Upright Citizens Brigade”), Andrea Savage (“Step Brothers”) and Paul Scheer (“The League”) in a parody of the real housewives genre.
Kinsey plays Crystal Simmons, a deeply religious wife to an extremely controlling husband (Seth Morris). She’s done everything in the name of God, including getting breast implants. It’s her “holier-than-thou” attitude that causes problems for the group.
“When I got cast I told the producers that I had never seen any of the shows this series is based on,” Kinsey says. “I’m a single mom so there’s not a lot of free time. That’s why I have to be choosey about the TV that I watch. They sent me a few links to watch some of the shows and it made me so uncomfortable.”
Seeing the shows cleared up one misconception Kinsey got from reading the “Housewives” scripts. Her initial reaction was that the “Hotwives” scripts were too far fetched. After watching a few “Housewives” episodes, Kinsey realized that what happens in the reality shows is so wild that it’s easy to lampoon.
Working on the series gave Kinsey a chance to have fun playing a horrible character. It was also fun because it’s rare when a comedy isn’t dominated by a male cast. Kinsey also likes that the “Hotwives” cast is filled with performers who have long histories doing improvisational comedy. She praised the scripts by series creators Dannah Feinglass Phirman and Schneider, but she likes that the cast members have freedom to expand on their characters.
“We would shoot the script but then we could play around and we all came to play. Those moments meshed with the script so great,” Kinsey says.
It’s a little bit of a marvel that there was time to improvise since the episodes were filmed in a week. Kinsey says some of the days were grueling as cameras rolled until 3 a.m., but it reminded her of the early days of her career where everyone had to be a team player to get low-budget projects done.
The fact the entire cast shared one RV as a dressing room helped them bond quickly. That’s a long way from working on network and cable programs such as “New Girl,” “Hot in Cleveland” and “Wilfred,” or films such as “License to Wed.”
“Hotwives of Orlando” is very different from Kinsey’s past work because it will be broadcast on Hulu, with all of the episodes available immediately instead of fed to the audience a week at a time. Kinsey sees the benefits of both delivery methods.
“I have met two kinds of people. There are those who like appointment TV. They know they need to be at home on Sunday to watch ‘Game of Thrones.’ But, the way people watch TV is changing,” Kinsey says. “There is such an immediate access through other mediums like computers.
“The other night I watched three episodes of ‘The Good Wife.’ As a working mom, I can go a month and then have a night of down time. Having all the shows available suits the way we live. TV is evolving.”