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Catherine Reitman imagines life after the pandemic in Workin' Moms Season 5

Catherine Reitman joined Q's Tom Power to talk about the new season of Workin' Moms and why she decided to fast forward to a post-pandemic world.

'Do you want to see everyone sanitizing and six feet apart? Not me,' says show's creator

Catherine Reitman joined Q's Tom Power to talk about the new season of Workin' Moms and why she decided to fast forward to a post-pandemic world. (Jackie Browne)

Last March, Catherine Reitman was putting the finishing touches on the Season 5 script of Workin' Moms when the world completely changed.

"We were writing a world that didn't have coronavirus in it," Reitman explained to host Tom Power in an interview on CBC Radio's Q.

When it became clear that the pandemic wasn't going away any time soon, the Workin' Moms creator, executive producer, writer and star was forced to rethink how the new normal might affect the future of the show.

"We had to sort of wrap our brains around [the question], what do you want to see in the show that you love?" said Reitman. "Do you want to see everyone in masks? Do you want to see everyone sanitizing and six feet apart? Not me. … I want to see people doing what they used to do."

WATCH | Catherine Reitman's full interview with Tom Power:

A post-pandemic world

Season 5 of the hit CBC sitcom, which is out now on CBC Gem, is set in an imaginary post-pandemic world where COVID-19 is a thing of the past. Reitman said she wanted the show to "address [the pandemic] and get beyond it."

We don't see masks, and we don't see social distancing, but we see the emotional ramifications.- Catherine Reitman

"Basically, in the first, I don't know, two minutes of the show, COVID hits and then [there's] a card that says it's now months later after the world reopens. And we don't see masks, and we don't see social distancing, but we see the emotional ramifications," Reitman told Power.

When writing the latest season, Reitman wondered if it was somehow irresponsible of her not to portray the very real struggle that parents are currently facing during the pandemic. 

"We weighed our responsibilities because some would argue that it's our responsibility as artists to show and represent what's happening," said Reitman. "And Workin' Moms has been such a mirror of real-life mom experiences."

Ultimately, Reitman decided that depicting lockdowns and other limitations brought on by the pandemic wouldn't benefit the show's fans, who watch Workin' Moms as an escape from reality.

"The show is entertainment," she said. "The show is meant to make you laugh. And yes, sometimes make you cry, but to have a cathartic experience."

WATCH | Official trailer for Workin' Moms Season 5:

Pandemic aside, Reitman said she wanted to have fun with some fresh storylines and characters in Season 5. For instance, the show introduces audiences to Kate Foster's new mentor, Sloane Mitchell (played by Enuka Okuma), an extraordinary force who is implied to be someone that Kate could have been had she not gotten married and had children.

When asked what she hopes real-life working parents might take away from watching the new season, Reitman responded that her wish is that viewers will just have fun.

"Oh, God, I want you to laugh. I want you to have some fun, I want you to go back to watching women in silk skirts blasting through glass ceilings and going after their dreams and swearing at each other and meeting at bars. Have a good time."


Written by Vivian Rashotte. Interview produced by Kaitlyn Swan.

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