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Coming Up on 'Til Death

Published October 29, 2006 in Television
By Fred Topel | Image property of Fox.
'Til Death 'Til Death
Fox put all of its shows on hold during baseball season, but now everything is starting up again. The folks at the sitcom Til Death have been working on new episodes and have several high concepts ready for broadcast starting November 2. The first is about a garage band Eddie Stark (Brad Garrett) has.

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“I play bass,” said Garrett. “And I actually play bass in real life, not well as we see.”

Joely Fisher compares it to an earlier episode where her character, Joy, offered sex for furniture. “It actually is that he has been telling me that he’s had this garage band for years and years,” said Fisher. “It’s basically the way that couples manipulate each other to really get what they want.”

For Garrett, these are all realistic situations just heightened for half hour comedy. “That’s something that really hit home for us,” he said. “My poker game for 20 years was my garage band. It was a bunch of guys that got together, that talked and ate for four hours and we played poker for 45 minutes, but it was a thing. It was one the calendar and it was going to happen and it couldn’t become a date night. So we all have that. And Jill had her night. That’s important. I think what most marriages lose is individuality.”

The Starks’ neighbors, The Woodcocks, get a little heated over the garage band as well. “It’s sort of the first time that you see Eddie Kaye [Thomas] and I get into a real difficult time,” said Kat Foster. “He gets really sick of me. I kind of crowd his personal space. So you have that dynamic going on that’s different than what we’ve done before. And I kind of learn something from Joy so we have that going on.”



Thomas, who plays Jeff Woodcock, added, “I got to blow into a clarinet and make awful sounds and it was fun. It was great. I was going to actually buy a clarinet but that’s probably a really bad idea for my neighbors. It sounded like a cool instrument but I play guitar and I can bang on a keyboard a little bit.”

Another episode on the slate is tantalizingly called “Death Sex.” “It’s an episode where my character thinks that he’s not well and he goes and gets some tests that are still up in the air and they’re nonconclusive,” Garrett explained. “For a minute there, being kind of a hypochondriac he is, he begins to kind of spin it to where maybe he’s not well and maybe he’s not a healthy guy and it brings all this dynamic into the marriage where all of a sudden she starts worrying and she starts treating him a lot better. She’s kinder and is more giving and is more sexual and is more abiding if you will. He’s loving it and he’s in heaven and he finds out his tests come back negative so he forgets to tell her. He milks it a little bit more than he should and then of course Joy being as sharp as she is and much smarter than Eddie, finds out what’s going on and pops him on it. So they’re having sex thinking he’s not going to make it. And really what is the difference between sex and death besides the nausea? That’s the only difference really.”

Not all episodes will be so concept-driven. Fisher describes a simpler one. “We have another episode that’s coming on in November where it’s just about being right, like getting the point, I’m right this time,” she said. “And then I get the point. It’s just one-upmanship, little idiosyncrasies and small little smidgeons of daily life of a married couple. It just blossomed into 22 minutes. One of the lines that I think we have in there is ‘Why can’t we just be happy for each other that we have a new piece of knowledge? Let’s go look it up together and we’ll find out that we’re both right in a way.’ Then we’re like, ‘No, that’s crazy.’”

Finally, the group teased an episode where the Starks and Woodcocks go on vacation together. If that isn’t funny enough, things get more complicated. “I wake up in bed with my beautiful wife,” said Thoams. “She says, ‘Ew.’ I say, ‘What’s wrong?’ and she says, ‘Nothing, nothing.’ I say, ‘What? What? What?’ She’s just had a sex dream about Brad Garrett. And then the rest of the episode is me figuring out what the hell is going on. Brad’s very excited. He finds out about this sex dream and I’m very upset. We wind up calling him Chewbacca.”

'Til Death returns November 2nd on Fox.

Stay tuned for updates.


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