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Amber Tamblyn on The Unusuals

Published March 24, 2009 in Television
By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
The UnusualsThe Unusuals

Amber Tamblyn is back on TV with ABC's new series The Unusuals. The cop show follows officers who handle the unusual cases. Tamblyn is used to high concept television after Joan of Arcadia, so she knows how to explain this show.

Tamblyn Investigates The Unusuals

"I know ABC has a way that they have to sell this, and that’s great, but in the same vein that Joan of Arcadia was a drama that had a lot of humor to it - she was a very Lucille Ball type of character, within this strange realm - this show has a taste of that with a harder edge," Tamblyn said. "The humor in it is very unique. We’re going to coin actual terms for things that are really funny and unique about precincts and cops, and the things cops find, everything from prostitutes to people who dress up in hot dog costumes."

Those cases sound awesome, but you'll really get to know the officers week to week. "It’s really, really a character-driven show. That’s the best part about it, for me. The procedural part is the secondary aspect. The cases are secondary to actually knowing about the characters and trying to figure out the characters’ pasts, their secrets and the things that they’re hiding. It’s more about the people. "

Tamblyn plays Casey Schraeger, who gets pulled off Vice for this unique homicide department. She'll have her share of secrets too. "She’s got a couple and she even has a couple that will lead the audience to think they know, but they won’t. It’s even well-plotted to me, where I’ll read something and go, 'Wait a minute! What?' and then I’ll text [executive producer] Noah [Hawley] and go, 'This is crazy!'"

Joan became closely tied to Tamblyn, but growing up, she feels Casey represents her better now. "Joan was a while ago. This feels like it has more of my sense of humor. She’s one of the only girls in the boys’ club. The guys outnumber her. I like it. It’s an all-male precinct, and she’s got some really great, funny, sarcastic, smart-ass lines. That’s what drew me to it. The comedy usually stems from something that happens, where you just can’t help but laugh at it because that’s life. Sometimes, even the most dramatic things have to be funny."

The Unusuals premieres April 8th on ABC.

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Fred Topel
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