Blake Lee and Ginger Gonzaga in Mixology offer the perfect chemistry to give this midseason comedy potential. “I honestly never loved a pilot more,” says Ginger Gonzaga, of Mixology coming to ABC Wednesdays at 9:30pm ET/PT beginning Feb. 26. The actress, who was in 2012’s top-grossing comedy Ted, knows funny. The series was one of 60-70 pilots she read last year and it was the standout. “It’s addictive. It’s very avant-garde.”
Created and executive produced by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (the writers who penned The Hangover), the series follows the misadventures of 10 singles at one bar, over one night, who are all in search of love — well, some maybe just sex — and will go to ridiculous measures to make it happen.
Gonzaga plays Maya, an attorney who is as beautiful as she is bitchy, who goes to the New York hot spot Mix with her engaged-for-now friend Liv (Kate Simses). There she meets the socially awkward and so-out-of-his-league Tom (Blake Lee), who’s back on the market after his fiancée of eight years verbally demolished him.
“I just woke up this morning and I looked over at you and everything about you repulsed me,” Tom was told. “Like looking at your face made me want to barf. It was your face. You look like a beaver.”
Lee tells that the line about Tom looking like a beaver was just one of many added improv moments within the series. “We wrote that on the set. It’s actually my mom’s favorite part of the pilot.” Writer Jon Lucas had walked over to the actress and whispered the last-minute beaver line into her ear before they shot the scene. She sprung it on Lee with hilarious results.
“He gets beat up so much in the show,” Lee says of his character. “But Tom is really a sweet guy. He loves his two best friends [played by Andrew Santino and Craig Frank] so much but his two buddies can be brutal at times, but he needs that. … I hope audiences will be rooting for him to find someone.”
Though the 13-episode series all takes place over the course of one night, Gonzaga says it feels and looks like an actual movie. “It’s very fascinating how they pull it together and very addictive.” Character flashbacks give insight into each of the 10 characters’ earlier lives and help explain how they became the person they are today. “One of my favorite scenes is actually a flashback episode,” Gonzaga says, “where my character is forced to sit through a very goofy performance at an amateur art show and was so hating on it.”
Rounding out the cast is aggressive single mom Jessica (Alexis Carra), Jessica’s chic frenemy Fabienne (Frankie Shaw), busty and bubbly cocktail waitress Kacey (Vanessa Lengies), mysteriously handsome bartender Dominic (Adan Canto) and failed Internet entrepreneur Ron (Adam Campbell), who’s having the worst night of his life.
“What’s so great about the show is that no matter how old you are, you have a dating story you can relate to,” Lee says. “In a lot of ways the characters are somewhat heightened exaggerations of ourselves.”
“People will definitely see reflections of themselves in these characters,” Gonzaga says. The series really lampoons just how pathetic people can be when trying to find love. “So much of it is completely true, just exaggerated.”
As for how a sophomore season would play out, Lee says, “The possibilities are endless. There are so many ways you could go with it.” If the series plays out as funny as the pilot, we’ll be ready for the creators to mix us up another round ASAP.