Jill Kargman talks a witty mile a minute, all unfiltered. The Upper East Side New Yorker is the author of Momzillas (now in 14 languages) and a slew of other fun reads. She’s mastered the art of satire when it comes to the uber-wealthy, exploiting their over-the-top, competitive parenting (while still maintaining friendships with them — as she is the daughter of former Chanel chairman Arie Kopelman). It was a given to extend her brazen candor into television in Bravo’s new scripted series Odd Mom Out, which begins Monday, June 8 at 10pm ET.
Kargman serves as executive producer, writer and star of the 10-episode series, which is loosely based on her life. “They were internally calling it ‘Larry David on the Upper East Side,’ because it was sort of a bunch of my books in a blender,” Kargman says. It’s a solid comparison to her character’s social awkwardness, though we’d blend in a little more Lena Dunham and Mindy Kaling.
Odd Mom Out is raw summer fun. Kargman kills it as being a quirky version of herself, while scaring the hell out of us by now knowing people like this actually exist.
Her character, Jill Weber, is a mother of three (Kargman, too, has three kids, ages 12, 9 and 7) who clumsily tries to navigate life with her husband’s insanely wealthy family and all the pressures that go along with it.
“I feel like the essence is me in terms of the kookiness and all that,” Kargman tells of how close her character is to the real Jill. “It’s like a version of me from 10 years ago. I think Jill Weber is really still a little bit more nervous and insecure about the scene, whereas now I am so over that.”
As a graduate of Yale and a socialite herself, she credits her parents for teaching her the value of a dollar, honesty and family.
“I feel like my parents have such good values and I was raised with just the most incredible mom and dad. My mom is French and my dad is from Boston. My mom mostly grew up in New York but she was in a very small, orthodox Jewish community off Riverside Drive. She’s not on Park Avenue. They always taught me the value of a dollar, the value of honesty, the value of family. I feel like I just have a different value system than some of the people that you see here with the conspicuous consumption and the logos everywhere and the crassness of deliberately showing how wealthy they are,” Kargman explains. “I was taught to never be showy like that. …[Growing up there] were a few girls who were exorbitantly wealthy. They were embarrassed — they had their chauffeurs drop them off two blocks from school. They never would of pulled up in front of school. I respected that. Now that would never happen, that’s from the ancient history books. I don’t think anyone is dropped off two blocks away. They’re like, pulling up with the music blaring and all too happy to have the chauffeur open their door.”
But Kargman’s no stranger to money and success, yet somehow she doesn’t really catch a lot of flack for mocking her own social circles.
“It’s really funny. I had zero backlash,” she says, about her books. “The craziest part is, I mean, none of the characters in the book Momzillas, for example, are based on any real people. It’s just the essences of a million conversations I’ve had but amplified for fiction. A lot of people who exemplify and embody that type, they tend to have no self awareness so they come up and they’re like, ‘I loved your book. I loved how you took out Shannon.’ Shannon comes over and says, ‘I love how you took out Claudia. Hilarious.’ I mean, they all think it’s somebody else. It’s weird.”