Actress Cheryl Hines Chats about Halloween #Suburgatory Episode, The Witches of East Chatwin

Last year I was asked to do a review for a pilot episode of a new series called Suburgatory. I had seen the commercials for the show but I wasn’t sure what it was really about.

I was sent the pilot episode to review. From the moment the episode was over I knew that ABC had a hit on their hands. If you would like to read my review you can find it here.

If you are unfamiliar with the show here is a brief synopsis;

Single father George Altman is doing his best to raise his sixteen-year-old daughter Tessa in New York City. When he discovers a box of condoms in her bedroom he decides the time has come to move her to a more wholesome and nurturing environment: the suburbs. But behind the beautiful homes and perfect lawns lurk the Franken-moms, spray tans, nose jobs, and Red Bull-guzzling teens who have nothing in common with Tessa. It’s a whole new world, one that makes George wonder if they haven’t jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire. With the help of suburbanites like old college friend Noah, flirty Alpha mom Dallas and awkward classmate Lisa, George and Tessa slowly learn to navigate the pitfalls of suburban life. With time, they might even find that it isn’t so bad.

They show is really funny. The characters seem a bit over exaggerated, but there really are people in this world a lot like them (although maybe not as over the top). I live in the suburbs of New York City. Some of my neighbors act like they were plucked right out of the series and planted next door to me. I have some really “odd” neighbors. 🙂

Tonight there is a special Halloween episode of Suburgatory called The Witches of East Chatwin.

When Tessa convinces Dalia and the KKK (Kimantha, Kaitlyn and Kenzie) to come up with feminist inspired Halloween costumes, she finds herself the interest of the infamous East Chatswin witch (aka Paula), played by guest star Rachel Dratch. As it turns out Paula isn’t exactly what she seems. Meanwhile George and Noah dress up as each other, and Dallas invites George to be “Ken” to her “Barbie”—but he declines, not realizing that she is asking him out.

I had the opportunity to see the episode before it airs tonight. I don’t want to spoil it for you, let’s just say that I loved Rachel Dratch as Paula. I think she needs to say on as a regular character. She really knows how to drive the people of East Chatwin crazy. 🙂

I LOVE their Halloween costumes. You won’t believe what lengths George goes to for his costume.

The people have made Paul an “urban legend” in East Chatwin. The grown ups have passed on tales about Paula to their own children. Just like any urban legend, no one really knows if it’s true or not.

There is an urban legend in the county where I live. There is a road called Spook Rock Road. One end of the road, where the stop sign is, is a decline, meaning your car is facing downward. If you put your car in neutral you’ll find that is starts to roll backwards up the hill. I know it sounds crazy but it’s true! My husband and I have tried it a few times and each time it’s worked. We’re not sure if it’s an optical illusion (maybe you are really facing up a hill and not down a hill), or some other kind of “mind game”.

The legend I heard is that Indian lovers were separated and the female was killed (unbeknown to the male). Supposedly he pulls cars back to look inside of them to see if his lost love is inside. True or not I know it freaks my kids out.

Myself and some other bloggers had the opportunity to chat with actress Cheryl Hines who plays the role of Dallas on Suburgatory. I’ll post the entire interview in another post, but for now here are some highlights from the interview.

Question: I know a lot of actors sometimes base characters that they play off someone they know or someone in their life… when you think of Dallas do you think of someone you know? (Kimberly Ortiz, Pretty Pink Mama).

Cheryl: Well my mom grew up in Jacksonville, Florida and she’s very southern. And she pretty much talks like Dallas. So she definitely inspires me. And my mom also likes to have fun and she likes to wear things that are sparkly and glittery and animal print. And my mom cannot imagine why anybody would wear a black dress for any reason. So you know, I have been around that all my life and my mom saying things like “if you got it flaunt it“. And so she’s just always had this attitude of, you know, “shake what your mama gave you“.It’s like  I’m going on a date and I don’t want to shake it. But that’s, you know, my mom. And she’s entertaining. And she’s fun to be around so I do I like to think of her when I’m playing Dallas.

Question: (Is) there any chance that you’ll be showing off your singing skills on Suburgatory? – (Referring to Sudsy Bubbles Seed on Jack’s Big Music Show – Rosa Codero, Accidental Sexiness)

Cheryl: Oh my gosh. I really hope not. Just to call them singing skills as really a stretch. I honestly don’t know how they got me to sing on that show now that I think about it. No,. but I will be doing some dancing. There’s an episode when George and well Tessa and Dalia have a hip-hop dance off and then George – which leads to a Dallas and George dance off. So I’ll be doing enough ridiculous things that hopefully I won’t never have to sing on the show.

Question: What was your favorite Halloween costume that you’ve ever worn? (Kimberly Vetrano, She Scribes).

Cheryl: Favorite Halloween costume? Well one year I went with – he’s my ex-husband now but at the time he was my husband and my best friend – we went as a mariachi band. And it was really funny because when we would get separated from each other it was just a weird costume with a drawn on pencil mustache.

And at the time I was working for HBO and went to this party and most people were not dressed up. And at one point in the party I found myself talking to the President of HBO, you know, with a big hat tassels on it and a black tiny mustache and just trying to have a normal conversation. But anyway it was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun.

And then one year I dressed up with my brothers and my sister and some friends as Gilligan’s Island. So that was a lot of fun too.

Question: I’m wondering will we see any kind of friction with like Tessa and Dallas because she has kind of taken on more of that mother role for Tessa? (Kimberly Ortiz, Pretty Pink Mama).

Cheryl: Well it’s interesting, it’s surprising. The conflict that it causes it’s not what you think would probably happen. You know, you might think Dallas would be jealous of Tessa’s mom. But what happens is Tessa’s mom when we meet her we find out that she is a very flawed person. Of course she would have to be anyone that deserts their child, I mean they must have things going on that are major, you know, that people usually don’t do that. But it does happen.

George has been around her and he knows her and takes and he knows what she does and he doesn’t fall for her drama. And everyone else in Chatswin feels sorry for her because she seems nice and she seems, you know, like she’s having a tough day so Dallas is – gets a little bit mad at George for not for him not being nicer to Tessa’s mom. And George says this is what she does. This is what she does every day. It’s not just today. This is, you know, so it’s interesting. And I think it’s, you know, it’s interesting to watch because usually that’s such a, you know, those are heavy moments in real life when people are doing that.

On Suburgatory we have a chance to laugh at it which is unusual and great because so there’s that. And then even with Dallas and Tessa really there is more conflict starts happening between Tessa and George because the four of us are spending so  much time together, Dalia and Dallas and Tessa and George. I mean you start to see the complete opposite parenting moments where they – the girls come out of the SATs and Tessa gets an ice cream cone and Dalia gets a new car. So it really sort of – it creates problems between Tessa and George where Tessa says and that’s not fair.

And, you know, George is like it’s you’ve always had ice cream. Yes but look what she gets? So there’s more conflict I think between Tessa and George really than anybody else at this point.

Question: (Cheryl has lived in both Florida and in California) Which coast you think has people more similar to the folks from Chatswin? (Mitch Ketton, Gay NYC Dad).

Cheryl: Living here in LA and being a mom I definitely see these people. I say and I’m sure it’s true in any suburban neighborhood and that’s why this show is funny and why people laugh at it. But, you know, I see the women that get their hair blown out before a PTA meeting and put on their best Versace dress to go to a school function. Oh I see it.

Question: How do you keep from laughing all day with this amazing cast and this group of hysterical people (including) my neighbor Rachel Dratch, who lives down the block? (Mitch Ketton, Gay NYC Dad).

Cheryl: It’s a problem. Rachel Dratch, oh my gosh. Yes I just love her. And I like that she’s an outcast because she hasn’t had anything done, oh my gosh. No I laugh all the time. And sometimes, you know, the poor crew. After, you know, five takes and you still can’t get it because you’re laughing at some ridiculous word it’s not funny but you still can’t – we still can’t get it together because we’re, you know, were dressed in ridiculous outfits and we’re saying crazy things.

Last season had a scene with Carly Chaikin who plays my daughter Dalia. And, you know, we had this scene, a very intimate scene and she’s upset. And I say “I may not be a hangover monkey… (because she wanted a monkey from the hangover movie) but I will always love you.”

And so I had to look in her eyes and say that and it just for whatever reason we could not get through it, we could not because it’s so ridiculous. And so sometimes you may catch us looking off into the distance.

There was a bit more to the interview, but for the sake of space I figured it was best to share the highlights.

I appreciate that Cheryl took the time out to chat with us. Thank you Cherly!

If you are the fan of the show, or interested in learning more about the series, I thought you might like to know about a special Twitter party. Tonight there is a Twitter Viewing Party for the Halloween episode of Suburgatory, The Witches of East Chatwin. You can RSVP to th party here, http://www.o2oblog.com/2012/10/the-middle-and-suburgatory-live-viewing-party. You’ll also have the opportunity to chat about the Halloween episode of The Middle (I that show!). They will be giving away PRIZES too!

Do YOU like Suburgatory? Do you have a favorite episode or character? I would love to hear from my readers. Please feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts.


*I participated in this sponsored post campaign for One2One Network. All opinions stated are my own.

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About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family and “mini zoo” consisting of five cats, a dog and a Goldfish. Kimberly is a teacher’s assistant for a Kindergarten class. When she is not working or blogging, Kimberly enjoys taking photos of nature and hanging out with family and friends.


  1. I’ve never seen the show but it seems awesome!