Simone Finch, Daisy Gardner, And Jenni Konner Discuss Single Drunk Female - Exclusive Interview

Television writer Simone Finch inked a deal with Freeform, the network formerly known as ABC Family, to bring her first series to light, and it's finally here. Finch, whose prior credits include "The Connors," "Madam Secretary," and the "Roseanne" revival (via IMDb), created "Single Drunk Female," a half-hour comedy series set in Boston that follows a writer named Samantha (portrayed by Sofia Black-D'Elia) who moves home from New York City after losing her job from an incident related to her alcoholism. The series also stars Ally Sheedy (known for her work on "The Breakfast Club"), Rebecca Henderson, Sasha Compére, Lily Mae Harrington, and Garrick Bernard (via ABC).

We at The List were lucky to sit down and chat with Finch alongside Jenni Konner and Daisy Gardner, two executive producers for the series, about all things "Single Drunk Female," including how the three of them came together to make the series, why it's set in Boston, and why the series works best as a comedy.

Simone, Jenni, and Daisy on melding their ideas for Single Drunk Female together

How did all of your ideas come together to create and then execute this series?

Jenni Konner: Well, Simone, you can do it in order of appearance.

Simone Finch: Okay. Basically, I wrote the pilot, and then Jenni came on and-

Jenni: No, no. Don't forget Phil Trail.

Simone: Oh –

Daisy Gardner: Oh no.

Simone: ... right. Sorry. I'm tired. Okay. I wrote the pilot, and then Phil Trail brought it to Freeform. Phil Trail is a director, wonderful director. Freeform bought it, which was amazing, and one of our APs, yes. They brought it to Jenni, and Jenni said she would do it. I bought an outfit for that day — true story and shoes, actually, still have them.

Jenni: I would hope so.

Simone: It's true. And then, I was so excited. She was the first person we went to, and that was it. And then, we went to Daisy, and then after, it was picked up to series. And then, we basically had a room, and all three of us did things, and that's how it happened.

Jenni: Simone may be hitting a wall.

Simone: I think I am.

Jenni: Do you want to get more specific on "did things?"

Simone: "Did things."

Jenni: Follow up.

Simone: Basically, I think of us as a three-headed Hydra. Daisy was in the room, I was on set, and Jenni was kind of overseeing everything that we were doing. And it really worked that way. And I love divisions of labor. And that was how it happened. That's better. Right, guys? That was a better one? Yes?

Daisy: Like a three-headed benevolent Hydra? Like a Hydra where all the heads come together to create something?

Simone: You know. There aren't a lot of three-headed things in mythology. What do you want from me? All right.

Jenni: I'm a big believer in hiring people who are good at their jobs and letting them do them, rather than trying to control it. That's what I did, because I'm smart and exhausted.

Daisy: I had the benefit of coming after these guys had made just a fantastic, beautiful, funny, sad, weird pilot, and where they had just figured out a tone, that was like nothing I'd seen before. I [said], "Yeah, I'll just hop aboard this train. If you have room for me, I'm jumping on." They, through so much work, figured out the tone of it, which is, to me, the hardest part of any show.

Jenni: In fact, when we gave it to Daisy, to see if she would take the job, I remember her saying, "This is fantastic." I'm a big admirer of Daisy as a human and a writer. I [said], "Do you really think so?" Because no one had seen it ... if Daisy likes it, we're doing great.

Boston as a character and the allure of dark comedy

At what point in the process did you know that this show, which kind of deals with dark themes, would best suited to be a comedy?

Jenni: I think, what is more comedic than dark themes? That was never a disconnect for me.

Daisy: It's [true that] the worst moments of my life are the times I've laughed the hardest. The times it seems so hopeless, and [you think], "This is awful. This can't get any worse," and then it gets worse. You just start laughing. To me, finding the funny part of the darkness is my favorite.

Simone: I also think that I learned, getting sober, not to take myself so seriously. I think that we brought that to the show. Because Sam takes herself so... And it's funny. That's funny to me. So, every time I see a newcomer come in and [say], "My life is over" and blah, blah, blah. I'm [like], "Sit down and have a cookie." You know?

The series very quickly moves from New York City to Boston. How did you know this was the perfect setting for the show?

Simone: It's the perfect setting because it's where I grew up. So, there you go. That's why it's the perfect setting.

Jenni: Also, Simone always says, "Boston's the hardest place to get sober."

Simone: It's true. Lot of drinking.

Daisy: Boston, the city, is an obstacle to sobriety.

Simone: Yeah.

Daisy: You know...

Simone: It is a character in the show, I think, in a way. In that way. Because it's such a drinking city, truly.

Yeah, I definitely see that in the show for sure. Another thing I wanted to ask you was: in the series, there [are] a lot of pop culture references like TikTok and seemingly Buzzfeed. How are these institutions and things crucial to building the identity of the series?

Simone: Oof.

Daisy: You [ask] a good question. I think it's part of the fabric of anyone's life under the age of 30, that you just communicate in three different ways to people. It's also funny to me, the character of Carol and Ally: Ally, herself, who is, "Someone texted, I texted them back, and then they took 10 minutes to text back." Like, "what?" That there's just a different language with social media and texting, for everyone in their twenties. So, that is part of the fabric.

How their previous projects helped build Single Drunk Female

I also wanted to ask, because I always think [about], as a writer myself, how things flow from project to project: how have your previous experiences helped you to create this show?

Daisy: I would say it's intimidating as hell to write scenes of female friendship and then give them to Jenni Konner, to "Girls," where ... these are some women talking together on screen. She doesn't know from that. Turn it in.

Jenni: You're cute.

Daisy: I think "Girls" is definitely an influence. Simone, what would you say?

Simone: I love "Fleabag" with a passion. I don't know. I think any way that women are shown that's truthful and not annoying is something that I'm interested in. Sorry.

The series does represent the process of getting sober, and I wanted to ask how realistically the show portrays that. Did you had to pull in professionals and all of that?

Daisy: Our main hope is that it's one character's journey, and if we can stay truthful with that character and stay truthful to that experience of that one character and experience, that hopefully we're not talking for all of sobriety or all shapes and sizes of sobriety. We also definitely had an alcohol consultant. We had someone saying, "Interesting that you guys approached it this way because of this, this, and this." And then we'd say, "Well, the personal experience in the room was this, this, and this." And we had a GLAAD consultant. We just wanted to make sure we were doing right by people.

The series premiere of Freeform's "Single Drunk Female" airs on Thursday, January 20, at 10 p.m. ET. Episodes are available to stream on Hulu the following day.