FIRST LOOK: I Feel Bad on NBC – Summer TCA 2018

NBC’s Summer Press tour brought out Amy Poehler produced “I Feel Bad” along with EP Aseem Batra and stars Sarayu Blue and Paul Adelstein.

Regarding the title, Batra spoke about how often we feel bad, whether it’s about being a working mom who misses her child’s milestones, or in the case of our lead character, “sometimes she feels bad that she doesn’t feel bad, and that’s part of being an empowered woman.”

When asked about similarities between Batra and Blue, who are both daughters of Indian immigrants, the EP noted that there aren’t too many. Although Blue may understand some of the shorthand that Batra uses when discussing her parents, Blue’s parents allowed her to follow her own path and didn’t pressure her into any specific career while Batra’s parents were more conservative, and then moved to the South.

Poehler discussed how the show is intended to take a real look at parenting, and how women in television seem to find the right answer but haven’t had to show their work. Now they do. “It’s really fun to watch everybody swing and miss” says Poehler.

As a producer with her company Paper Kite, Poehler is pretty involved in the show daily, but knows that she’s just there to support Batra and her her team, whom she trusts implicitly.

Batra touched upon the diverse writing room she’s assembled, mentioning how excited she was to bring in voices that don’t aways get heard. She didn’t go into details, but noted that her room is diverse in terms of age, gender, and sexuality.

Batra spoke about having a show that is predominantly South Asian, mentioning that she’s exciting to normalize a family that looks like this, “This show is about a family, in 2018 you can have a family that looks like this but it ‘isn’t a thing'”. Blue mentions that she was cast first and then they gave her parents (Brian George, Madhur Jaffrey), so the show wasn’t specifically written to be a South Asian story.

I Feel Bad is set to premiere after the America’s Got Talent finale on NBC.

— Yael Tygiel