An examination of the acting resumes of Meaghan Rath and Aaron Abrams – stars of the new Roku Channel series “Children Ruin Everything” – would lead to the logical assumption both lean toward dramatic acting. Rath’s credits range from the supernatural “Being Human” to the police drama “Hawaii 5-0.” You don’t get more dramatic when it comes to the past work by Abrams than “Hannibal” and “Blindspot.”
Despite these big dramatic roles, Rath and Abrams are starring in a family comedy that takes a very honest look at parenting. Astrid (Rath) and James (Abrams) love their two extremely active young children but they also find themselves longing for the days when date night didn’t mean hiring a babysitter.
“Children Ruin Everything” explores the funny and varied ways kids can tear down your life and, if you’re lucky, replace it with something you have to admit is pretty okay, too. It is set to launch May 13 on the streaming service.
Both actors say casting them in the comedy makes sense even if you were to only look at their dramatic acting pasts. Abrams points out that even on a deeply dramatic show like “Blindspot,” his character often brought some humor.
“I haven’t had that much chance to do comedy but on these serious shows, like ‘Blindspot’ and ‘Hannibal,’ I was sort of the levity. In ‘Blindspot,’ from episode to episode, I went from being the most serious to the most ridiculous, which is always such a treat.”
Abrams points out that he tends to get cast as the bad guy who is looking to “burn down the world.” That’s why he is so happy with being on this comedy because it finally gives him the opportunity to play a role that is closer to who he really is.
Not only has “Children Ruin Everything” given Abrams a huge opportunity to be funny, it has given him his first chance to work on a production with young children. Because of strict rules on how much time youngsters can work, the adults have to be on their top acting game in every scene.
Rath has tried to bounce between comedy and drama. She, like Abrams, is certain that even on very serious productions, her character brought lighter moments. That was even the case in “Being Human” where she played a ghost who shared a home with a vampire and a werewolf.
“Often times in a drama, I am the levity a little bit,” Rath says. “In ‘Being Human,’ Sally was the lighter character in that show in spirit. No pun intended.”
Intended or not, the pun makes Abrams double over with laughter. The two actors take a moment to discuss her joke between bouts of laughing. Abrams pokes fun at Rath saying she talks about how good she is at comedy and then she makes such a bad joke.
This interaction reflects the way the stars of “Children Ruin Everything” are on screen. Despite never working together before this series, the pair have the kind of natural on-screen chemistry that makes them very believable as a married couple.
Abrams immediately points to the writing for making their characters come across so natural. The series is the creation of Kurt Smeaton – the man behind the Emmy-winning “Schitt’s Creek.”
“We get asked a lot if there is a lot of improvisation in this show and there isn’t. It is just written so beautifully and that’s because of Kurt Smeaton,” Abrams says. “It also comes from working with Meaghan because we love working together.”
That chemistry came quickly and naturally as there was no opportunity to rehearse or hang out before filming started due to the pandemic. Abrams says it was just a situation of “fingers cross it.”
The weird turn of phrase makes Rath laugh loudly and tease Abrams.
The connection with her co-star came quickly. And, Rath didn’t have to go far to do research on parenting as she was pregnant with her first child during the filming of the first season. She’s dealing with issues on the TV show that she soon will have to face in her own life.
“My baby is 8 months old and at that stage, everything seems like an eternity. Even looking ahead to two years seems like I have a lifetime before then,” Rath says. “But, just up to this eight months I have been shocked by the accuracy of some things in the show so it makes me fear the future, I guess.
“But, I don’t think anything prepares you for what’s to come.”
At least both actors are prepared to know what happens after the first season of “Children Ruin Everything.” It is making its debut on The Roku Channel in the U.S. but the first season of the eight-episode series has already aired in Canada. Production of the 16-episode second season is currently underway.