What happens when 10 single (and not-so-single) people hit up one bar in search of love (or at least, a chance to get laid)? A lot of really funny, wacky shenanigans, of course.
ABC’s newest comedy “Mixology” — premiering Wednesday (Feb. 26) — chronicles the highs, lows, successes and failures of 10 lucky and unlucky people as they search for love or lust one fateful night in one bar. Who ends up with who, and who goes home alone?
We’ll have to wait to find out over the course of the 13-episode season, because Ginger Gonzaga, one of the series’ stars, wouldn’t spill any secrets to Zap2it. But she did talk to us about what attracted her to the new comedy, which future couple’s story surprised her the most, which character she’s the most like in real life and much more.
Zap2it: What attracted you to the role of Maya?
Ginger Gonzaga: She is this really strong woman, which is very rare to read for in pilot season. I love comedies, and I play dumb characters a lot, and Maya was one of the first characters I read in a comedy who had a backbone and said what was on her mind. She’s strong, sincere and yet still funny. I have this dress, this tiny, awful, $12 leopard print dress, and one year, almost every pilot I went in to read for I was wearing this really awful, basically a stripper dress. That kind of tells you what roles were out there. I was happy to see a character like Maya out there, and I can finally not look like a hooker when I go to the gas station afterwards.
Maya shares most of her scenes with Tom (Blake Lee), the newly single, clueless-when-it-comes-to-hitting-on-girls-in-bars guy. What is it about Tom that makes Maya actually pause and give him a chance, when she’s usually so brutal with guys?
Well, Tom is definitely not her type. I think he’s so not her type that it just kind of humors her to do that. She almost treats him like a pet, like, “This poor kid came up to me and he has no chance in hell but it’s funny to me and it’s a good story to tell Liv later. Might as well give him my number.” I don’t think she thinks too much of it. Sometimes people come up to you and hit on you and you’re like, “Wow I would never date you in a million years,” so it’s kind of OK to just be kind and not completely write them off. She just treated him like she was a Jedi master and he was her student.
So she’s teaching him how to flirt. Does that mean he stands a chance at going home with her at the end of the night?
She tries to teach him in the pilot, and he actually has a really goofy success story where he’s just bold enough to ask for her number she goes along with it just to humor him. I will say that he’s definitely persistent. There are definitely ways that she can find him charming even though he’s definitely not her type, but that’s all I will say.
Which couple’s story line are you most excited for fans to see play out over the course of the season?
Well, it’s not a romantic couple, but Maya and Liv’s [Kate Simses] friendship is my personal favorite part of the entire show. Our relationship is kind of like two brothers and I’m the older one egging on my younger brother. Maya makes Liv do things that she wouldn’t normally do. They’re not necessarily the best choices for her to make, but they do serve Liv in that they make her break out of her shell. Maya just wants to make Liv break out of her shell and not be the same person that she’s been for so many years. And I really love Tom’s tenacity throughout the show for sure.
Each episode focuses on a potential couple. Will we see any couples switch as the season and night goes on?
Do any couples switch? Well, certain ones are teased definitely. [laughs] Oh my gosh, it sounds like some big orgy when you put it like that. It’s definitely not that lustful but there are definitely couples that you wouldn’t expect to happen based on the first few episodes because some of the characters haven’t even met yet. Nothing is permanent, that’s what I’ll say. We are not all hooking up with everybody. [laughs]
Did any couple’s story line surprise you with how it ends?
Jessica’s [Alexis Carra] storyline, it was really surprising for me. And Frankie Shaw’s character, Fab, her storyline was very surprising. That was the most surprising for me.
What was it like shooting a show that only takes place over the course of one night?
It was interesting because we had a set that we can call home. It kind of felt like a multi-cam in that capacity because we were always in the same world except for when we were in the flashbacks. It definitely helped us get really comfortable with our environment because we were always in this bar. But that’s what made the flashbacks even more surprising and exciting for us, because it gave us a chance to get out of the bar for a little bit and explore some new things like alternate versions of ourselves in the past.
Which character are you the most like when it comes to going out and hitting the bars?
I’m probably the most like Tom in real life. I’m really goofy and dorky, and I don’t really have a clue when it comes to that kind of stuff. I can play it and I can pretend like I know what I’m doing, but I can definitely pull all the wrong punches and make all the wrong moves when I’m trying to engage the opposite sex. In the bar I’m definitely a Tom.
What’s the weirdest or craziest thing that’s ever happened to you while getting hit on?
I’ve worked in bars, so I’ve seen pretty much everything, but the weirdest was this one time when I was a bottle service waitress. It was this place where all you had to do was look nice and you had a job, and it got to the point where we were even allowed to take naps in this champagne room before we had to do our server duties. So my friend Amy and I would just take naps in this room, and we got woken up this one time by someone who would found their way to the champagne room. He didn’t even care that he woke us up. He was just asking if one of us would like to go on a date. We were both in this haze because we had just woken up ,and when you wake up from a nap you kind of don’t really know where you are at first, so we were working and then napping and then woken up by someone who was hitting on us. [laughs] Wow, that sounds really aggressive. It wasn’t as crazy as it sounds but it was definitely strange!
“Mixology” premieres Wednesday (Feb. 26) at 9:30 p.m. ET on ABC.