The Canadian cop-buddy comedy ‘Pretty Hard Cases’ might follow the same formula of other shows when thinking of a basis of law and order, but what this show starring Adrienne C. Moore and Meredith MacNeill does differently comes through with the characters.
Moore plays Kelly Duff, a rough and tough officer who doesn’t take no for an answer and likes to lead the pack on her own. MacNeill, on the other hand plays Sam, a brilliant and type-A detective who wears her heart on her sleeve. So in short, they couldn’t be more different. Through a circumstance of events, the ladies find their worlds intertwined and must figure out a way to work together in both their personal and professional lives.
Moore and MacNeill sat down to discuss the hilarious escapades that went into making ‘Pretty Hard Cases,’ and why this comedy provides more emotion than you would think.
So, what was it about this project that intrigued you both to want to sign on?
MM: Adrienne Moore, what intrigued you to sign on?
AM: What intrigued me to sign on was Meredith MacNeill—
MM: I was going to say the same thing! What made me want to sign on was Adrienne C. Moore.
AM: I had gotten to know Meredith through her work, and I just thought she was incredible. A lot of people don’t know this about me but I also come from an improvisational background although I don’t get to do it that often. But seeing what she was able to bring with Baroness von Sketch [Show], I thought oh, this would be a time to play and have fun. Then the nature of talking about cops and community—as a black woman, that’s already a sensitive topic. I wanted to, if possible, contribute something unique to that conversation and be part of that conversation in a positive way.
How would each of you describe your character and the role they play in this partnership?
MM: I’ll say this: When this show gets to the point where they make dolls of us or action figures, I am well aware that the Duff doll will go first… I’m saying that if you were asking who is the cool one is, I would go with Duff, she’s got the street smarts. Sam is incredible and I love her, she’s type-A. She’s incredibly intelligent and at the same time, I don’t know what happened but I feel like I matched her intelligence with her vulnerability. It’s interesting for playing a cop. She’s loyal, she wants friendship so bad and she’s tough in her own way.
AM: We’re starting out with season 1 and [now] we’re working on season 2, so it’s interesting seeing another layer peeled back between these two characters. In season 1, Kelly definitely presents herself as this bad-a** — don’t mess with her, she has everything under control type of character who is the exact polar opposite of Sam. Where Sam is open and vulnerable, Kelly is more keep things close to the chest. So, the dynamic when season 2 hits, hopefully, you’ll see how that dynamic begins to shift between the two of them but in season 1, Kelly definitely plays the cool, unnerved cop.
What does ‘Pretty Hard Cases’ bring to this cop-buddy genre as a whole?
MM: I definitely feel that what Tassie [Cameron] and Sherry [White] created were rounded women working and in a sense, their personal lives spill over into the cop world. As much as they don’t want it too, there’s a real marriage between the two and a shifting between the two. For me, that’s something I haven’t seen before. There’s a lot of spillover.
AM: Yeah and for me, I think to piggyback off of that, what was important for me and the writers also: There’s this element of procedural that I guess has to happen. But for Mer and I, we love characters and we love character driven stories and so, any way that the two of us can infuse the uniqueness of these two women [we do.] They represent very significant ideas and themes that are challenges today about law and order, about policing, about community development, about friendship and love. So, those are the things that I just latched onto and I think Sherry and Tassie wanted to flush those ideas and things out as well.
What would you tell people to expect from that aspect of the show?
AM: I would say expect to laugh, expect for your heart to be broken and expect there to be intense what’s going to happen next moments.
MM: Expect to be able to relate to a show in a way where you thought you might not in a cop show. Adrienne and myself do our best to look at ourselves, look at our characters, try to have transparency in both elements and I think that brings a layer of vulnerability.
AM: We’re playing characters who are in the hefty season of their careers. These are women in their 40s so they’ve been at this for a while, they’ve dealt with the politics, they’ve dealt with misogynistic egos, they’ve dealt with sexism and all of these things that people still unfortunately deal with in the workforce. We confront those ideas in our story, so I think audiences will find that familiarity although disturbing, but also comforting.
What does that blend of the comedy and drama bring to the show?
MM: I feel like life. In general, it shows that the truth can go many ways and if you commit to whatever was given to you on the page, or commit to the idea to what the writers want to show—it can go either way. It’s such a fine-tune thing, comedy and timing and it’s all about perspective. We can be doing a scene that’s quite tragic and then it just takes that one slight shift and then it becomes funny because we all know real life is pretty hysterical.
What are you hoping people take away from the series?
AM: I think for me, as a woman and a Black woman, there is a certain stigma with cops and the black community and it’s not a very positive one. It’s one of the things that brought me to this project because I want to dispel and demystify that stigma and the idea that cops are not really there to protect us but to serve as law and order. So, that’s one of my hopes that at the end of the show the humor and the storylines will bring a bit of ease between these communities and hopefully a bringing together in a more positive way.
‘Pretty Hard Cases’ season 1 drops on IMDb TV Sept. 10.