Are you ever such a big fan of something or someone that you almost don’t ever want to meet them in real life out of fear that they may let you down? Am I the only one with that possibly irrational fear? I found myself presented with such a situation last fall. I had been invited to Toronto to watch filming and visit the set of one of my favorite TV shows, CBC’s Workin’ Moms. It’s no secret how much I love the show and the people behind it, and I’ve been fortunate enough to speak with them several times. However, I still found myself nervous at the prospect of it all.
Would I go, meet everyone in person and somehow be disappointed? I hold the show and those involved in making it in pretty high esteem. Could they live up to that hype? Could anyone? Despite my worries, my sheer excitement at getting to go and witness “the magic” in person outweighed everything and that’s how I found myself headed to a location in the middle of downtown Toronto on that beautiful September day. Before we go any further in this story, let me be completely clear that not only did I have nothing to worry about, but this visit far exceeded anything I could have hoped for.
The trip started off as a success because within five minutes of arriving at set, Workin’ Moms’ unit publicist Lisa Ghione had greeted me, introduced me to several technicians and had fresh coffee in my hand. I was then taken inside to the location where filming was happening that day, and I was lucky enough to be visiting on a day when they were shooting two of the Mommy and Me class scenes. These are my absolute favorite types of Workin’ Moms scenes, as you get to see everyone in the cast play off each other and they always contain some of my favorite bits of dialogue.
Within minutes of my arrival, cast members Dani Kind and Katherine Barrell had both enthusiastically greeted me, announced to the set who I was and that I was visiting for the day. Talk about a warm welcome! In addition to Kind and Barrell, I quickly got to say hello to fellow cast members Juno Rinaldi, Sarah McVie and the woman behind it all on Workin’ Moms, Catherine Reitman. A then quick intro to Season 2 addition Nelu Handa, who I was only told was playing new single mom Jade, had me then witnessing Dennis Andres with no eyebrows? For those who have watched recent episodes, you know why that is, but at the time I was given no spoilers of what happened to Ian and just decided to go with it!
A lot has been made about how Reitman strives to hire a lot of women behind the scenes of her show, but the impact of that is really felt when you’re on set. I remember sitting there and just looking around seeing women everywhere. It was awesome! Yes, there were a few men of course, but the majority of everyone on that set was a woman and it was a thing of beauty to witness. The Workin’ Moms’ writers were there (all women) and I got to see director Aleysa Young and director of photography Maya Bankovic work their magic multiple times throughout the day. It really felt like an honor to be in the presence of so many awesome ladies making this thing that I just love.
Naturally, since the Mommy and Me scenes were being filmed, there were also toddlers everywhere. What you see on screen is in no way faked and those kids are all over the set, but man are they total pros! They are complete naturals who all seemed to do exactly what was needed for every shot. I’m sure shooting with young kids adds another layer of chaos to everything, but you couldn’t tell by the cast or director Young’s demeanor at all.
I honestly can’t say enough about what a great and welcoming experience my visit was. I already believed Catherine Reitman was a wonder woman, but then to witness her completely killing it on screen and then hopping back behind the camera to discuss the scene with Young and Bankovic felt like I was getting to be privy to the real magic of television. She also couldn’t have been more welcoming and she, along with Kind, Rinaldi, McVie and Barrell all came over to check in and talk with me during filming breaks while new shots were set up.
In short, the entire Workin’ Moms cast and crew far exceeded any expectation I had of that day. They were all warm and welcoming, even when they didn’t need to be, and it was clear this wasn’t just some act being put on for my benefit that day. The Workin’ Moms set was a light and fun place where it was clear that everyone involved loved what they were doing. Every now and then life surprises you in a great way, and getting the chance to meet and hang out with those responsible for one of my favorite shows is an experience I’ll not soon forget. A special thank you to Catherine Reitman and Dani Kind for having me up that day, but really the entire Workin’ Moms group for making it such a special day.
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Workin’ Moms airs Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET on CBC.
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.