It’s just three weeks until Christmas. We are in the lull between Black Friday gluttony and Christmas Eve panic. As TV series give us their Fall Season Finales (seriously? why did we let that marketing slogan become a thing?) we are inundated with holiday-themed filler. Some of it’s like a familiar warm blanket, like A Charlie Brown Classic. New classics like Elf will be streamed. And syrupy predictable Hallmark Christmas Movies will play on continuous loops.
But FOX is kicking off some original fare tonight at 9PM ET, The Moodys, starring Denis Leary as the patriarch of a spread out family filled with love and dysfunction. I’ve seen the pilot. It’s sweet. Predictable. Simple. But sweet nonetheless. A family is coming together at the parents’ house, and bringing more baggage than just their luggage.
María de Faría plays Sara, an outsider who finds herself in a love triangle. She came by and hung out with The Cocktail.
All I Want For Christmas Is More Issues
At every family gathering, someone will come with issues. But in the Moodys, everyone has issues.”First of all, everybody has issues around Christmastime. It’s just that we don’t share it, we don’t talk about it. Sometimes we hide it. But with the Moodys, everything goes sideways.” Breast cancer, breakups, life goals, infidelity. The Moodys looked at the menu of problems and said, I’ll have one of each! But María says it’s just par for the holiday course. “Everything explodes. It’s huge. It’s big. It’s dramatic. It’s just like family. You have the love, the laughter, the disasters, the romance, the crushes.”
She’s been acting since she was a very young child, but this job was a dream come true for María. “It was a dream. I grew up watching Elizabeth Perkins or Dennis Leary and all those amazing actors. I could not believe my eyes. I’m sharing meals with these people. I’m sharing laughs and jokes. It was amazing. We became a real family. We shot in a real tiny house. So we were together 14 hours a day every day. It was like a family at Christmas situation, without the fights and everything.”
And those close quarters brought everyone closer together, in the best way. “It’s such an ensemble show, we’re all together all the time. Of course I have my boyfriend, my family, my friends. But most of the episodes we’re all together. It was really a great way to break the ice, pun intended!”
Coming In From the Cold
The show is set in Chicago in late December, and while it was shot well before then, it’s still a bit of a shock for María. “I’m from the Caribbean, I’m Venezuelan, I’m not used to the cold or ice. I’m like ‘I’m gonna die, I’m gonna definately die.’ But I didn’t and it was fun and not as hard or as dangerous as I thought it was gonna be.”
María was in town to get a final fit for her wedding ring. She’s getting married in South America this winter, so being in Miami felt very much like home.
And this time of year brings back the best memories for her. “I remember even seeing like glitter and sparkles. Kids see life differently like it’s magic.” She remembers getting a very special wake-up call one Christmas morning. “My parents gave us the most amazing Christmas ever. When we were little, my dad was a waiter and he worked nights. So he used to come home really late, around three or four. One night my mom wakes us up. She’s like ‘Hey, Santa’s here. Santa’s here you have to see him!’ I was like I have to see him! We come down the stairs, and one of our letters to Santa that was on the tree, just flies out the window, magically, it was amazing. Then this white Santa glove comes through the window and catches one of the other letters and takes it out.”
Santa? Is that you?!? “Of course that was my dad coming back from work. But I remember that like it was yesterday, and I’m doing that to my kids.”
But doing that for her kids is still a ways down the line. The rest of this year holds enough challenges. “My December plans are scary. We’re going to spend Christmas with both our families. So that’s something that I’m excited and scared about. So wish me luck.”
Ghost of Christmas Future
As for her Moodys family? “I’m hoping to get a season two. I’m hoping to keep doing what I love best. I’ve been acting since I was five years old. I’ve learned not to have huge expectations but to really enjoy the moment and let life surprise me.” She says join the family tonight. “It’s just a wonderful, full of heart show that I can’t wait for you to see it.”
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
Stoli Raspberry with a squirt of raspberry syrup and a splash of Sprite. It’s fizzy and syrupy sweet, much like The Moodys.