In a sea of Upper East Side Blairs and Serenas, Jill Kargman has made a career out of being the token “Sarah,” a Jewess amongst WASPs.
Thus is the premise of the newest Bravo television series, “Odd Mom Out,” which premiered June 8 at 10 p.m. The show focuses on the experiences of Jill, a brunette who is a wealthy, privileged stay-at-home mom navigating a social schema filled with the even wealthier, more privileged and most importantly, more blonde mothers of the Upper East Side.
“She’s the bottom of the one percent. It’s really funny to hear her talk about her financial struggles, when you’re like — hashtag, cry me a river — look at the apartment you live in,” said Bravo senior vice president of development Lara Spotts on the character in an interview with W Magazine.
With “Odd Mom Out,” Bravo’s first-ever scripted comedy, Kargman draws on her real-life family’s fish-out –of-water experiences as wealthy New Yorkers who are not quite as wealthy as their peers. Kargman’s TV husband Andy (Andy Buckley) is a lawyer whose recent promotion to partner is outshined by his younger brother whose investment in a bagel company earned him $675 million after it went big in China. Her TV children feel slighted too and must face the reality of not spending summers with friends in the Hamptons.
Jill also faces backhanded backlash herself. Married into a prominent WASP-y family, she is the ultimate outsider. In fact, while applying to a private kindergarten for her children, the character is told by a headmaster that, “While you are different, you don’t technically qualify as diversity.”
The lives and practices of Manhattan’s elite have been the premise of reality shows such as Bravo’s own “The Real Housewives of New York,” as well as novels such as “The Nanny Diaries,” and “Gossip Girl” and most recently, Wednesday Martin’s memoir, “Primates of Park Avenue.”
What separates Kargman’s satirical take on the Upper East Side is her authenticity. Born to former Chanel president, Arie Kopelman, Kargman grew up on New York’s Madison Avenue and attended the elite Spence School and Yale University before marrying Harry Kargman, the founder of ad-tech company, Kargo.
She used material from real life to create memoirs “Sometimes I Feel Like A Nut” and “Momzillas.” Both books were mined for the show in order to create a tongue-in-cheek look at the ridiculous habits of Manhattan’s wealthiest.
Nevertheless, Kargman, whose brother is married to actress Drew Barrymore, insists that she never fully subscribed to the nanny-and-Soulcycle lifestyle.
“This is about someone who’s stressing and feeling like she’s doing everything wrong, which is the old me. I’m 40, and I don’t give a shit anymore,” she told W Magazine.