‘Another Period’ Misses Its Matriarch

Originally published with Paste on August 5, 2016.

Besides spoofing reality TV and all the thirsty celebrities that go with it, Another Period operates on the upstairs/downstairs trope found in many a period drama. If Garfield (Armen Weitzman) marks the best developed (and acted) character downstairs then Dodo (Paget Brewster) has been his counterpart upstairs. And that leaves one very pressing question as the second season nears its end: Where the hell is Dodo?

Is anyone else missing the Bellacourt’s matriarch as much as I am? She provided some of the finest acting of the show’s first season. The other actors and actresses served up silly to no end, but Brewster anchored her character’s silliness in the haughty mannerisms of the northeastern upper class at the turn of the 20th century. Her finely tuned accent felt straight out of Bryn Mawr, as if she were Katherine Hepburn’s mother, not Lillian (Natasha Leggero) and Beatrice’s (Riki Lindhome). And it further emphasized the effect of her barbed commentary, like, “I always say ‘Have enough servants to satisfy your every whim, but not enough to murder your family.’” Brewster as Dodo provides Another Period with a comedic weight it desperately needs. She was comedy on a silver platter.

Patriarch Commodore (David Koechner) returned at the end of the first season, ushering in a shift about who managed the family. Not only did Dodo take a backseat to his head of the household position, but Brewster also landed a starring role on the (now canceled) FOX seriesGrandfathered. It made sense given her new work that she wouldn’t be as involved in Another Period. Although she appeared in the first episode this season—albeit in an opium haze thanks to her addiction—she ran away after learning her husband planned to throw her in an insane asylum for spending most of the family’s money and leaving them broke.

[Full article available at Paste.]