EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Abby McEnany from Showtime’s ‘Work in Progress’

Getty Images Abby McEnany visits BuzzFeed's "AM To DM" on January 15, 2020 in New York City.

Abby McEnany is a self proclaimed, “fat queer dyke” who stars in Showtime’s “Work in Progress.” The show is a comedy focusing on Abby, a 45-year-old temp-worker struggling with OCD and anxiety, who is attempting to figure out her why romantic endeavors never pan out the way she envisions.

“I’m Abby, the human, not Abby the character on the show,” says McEnany as she adjusts her TomBoy hat, “There are certainly things that are different. The first season is based on real stuff, like a real relationship I had, but certainly there were things last season that I never did or hopefully would never do. But who knows.” She lets out a gut wrenching laugh, “There is a differentiation. This new season, there are similar stuff that was added. It’s going off real life experience, but it is staying true to the character and what the character would do. And the character is close to me but there are differentiations.”

Why Was This Show Important For You To Make?

“Work in Progress” is so important. To see people that look like the people apart of my life on screen. I think the L Word is fantastic, and I love that we are paired with them because it just shows that there are infinite queer stories. They’re two very different stories about queer women and they’re infinite more stories to tell.” says McEnany, “There are so many stories to be told and I feel so honored I get to tell mine. I still cant believe it.”

“Shame is such a powerful and harmful a part of life, thats why I always say I’m not living without it. Hopefully people who don’t feel loved or accepted feel like there’s places for you when they see “Work in Progress.”

In season two, Abby is on the hunt for a new therapist, having a incredibly hard time finding anyone who meets her criteria. “Some people say, “Oh I have a problem I need to go to therapy for 6 months, then I’m done.” No. This is a lifelong journey. It’s like people say, “Just find someone to talk to” and it can be so difficult. If you don’t have friends you can ask, and insurance is so shitty, it’s like stabbing darts on a dry board. It’s not just, “Go talk to somebody” its actually a journey.” says McEnany, “I’m a huge proponent of therapy. I had a friend I worked with at Crate and Barrel years ago named Mike, “Hi Mike!” And he was like, “I’m a lifer,” and I was like oh thats a great way to think about it.”

Season 2 of “Work in Progress” Premiers August 22, 2021


Work in Progress Season 2 (2021) Official Trailer | SHOWTIMEBased on her own life, the second season of WORK IN PROGRESS picks back up with McEnany’s character Abby in the wake of her breakup (and almost out of almonds). A 46-year-old self-identified fat, queer dyke, Abby begrudgingly accepts that she’s too busy to kill herself. In fact, she’s just starting to get her head…2021-06-29T17:00:21Z

The first season originally aired on Showtime in December 2019. The eight episode series left many viewers wanting more, especially after the cliff-hanger ending of season one. “This season we’re back, obviously we’ve been really isolated, we got delayed a bunch of time which I was actually very happy about. Lily and I did not want to shoot in 2020 there was not enough information. That OCD stuff is real, I didn’t leave the house forever, its just paralyzing. The depression and the OCD and stuff, blah blah blah.” McEnany says throwing her hands in the air.

“This new season, I hope, of course, I’m really nervous if people may think this is what the show is, and this isn’t going to be exactly the same and I hope the stories are still likable.”

“Maybe I hope “Work in Progress” will show that there is a place for you. I think that these queer isolated people whether they’re in big cities or small towns. Theres a place for you, people will love you, you will make it out.” says McEnany.


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