Monday, June 17, 2024
Culture

Grand Crew’s Grasie Mercedes’ Fay and Aaron Jennings’ Anthony… Lovers or Friends?

Grasie Mercedes as Fay and Aaron Jennings as Anthony

Grand Crew” season two is here, and it is funnier than season one within just the first few episodes! As anticipated, the first episode continues to explore Noah’s (Echo Kellum) relationship with Simone (Ashleigh Morghan) while the others continue to navigate love and life. Grand Crew is something we all can connect with, responsible(?) adulting while having friends to help us along the way.  

One of the cliffhangers from last season that all the viewers have been discussing over Twitter was the relationship status of Fay (played by Grasie Mercedes) and Anthony (played by Aaron Jennings). Will they be lovers or remain friends? Queue up Usher’s “Lovers and Friends.” We won’t know until it’s revealed. While we wait for the story to unfold, Taji Mag interviewed Mercedes and Jennings about their characters, the best relationship advice they’ve gotten, and more. 

Auria (for Taji Mag): What was your reaction to the show getting greenlit?

Grasie Mercedes: I was ecstatic! To be able to do it again, I mean, as an actor, it’s a miracle to even get on a show in the 1st place. And then to get the show picked up from pilot to 1st season, from 1st season to 2nd season, you’re just grateful for each time that you get to do the job.

Aaron Jennings: Yeah, I’m just so happy we got to run it back. I love all of my castmates and all the crew as well; so to get to go to work and have fun with people that you love on a SHOW that you love feels very important for the world to have right now. I was definitely just ecstatic and felt very blessed. 

GRAND CREW — Season: 2 — Pictured: Grasie Mercedes as Fay — (Photo by: Jabari Jacobs/NBC)

Auria: Let’s dive a bit into the story of the show. Why do you think it’s so hard for your characters (Fay & Anthony) to be honest about their feelings? (They briefly argue over who will answer 1st to which Gracie says, “this is part of the problem lol”)

GM: I think it’s just real life, ya know? Sometimes it’s hard to be vulnerable, say how you feel, and admit how you feel. And then I think there’s an extra layer of, like, when you have a friend that you have feelings for, if you go for that, what happens if it doesn’t work out. Then you’re risking that friendship. And so, I think they’re both kind of in their heads about what this is, what this could be, and I think for Fay, she’s a little nervous [about] even getting involved, especially after the last episode where Anthony tells her that he and Talia broke up because of her. She doesn’t want that, she doesn’t want that life.

Auria: I’m glad that you mentioned the friendship aspect because that leads me to my next question. In your opinion, can two people return to being friends after dating?

AJ: I mean, I think they can. It just presents its own problems, right? I’ll say in the past I’ve dated one friend in particular and afterward we were still the best of friends. That’s not always the case, it takes two very mature people to be able to navigate that, but it’s possible. It’s definitely not easy, but it’s possible. Grasie, what sat you?

GM: I meeeean, I don’t know, I think it’s possible to stay friendly. I don’t know if it’s possible to stay friends like you were beforehand because I do think things can get complicated. But maybe I can be proven wrong, I don’t know. I think it depends on the people. 

Auria: Thank you for that. Season 2 I was even funnier than season 1! What do you think is the key to the show’s success?

GM: We have an incredible writer’s room led by Phil Augusta Jackson (that’s the creator), and there’s just really really funny people who are great story tellers. I think THAT on top of the cast (we have really funny people in our cast), it’s all kind of gelled together to be even better this season.

AJ: I think the more time you have together within a show, you hope that over time the synergy just starts to really form. And I think that’s what’s happened with our show in particular. You just get more stabs at it, more times at bat. And it really helps you start to find your groove. I think we’re in a nice rhythm right now and have hit a nice stride.

Auria: How was shooting season 2 different from the first?

AJ: It went by so quickly. It went by so fast. It was still a lot of fun, a lot of laughs, even more laughs if you could believe it, but it just shot by. I feel like the 1st season…it felt a lot longer, and not that we weren’t having fun, it just felt longer…this season just blew by. I blinked and it was gone. I wish we had more opportunity to work together, so hopefully, we get a season 3 and we’ll [be able to] do that.

GRAND CREW — “Pilot” — Pictured: Aaron Jennings as Anthony — (Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC)

Auria: I also hope you get a season 3! We’re going to get just a little bit personal right now. There are a lot of relationship things happening in this series. What is the best dating advice you’ve ever received? I’d love for both of you to answer this, so whoever wants to go first, jump in.

GM: I’m dating right now, and I will say I’ve gotten good advice from Aaron who is in a nice long-term committed relationship. But specifically, to me, he’s like “relax”. He’s always telling me to relax. And I think part of me wants to be like “f*ck you, Aaron” and then part of me is like “no, you’re right”. I think I was in a relationship for so long (I was in a relationship for 14 years and I’ve only been single for the last two years), that dating sometimes feels very anxiety ridden. You don’t know what people are thinking, and “how does this work”, and I think it really is kind of important to sit back, take a breather, and relax, take it day by day, don’t take everything so damn personally. We all have our lives, we all have a lot going on. But it’s definitely tricky dating, especially in this age when everyone’s on their phone 24/7 and people are on apps and social media. So yeah, that’s good advice I got recently.

AJ: You’re welcome, Grasie lol. I think communication is key. It’s important to just really let the other party know where you’re coming from at all times. I think when I was dating, as a man, it’s like you hear from a lot of women that they just wish that guys would be more transparent as opposed to leading them on, so to speak. I always try to be as transparent as I possibly could. With that being said though, I think grace is important, too. I think that’s important in all relationships. That sort of lends to what I was saying to Grasie. It’s like we sometimes jump to conclusions about things and maybe you should just try to give that person a little bit of grace because it may not be what you think it is. So, patience and grace, I think, will get you far.

Auria: Alright, patience and grace, I like that very much. I Want to thank you guys again for your time and, just like you said, I’m looking forward to a season 3.

AJ: From your words to God’s ears, thank you. 

With the talent of Phil August Jackson, his team, and the stars of the show, it seems Grand Crew has found its footing as a standout sitcom. My hope is that this show will become one of this generation’s best Black sitcoms. So far it’s on the right track! From the improved dialogue to the flourishing chemistry of the cast, Grand Crew looks to have the potential to be greenlit for a season 3 and beyond. As Anthony said, from our words to God’s ears!

Watch Grand Crew season 2 on NBC Fridays at 8:30 pm. Stream past episodes on Peacock.

Dapper Dr Feel

Felipe Patterson aka Dapper Dr. Feel, #BlackLoveConvo & Entertainment | @fdapperdr Dapper Dr. Feel is a Entertainment journalist and member of the Critics Choice Association and African American Film Association.

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