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Jill Kargman ’95 writes herself onto the screen

Yale meant a lot to Jill Kargman ’95, but she finds the current obsession of Upper East Side parents with college to be “a little psycho.” Her new TV show satirizes the city’s wealthy and pretentious moms she first described in her 2007 novel Momzillas. “People are really, really competitive and overprogramming their kids at a very young age,” says Kargman, “and they don’t have time even to get in trouble or daydream or do other things that may help them to be a full person instead of a résumé.” She wrote, produced, and stars in Odd Mom Out, which premieres tonight at 10 PM EDT as the first scripted comedy on Bravo.

Kargman plays Jill Weber, a quirky, stressed-out, semi-outsider mother of three who feels alone amid the “mom brigades walking four strollers abreast.” Although mockery of New York’s elite can be seen in reality shows like Bravo’s Real Housewives, Kargman says Odd Mom Out is unique in “the way that it’s executed and the set and the cast’s chemistry, [which] is just a really fun ride. It’s not meant to be a social commentary or an ethnographic study of the Upper East Side. It’s really just meant to make people laugh,” she says.

Writing is nothing new for Kargman: she has written novels for all ages, numerous magazine articles, and a book of essays called Sometimes I Feel Like a Nut. Now, at age 40, she's returning to acting, a craft she pursued in theater productions at Yale. (References to her alma mater, like a Duke’s Men T-shirt, pop up in the first season of Odd Mom Out.)

Two years in the making, Odd Mom Out “just clawed its way out of me, and it was really freeing and fun,” Kargman says. Jill Weber is a version of herself from 12 years ago, she says. As a new mom, she was surprised to find how ambitious and competitive the moms around her were, beginning when their children were very young.

Kargman concedes that viewers and critics from other parts of the country might not recognize such Manhattan travails as the kindergarten application process. “Just because it’s foreign doesn’t mean it’s unrelatable,” she says. “Most people would give anything for their kids.”


The Yale Alumni Magazine is published by Yale Alumni Publications Inc., an alumni-based nonprofit that is not run by Yale University. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration.







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