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Sofia Black-D'Elia, Ally Sheedy find levity in 'Single Drunk Female'

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Sofia Black-D'Elia, Ally Sheedy find levity in 'Single Drunk Female'
Sofia Black-D'Elia stars in "Single Drunk Female." Photo courtesy of Freeform

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Sofia Black-D'elia and Ally Sheedy say their characters in Single Drunk Female, premiering Thursday on Freeform, try to find levity in their dramatic situation.

Black-D'Elia, 30, plays Samantha, a recovering alcoholic who has to move back in with her mother, Carol (Sheedy).

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"Sam is the kind of person who probably has a hard time taking a lot of things seriously," Black-D'Elia said on a recent Television Critics Association Zoom panel. "Within the AA world, there's also a lot of comedy."

Carol enjoys a glass of wine in the evening, and Samantha doesn't ask her to abstain for her sake. Sheedy, 59, said having her adult daughter move back home may increase the frequency of Carol's drinking.

"Sam coming home makes me want to drink more," Sheedy said. "I just got my house back to myself. I don't want to take care of anybody anymore. Here she is, and I think it does put me back on my heels."

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Carol criticizes Sam for losing her magazine job for drinking at work, and getting sentenced for a DUI. Sam said Single Drunk Female will explore the friction between mother and daughter, but she doesn't feel Sam inherited alcoholism from Carol.

"I don't think that Sam blames Carol for that," Black-D'Elia said. "I think she probably blames her for a lot of other stuff that is not Carol's fault."

Early in her career, Sheedy played struggling teenagers and young adults in movies like The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo's Fire. Now in the maternal role, Sheedy said she draws on her own maternal instincts and her mother's.

Sheedy has a son, 27-year-old Beckett, with husband David Lansbury. Her mother is literary agent Charlotte Sheedy.

"My mother shows up in Carol," Sheedy said. "There's no way to get around that. I show up in Carol as a mother that I am. I also know the kinds of places I've had to go being a mother and making a lot of mistakes."

Sam attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and gets a job at a supermarket to begin rebuilding her life and paying her debts. Black-D'Elia said Single Drunk Female always returns to Carol and Sam at home.

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"I love this relationship so much," Black-D'Elia said. "To me, it's the heart of the series. It's complicated and funny and weird and nuanced in a way that I think any girl with a mother can understand and relate to."

Single Drunk Female is the second comedy for Black-D'Elia after The Mick. Black-D'Elia's career predominantly consists of dramas like the soap All My Children, the teen dramas Skins and Gossip Girl, and cable series The Night Of and Your Honor.

Although Freeform bills Single Drunk Female as a comedy-drama, Black-D'Elia said the comedy is not "the funny version of sobriety." Black-D'Elia said Sam gradually puts her life back together and still finds humor in the process.

"She starts to rebuild her life, and it starts working for her," Black-D'Elia said. "I just played the truth and honesty in all of it. Sometimes it felt really sad and dark, and sometimes it felt really funny and weird and bizarre."

New episodes of Single Drunk Female air Thursdays at 10 p.m. EST on Freeform and stream on Hulu.

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