Minnie Driver, Benjamin Stockham, David Walton
Will they or won't they? It's an age-old question that has become synonymous with equally lovable and frustrating TV duos like David and Maddie, Sam and Diane, and Ross and Rachel. Will About a Boy's Will and Fiona soon join the ranks?
"Everybody I talk to just on the street ... is like, 'When are you getting together? I'm like, 'Sorry, dude," star David Walton told reporters at a recent screening. "It doesn't seem right at the moment. Maybe Season 5. Who knows?"
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On the surface, the two lead characters of NBC's new comedy hit, which airs Tuesdays at 9/8c, seem to have all the ingredients for a potential opposites-attract romantic relationship. Laidback, lonely and slightly cynical male who intends to spend his entire life alone meets high-strung, eternally optimistic female whose life seems to be completely defined by her deep attachment to her 11-year-old son. Man falls in love with boy, then man falls in love with female and the rest is history?
However, instead of going the normal sitcom route and forcing these two to find common ground, so far Will and Fiona (Minnie Driver) have agreed to disagree on subjects ranging from her son Marcus' changing feelings towards the opposite sex to his changing (read: now meat-friendly) diet in hopes of giving Marcus (Benjamin Stockham) room to make his own educated choices. "They are so different and their world views are so different and their thoughts on how to raise Marcus are so at odds that there's such a long way to go before there would ever be anything romantic, which I like," Walton said. "I don't think they would ever work or be good for each other. The will-they-or-won't-they thing may be in there, but I think what's going to be cool about it is it will be this weird family forming."
Executive producer Jason Katims says that the questions surrounding a potential love match between Will and Fiona have taken him by surprise. "I think the idea, though, that the rest of the world watching around them sees something that they don't see in each other is really interesting," Katims said. "It gives you the potential to tell the story very slowly if this were a love story between these two people, and I don't really think of it that way. I'm not saying that it is, but if it were, what's great about it is because they're starting in such a place where they're so not in the frame of mind that the other one would ever be anybody that they'd be interested in."
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Instead, Will and Fiona will each find new romantic interests that catch their respective eyes. In Tuesday's episode, Fiona goes on her first date in years with her plumber (Will Sasso) at the urging of both Will and her new friend, Dakota (Leslie Bibb). Next week's episode will introduce Friday Night Lights alum Adrianne Palicki as Sam, a woman whom Will falls for surprisingly fast and surprisingly hard. "She's a doctor who sort of rocks his world, and suddenly Will finds himself chasing her which is an experience he's kind of never had before," said Katims, who added that Palicki is "in a lot of the episodes actually from here through the end of the season."
Further downplaying the Will-Fiona theory will be her complete lack of jealousy about his blossoming relationship with Sam. "She has no problem with it whatsoever. I mean, as she says, 'His life is just one big sexual revolving door,' so it's nice that there is someone who's this really lovely girl. There's some good moments coming up where they sort of help each other out a little bit and there's some good conflict," Driver said. "There's a little bit of rubbing up the wrong way, which I think is really funny because Fiona doesn't have any romantic intentions towards Will."
Added Katims: "We didn't want to play into [the idea that] there's a jealously or that aspect of it because we felt like both Fiona and Sam would not really react that way to each other."
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Instead, Fiona will have her hands full with several men after her disastrous, but eye-opening, date. "It's the first time where she sort of a dipped a toe in the dating waters probably since Marcus' father," Katims said. "There's another episode where she winds up getting potentially romantically involved with one of Will's friends, which creates another complication."
Besides, apparently Marcus' father, played by Arrested Development's Tony Hale, will come back into the picture when he pops up in an episode later this season. "I'm not joking. He gets out of the car, and [Fiona] says to Will, 'He's like a Greek god, isn't he?'" Driver said with a laugh about the return of her character's ex. "She's just completely obsessed. They have whatever it is between them [that] other people can't see necessarily."
Indeed, the terms of their relationship, or former relationship, remain vague. "Every time he comes to visit, it's complicated," Katims teased. "I think it will be one of the funniest episodes we've ever done, but also one of the most emotional and moving episodes."
Looking down the road, Driver said she hopes that Will and Fiona's romantic future remains similarly ambiguous for as long as possible. "I think what people don't realize is what they're attracted to about that is the fact that there is that anticipation. Maybe we've lost that in this whole world of instant gratification. Everything is paid off right away," she said. "I think it's good to keep people guessing. It's good that people want it. And it's good that they don't get it."
This will not only keep fans on their toes, but help About a Boy stand apart from recent shows like Cougar Town, New Girl and Parks and Recreation that have paired their main characters together fairly early on. "There will be some original kind of will-they-or-won't-they angle that Jason will do," Walton said. "It won't be the clearly-they-love-each-other-and-they're-just-fighting-it, which you've seen is, which is obviously fun to watch, but I think this will be fun to watch in a different way."
About a Boy airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC. Do you think Will and Fiona should get together or no? Weigh in below!