On Scrubs, it took more than seven seasons for Sarah Chalke's character, Elliot, to finally get the guy. On her newest series, Mad Love, it only takes one episode.
"I love that Kate is kind of a hopeless romantic," Chalke told reporters last week. "She seems like such an eternal optimist. She meets Ben and it's love at first sight."
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Mad Love, which was created by former Scrubs writer Matt Tarses, follows new couple Kate (Chalke) and Ben (Jason Biggs) as they take on the many obstacles of blossoming love: the first vacation, the first "I love you," and everything in between.
"[Matt] has a bit of a love/hate relationship with romantic comedies," Chalke said. "He wanted to have two people that fall in love right away and it isn't really the will-they-or-won't-they situation. They're just put together, right at the beginning, and then, from there, discover the bumps in the road.
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"The stakes are so high," she continued, "because they like each other so much and they want it to be great so badly, and then the reality is that there are going to be issues that come up."
Behind the scenes, the stakes are also high for Chalke. Since Scrubs officially ended its run last year (Chalke only appeared in a handful of episodes during the last season), she said she was faced with a tough decision about what to do next.
"When it was this project with Matt, who I've known for 10 years ... it seemed like such a great fit," she said. "I love working with Matt Tarses because he's so funny and smart, and brings so much heart into his writing. That's what makes me connect to characters when I'm watching them."
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One of the biggest changes for Chalke since her last regular gig was the birth of her son, Charlie, in December 2009. "I also have a little guy now who's 1, and it's neat because he can come and visit. We've got a little nursery set up at work," Chalke said. "I wouldn't have jumped into something if I didn't think it was the right fit."
But after working on another series for nine years, is Chalke ready to commit to another long run? Sounds like it. "I love the environment of doing a series where you really get to know everybody so well," she said. "You get to do a character for a long period of time and find out something new about them and really dig deeper."
Mad Love premieres Monday at 8:30/7:30c on CBS.