Maybe it's because she didn't get a Golden Globe nomination this season. Maybe it's because her once-hot CBS series, Joan of Arcadia, is attracting just 8.4 million viewers each week — down from an average of 10 million last season.
Whatever the reason, Amber Tamblyn is clearly unhappy. In a candid interview, the 21-year-old actress talked about her complaints with the direction the show is taking. "Joan is digressing," Tamblyn says of her character, an average — if slightly flaky — teenager who has conversations with the Almighty (in the form of a variety of everyday people).
"Joan is backtracking. Joan is more confused. She learns something in [one] episode, but then she seems to redo [her mistakes] in another, so she never seems to learn anything. I'm not really sure where the growth is."
More than that, "Joan's life is tough," Tamblyn insists. "Her reactions are not as hard as they should be. I want to see her more challenged. The producers know how I feel."
Indeed they do. In December Tamblyn met with producers to push them to take the show in a darker direction. "The reality is that we are a family show and we have been getting a lot of critical praise this season, even though the numbers have wavered," executive producer Stephen Nathan says. Nathan is also quick to point out that "creative differences between producers and actors on a series is the norm, and we think Amber is a phenomenal talent."
CBS declined to comment on Tamblyn's complaints. But if they won't talk to us, they'd better talk to their Emmy-nominated star. "I like to be challenged," Tamblyn says. "If I am not challenged, I get bored. I am here today and I could be gone tomorrow. That could be my choice."