Catherine Reitman on Kate’s Identity Crisis in Workin’ Moms Season 2

Workin’ Moms returns tonight with its Season 2 premiere on CBC. I had the chance to sit down with Catherine Reitman and talk about what’s in store this season, especially for Kate.

I’ve seen the first few episodes, and I get a sense that our core characters are trying to reconnect with who they really are and reclaim their sense of identity.

In Season 1, we really ventured into the identity crisis of returning to work. In Season 2, it’s now you’re back at work, let’s go deeper into that relationship. Let’s see what happens when push comes to shove. In the prequel episode [that aired on December 19th], we tried to set up some kernels that our main characters are going to be dealing with throughout the season. So I think there’s a lot of fun to be had for the audience.

Kate operates in some interesting ways from time to time. She doesn’t always keep the people closest to her in the loop on what she’s doing. How does this affect her relationship with her husband and those close to her?

One of Kate’s many flaws is that she feels in order to have it all, she has to be able to control everything. Sometimes she feels there are certain facts other people can’t handle. Not to say it’s a blanket female quality, but I think often as females we have to multitask and figure out what information should go to who. We left Kate in Season 1 feeling guilt and great regret that she had left her son and lied to her husband. She’s learned some lessons but not all of them. In Season 2, we see how deep into hot water she can get, and also see her desperately trying to find out who she is.

There’s also a sense of wanting to protect people. They don’t want to get hopes up prematurely in case something doesn’t work out. It’s a way of protecting their loved ones, and they do it from a place of goodness and not from a place of being deceptive.

Absolutely. It’s from a place of goodness and also a place of just trying to protect themselves. When you’re younger, you say everything on your mind, and it often gets in your way. Being poised, figuring it out as you go, and trying to listen more is a quality that women and men learn more and more as they grow older.

From the episodes I’ve seen so far, I thought it was an interesting choice to explore Ian’s story further. Up until now, the story focused on the female point of view. Why is it important to also show Ian navigating fatherhood?

Being a working father is equally as complicated as being a working mother. There are different expectations, but exploring what it is to be a working father is just as interesting to me, [and] showing it through our lens was something that was interesting. We cast Dennis Andres as Ian, and he did this fantastic job. [We heard] all this feedback, and the beauty of getting a second season is you get to go, “OK, people loved this character. People really responded to his portrayal of it. Let’s go deeper into that. Let’s explore it.”

We always knew that Jenny and Ian were going to break up, but what would happen if we shifted the focus to Ian? How would the audience respond to that? And it was a natural thing. The CBC got on board, and before you knew it we were off to the races. It opened up all these great storylines for us that we didn’t even think about [before].

I really love how you’re looking at the point that Kate is at in her career. She was an authority and the go-to person for so long, and now she has some serious competition at work. Kate is trying to figure out how to navigate those waters where she’s being replaced by a younger version, and deciding what the next phase of her career should by.

I think most people — male and female — can identify with that. As we get older, we’re being replaced by younger, sexier, newer versions of ourselves. And it’s really intimidating, especially when you are incredibly experienced, and you know what you’re doing. You add having a baby to that and it’s easy to feel like you’re a has-been. Not only is that really great soil to tell a story, but it’s hilarious. Being able to tell that story through someone like Kate who is competent to a flaw was a really fun experience.

She’s noticeably rattled in Season 2.

Yeah, and it’s something that the cast and I laughed about. In Season 1, Juno [Rinaldi] and I were always laughing. Frankie was always taking things so hard in Season 1, and Kate kind of soars. We flip that in Season 2. It’s going to be really cool to see Frankie having some serious wins and Kate having to lick her wounds.

Photo Courtesy of CBC

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