Warning: The following contains spoilers about the first half of Last Man Standing‘s Season 8 premiere. Do not proceed until you have watched Episode 1.
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In Thursday’s Last Man Standing premiere, Kristin tells the family that she and Ryan are expecting their second child — but a subsequent conversation with Mandy reveals that this isn’t the first time that she’s been pregnant since she had Boyd.
During a heart-to-heart with Mandy, Kristin mentions that she was pregnant just a couple of years ago. “And then you weren’t,” Mandy says.
“It’s OK,” Kristin answers. “It was really early in the pregnancy. Miscarriages happen sometimes.”
Nailing the tone of this particular moment was important to all those involved, including executive producer Kevin Abbott, who wrote the Season 8 opener, and series star Molly McCook, who plays Mandy.
“When you’re doing a comedy, you approach these things carefully,” Abbott tells TVLine. “We want to be real and grounded, but we don’t want it to be maudlin or preachy in any way.” Adds McCook, “Because it was such an important topic to put out there, we wanted to make sure… that people would receive it the way that we meant it to be [received].”
For Abbott, it was crucial that he spoke to Amanda Fuller, who plays Kristin, ahead of time, “because I wanted to be sensitive to the actress,” who was pregnant in real life. “She wanted to keep it real, but not be pitying or anything,” he recalls. “She kind of hits it, gives it a little bit of an emotional weight, then says that it’s OK… We tried it a number of different ways during rehearsals to try and get that balance.”
McCook also felt it was essential for her and Fuller to have input in how the exchange played out. “We’re the ones saying these words, and we’re the ones that know these characters extremely well,” she says. “By the time we got in front of the audience, we were all on the same page.
“It’s such a sensitive subject,” McCook adds. “It’s so important for people [who have gone through this] to feel like they’re not alone.”
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