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'Satisfaction' star Michelle DeShon comes clean about her music

With the season finale of Satisfaction only a week away, things are (finally) starting to get real. With last episode’s final-moment confession from Simon to Grace, this week’s episode promises to be a “penultimate, tense, emotional roller coaster,” according to USA. After Grace’s newfound knowledge that Neil has known about her infidelity all along, Simon’s sudden proclamation of his feelings, and Neil still trying to juggle his and everyone else’s balls of lies, we’d all better strap in extra tight. And as has been the case in several previous episodes, the drama will come to a head and be amplified by the use of music. “Come Clean,” an original song written by Anne Preven (“Listen”) will be performed by Anika and Mateo in the final act of episode 9 while the other players make heartbreaking decisions about their lives.

Since the first episode, creator/showrunner Sean Jablonski has used music as an additional storyteller, and has often used Truman daughter Anika (Michelle DeShon) as the troubadour. Over the past eight weeks, her performances have been some of the most honest parts of each episode. I recently had the pleasure of talking to Michelle not only about the show, but about her music and the “surreal” experiences she’s having on Satisfaction.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY COMMUNITY: Tell me about your musical and performing background. 

MICHELLE DESHON: I never thought I’d be doing anything musical. I grew up doing community theater and musicals and knew that if I wanted a good part, I’d have to know how to sing. Honestly, I was never a big singer. … I always had big insecurities, and then this part came along and I definitely did not expect to get it because of the whole guitar thing. I never considered myself a singer.

I hear that when you auditioned for the role, you borrowed a guitar?
[Laughs] Yeah, I actually auditioned like five times without a guitar and they kept asking me if I played, and I was like “No, I don’t.” For the network test they [told me], “We really want the character to play guitar, so could you bring one?” I borrowed a kid’s guitar from my neighbor who was 11 at the time but who had gotten the guitar when he was 8. … But they believed me! Just fake it ’till you make it!

Great motto! Let’s put it on a T-shirt! What is your favorite part of playing Anika Truman?
The music thing is really cool because it is so new to me. … It’s so amazing that I get to learn how to do all this stuff. That’s definitely one of the coolest parts, that there’s this added element that I never thought I’d get to do and I’m being handed the opportunity.

Anika’s songs have been used almost as another form of storytelling in the show, wouldn’t you say?
Sean talked to me about [it] even before I got the role. We had all these conversations about how he did want to use [the songs] as that, and kind of all the symbolism showing that [although] Anika doesn’t know what her parents are doing, her lyrics mirror what’s happening. We talked about how your kids—children—pick up on things, and as parents, your actions affect your kids whether they know it or not. … We really wanted to make each song about Anika and how it’s affected her in regards to her parents. I think it’s super-brilliant.

I think the lyrics of Anika’s songs reflect the fact that she’s going through the same types of things the adults in the show are, but at a much more innocent level.
I was so excited when they introduced Mateo because the show deals with relationships … because you get to see [Anika] experience it for the very first time, which is a different way to watch it.

I think a lot of viewers find the relationship (so far) between Anika and Mateo refreshingly honest compared to the other relationships on the show. Do you think that honesty is a reflection of their age and experience?
I think from the beginning—even without the romantic thing, with the friends at school—she’s not about compromising who you are, even if she’s unpopular. She gets so mad at Neil at the courthouse when he gives the speech that isn’t [a reflection of] who he truly is. I think it’s their age, but I think it’s that [Anika] is such a strong person and kind of ballsy and just says whatever she wants to say. There’s no filter. She’s just a very truthful person.

Tell me about the song you’ll sing on Thursday’s episode, “Come Clean.”
It’s really cool. I think this song, more than the others, mirrors what’s going on with everyone. I’m so excited to see this episode because it’s so intense and so much happens, and this idea of [to] just come clean—we can work on this—kind of applies to every storyline. … It’s the idea that these lyrics are in each character.

So this will be your first released single? How exciting! (“Come Clean” will be released on iTunes and Spotify during and after Thursday’s episode.)
It’s so surreal! I never in a million years thought I’d be doing anything like this!

Final question. You’re young and unmarried. Has the subject matter of this show scared you into a life of singleness?
[Laughs] Oh my gosh! Aww, no, no. That’s so sad! No, I think because of working on [the show] with Matt and Steph (Neil and Grace), we have these long conversations about what’s going on with them, and the bottom line is—hopefully you see it in the show—that they do love each other. Just because of poor choices, it’s spiraled into something, but they do love each other and there’s still hope for them. So no! I have hope for Neil and Grace and I’m optimistic.

Tune in to Satisfaction Thursday at 10/9C to find out if Michelle’s optimism is warranted, and if everyone finally does come clean.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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