If you tuned into the 2018 Emmy Awards, then you probably caught NBC promoting its new Amy Poehler show I Feel Bad. It genuinely looks like a fresh take on motherhood from Poehler, whose book Yes, Please covers parenting a bunch (and hilariously), so longtime fans of the SNL alum may be wondering: when does I Feel Bad premiere? The good news is that it's slated for this fall. I Feel Bad officially premieres on October 4 and will stay in the Thursday time slot typical for NBC comedies. But you can catch a sneak peek of the first two episodes during a special preview airing on Wednesday, September 19 before the show moves into its Thursday night slot.
While Poehler is at the helm of the project as an executive producer, she doesn't actually star on the show. Rather, Sarayu Blue, a veteran of sitcom one-offs, plays the lead character Emet. According to an NBC synopsis of the show:
Emet is the perfect mom, boss, wife, friend and daughter. OK, she’s not perfect. In fact, she’s just figuring it out like the rest of us. Sure, she feels bad when she has a sexy dream about someone other than her husband, or when she pretends not to know her kids when they misbehave in public, or when she uses her staff to help solve personal problems. But that’s OK, right? Nobody can have it all and do it perfectly. From executive producer Amy Poehler comes a modern comedy about being perfectly OK with being imperfect.
As Poehler described the show during one Emmys promo, it's about a mom trying to figure out why she feels bad all the time. And from the looks of the trailer, we can discern that the reason why is a lot of the usual: anxieties about aging, anxieties about turning into her mom, and anxieties about her young daughter joining a suspiciously, uh, mature school dance team. Plus, there's a familiar smattering of working mom guilt (Emet works as a video game designer in a male-dominated office) and intergenerational meddling, thanks to her parents who take care of her kids while she works. Playing Emet's husband David is Paul Adelstein, a two-time Shonda Rhimes alum best known for his roles on Scandal, Private Practice, Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce, and Prison Break.
And to hear series creator Aseem Batra talk about it, it sounds like the show actually has the potential to bring some meaningful diversity to network primetime. She said in an interview with Deadline, "It wasn’t checking off boxes or mandates, but I finally brought in voices that aren’t always heard, to create an opportunity to make something fresh, from age to sexuality to ethnicity."
Although Poehler has spent most of her time behind the camera since her award-winning turn as Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation, it's not totally unheard of for people in her position to sneak in a cameo appearance or two. (See: Tina Fey's two recurring characters on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.) So all hope isn't lost for fans who really want another Poehler character in their lives.