Welcome to baby world!
The baby news comes as a surprise to Tali, and it derails her plans for the direction she wants to take as an influencer. But once Tali comes round to the idea of being pregnant, it is, indeed, a blessed event. Get ready for the shopping spree of a lifetime.
“Oh my gosh, where do I even start,” Julia laughs. “I know this from my own pregnancy, that you think you have to buy all this crazy stuff. You don’t need it, but you end up doing it anyway. But obviously Tali is the most extravagant person. Tali is so extra that she really does go for it. We’re talking all the baby gear, all the prams, all the accessories. She has a massive pregnancy pillow that travels with her throughout the season. She even gets a bigger car because, you know, now that you’re having a baby, don’t you need a bigger car? So that’s what Tali buys.”
“In terms of production and art department, there have been some really funny things that have come into the show. The bee-themed baby shower has been an extravaganza (Looking down at the set on the day, we can tell you to expect Tali in full-on Bee-yonce mode, crown and all). There are prosthetic bellies made of silicone, and realistic skin, it’s crazy.”
And if you’ve been even the tiniest bit adjacent to baby world, you’ll know that all comes with a steep price tag. “We have pulled so many favours for this production,” admits Julia. “But luckily because Tali S1 was a success, we were able to leverage off that and say that Tali is having a baby. We’ve done a lot of brand collaborations with Tali for real, and we’ve had so many major brands come onboard and let us borrow stuff. They’ve sponsored stuff, and we’ve had amazing fashion brands that have come on. It’s actually really worked out, because that’s what we’re doing in the show! She’s an influencer, she’s getting brand sponsorships, and it’s this kind of parallel world where we really are getting the brand onboard, so it’s worked out brilliantly. I could not be more grateful. There’s going to be a lot of stuff happening on social media that’s based on collabs with these brands.”
Tali’s big makeover
Furthermore, our glamorous Tali is getting an Earth Mother makeover. And it’s not just her. In Tali’s stop-at-nothing quest to conquer the world of Instagram mom influencers – the Momfluencers – she makes over her house, too. “Tali, who is very into material things, tries to do a few things to pivot into the Momfluencer world. She feels the Momfluencers represent a more wholesome, natural kind of world, so we do see Tali trying to infiltrate that world and try to become a little more wholesome, which is comedic to watch,” says Julia. “She transforms her look in one episode and her house in one other episode. She does a whole house makeover to try and fit into this crowd. She gets quite elaborate with it. She eliminates everything that she thinks would be frowned upon by the world of the Momfluencers, like the Nespresso coffee machine, because it’s single-use plastic. And she brings in a lot of plants, which isn’t in her character at all. She probably doesn’t do well with plants, poor old Tali. She changes the couches, which are her wedding couches, and the artwork. We had a lot of fun with the art department on that set change day,” reveals Julia.
And while Darren is, in Anton’s words, “resigned” to having his life and house turned upside down, Anton was in awe of what the art department achieved. “You know when something crazy happens in life you’re like, ‘Oh, well. Of course this is happening.’ Nothing surprises you anymore. That’s exactly like Darren,” says Anton. “But the art department, logistically, it was a triumph to have done it in the timeframe that they did. It deserves an award. I walked in there, and then later I went downstairs to the holding area and the house was transformed. I was like, ‘How did you do this in such a short period of time? It was like 2 hours! It was insane. It’s not like they moved a table. They properly redid the house. But as for the fact that Tali would do it? I was like (as Darren), ‘Of course she would,’” Anton shrugs.
The (sur)real world of moms
But Tali is right about one thing. There are people out there who will nitpick every single aspect of any photo you post online. Especially if you’re a mom. Baby world on Instagram, is “A Thing” (capital T). “We were drawing from social media, actual influencers and the trends that are happening on Instagram, especially in the world of the Momfluencers, actual people we all seem to follow in our everyday lives as moms,” says Julia. “They have a very curated look. It’s a lot of fun because we are making fun, and we are commenting on that world and how fake it is.”
This is motherhood portrayed as a sun-bleached fairyland. “Very desaturated colours,” describes Julia. “Very natural looking, with maybe some beautiful flowers and sunset. Perfectly photographed. It isn’t reality.” If you pull back the camera, Julia explains, “You’d actually see that there’s a professional photographer. The baby is crying. You’re quite uncomfortable in yourself and your body. It doesn’t look like that at all.”
“No one can prepare you for it (motherhood) until you go through it. What struck me was how underprepared I was, and how much harder it was than I thought it would be. And I think that it goes through a similar journey. It’s portrayed in media, social media and movies as quite glamorous. You’ll be pregnant and gorgeous and you’re a goddess, with the baby I really found it to be the opposite. We definitely drew on that as well.”
Naming the baby
With pregnancy come a host of fun and frivolous traditions, parties, celebrations and decisions, all of which we get to experience in an especially Tali sort of way. But with Tali being positively mulish about getting her way, we can expect an epic battle over possible baby names.
“Yes, absolutely. We have a lot of fun with all those things like naming the baby, the gender of the baby, finding the right doctor… we’ve drawn on all the key things that a first-time expectant couple would go through,” says Julia. Gender reveal party disasters are also a perfect fit for Tali’s world, and you can bet your baby booties that Julia went there. “Big time. We should say gender reveal gone wrong parties. There’s a bit of twist, it’s really fun. It’s an elaborate affair and it doesn’t go the way that Tali had planned.”
And with the name, Julia says, “There is a lot of discrepancy between what Darren wants and what Tali wants, and there’s a lot of comedy that comes out of that.”
Fans who saw Tali wipe her feet with Darren all through S1 will be surprised to see how much he holds his own this season when he needs to.
“In general, Darren is a bit more assertive this season. There’s one or 2 things that he and Tali debate about while planning for the child. I’m quite impressed when he says, ‘No, no, no, I don’t think this is a good idea,’ reveals Anton. “In terms of naming the child, Darren has certain parameters to what he will allow his child to be named after, that I was quite impressed with. Darren of S1 would not have any say. He’d maybe venture something and then get bulldozed over. The scriptwriters have given him more backbone. The most important thing for Darren this season is the child. And that brings him and Tali together. It supersedes anything else,” Anton explains.
“The relationship arc is slightly different this season,” agrees Julia. “The first season was a relationship story and this is less of that. It’s more about Tali coming to terms with being a mother and Darren being very much in support of that. There’s less of a relationship struggle. There’s still the fun dynamic between poor old Darren and Tali, who just says it how it is and gets exactly what she wants, and will go to any lengths to do so. I do think that Darren is in support of whatever Tali wants because his main goal, especially this season is, to just be a supportive husband and dad. He’s just so excited about becoming a dad. He’s the positive force that keeps her and the audience going throughout the season.”
Anton adds, “Darren is in a good space. Business is going well and he’s ready for the next chapter in his life. Darren’s been married to Tali for 2 years in this season, so he’s quite used to her. He’s at peace with whatever it is that she does. Darren just wants to be the best dad ever. He tries his best to be a good guy, the nicest guy, and he wants his business to do well but he’s quite ethical and he doesn’t want to lie. He’s just enthusiastic about being a dad, and that aspect of him is similar to me because I am enthusiastic about things in life.