The Light from the TV Shows: A Chat with Danny Masterston (“Men at Work”)

After 200 episodes of “That ’70s Show,” Danny Masterson would be well within his rights to stay away from sitcom work for the rest of his life, reasonably claiming, “I’ve done my time,” but to hear him talk about the experience of doing TBS’s “Men at Work,” which returns for its second season tomorrow night at 10pm, there’s no question that he’s doing something that makes him very happy, indeed. Bullz-Eye talked to Masterson in conjunction with the start of the show’s new season, and he chatted about how his character, Milo, has changed a bit, which guest stars he’s most enjoyed, and why he prefers sitcom gigs over hour-long dramas.

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Bullz-Eye: Just the fact that “Men at Work” has gotten a second season, period, has got to be pretty thrilling in and of itself, but how was it to go back to work for season two?

Danny Masterson: You know, it’s funny: we actually only took about six weeks off, so we didn’t feel like we had a whole summer hiatus. We just took six weeks, and then we kept going with the same director and same crew, so it just feels like a really long first season that we’ve shot. We just had a lot of excellent new guest stars, I guess.

BE: Yeah, the list is pretty impressive.

DM: Thanks! I think it’s sort of a benefit of having both Breckin (Meyer) and I both working since we were little kids. We’ve worked with a lot of people who are known actors, so it’s fun to sort of bring those friends in to work with you for a bit.

BE: When you guys came onto the series, how well-defined were the characters on the page versus what they became once they were actually cast?

DM: You know, I think they were pretty well defined. Breckin sort of based them off…well, he based my character, Milo, off himself. [Laughs.] And the three friends are based off of his three best friends. So pretty much everybody knew exactly who they were in the beginning. And then, obviously, as you’re going through the episodes, you sort of change your characters a little bit to make them suited towards you a little bit, just in terms of everyone’s own personalities. But I’d say 95% is exactly how Breckin wrote it to begin with.

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BE: Did the cast bond pretty quickly?

DM: Yeah, I’d say so. I’ve known James Lesure for…I dunno, maybe 10 years. I hadn’t met Adam (Busch) or (Michael) Cassidy before, but, y’know, right from the table read everyone was really excited to have a really cool job, so… I get along with everybody, and they’re all really great people. Three totally different personalities, but we’ve never had a single fight. I mean, it’s only been two years, obviously, so we’ll probably wrestle at some point. [Laughs.] But they’re really fun. Everyone’s really stoked to have a good job, we all enjoy it, and as long as the writing stays good – and the writing’s been really good – I think we’ll all stay really happy.

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The Light from the TV Shows: May? Oh, my!

You’d think there wouldn’t be much new to see on TV during the month of May, since most series have either hit their season finales or are on the verge of delivering them. Thinking that, however, would be very, very wrong. Here’s a round-up of the new shows that’ll be hitting the airwaves during the course of this month, along with info from their press releases and video previews wherever available. Keep that TiVo warm!

May 4

My Momma Throws Down (TV One) – An original food competition show where the only thing that matters in the end is taste. But, along with healthy portions of food, these contestants and their families will be serving up a serious side-order of attitude as family dynamics becomes as important as the competition itself.

This is an entertainment show first—and a dynamic cooking show second. At its core, it is a true celebration of the Matriarch of the Family, placing her passion, humor, down-home expertise, and reputation on the line for all of America to witness.

Goldfathers: Race for Gold (NGC) – Its a modern-day gold rush! The new series follows three gold-mining operations as they battle nature, machines and each other in a brutal race against time to get as much gold from the ground as possible before the icy cold of winter returns to shut them down.

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