VH1’s Daytime Divas went out with a bang — several bangs, actually — on Monday night, cuing up a new set of obstacles for the ladies of The Lunch Hour to tackle in a potential second season.
Bang No. 1 was a literal bullet from Heather’s hot pink handgun, fired by Kibby at her former TV dad. Fortunately, no one was mortally wounded — save for Mo’s purse, which we’ll discuss later — allowing Kibby the freedom to expose Vance’s history of psychological abuse. As for Heather, her outspokenness about owning (and carrying) a gun nearly got her kids expelled from school, but Heather ended up winning the hipster parents over with a killer inner-beauty pageant. (Bonus points to Brad for showing up and supporting Ella. There may be hope for him yet!)
Bang No. 2 was more of a plot twist: It turns out that Shawn killed Ted in a drunken rage, at which point Maxine asked William to help her make it look like an accident. In order to protect the truth, Maxine claimed responsibility live on The Lunch Hour and left the set in handcuffs. The worst part? Her martyrdom might prove futile, as the episode ended with Shawn hearing the edited tape from the night of Ted’s murder. Womp, womp.
TVLINE | You left us on a hell of a cliffhanger, considering a second season isn’t confirmed.
CHESSLER | Yes, we wanted to end on a big cliffhanger! It’s a fun, soapy show, and we’re obviously hoping there will be another season. Otherwise, we’re stuck on the cliff!
TVLINE | Have you heard anything?
ALBERGHINI | It’s still being discussed. There are big fans of the show, so we’ll just hope for the best.
TVLINE | That’s the real cliffhanger.
ALBERGHINI | [Laughs] Indeed. We live it every day.
TVLINE | How do you think Maxine would fare in prison?
ALBERGHINI | Well, Maxine’s a very dominant and controlling presence. She’s also very resourceful, and I think it’d be interesting to see a woman like that in prison, where her resources and access and influences are limited — at least initially. It’d be fun to see what she could make out of that situation. Not that we’re basing her on this, but I’d love to see how Martha Stewart’s first few days were.
TVLINE | As for Shawn, I’m no lawyer, but if he ends up coming clean about the murder, won’t they both end up behind bars?
CHESSLER | Maxine is a master manipulator. She’s very well-connected, and she’s always finding ways to get the end result she wants. I think there’s definitely some legal peril for both of them, but I also think Maxine is probably one step ahead of everything.
ALBERGHINI | We’re all very interested in Shawn and Maxine’s relationship. I’m interested in showing the complexity of it. What other secrets do they have? What else has one covered up for the other? Mother-son relationships can be just as complicated as mother-daughter relationships, so we’d like to explore that more.
TVLINE | Nina, I feel, did a bit of a 180 in the finale, suddenly putting on her reporter hat to investigate Maxine’s past.
CHESSLER | In a way, Nina’s the woman on the panel who’s most like Maxine. She’ll gather as much as information as she can, and she’ll weaponize it when necessary. With her, we’d like to explore how ruthless she really wants to be. And how would that work with her goals, which are also genuine, in terms of her journalistic aspirations? She really did — and still does — want to be an esteemed investigative journalist exposing wrongs. At the same time, though, she’s using shady means to justify her ends.
ALBERGHINI | She’s an extremely sly character. From her point of view, she always believes she’s fighting the good fight, but I don’t think there’s a great deal of introspection there. I’ll say this: Never underestimate Nina.
TVLINE | Noted. Moving on, I can’t believe it took me this long to ask, but… did Mo’s purse survive the shooting?
ALBERGHINI | [Laughs] I think we have to wait until next season to find out.
CHESSLER | Maybe we’ll see it mounted on the wall as a game trophy. We know that’s what Don Jr. would have done — not to bring Trump into this.
TVLINE | Are Maxine and Mo actually “good” now?
ALBERGHINI | I would say they’ve reached a “friendly” détente. Each has gained a little more respect for the other. Each has been humbled by the other. And I think they feed off of each other. They improve their own game based on the other’s actions.
TVLINE | Now, for my favorite part of episode — the inner-beauty pageant — which was eerily timely.
CHESSLER | It’s very interesting that it’s airing after the events of last week, where transgender people were once again targeted for political gain…
ALBERGHINI | …based on fear and ignorance.
TVLINE | Why was this an important story for you to tell on this show?
CHESSLER | I think we just wanted to tell a story that was true and honest. This is something Wendy and Amy [Engelberg] put into the pilot script as something they wanted to explore. When an issue is personal, someone like Heather — who has all these religious and political beliefs about what should be — gets confronted with the reality of her own child, and we see how that shakes her to the core. We felt it was important to tackle it from all different sides of the argument. The episode where we had Janet Mock on was a fun one to do; working with her was phenomenal. And with the finale, it was fun going to that supposedly “progressive” school in Brooklyn … and have Heather be the one defending her daughter’s right to express herself in a way that we thought was really fun.
TVLINE | Absolutely. Now, for the final co-host: By covering up Kibby’s shooting, isn’t everyone sort of enabling her?
CHESSLER | The show must go on at all costs, but that’s actually an interesting perspective on it. You do have to ask: What’s the right thing to do? What should happen to Kibby? Again, it’s another thorny issue. She was psychologically abused by this man, and she’s been assimilating that, and now it’s coming out in combination with a history of substance abuse. It’s a perfect storm.
ALBERGHINI | It also came from her perceived inability to protect her sister, which is the ultimate lack of control.
CHESSLER | Ultimately, the reason people are prepared to forgive and cover up for her was that the straw that broke the camel’s back was the idea that her sister might be lured down the same path.
TVLINE | Last question, and this one’s really bugging me: Is anyone going to find out that Ramona’s been stealing from the set?
ALBERGHINI | No, we’re saving that for Season 2. [Laughs]
Your thoughts on Daytime Divas’ season ender? Hopes for Round 2, should VH1 grant it a renewal? Grade Monday’s episode below, then drop a comment with your full review.