The Neighborhood will use its platform to normalize open discussion of a common grief, as the Johnsons contend with a devastating loss.
TVLine can exclusively reveal that Beth Behrs’ Gemma will suffer a miscarriage in the Oct. 11 episode. In turn, Gemma and her husband Dave (Max Greenfield) will rely on Calvin (Cedric the Entertainer) and Tina (Tichina Arnold) for emotional support.
The episode was written by executive producer Meg DeLoatch, who took over as showrunner ahead of Season 4. In a statement to TVLine, DeLoatch shares that the story in part reflects her own experience with pregnancy loss, and reveals why she felt it was an important topic to address, particularly on a multi-camera sitcom:
“As a person who’s experienced miscarrying a child, I know firsthand the profound sadness that accompanies such a loss and how it’s compounded by the feeling that it should be a private grief that you don’t talk about. Having such a joyous couple as Dave and Gemma experience such a painful tragedy, illustrates that unfortunately it can happen to anyone, that it’s normal to grieve and with the loving support of Calvin and Tina, it’s important to talk about it. Also, by dealing with it on a multi-cam comedy, it makes it an ordinary human condition, worthy of attention, discussion and normalization.”
In a previous interview with TVLine, DeLoatch expressed her desire to go “deeper” in Season 4. The Sept. 20 premiere, for instance, delved into America’s racist past, while the following episode dealt with veterans and substance abuse.
“It’s an honest show that really reflects, in a lot of ways, our country, and we have an opportunity to address a lot of things that are going on,” she said. “While it is wonderful to do fun episodes and tell a lot of great jokes, it’s also great to be able to tell some meaty stories, as well.”
The miscarriage storyline will unfold in Episode 4, “Welcome to the Porch Pirate,” airing Monday, Oct. 11, at 8/7c on CBS (and streaming on Paramount+).