Rolling Out

Nicole Byer and Echo Kellum discuss ‘Grand Crew,’ wine and being a Black show

‘Grand Crew’ is back for season 2 on NBC
Nicole Byer and Echo Kellum discuss 'Grand Crew,' wine and being a Black show
Photo courtesy of NBC

The super smart and hilarious sitcom “Grand Crew” written by Phil Augusta Jackson and Dan Goor is back for their second season on NBC. The Los Angeles based sitcom centers on a group of millennials finding love, happiness and fulfillment in their lives. This friend group meets at their favorite wine bar Cru to share their experiences. Rolling out recently spoke with Nicole Byer and Echo Kellum who play the siblings Nicky and Noah about the shows Black lens, the significance of wine and what we can expect in the second season.

The cast has amazing energy. Does the camaraderie extend off set?

Nicole Byer: Yeah, we all took a trip to New York together. We genuinely like each other. We went to parties, we went and saw Broadway shows. We often will go to the wine bar that we like going to after work.

Echo Kellum: The show is based on our actual friend group, so it’s not like we have to play so far from ourselves.

How similar are you to the characters you portray?

EK: I would say about 70 percent. I definitely am a person who loves love and covets partnerships. I’m more [a] hopeful romantic than [a] hopeless romantic.

NB: I would say it’s like 80 [percent] …. I do think she is very career oriented and is very much like go with the flow and carefree with love. If it comes it comes if it goes it goes. I‘m more like, please let it come, can I catch it, can I have it. Nicky is slightly more professional than me.

The show is unapologetically Black. What do you think is so different about this show that other shows that are similar?

EK: I think one of the interesting aspects about the show that we are trying to lean into is vulnerability and emotional depth. That’s part of what I love about Noah is that he is not afraid to run to his emotions or connect in that type of way.

NB: It is a Black show and it is unapologetically Black, but nobody says Friends is a White show or Seinfeld is a White show cause that’s the norm. I would love to get to a point where this is the norm.

What is the significance of the wine in the show.

EK: The wine is like an elevated foray into different tastes. Wine culture is starting to bleed over into lots of facets of the Black community. We get to showcase a lot of Black vineyards and Black winemakers and really start bringing that aspect to the culture.

What can people expect from the second season?

NB: The cliffhanger is gonna get wrapped up. I think the jokes hit harder. I think we’ve settled into the characters more. It’s more lived in. There is more chemistry.

EK: The writers got a chance to be in the same room this year so the jokes are really firing on all cylinders. People will like all the situational comedy aspects we put in and how we all bounce off each other in different episodes. I think there will be a lot of funny and a little bit of heart.

Watch “Grand Crew” Fridays at 8:30 p.m. EST onn NBC. It streams the following day on Peacock.

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