Playing House‘s third season, which premiered this past weekend on USA Network, follows the usual hijinks of cohabitating best friends Emma (Jessica St. Clair) and Maggie (Lennon Parham) — with an added bit of heft: This new set of episodes also centers on Emma getting cancer and explores how she and Maggie deal with that.
In a recent interview with EW, above, the two stars — who also created the comedy — reveal how this story line is based on real life. St. Clair was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and was in radiation treatment when they began writing this season and decided to bring her real-life health struggles into it as a way to show how two women work through a terrible time.
“Also, I think we wanted to spotlight my great new boobs,” St. Clair, now cancer-free, adds.
“Generally speaking, cancer — not that funny of a thing,” Parham says. “When you hear about it, you don’t go, ‘Oh, hilarious!’ … But within that — comedy, tragedy, hand-in-hand. So there were incredibly funny things that happened within the true story of it.”
Aside from tackling “the big C,” as St. Clair dubs it, Playing House‘s third season also includes “a lot of scrapes.” “Everyone’s living a ‘hell yes life’ in this show,” St. Clair teases.
Watch the full interview above. Playing House airs Fridays at 11 p.m. ET on USA Network and also stars Zach Woods and Keegan-Michael Key.
–Additional reporting by Robyn Ross