Topher Grace, who plays a struggling writer in ABC’s ‘Home Economics,’ on the weirdness of discussing money


Talking about money with family and friends can be awkward.

That’s the premise of ABC’s new sitcom, “Home Economics,” which premiered Wednesday and stars Topher Grace, who’s returning to broadcast TV for the first time since “That ’70s Show.”

“There’s nothing that comes between friends like money,” Grace, 42, told the Daily News. “We put the onus on family and togetherness and the things that matter that money can’t buy.”

The show revolves around three siblings: Tom (Grace), the middle sibling and a middle-class author; Sarah (Caitlin McGee), the oldest and a currently unemployed child therapist; and Connor (Jimmy Tatro), the youngest and richest sibling whose gig with a private equity firm pays enough for him to buy Matt Damon’s house.

And there are three dilemmas. Tom’s last book barely sold and he has newborn twins to feed. Sarah lost her job and her wife’s teacher salary doesn’t cover the bills for their family of four. And Connor has more money than he knows what to do with but no idea how to parent his tween daughter.

Tom, out of money and time, ends up turning to Connor for financial help, making messy family relationships even messier.

Beyond the money issues, “Home Economics” is a sweet family show, set post-pandemic and reuniting three siblings who, for all their faults, would do anything for each other.

“This is a family that so many people can relate to,” McGee, who plays Sarah, told The News.

McGee, whose character lives in a cramped apartment with her wife (“Saturday Night Live” alum Sasheer Zamata) and their children, said “Home Economics” is about embracing differences, even within families, rather than hiding them.

Sarah is woke, to the point that she tries to cancel her wife for watching reality shows about dream weddings to boycott the patriarchy. She’s also gay, a fact that her siblings took in stride but that her parents still struggle with.

“It means so much to me to be playing this couple on television,” the 33-year-old actress said. “There are a lot of people who are just not exposed to gay couples in their day-to-day life but will be now on broadcast TV. We’re telling them, ‘our love is the same as your love.’ We’re normalizing that.”

Karla Souza, the Mexican actress who plays Tom’s wife, said she relishes in the lack of a filter from her character, Marina.

“She doesn’t really have the same ego about asking for the loan (from Connor),” Souza, 35, said. “She just says it as it is, she doesn’t hold anything back. She’s the outsider looking in, which gives her a lot of comedy.”

Marina, who Souza jokes wants “a glass of wine for every diaper she changes,” cares less about the social niceties than Tom, mostly because she’s too exhausted to dance around brutal honesty. She urges her husband to just ask his brother for the loan, and tell his family he’s writing a book about them.

Tom is indeed writing a book about his siblings, as if asking your baby brother for money isn’t bad enough.

Based on co-creator Michael Colton’s own life, “Home Economics” leans into the awkwardness, of family, of money, of life.

“We were in quarantine and I, like everyone else on the planet, was really craving family and connection and togetherness,” Grace said of his decision to return to broadcast TV. “They all have conflict but there’s this wonderful joy to this family.”

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