Being Jean
your online collection of news & photos on Jean Smart
High Society
Character: Elinore 'Ellie' Walker
Created by: Robert Horn, Daniel Margosis
Directed by: Iris Dugow
Written by: Robert Horn, Daniel Margosis, Lisa Albert, Marc Flanagan, Pat Dougherty
Produced by: Daniel Margosis, Joe Voci, Marc Flanagan, Robert Horn
Other cast: Mary McDonnell, Dan O'Donahue, Luigi Amodeo, David Rasche, Jayne Meadows, Faith Prince
Episodes: Appeared in all episodes
Original airdate: October 30, 1995
Genre: Comedy
Running time: 30min

Dott Emerson is a divorced mother who owns a successful publishing house, for which her best friend, Ellie, writes best-selling romance novels. Val enters the picture as Dot and Ellie's old girlfriend from college who is pregnant and leaving her husband, much to the dismay of Ellie, who wants nothing to do with her. Against Ellie's wishes, Dot lets Val move in with her.


→ They’re the best friends money can buy.
→ A comedy about two best friends who look like a million bucks… after taxes.

Character’s Quotes

Dot: I haven’t slept in days.
Ellie: I can top that. I haven’t slept WITH anyone in days. I feel miserable!

• See, I’m gonna get my name in the paper by creating a huge scene. As she walks down the runway, I’m gonna pelt Kate Moss with a jelly doughnut!

Val Blumberg: Second hand smoke is the most dangerous kind!
Ellie Walker: Well, stand closer!

• What kind of a friend would I be if I weren’t willing to sleep with your husband?

• Aren’t you afraid somebody’s gonna drop a house on you?

Ellie Walker: I may be cruel, vindictive, and sarcastic, but I do have a heart!
Dot Emerson: …and a portion of your liver!

Dot Emerson: Val really has a point.
Ellie Walker: And her hair covers it nicely!

Val Blumberg: Golly, this is fancy! I feel so out of place!
Ellie Walker: Don’t let the absence of a salad bar disorient you.

In Jean’s words…

♥ I think CBS, at the time, found it a bit much. A few years later, they kind of thought, ‘Oh gee, that might have worked really well. They said we are not doing (the British comedy ‘Absolutely Fabulous’) which I had never seen. But of course we were doing AbFab! It was great fun. I got to wear fabulous clothes, I got to lust after Mary McDonnell’s teenaged son and be a pill popping, drunken romance novelist. I felt that if it wasn’t over the top, it would be tasteless and not as funny. [From “My interview w/Jean Smart…” – Out in Hollywood]

♥ Well, I did an American version of Ab Fab, although at the time, I didn’t know I was doing an American version of Ab Fab. It was called High Society, with Mary McDonnell. I think we only did nine or 12 episodes or something. I got to play this alcoholic, pill-popping, fabulously dressed writer of trashy romance novels, and Mary was my best friend and my publisher who got her publishing company in her divorce. [Laughs.] It was just so much fun. And I lusted after her 17-year-old son. Now they would probably let us, but they were like, “Can we tone it down a little bit?” And we said, “It’s got to be a little bit over the top or it won’t be funny. It’ll just be tasteless.” And they wanted it to be more like Cybill. [From “Thanks to Legion, Jean Smart’s son thinks she’s cool again” – The A.V. Club]