Frontier tween Tilly Mulch’s life on the untamed prairie is a constant adventure. From helping her God-fearing Ma and her poor sick Pa on the farm, to scheming with her frontier friends Billy and Nell, Tilly hardly has a moment to work on her life’s passion: her writing. Will Tilly win the poetry contest and get to travel to the city to see all the two-story buildings? Will Pa’s case of the shrivels do him in? Will Nell finally earn her Knot Hero badge from the Frontiersman Club? Find out this season on Frontier Tween!
“Tilly” (Maria Bamford): A twelve-year-old prairie girl with a head full of ideas and a healthy dose of tween angst, Tilly loves her life on the family farm but dreams of one day winning the big city newspaper poetry contest. Usually off on an adventure with her stoic best friend Nell, heeding orders from her ultra-religious Ma, or preventing the impossibly small barn boy Billy from joining the war, Tilly rarely has time to herself. But when she does find a spare moment, she spends it writing down her folksy poetic thoughts (“I feel as lonesome as a scarecrow on Christmas morning”) in hopes it will one day earn her a trip to the city where she can finally see a two story building with her own eyes.
“Pa” (Conan O’Brien): Once a strong, capable frontier man, things have been tough ever since Pa got sick with a terrible, difficult-to-define disease. Pa has exhibited every symptom in the book, from pus-filled lesions to cold urine to an escaping stomach (“Git back here, tummy!”), but his pioneer spirit and jamming out with Billy and Pastor always gets him through it.
“Billy” (Kerri Kenney): A nine-year old wayward boy no bigger than a pussy willow, Billy came to live with Tilly’s family after running away from home in an attempt to join the war. His tiny stature is constantly betraying him while he tries to complete feats of strength to get battle ready and impress Tilly—he assumes they’ll be married one day, but as Tilly always says, “Poor Billy doesn’t know he’ll be long dead before he gets to marrying age.” Tilly humors Billy though, telling him that once he can carry a potato over the threshold, she’ll marry him.
“Ma” (Marold Swan): A strong frontier woman who never tires of honest work or childbearing, Ma doesn’t have the time or patience to deal with a creative child like Tilly. Mostly, though, Ma tries to keep the perpetually ailing Pa alive. When she’s not milking a cow with one hand and thumbing through her bible with the other, she’s administering medicine to Pa or turning him from side to side so his bed sores don’t burst.
“Pastor” (Tim Baltz): A devout young man of God, Pastor is always coming over to Tilly’s house to give Pa his last rites. He often shows up unannounced to mooch for free food (“Spreading the word of God has left me mighty hungry”) but does pitch in around the farm—he helps Tilly mediate disputes between the cows, pulls the neighbor boy Billy out of the gutters when he gets wedged in there, and shoots any rabid dogs hanging around the property.
“Nell” (Jen Jackson): A dull but industrious neighbor girl who uses logic to answer every question, even matters of the heart, Nell is always off inventing something useful for her friends and especially for Pastor. When she’s not helping her friends out of predicaments, Nell is usually tending the farm for Ma or working on earning her badges for Frontiersmen Club.
Also starring Tim Meadows, Fortune Feimster and James Adomian.
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