Thanks to Disney for sending me to Los Angeles to cover this fun event!
Brothers Chris and Shane Houghton had a charmed life in the country but both went to colleges in metropolitan cities. They wrapped their country childhood experiences up into city shenanigans and “Big City Greens” was born.
Introduction to the characters
Cricket Green is a scampy, rebellious, curious boy who is hungry for knowledge and new things. If a door says “do not enter”, he’s going in it.
Tilly Green is a little odd but very sweet. She marches to the beat of her own drum. She’s confidently quiet.
Gramma Alice is sweet and sour. She loves her grandkids and her son, but she’s feisty and won’t let anyone get away with anything.
Bill Green is a single father who is a bit overwhelmed. Farmers the Houghtons knew growing up always worried about things they can’t control, so Bill takes on a worrisome persona.
Remy is Cricket’s best friend. He is everything Cricket isn’t. Remy is wealthy, he lives in the city, is sheltered, used to a schedule, has no siblings, and loves coming to the Green house to spend time with the family.
Cricket likes to joyride the lawnmower often.
which comes from the brothers’ own childhood riding the family lawnmower from a young age. It’s part of their childhood that they snuck into the show as a bit of stress relief for Cricket.
Gramma Alice is a reflection of their own Grandma Alice.
Grandma Alice was feisty and sweet with hard exterior who was super gooey on the inside, just like this show’s Gramma Alice. In the first episode, “Space Chicken”, Gramma Alice catches Cricket & Remy stealing a pair of pantyhose where she pulls out her sword and makes them pay the ultimate price – Kisses.
Phoenix was their actual dog growing up.
Phoenix Houghton was a German Shepherd while Phoenix Green is a mangy red dog who drags his butt on the ground. Much like my purebred Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
The Kitty in the show is inspired by their cat, Lucy growing up.
Lucy lived to be 21 years old and was dear to the brothers. The cat in “Big City Greens” looks just like Lucy Cat.
They wanted the Green home to feel like a little country oasis in the big city.
They wanted there to be lots of animals in the yard, and to bring some of the mystique of country living into the big city in that way.
The “Old Garage” in the show is an actual fixture from their childhood.
They provided this picture to their art director for inspiration for the show. This leaning, old looking garage was actually the garage they grew up with that they called “The Old Garage”.
They are multi-talented!
Chris & Shane wrote the theme song and Chris sings a few different layers of it.
Watch out for Tilly!
According to the Houghton brothers, Tilly evolves and grows into a more well rounded character after the first two episodes.
There is a star-studded guest cast
including Busta Rhymes, John Hamm, Raven-Symone, and other big names!
Actual Family Experiences Pepper the Show
Shane’s favorite personal experience that made it into the show is the episode from a time when the brothers were in middle school and their dad took them to have a portrait made for their mom for Mother’s Day. They were in their most awkward phase of life and that photo hung in the dining room for years. The corresponding episode is where Bill Green takes his family to get a portrait made and nobody is happy about it. Hilarity ensues when the family escapes to the food court.
The Houghton family has not vetoed any experiences the brothers have tried to put in the show.
Nothing is parallel with their own life experiences, but they pull from those experiences to create fun twists in the show.
Brother Chris developed the look of the show.
Shane is the middle child and started drawing after his eldest brother showed promise in art. Each brother then became better than the next with Chris being the best artist of them all.
The brothers wanted to show all different types of families.
The Greens are such fish out of water, the brothers wanted to normalize that everyone has their own path they’re on. The show has a single dad moving back in with his mom. They didn’t want this to be a squeaky clean wish fulfillment show. They wanted to show lower to middle income, the opposite of the glamorous shows on TV, something more people could relate to.
You can watch the first two episodes on YouTube now, but the show officially launches on The Disney Channel on June 18th!