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The Plotlines Are True: Ridgewood Writer Uses Bergen For TV Inspiration

Ridgewood resident Caytha's Jentis, the force behind Amazon's "The Other F-Word."
Ridgewood resident Caytha's Jentis, the force behind Amazon's "The Other F-Word." Photo Credit: Submitted

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- "Write what you know." Such is the mantra of many a writer and for longtime Bergen County resident Caytha Jentis, it's proved helpful with her series on Amazon, "The Other F-Word. "

The show, now in its second season, revolves around 40 and 50-something moms starting over after their kids are grown. And yes, said Jentis, a lot of the series' plotlines come out of her life.

"All my work is inspired by real life experiences but it’s fiction," she said.

'I saw my friends and I were going through what I describe as a ‘mid-life coming of age experience’ and it seemed ripe for creative exploration."

Jentis said she loved every minute of raising her children in suburbia but once they aged and moved on, she saw folks blindsided with a void.

Of that time in your life, Jentis said: "It creates a reinvention that's as exciting as it is dreadful."

And so: Cue the drama. And the laughs.

The "F" in the show stands for fifty and being in your forties but it also stands for friendship, family and fun -- all things that came out of Jentis's years in Ridgewood. The mom of two has kids in their 20s and wrote the script when they started college.

Much of the scenes are shot in the area -- Jentis lived there 20 years and so used the town for the backdrop for much of her inspiration.

A former literary agent who has written, produced and directed a number of award-winning features including "Bad Parents" starring Janeane Garofalo, and "And Then Came Love" starring Vanessa Williams, she relied on her friend’s "beautiful house" along with some town exteriors for "The Other F Word." She also used  her townhouse in Waldwick, which she downsized to a few years ago.

For those who haven't seen the Amazon Direct Video show, Jentis said season two is deeper, more complex and relevant and revolves around a once content suburban stay-at-home mom who moves into Manhattan to live with her older single sister.

The show stars Steve Guttenberg, Gilbert Gottfried, Judy Gold, and Alysia Reiner, and others, some of whom are Bergen residents.

Rentis, who still plays on the Willard Moms softball team, said she's humbled and happy that so many have connected with the journey of her characters -- and have related to her humor.

Tapping into her female network, she said is key.

"We have a tiny marketing budget," she said, "So I'm relying on the 'the power of mom.'"

In other words, check out the show: www.theotherfwordseries.com/ .

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