‘Reba’: Reba and Barbra Jean Were Off-Screen Besties
Recently, she made a guest appearance on the sitcom Young Sheldon, but that’s not the first time she’s been on TV. Twenty years ago she starred in her self-titled sitcom Reba, and fans loved her genuine, relatable character.
The show featured a friendship between two characters you might not expect to be close, and it turns out that as their characters bonded on-screen, the actresses who played them became even closer in real life.
‘Reba’ was relatable
Reba hit the airwaves in 2001, and it ran for six seasons. According to Wide Open Country, the show centered on Reba Hart (played by McEntire), a recently divorced mom of three kids. It also featured her ex-husband, Brock (played by Christopher Rich), and his new wife, Barbra Jean (played by Melissa Peterman). The storyline followed the family as they dealt with life, co-parenting, and teen problems.
Through the years. Reba delved into issues that many parents could relate to, such as teen pregnancy, alcohol abuse, rebellious behavior, and letting your kids figure out their path in life. It also touched on the difficulty of parenting with your ex after a painful divorce. These topics were tackled with humor and heart, and many fans felt a kinship with the Hart family.
However, there was one relationship that was pretty different from what most people would expect.
Reba and Barbra Jean
Since Barbra Jean was married to Brock, she and Reba had to cooperate for the sake of the kids. While it can be challenging for a mom to get along with her kids’ stepmother, this relationship had an extra hurdle.
According to Taste of Country, Barbra Jean had worked with Brock while he was married. The two had an affair, leading to his divorce from Reba. It’s understandable that she would hold some resentment toward Barbra Jean, but as the series progressed, that slowly began to change.
Barbra Jean was portrayed as not too bright, but very warm-hearted, and she was relentlessly affectionate toward Reba. Over the years, as they dealt with life and the kids’ problems together, Reba couldn’t help but open up to Barbra Jean, and they became friends. The unlikely friendship charmed viewers, and behind the scenes, the two women forged an even closer friendship than their characters.
Country Rebel reports that after working on Reba for six seasons, McEntire and Peterman grew very close. In the show, Reba wouldn’t admit how close she felt to Barbra Jean until the very end of the series. But in real life, McEntire has no such problem letting people know that Peterman is a very dear friend. The two still spend time together, and Peterman even shows up onstage at McEntire’s concerts occasionally.
The duo recorded a skit recently, showing their Reba characters dealing with the social isolation of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the short video, Barbra Jean sends a video message to Reba. She’s hiding in a closet, describing how burnt out she is on spending time with Brock and their son, Henry. Reba is shown hiding in her own pantry, agreeing with Barbra Jean that she can’t wait for quarantine to be over.
Although she’s not lacking for work, McEntire has mentioned in the past that she’d love to do a reboot of Reba. Fans would be delighted to see that, and it sounds as though these two BFFs would jump at the chance to work together again.