How George Lopez's 'Hands-On' Approach To Comedy Helped One Lopez Vs. Lopez Star For The NBC Sitcom

Matt Shively and George Lopez in Lopez vs. Lopez
(Image credit: NBC)

NBC brought George Lopez back to primetime in the 2022-2023 TV season for new family sitcom Lopez vs. Lopez, alongside his real-life daughter Mayan Lopez. The show turned out to have the recipe for success with its cast back in the fall, scoring a full season order for 22 episodes. There’s still time in Season 1 for plenty of shenanigans from the extended Lopez family, and actor Matt Shively – who plays the lovable Quinten – opened up about the comedy legend’s hands-on approach and how it helped him. 

Quinten and George may not have the most solid relationship on the show (despite sharing a hug after George learned what Quinten’s dad really thought of him), but Matt Shively only had words of praise for George Lopez during a recent interview with CinemaBlend. He shared what his experience working with Lopez has been like and what he learned from him, saying: 

I've been doing this [acting] semi-successfully for 15 years, and every time I would go into a job, I was always very much like, 'I'm just so lucky to be here. I'm so lucky that they've allowed me to have this.' When I went into this one, I wanted to have a little bit of a different view on it and say, 'They're lucky to have me as much as I'm lucky to be there.' I wanted to be more hands-on with things, and George is very hands-on with everything, so going into it, seeing him do his thing, and then kind of feeling it out and being like 'Alright, well can I do the same thing? Can I also throw out ideas and opinions on things?'

Matt Shively came to Lopez vs. Lopez with plenty of TV credits already, ranging from True Jackson, VP opposite Keke Palmer to ABC’s The Real O’Neals to USA’s The Purge series. According to the actor, however, he wanted to approach the new NBC sitcom differently, and George Lopez’s “hands-on” approach was an inspiration. Shively continued:

He was so open to it right off the top, which I feel is hard to find from somebody who's been so successful in this industry for 30+ years. It was just a really nice moment where I was like, 'Wow, okay, so this is a team effort.' I wasn't 100% sure if that was going to be the case, and working with him and being able to bring my own ideas and things to the table and have him be fully open arms to it was just such an amazing experience to start with. Just such a sigh of relief because it felt like 'Whoa, I'm really a part of this.' It was the first time where I really felt like I was a part of more than just coming on stage, saying your lines, walking away, and being a little bit more a part of the creative process.

George Lopez has had some bumps in the road of his decades of success, including a health scare in late 2021. He is delivering plenty of laughs on Lopez vs. Lopez, however, and creator Debby Wolfe has shared that he “really does sort of come alive when he's in front of that live studio audience.” She attributed his ability to thrive off of the energy of the audience to his stand-up experience, and Matt Shively also complimented him for the improv skills that he brought to Lopez vs. Lopez. The Quinten actor shared:

He's one of the quickest people I've ever met. When you're working with somebody who's great with improv, and very quick on their toes, it only makes you quicker. So it's been a really cool learning experience. I feel like I've grown more in the last six months as an actor and as a creative than I have in the last 15 years of working. So it has been a dream come true and a real blessing to have had this be the project that I got to do and with those people.

Lopez vs. Lopez has found ways to also address more serious issues while also delivered the sitcom shenanigans, such as the early episode that addressed Mayan feeling shame about not speaking Spanish. Those more serious issues definitely don’t turn the show into a drama (or even a dramedy), but help the TV family feel more real. Plus, there’s always humor to be found with the George/Quinten dynamic, and Matt Shively even shared with CinemaBlend that his character is “the perfect punching bag” for George and “I love being the punching bag.”

Fortunately, the full-season order for Lopez vs. Lopez means that fans won’t run out of comedy after the original order for 13 episodes concludes. You can catch new episodes featuring George Lopez, Mayan Lopez, and of course Matt Shively on Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC in the 2023 TV schedule. You can also revisit the episodes that have aired so far streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription now!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).