BM: The big violation, the rule that we violated was, do we ever see Oliver alone? And there are a couple of times when we do. BM: But sometimes we do it effectively, like the scene with Brian at the end of season two.
So yeah, there were rules. MM: That was part of the fun of it.
But if your readers have a problem with it, I invite them to peruse the last three episodes of Battlestar Galactica! BM: Susan and I were just talking about that before. For me, Ellen gelled when we realized how passive-aggressive she was. Sorry for caring. Everyone else is compromised in some way. Everyone else acts selfishly and out of fear.
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You look far less attractive. MM: Also, in a certain sense, she got ripped off by the same thing that got to Geoffrey, which is that she thinks that she had one shot at a semi-stable relationship—it had to be with all the brio of theater success behind it—that was with Geoffrey, and that was a commitment. It takes a long time and involves several deaths, but they get there eventually. AVC: In so many of these serialized dramas, there is a wife character, who stands in the way of the male protagonist getting what he wants. How do you write that character as an antagonist, but keep her ultimately human and understandable?
BM: Does she really stand in his way?
She certainly acknowledges when he makes the right choice. No one is just working on how to be the perfect actor or the perfect theater person. You will go crazy if all you have in your life is this one thing, the theater, your acting world, your acting friends. You have to be, somehow, drawing from life and putting back into life.
You have to show us. MM: And probably has an issue that gets in her way of being effective to help Geoffrey. But she knows what the target is. They all do. They know what the target is. BM: Basically she becomes Ellen in a sense, right? But she has that same arc, so we sort of see it happen. And then we lost Rachel. She was fabulous to work with, obviously.
But then when she had… It was Mean Girls that, I guess, gave her the three-picture deal. BM: We literally could only get her for a couple days of season two, so we just had to change completely the young-people storyline. It became a challenge to come up with one each season. It was always supposed to be about Kate.
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SC: Partly. And the way we wanted to express that was a guy who was out, gay, very comfortable with it, and in the course of this, through the magic of actually getting to do the play, fell under its spell. It just seemed like an interesting storyline of a particular character. BM: Well, I witnessed it, right?
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I was doing an acting class, and this girl was doing The Woolgatherer with this guy, and he was gay. Tell me about it! Boys dress up as girls. Girls dress up as boys. People fall in love with the wrong person all the time. That was always in the ether of what we were talking about or wanting to pull in as many Shakespearean themes as we could and shove them in there somehow. It was kind of an intuitive thing, I think. BM: Yes. We had to have a highly unlikely romance sort of contrast his set-up of the anti-romantic production.
MM: [The actors playing Romeo and Juliet] are driven to it. Then they get driven together and through the text discover this passion for each other. Where did that figure come from? MM: But it started as a specific person, because there was one or two directors in particular that we just had legends of. SC: One of them did actually want to bring a horse onstage in one of the festivals.
So it seemed like such a great opportunity to satirize that. BM: Also, he was supposed to be the other side of the coin, with respect to Geoffrey. BM: So he kind of represented everything that we hate about people who put on theater. And it was incredibly fun to write all the Darren Nichols stuff.
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SC: Don did such an amazing job in the first season that we knew we had to bring him back. BM: He always does very well for us, is the recurring phrase, right? That too, that idea was an important one. BM: And very depressing. Yes, the musical is going to do well, whereas the Lear is not. Some art is hard to compete with. BM: We thought there was something interesting in the rivalry between classical actors and musical theater performers who—.
My whole musical Broadway experience [ The Drowsy Chaperone ] happened after this. Like, on-set, while we were doing it. That worked nicely, and the heroin idea worked nicely. SC: I always thought we got to see how effective the musical really was through the character of Richard, though. SC: He was so in love with it, and I loved that storyline. How moved he was and that he got to be a part of the creative team, and I took that really seriously. That was not a joke, that part of it. BM: It harkens back to him coming out of Mamma Mia!
I love that when we decided to put that in. SC: But [series director] Peter Wellington was so in love with that musical. He was worried that people were going to think it was better than the Lear. BM: Somebody wrote and asked for the rights to stage it. To stage East Hastings , hilariously.
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A guy from a major theater wrote and asked for the rights. The other thing we wanted to present is how incredibly impressive it is to see a really good triple threat do her stuff. It really is impressive, whether we could actually capture that in the series. I mean, the actress was great and everything, but she was burdened with the material. Flip Side. In Washington, the nightmare of American voters paying such exorbitant prices to fill up their four-wheelers and sport-utility vehicles had politicians throwing all sorts of slings and arrows at OPEC's evil--and ungrateful--empire.
Let's put the brakes on our gas habit. We both love women, we both want their attention, we both thrill to their delights when not enduring the slings and arrows of mistreatment.