SUBURGATORY: Emily Kapnek Teases Season 3 | Give Me My Remote

SUBURGATORY: Emily Kapnek Teases Season 3

January 29, 2014 by  

SUBURGATORY fans had to wait a little bit longer than usual for the comedy to return, but now the charming show is back and as hilarious as ever. (Plus, tonight’s episode features the return of Parker Young’s Ryan Shay!)

I spoke with SUBURGATORY boss Emily Kapnek about the season’s delay, and what’s to come…

This was the first season you guys made SUBURGATORY completely in a bubble — season 3 was written and filmed before an episode aired on TV. How was that like on your end?
Emily Kapnek: It was kind of a relief. We could focus on the show and make the show, and not be up against the show airing, and feedback, and ratings, and separated us a little bit from the noise of fall TV, and we got to focus on the work.

[But] it was a mixed bag. There was part of us that was like, “We’re so bummed not to be on the fall schedule.” But part of us was happy to have the opportunity to focus on the show and wait our turn.

How has having only 13 episodes shaped how you crafted the season?
EK: We were very careful, and one of the things I was very firm on was not accelerating too quickly because we were only getting 13; we weren’t going to have Tessa graduate from school [this season]. So we focused on the smaller arcs, and smaller emotional stories, and paid attention to our core characters. Some really fun stuff. The actors and the writers felt it was a really fun season, creatively, so we’re just excited for people to see it.

Originally, you had hoped to have now-TROPHY WIFE star Malin Akerman appear in a bit of the season. Obviously she hasn’t been in the first few episodes, but did you find a way to work her in later in the season?
EK: Honestly, we didn’t pursue it, because we knew once [TROPHY WIFE] got ordered — she was preggo when she came [for the finale] for us, but as a mom…initially, we were like, we’ll go after her, but we knew how hard it would be on her. She’s the lead of [TROPHY WIFE], and to ask her to carve out time to do our show when she could see her little baby felt so unfair.

Not that we didn’t want her, we really wanted her, but it made more sense for us to play [with the fallout between] George and Tessa. If it had gone differently, if that show hadn’t been on the air and she hadn’t been so busy, we had absolutely wanted to — and planned on — doing stories that involve Alex a little more.

Given what went on this season, I don’t think we would [reopen] the Tessa/Alex part of it, because I don’t want to keep going back to that well. But I could imagine a world where George and Alex have some sort of a confrontation as parents. I think it makes sense that at some point [it would happen]. I think Tessa would be really fucking reluctant to deal with Alex in the future given what’s gone on. But I’m obsessed with Malin. I think she’s amazing. I think she’s so magical and magnetic.

George and Dallas burned a lot of bridges with each other when they broke up last season. Where does that relationship go this season?
EK: Over these 13 — I think their story is really interesting. They really work hard to get to a place where they feel comfortable with their friendship, and it’s hard for them for different reasons. Dallas knows she has no right to be upset because it was her doing, but yet she feels emotional about it, and that George should have fought for her. And I think that George still feels really blind-sided and really angry at the beginning of the season. But ultimately they get to a place where they’re friends…before they fuck up their friendship again, which of course is inevitable. But there’s a few episodes there where you see what they used to be, when they were just friends, and there was a little flirtation going. And it’s so true to life. No one can ever leave well enough alone! [Laughs]

Dalia has seemed both genuinely hurt over losing George’s presence in her life and also using that loss as a way to annoy Tessa.  Where do you feel Dalia really stands?
EK: I think it started off as her wanting to hurt Tessa. We have two episodes that really focus on the fallout of George and Dallas in regards to Tessa and Dalia. [Last week’s episode “Victor Ha”] was one of them, and there’s another one later where they divide up Chatswin because they don’t want to run into each other, and the kids are in charge of their territory. But I think [Tessa and Dalia] matured a little bit this season…they’re not friends, but I don’t think their vendetta is able to burn as brightly as it once did, because they’ve been through so much. They really have.

And I think all the characters are working on their family dynamic this season. Dallas and Dalia are. George and Tessa are. The Shays, clearly. Everyone is keeping their own yard clean a little. It’s nice. It’s been a different pace for us. But our writers are in love with our actors.

And there is a new character you’ve added to the mix with Victor. Will he be in the rest of the season?
EK: He’s not a regular, but he’s in a bunch of the season. The crew fell in love with him. Everybody loves Victor. We really love him around.

[For the Shays,] I think their golden boy is gone, and Lisa can never fill his shoes, and the idea that really just anyone, anyone other than Lisa [is needed]. Fred and Victor have this chemistry — they talk to each other like grown men, and Fred teaches him about women, and they really bond. And even off-screen, [Chris] Parnell (Fred) feels the same [about Bryson Barretto (Victor)]. [He says to me], “He’s a great guy. I love talking to him.” And it’s really evident.

And Victor even learns to have fun at Lisa’s expense.

Oh, poor Lisa. There was a tease during your TCA panel that Lisa and Sheila will share a sweet moment this season, which just seems…so odd. What leads to that?
EK: It has to do with heartache and feeling like Malik’s family doesn’t accept her. And you think Sheila’s going to give Lisa a “toughen up” speech, but instead she gives her a speech about how great she is…And it’s really unexpected and really sweet.

SUBURGATORY airs Wednesdays at 8:30 PM on ABC.

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