SUBURGATORY's Emily Kapnek Talks Season 1 - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

SUBURGATORY’s Emily Kapnek Talks Season 1

May 16, 2012 by  

Is anyone else completely obsessed with SUBURGATORY?

Season 1 may have flown fairly under the radar, but really, if you missed it, find a way to catch up over the summer. It’s truly been one of the biggest gems of the season.

So, with that being said, I had the chance to speak with SUBURGATORY creator Emily Kapnek about season 1, her hopes for the relationships going forward and more…

We have to talk about Dallas, because it’s kind of amazing how plausibly this character has come this season.
Emily Kapnek: One of my favorite things about the Dallas character is the emotional growth she’s had in our first season. Who she was in the pilot versus who she winds up being towards the end…I just feel like she’s learned a lot from George and Tessa.

We have this great arc with Alicia Silverstone…she also is an opportunity for George to refresh his eyes and ears on Chatswin because he’s sort of acclimated and fitting in. And here comes this woman who is like, “Is that what you want exposed to your daughter?” And he’s able to step back and go, “Oh, wow, did I get too comfortable? Have our values shifted?”

And that’s interesting, because there is an attraction between George and Dallas, and yet he doesn’t want his daughter to be like her.
EK: I think it’s part of George’s growth. When asked to look at the bigger picture, I think George would have to say Dallas is a pretty good role model. Even though there’s all of those trappings, all of the superficial stuff, maybe the over-sexualizing her daughter…but when you hold a mom up against Tessa’s actual mom, I think you have to feel this is a woman who would do anything for her kid. And how do you not fall in love with that? But I do think if George and Dallas ever got together, she’d be a candidate for a make-under. She’s a lot! But I think her heart is pure and George knows that.

We’re just trying to grow the relationship between George and Dallas so if we go there, ultimately, it really feels warranted, because they are so unlikely. The more you watch them go through together, the more you watch them be there to support each other, it just starts to feel more viable. We’re really just doing our best to give them a lot of history and make it run deeper than you might expect.

Drama shows seem to be notoriously hesitant to pull the trigger on will they/won’t they couples, but comedies seem to be a little more relaxed about that. What’s your feeling on possibly getting George and Dallas together earlier in the series versus dragging it out?
EK: I’m huge fan of “shit happening.” I get really frustrated when [shows] keep plots at bay and give you sub-storylines. I think, jump in, you never know how many [episodes] you’re going to get, you never know how long you’re going to be around, so just get in there and tell your stories, your best stories. And hopefully it’ll inspire more stories.

I wanted George and Dallas to sort of hook up. We talked with the studio, we talked with the network and I don’t think anyone fully envisions a scenario where they’re a blended family. No. But I want to get to a place where it’s viable that the two of them…I think there’s a lot to get out of it. I wouldn’t necessarily feel like we would have to undo [a coupling] immediately, either. I think we can do it, but the most important part for me is that it feels really organic when we go there, so it doesn’t feel like too much too soon.

I loved the Christmas kiss, because they could explain it away, but Dallas turns around and we the audience know it wasn’t that. And we get to see him be jealous when she started dating. Trying to sort of explain that when they come together, it’s great. And in my mind, I’ve already thought of how fun it’ll be when Dallas decides it’s time to seduce George. How hilarious would that scene be. It’s nothing to be done casually, but if you do it, do it right.

Given that the SUBURGTORY finale takes place on Mother’s Day, how big of a role will the absence of Tessa’s mother play in the episode?
EK: We shot a couple endings. We toyed with how much we want to accelerate that story. [But] this is where we’re heading.

And George will certainly handle that well, given he moved Tessa to a different home due to his worry about the influences on her life.
EK: I think the condoms and the knee-jerk reaction was symptomatic of a bigger issue and that is I think he felt really disconnected from his kid. I want to live somewhere where I can see her more than in passing or where she’s taking a subway home while I’m taking a cab across town. Their lives were just functioning on different levels and he wanted to find a place that slowed them down and he could be a part of his kid’s life in a meaningful way. With that said, [Tessa] wants independence, she’s going to want to break off and do her own thing. At some point you’re going to have to be supportive about that or they’re going to rebel against you.

I know you mentioned you tried to get THE VIEW’s Joy Behar to guest star this season…
EK: We tried to get her, but we couldn’t get through to her. We hit this brick wall and somehow it was never getting there. After the bust aired [on the show] and she made that comment [on THE VIEW] about it, we got a call from them about how funny it was…we said we’d love to have her guest on the show and she said she’d love to guest star on the show. So we have that to look forward to, hopefully, in season 2. It’s all come full circle. Hopefully we’ll be able to get Dallas’ menopausal icon in there.

Dallas will lose her mind.
EK: I think so. And to have Joy Behar play herself and come into her crystal shop? I think she would just lose her mind.

Has there been anything you didn’t get to do this season that you hope to do in season 2?
EK: Hopefully more of the romance. Hopefully we’ll have earned it. Delve into that family thing with Tessa’s mom. And I have a lot of funny ideas about indulging Dalia. When Dallas decides she wants to work on her relationship with Dalia, what does that look like? I think there’s more fun to be had. I love our supporting cast of characters. Just more fun with the relationships and the ensemble.

SUBURGATORY’s season finale airs tonight at 8:30 PM. Be sure to tune in!

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Filed under Suburgatory


2 Responses to “SUBURGATORY’s Emily Kapnek Talks Season 1”

  1. Sarah on May 19th, 2012 10:09 pm

    Great article, and yes, Suburgatory quickly turned into Must See TV for me this year. I like what she has to say about George/Dallas. At first, I was like “NO!” (this season), but as it continued to grow, it felt very organic. I’m sort of not-liking the Eden storyline at all–it’s just bringing up a lot of negative traits for many characters…not fun.

    Liked the comment about not doing a blended family, but Dalia’s rant to Tessa in one episode about Tessa sort of wanting that (and therefore getting sent to boarding school…or whatever) cracked me the heck up. Actually all of Dalia’s lines made me laugh a lot.

    The other day I was chatting with friends about what shows we wanted to have come back for a season two, and this one was high on my list–when you look at the supporting cast, it’s CRAZY how good and talented they are at comedic acting…some serious chops there.

    And Tessa is one of the few palatable main characters on a TV show right now. Probably my favorite scenes are with Tessa and Lisa…oh my gosh, she cracks me up big time.

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