WILD CARDS Creator Michael Konyves on Crafting a Charming Will They/Won't They Relationship - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

WILD CARDS Creator Michael Konyves on Crafting a Charming Will They/Won’t They Relationship

March 20, 2024 by  

WILD CARDS Creator Michael Konyves

Wild Cards — “Howl to Get Away with Murder” — Image Number: WCD103a_0042r — Pictured (L-R) : Giacomo Gianniotti as Ellis and Vanessa Morgan as Max — Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

The wonderfully charming WILD CARDS wraps up its first season on The CW on Wednesday, March 20…and it’s given us one of the best new relationships on TV this year.

In the series, a cop, Ellis (Giacomo Gianniotti), teams up with a charming con woman, Max (Vanessa Morgan), to solve all sorts of crimes…while flirting up a storm, of course.

WILD CARDS feels akin to a modern-day BONES or CASTLE—both of which are referenced in the first season—with a will they/won’t they spine audiences are very familiar with. 

“Listen, it’s a popular trope, if you will, to have in shows [and] in movies,”  creator Michael Konyves tells Give Me My Remote. “Every rom-com is will they/won’t they, just in two hours— and you know they will. And even in TV, you know they will. It’s just in TVs they take a decade to do it.”

Though the resolution of will they/won’t they romances are rarely delayed until the final episodes of the series these days, trying to figure out how and when to progress the relationship is a delicate line to walk.

“The key is to take your time to really think about these two people not as characters but as people and really playing out what is the difficulty in them having a relationship, emotionally?” Konyves points out. “I’ve planned out at least three seasons of an arc of cons and heists and stuff like that, but also their emotional arc to really play them as a couple. What is the thing that is always stopping you from actually having a relationship? What is the thing that stops you from having a good relationship, even when you’re in a relationship? What makes you f— it up? And, for these people, we really keep digging in as the episodes and as the seasons will go along, into their backstories and how they were raised. How [did] those things inform them emotionally?”

“For Max, yes, she’s close with her dad and her parents and she loved them. But that world taught you to not trust anyone outside of that,” he continues, alluding to Max’s parents being con artists. “She is learning to trust somebody for the first time. But that’s not an easy thing to just happen. And then for [Ellis], coming from where he is, can he trust her as well?”

As the season comes to an end, “there’s a lot of big things that happen—exciting cliffhangers,” Konyves previews. With Max and Ellis’ relationship constantly evolving, the show will dive into how, and if, they are “able to really, really trust your partner with the most vulnerable parts of yourself. And so that’s really what we’re playing with—even in all the jokes and gags and the crimes and the heist and all the fun and games of it all, what is underlying it all is actually if you took out all that stuff, that there is a really coherent love story that will happen over the course of the [series].”

WILD CARDS Creator Michael Konyves

Wild Cards — “The Accountant of Monte Cristo” — Image Number: WCD105b_0008r — Pictured (L-R) : Giacomo Gianniotti as Detective Cole Ellis and Vanessa Morgan as Max Mitchell — Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/The CW — © 2024 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Konyves, whose love of television is sprinkled into WILD CARDS’ pop culture references and this interview, had lamented the loss of lighter procedurals in recent years. So when it came time to create WILD CARDS, he studied shows in the genre that he had loved to figure out the right balance of procedural versus serialization. 

“I think the tendency over the last years, and it makes sense because of cable and streaming, was to keep pushing more serialization on to procedurals,” he says. “But you do get to a point where you’re neither here nor there. You can’t bring in a new audience anymore because there’s too much serialization or there’s the extreme of no serialization like the very old school LAW & ORDER.”

“I find the best balance is teasing stuff upfront, paying it off at the end, sprinkling [serialized bits], so you’re reminding the audience of what happens, but never bogging it down,” he continues. “And then your real serialized [element] in a show like this, all you care about is the two of them and the way they are together. Those are the kind of relationships that even if you just came into episode 4, however the episode ends, you can understand what’s going on. You understand if Max and Ellis are fighting, if they’re being cute, if they’re about to kiss. I like the idea of a true procedural, but that has the real investment of character like CASTLE or MOONLIGHTING.”

WILD CARDS, Wednesdays, 8/7c, The CW


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