Exclusive: Creator Sean Smith Talks GREEK


On our recent trip to Los Angeles, the TV Addict was lucky enough to be given a tour of the set of GREEK by Scott Michael Foster (Cappie), Dilshad Vadsaria (Rebecca) and Sean Smith.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Sean, Who?”

Well, Smith may not be a household name like a Whedon or an Abrams just yet, but give him time. After-all, he’s had some pretty good on-the-job training, parlaying a writing assistant gig on EVERWOOD, to full-fledged writing assignments with SUPERNATURAL and SUMMERLAND; Culminating in a hit show of his very own — GREEK on ABC Family.

Which is what we’re here to talk about, as Smith was kind enough to not only take myself (alongside fellow bloggers Kathie, Amrie and Rae) on a tour of the set of GREEK, but answer some burning questions about what fans can expect as GREEK’s fourth chapter comes to a close.

What did you learn from your time with EVERWOOD and Greg Berlanti and Rina Mimoun
Sean Smith: That it’s always better to let the characters tell the story and not rely on the issue of the week or the situation and hanging everything on those individuals. The more layered the characters are the more conflict and drama you can get out of them, as opposed to, “She’s the bad girl! He’s the bad guy! They fight!”

After EVERWOOD you jumped to SUMMERLAND. Is that how you snagged Jessy McCartney for a GREEK guest arc?
Exactly. I worked with Jesse on the second half of SUMMERLAND and he was just the nicest guy in the world. I knew he had a big following with his music and he hadn’t done TV for a while so when we were considering the role of Andy we thought he’d be great for it just because he seems like he’s got it all but you kind of want to see him be human at the same time.

How long is Jesse McCartney sticking around?
We’re thinking about bringing him back, but we have to work around his tour schedule. He had a great experience, we loved him so it’s kind of like finding the time and the right story arc so it’s not just like, “Jesse McCartney is back!”

This is slightly embarrassing and probably something I should know, but where exactly is Cyprus Rhodes Universtity?
Ohio. Sometimes we’ll talk about it, but we actually try and draw the least amount of attention to it as possible. Actually, in the beginning the network was like, “Let’s have it take place in Southern California.” But I grew up in a small town in Texas and went to a state university where you didn’t have the ocean and you didn’t have Hollywood. So for me, it was important to put the show somwhere where it’s kind of like its own thing. This is very much a college town where you’re not in LA and you don’t have the clubs to go to so your social life is the Greek system, it’s the college town, it’s Dobler’s.

Janeane Garofalo, LOVE her. Can fans expect more of her character when GREEK returns in the fall?
I am in love with every actor we have on the show but she was the first one I went up to and was like [nervously], “Hey. How’s it going… hey Janeane Garofalo… welcome…” We’re currently working on the next cycle and we’re talking about a lot of stories involving her and Casey. What it means to be a young feminist today and what that means versus what it means for a Gen X or a Gen Y’er. Female empowerment was very prominent in the 80’s and 90’s and now it doesn’t seem to be such a big issue. Getting into why that is, is that a good thing or a bad thing and having two generations speak to that issue.

Have you ever found yourself crossing the line when it comes to what belongs on ABC Family?
Initially in the pilot we had a scene with Rebecca where Casey was offering her all these perks (her own room for instance) to join ZBZ and we had a line where she said ‘coke,’ which I thought was super edgy. But the more we thought about it, it was like, we didn’t need it. I couldn’t imagine how to pay that off except for Rebecca doing cocaine….

And is that not more of 90210’s department?
I can’t connect to that and it doesn’t feel real to me. We’re always trying to keep the characters grounded in a world that is relatable as opposed to getting to soapy melodramatic kind of heightened stakes and situation that most people don’t actually find themselves in.

One of my favorite aspects of the show is the Cappie/Evan dynamic (especially the flashback episode). Can fans expect more on that front this season?
I’ll check the boards from time to time and after the Cappie/Evan flashback episode it was funny because fans were like, “I don’t care about Casey and Cappie, I want Cappie and Evan to get back together!) So it was kind of nice to find the opportunity through [a story-line that theTVaddict.com has edited out to avoid spoilers!] where they can start to rebuild their relationship. Especially because they’ll have to do it outside of everyone else knowing.

I cannot get enough of Dale. Seriously, Clark Duke is a comic genius. Please tell me we’ll be seeing more of him this season.
Yeah absolutely. Growing up in Texas, I have so much respect for my very religious friends because I think it’s interesting in this day and age to hold faith to be so dear because a lot of people put it on the back-burner and that’s why i appreciate Dale’s conviction.

Calvin and Dale are the perfect example of opposites attracting.
And we’ll play with that relationship a lot more heading into the finale. It’s a very odd coupling and a special friendship that’s separate from Dale and Rusty and Rusty and Calvin.

One last question, what’s Cappie’s real name?
In my mind the series will end with Cappie’s graduation and that’s where we’ll figure out what his real name is, when he accepts his diploma.

You can catch brand new episodes of GREEK every Monday at 8PM on ABC Family

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