While MODERN FAMILY was busy stealing the spotlight, a little show called SUBURGATORY was quietly winning hearts with its tale of a father in need or parental guidance and a daughter who’s not quite as worldly as she thinks herself to be who go from city slickers to suburban dwellers. To find out what changes will hit the neighborhood in Season 2, we went to creator and executive producer Emily Kapnek!
Did the show’s success catch you off guard?
EMILY KAPNEK: I’m naturally a very pessimistic person and always much morecomfortable operating from a place of being prepared to fail versus being prepared to succeed, so it was a very pleasant surprise. When we premiered to pretty good numbers, I took my manager’s advice to keep my eyes on my own paper, focus on the work and try not to pay too much attention to everything happening around me, because it can
be fleeting as we all know.
How will the fact that Tessa (Jane Levy) spent her summer in New York impact her feelings toward Chatswin when she comes back home?
KAPNEK: It was a lot of fun for her to get to sort of dip her toe back into the New York City life, but I think more important than the landscape is the blossoming interest in her mom. This is all sort of her grandmother’s master plan, which is to reintroduce Tessa into their world. That will culminate with Tessa finally getting to meet her mom around the holidays. Ultimately, I think that one of the things that we’ve been keen on is getting to a place where Tessa gets to sample New York yet realize that maybe Chatswin is home. That lets us do a great story, where she comes back to suburgatory on her own terms, not thinking of it as exile anymore, but maybe that she belongs here.
What made you decide to dive into the mystery around Tessa’s mom so early in the show’s run?
KAPNEK: It seemed like a natural thing for the show. Tessa is a girl whose mom is absent, yet she’s in a town that’s run by moms. Inevitably, it has to take a toll on Tessa who has been so emotionally strong and upright. It just seemed like a great progression for her character to actually start to show her feeling and to have some of them bubble to the surface. Plus Jane is such a great actresses.
It looked like Tessa and hunk-next-door Ryan were headed for a relationship toward the end of last season. Will that continue?
KAPNEK: We love her chemistry with Ryan. I don’t know if we’re going to jump full-fledged into relationship mode with them, but we have a lot of Tessa/Ryan storylines where he’s sort of trying to endear himself to her, and you get the sense that she’s trying to warm up to him.
What about George and Dallas… will Season 2 finally see them become more than flirt buddies?
KAPNEK: Things are really heading the direction of George and Dallas this season. They both had dating stories last season with Wilmer Valderrama’s character for her and Alicia Silverstone, who was a good love interest for George. But really, George and Dallas are starting to realize that maybe they’re cut out for each other even though it seems so unlikely and so improbable. So we’ve been having a lot of fun growing that potential.
SUBURGATORY airs Wednesdays at 9:30PM on ABC (CityTV in Canada). Catch up on past episodes you may have missed for free online at clicktowatch.tv