Huff's Bob Lowry, Round Two: The TV Squad Interview
Only three episodes into the new season and Huff creator/executive producer Bob Lowry is already back for more. After speaking with Ryan last week, I had the opportunity to pick Bob's brain a second time. We chatted about this Sunday's new episode ("Sweet Release") as well as some other things to expect before season two comes to a close. A heads-up to our readers though: the interview contains a few spoilers, fair warning. However, there is one thing that all Huff fans should be excited to know. Bob let me in on a little secret. They'll know on May 2 if the show is going to come back for a third season, so everyone keep your fingers crossed.
OK, let's get to it. Here's what went down between myself and Bob Lowry on Wednesday morning:
Jonathan Toomey: Bob Lowry! Good sir, how are you?
Bob Lowry: My new best friend! Thanks for calling.
JT: My pleasure, thanks for taking the call. I'll be honest Bob, I'd like to jump right into this. I know when you spoke with Ryan last week, you guys covered your background and some season one moments. The interview was spectacular. What I'm excited to talk about is this Sunday's new episode "Sweet Release," which I just had a chance to screen last night.
BL: That's fine, this is the one where we have a little shaving scene? It's that one right?
JT: Oh yeah, this is the one. Now this wraps up Dauri Rathburn's (Sharon Stone) storyline, correct? We won't be seeing her back?
BL: For year two, yes. If we were to be picked up, she could always come back. We love her, she loves us and we had a great time. The character of Dauri is actually the fourth one I came up with because I wanted to give Sharon a meal as an actor and not have her play just one beat. You can see that where she ends up in the fourth episode is nowhere near where she started in the premiere.
JT: I was just thinking that. How about this? Without giving too much away, talk to me about the encounter that Dauri has with Russell in this upcoming episode. Dare I mention the whipped cream? Where did that scene come from?
BL: That's very good. This is very funny because I've never told anyone this. When we were still putting this episode together, on the dry-erase board in the writer's room was the sentence, "Dauri shames Russell." I looked at it and thought it said, "shaves." Everyone laughed, but then we said wait a minute. The writer for that episode [Jessica Mecklenberg] said let's do it and she ran with the idea. In her first draft, she nailed it.
JT: That's hilarious. The scene developed because of a misunderstanding about what was written on a dry board?
BL: It's all because of my bad eyesight. It's also why I believe there are no accidents but part of me didn't want to tell you that because people will see it and think, "Oh gee, aren't they brilliant?" Now they'll read this and think it's not a big deal. *Laughs* But it is a big deal because the writer [Jessica] made it work.
JT: It's a very touching scene.
BL: Good for you. It's all supposed to be touching even though insane.
JT: Alright, let's talk about Madeline (Swoosie Kurtz). I'll be honest. Her recovery was a surprise to me. I really thought we had seen the last of her. In this episode, Beth and Huff seem to be doing much better. So my question is how much was Madeline's decline related to the problems Beth and Huff were having?
BL: It was not. It could mirror the death of their marriage but what it was really about was just showing that shit happens when shit is happening. Nobody is immune from life. So it wasn't a direct correlation to the trouble their marriage was in but it definitely impacted how the two of them responded to their problems.
JT: Now what about Beth? At the end of the episode, after a great weekend away with Huff, she breaks down. Can't hold back the tears. It seems like she's internalizing a lot of feelings, why is that?
BL: I think when you prepare for the death of a loved one and it goes in the other direction, you find yourself totally stripped and unprepared for the blessing. I think it [Madeline's sudden recovery] made Beth question everything she believes in. Because of that we're going to see her explore religion later on in the season. She wants to know why this happened to her mother and it sends her on a path of spiritual examination.
JT: On to Byrd. He had some awesome storylines last season between the rainbow party and his relationship with Gail. Now let me see if I have this right. His new hobby is going on neighborhood safaris and breaking into people's houses just to poke around? Like some sort suburban anthropologist?
BL: *Laughs* That's great, suburban anthropologist! Can I steal that?
JT: Please do. I just find it amusing that he walks around the houses just looking at things.
BL: No, that's true. And where it's coming from is his internalization of watching his parents fall apart. The thing with Byrd is that he's a very wise 14 year old. The challenge is making him a kid and not another 40 year old in a teenager's body. So to be truthful to that, this storyline is about him acting out alone, which is very Byrd. But it also opens the door to his own adolescence and not being perfect.
JT: I guess we're on to Teddy now. Last week we left him in a position with more freedom than he's had in a long time. At the end of this week's episode, he's already making poor choices again. Are we to believe that the laid back attitude of 15 Rose [his new home] can really help his condition and his relationship with Huff?
BL: It's an ongoing arc. Huff still visits unsolicited, and Teddy reminds him that it wasn't their agreement. Huff is supposed to call first. So it puts a wedge between the two brothers in that sense. But Teddy is still a schizophrenic trying to live his life and he meets this girl on the beach. Ashley [Williams of How I Met Your Mother] is spectacular and she matches well as Teddy's love interest but Teddy lies to her for a couple of episodes. Tells her he comes from a wealthy family, doesn't tell her that he's ill. That stuff. But Andy Comeau [Teddy] is just great.
JT: His scene with the pharmacist in Mexico was comic gold.
BL: Isn't he great because he said, "OK, let's shave my head." So we did.
JT: What about his future with Izzy? Because you finally clued us in on what he did to her ten years ago. Can we expect a reconciliation between the two?
BL: Resolution? No. Encounters? Yes. Izzy is still frightened and people are still let down and devastated. They still struggle to connect.
JT: Faith Prince! I actually had the opportunity to meet her a few weeks ago. So funny. But I'd like to know what led to her becoming a full cast member this season?
BL: She came up to me after her first episode she did and told me how much fun she had. How much she loved the show. A few minutes later I had the thought that, "Hey, Russell should knock her up." It created a great storyline for Russell because it's one more thing for him to throw money at without getting close to it. Russell Tupper and Kelly Knippers are night and day, so keeping Faith on board was an opportunity to explore all that.
JT: Russell does just that. In this week's episode, he shows up at Kelly's door with money and a housekeeper but it seems that Kelly is doing all that she can to stay independent. Is there ever going to be a point where she just caves and lets him help?
BL: Yes, but not totally. She's a very strong woman. If the series were to continue I see her as turning into Angelina Jolie and adopting ten children. We won't see her marrying Russell but we will see her being independent with some need for his help but more for his support. But we won't know about any of that until we know if we're picked up or not. Unless every person who reads TV Squad is watching the show.
JT: *Laughs* Well I know myself and Ryan are both big Huff fans and we're doing our best to spread the word. But from all of us at TV Squad, we really appreciate you taking the time to speak with us twice and I wish you all the luck with any future projects.
BL: And we at Huff thank TV Squad.
JT: Anytime, Bob.