Glenn Close thinks Damages is the new Dickens
I just can't get enough of Damages. Season two is right around the corner (it premieres on FX on Wednesday, January 7th at 10PM ET) and to generate some buzz, FX put together a conference call yesterday with Glenn Close, and Executive Producers/Co-Creators Glenn Kessler, Todd A. Kessler, and Daniel Zelman.
After I got off the call, I typed some thoughts while it was still fresh in my mind; there's a lot I want to talk about.
I've already seen the first two episodes (you can check out my early review here) and with that in mind, be aware that what follows after the jump is 100% spoilerish. Though some of it is general, if you don't want to know what happens as season two kicks off - this is your warning.
Here are the highlights from the call:
- As I mentioned in my Early Look review, season two employs the same storytelling device used in season one, but rather than past meets present, this time around, it's present meets future. There's still a six month time difference though. Glenn K., Todd, and Daniel all stressed that while the technique was really successful in season one, they did wonder if it should be reused again. Now though, they believe it's the trademark of the show and it will likely be alive in some form in season three as well - for those unaware, FX ordered seasons two and three at the same time.
- The mantra for production on the show has been "we don't want to repeat ourselves." With that in mind, Todd said that despite the similar plot structure to season one, don't expect season two to play out in the exact same format. For instance, season one's premiere ended with a shot of David dead in the bathtub and we didn't get closure on that until the second to last episode. This time around, the season premiere features Ellen in a shocking situation and answers to that could potentially come earlier in the season. They're very proud of the way events unfold this season.
- Close sees the show as a 21st century version of Dickens. A living novel or as she called it, a 13-hour "mega movie." She said that the extremely satisfying character development on the show is just as fulfilling for the actors as it is for the fans.
- The 13 episode season will wrap production in January. Close still doesn't know how it ends and she's happy about that.
- This season will feature much more of a focus on Patty's personal life and her relationships with people like Uncle Pete and her husband, Phil.
- Daniel Zelman said that the one constant they always strive to meet with Patty is her genuine hatred of bullies.
- Close said that there are still certain aspects of Patty's backstory that she doesn't know yet and that she's not sure if Patty is the way she is because of one event or because of a culmination of events. She did say that it's a gift to be able to work with William Hurt because she has past with him (because of The Big Chill), while Patty has a past with his character, Daniel Purcell.
- All three EPs said that while they knew season two would have a focus on Ellen working with the FBI (since it was how the first season ended), they didn't plan out the rest of the season's main case until the hiatus.
- I forget who talked about it, but it was mentioned at one point that unlike Ted Danson's Arthur Frobisher being an adversary to Patty from the beginning, it's going to be interesting to see Daniel possibly evolve from someone Patty was helping into something more. What's the "more?" No idea.
- The EPs saw season one as Ellen's birth into the professional world, season two is her adolescence and rebellious phase, and season three will likely be her adult transition - all takes on her mentor/protégé relationship with Patty.
- At one point, the topic of red herrings was mentioned and the character of Lila was brought up. Obviously, she played a tiny role in David's death since she had a key and left his door unlocked, but ultimately she was there to distract us. Unfortunately, I never got a chance to ask a question during the call, but I'll put this to you readers - on the night before Ellen was attacked, she saw Patty's son in the apartment and he told her something along the lines of "I was never here." What do we make of that? Another red herring? Or could this possibly play a role in Patty finding out that Ellen knows about the hit?