CHAT WITH KELLY
USA TODAY’s Kelly Lawler chats with readers Mondays at 2 p.m. ET at facebook.com/USATODAY. Read edited excerpts below, email questions to email@example.com or tweet them to @klawls and visit her live online.
Question: Why do ensemble comedies split the cast into groups of two or three actors and develop storylines around those interactions? Do cost savings result from this kind of production, which might explain its use on
Answer: This is more about storytelling than budgetary needs. Any series with a big ensemble needs to break it apart in order to let supporting characters shine. Brooklyn Nine-Nine finds unique pairings among the main cast. It doesn’t always work: In the most recent season of Arrested Development, the stars’ schedules meant most episodes centered on only one member of the Bluth family instead of a group, which was a mistake.
Q: How is different from
the Design Fixer Upper: Behind Fixer Upper?
A: The spin-off of HGTV’s popular remodel and renovation series is more like a behind-the-scenes reel from
Fixer Upper than a new show. Behind the Design takes a closer look at houses that have already been fixed up on the original series by Chip and Joanna Gaines, and delves further into the details of the design.
Q: The second episode of ABC’s
is far superior to the pilot. Not only are the adult characters all relatable and have chemistry with one another, but the kids are all adorable, too.
A: Second episodes are usually a much better indicator of the shape new series will take. The writers and actors get into a rhythm, the chemistry is usually better and the episode feels more representative than the pilot, which has to do a lot of work to set up the premise. Sometimes you get a show with a great first episode that completely craters in the second, but sometimes it’s the opposite. I did not like the pilot of 30 Rock, but was drawn in by the second episode.
Splitting Up Together
Stephanie Beatriz and Andy Samberg star in “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”