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Joss WhedonJoss Whedon - "Glee" Tv Series - Season 2 - He wants to direct more
Wednesday 4 August 2010, by Webmaster
Glee executive producers Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan were among a group of pivotal behind the scenes players from the smash hit show who spoke to the press at the TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour this week, about what to expect as Season 2 approaches.
As the panel began, it was asked what the producers might do to keep their cast intact and in the high school setting. Joked Murphy, "One thing is the character of Brittany, that we love, we decided she was going to be held back every year." Murphy said they have mapped out the first four years of the show, but haven’t planned beyond that yet, noting, "We have an obligation to be true to the high school experience. I don’t want to do a thing where we wake up and Episode 5 is five years in the future and they’re all living in the same condo complex."
Regarding Season 2 guest stars, Murphy noted John Stamos will be on the show, "to sort of be Matt Morrison’s ["Will Schuester"] rival," while Broadway star will play Vocal Adrenaline’s coach. Kristin Chenoweth will also be returning to the series as April Rhodes.
The producers were asked about New Directions’ piano player – who is ever present, but never speaks. Murphy revealed he was played by Brad Ellis, who played piano for all of the actors’ auditions. Murphy said his one direction for Ellis is, "You hate those kids" – and that viewers should look for shots where he is glaring at them.
Murphy said they wanted to resist the temptation to go bigger in Season 2, and wanted to bring more focus on some of the supporting cast they already had – specifically naming Santana, Brittany, Mike Chang and Tina. "We’re giving all those actors big storylines this year because I think people want to know about them."
In the second half of the season, Murphy said he purposely went big, knowing they’d be airing after American Idol. Murphy said having nine musical numbers in the Madonna episode "Was insane." In Season 2, "we’re scaling back a little bit and concentrating a little more on the stories. Now I think we’re going to do five or six songs, but that’s just because I thought we were learning as we went."
Ian Brennan and Ryan Murphy discuss Glee I asked the producers about the show playing with breaking the fourth wall from time to time. Said Brennan, "I’m a constant, like, self-make-fun-of-er… I actually like those moments the most and just kind of every now and again give a little wink to say, ’Hey, this is a TV show. We know.’"
Added Murphy of doing those moments, "I think high school shows work, and I think college shows do not, because I think high school shows are about firsts: first love, first kiss, first fights. And one of the concepts of the show is when you are in high school, at moments I think it feels like a suddenly bright light, spotlight hits you, and you feel very exposed, which is sort of a hyper-surreal place."
Murphy also revealed, "The first episode back is called ’Auditions.’ And it’s about the idea that everybody, even if you’re not in high school, your daily life is an audition for something. The third episode, which I think is our most controversial one we’ve ever done, is about faith and has our kids talking about what God means to them."
Would there be more episodes like the Madonna one, centered on a single musical artist? Said Murphy, "We like to do those, but this year we’re going to do two of them. We’re going to do a Britney Spears one in a very unusual way. My favorite thing about the Britney Spears thing is Matt Morrison was asked on the red carpet if we were doing it, and he said, ’Oh, I hope not.’ So the entire episode is him saying ’No, we’re not doing Britney Spears.’"
Murphy said that he didn’t want to do too many of the single-artist episodes, and that two or three per-season would probably be the norm. The second such episode in Season 2 will be the one airing after the Super Bowl, which would be, "a tribute to a musical artist that we’re in negotiation for." Murphy also confirmed he’d been in contact with Paul McCartney, revealing, "We are going to do something with him."
Regarding guest directors, Murphy said Joss Whedon wants to do another episode "As soon as his movie wraps." That movie is The Avengers of course, so it might be awhile before Whedon is able to return to Glee. In the meantime, Adam Shankman (Hairspray) will be directing one of the first ten Season 2 installments.
One reporter asked about the Finn/Kurt storyline, and the belief by some viewers that Finn’s understandable discomfort with Kurt’s constant come ons, after he made it clear he wasn’t interested, wasn’t given enough weight. Said Brennan, "It’s to be continued, that story. We’re going to address that and, I think, in a real interesting way. I’m actually excited to get to that, to see the flip side of that. I’m really glad that people picked up on that aspect of it, because it just adds a lot more nuance that we can go into that story."
Added Murphy, "People wrote, I think, articles that Finn wasn’t treated fairly, and I don’t know if it’s about [being] treated fairly. But I think that there’s a complete other side that we are going to explore where he will get to tell his side of the story and what he feels has happened. But I love that storyline and I like that we’re doing even more with the Kurt and Mike O’Malley characters."