"You've gotta really rub a piece of coal to make a diamond"
Shortly after the Everwood finale recap went up, Greg "Damn You" Berlanti emailed me to a) say thanks for the recap (which made me squeal like a fangirl), and b) grant my request for an interview. So a couple of weeks ago, I called him at home, and he was nice enough to talk to me for a while -- for nearly two hours, actually, despite the fact that I now realize that talking to me is like talking to Britney Spears with a cold. I'm not going to transcribe the entire thing, simply because doing so would take so many pages we'd run out of internet, but here is...well, most of it:
Greg Berlanti: So how are you doing?
AB Chao: I'm good, how are you?
Very good. Do I detect a bit of a southern accent?
Uh...a little bit. Yew knoooow, th' lawnger Ah lee-uv in Lerooseeaaana, the waaaarse it gee-uts.
Whoa, now I really detect it.
The sad thing is, I'm trying to be good. This is actually much better than usual.
So funny. This is great -- I was so looking forward to this all day!
Me too! This is awesome. Okay, so you're on speakerphone, and let me just tell you that my husband has me set up with three microphones, a minidisc recorder, and ProTools.
If you miss anything, you could just call me back.
He's out of control. Dude, we are not missing a thing.
Where are the margaritas? Do you have any space on the table for them?
No, but I do have space for a beer, and Vince is going to get me some wine right now.
[laughs] You're not supposed to mix those two, I don't think.
Well, I'm sorry. This is an informal interview, and I'm nervous.
Well, first of all, I should start by saying thank you. For being such a fan of the show, and so cool in both your adoration of it, but also your criticisms of it, which we always took to heart. You know, our favorite kinds of responses about the show were people who got it at its core, but didn't mind sort of picking on it simultaneously. I think that's how we all felt about it, and that was mirrored in your recaps. A big part of our first season was reading your recaps, to kind of re-process the show back to us. It was a lot of fun, and something we all really looked forward to. It was a big highlight of our experience.
Oh my God. Thank you so much.
That arc that you had with it was, I think, the relationship that a lot of critics had with the show, like initially they wanted to put it in a box with other family television, and our goal was always to do what those shows did well, but also...you know, kind of have our cake and eat it too, and not be afraid to take on some larger issues and make things more real. And, I think, thanks to the very talented writers and cast and production crew, we were able to achieve that, and still win over some very traditional, kind of cynical people who didn't always have an emotional response to television, and...that was epitomized by a lot of your writing, and other critics, and the boards too.