The Anti-David E. Kelley
H: It just evolved?
JA: Yeah. We were writing a story about a kid who's embarrassed to get naked in gym class, and it kind of evolved into something funny, but we're really trying to track how you actually felt, and the funny would just fall into that. But we never tried to start with a hilarious idea.
H: Is it still hard to think about how it ended?
JA: Not now, because all the kids have grown so freakishly tall. I realized the show would've collapsed under the weight of their heights. We just shot an episode of Undeclared with Martin Starr [F&G's Bill], and he just looks so different. Our show would've looked like the last year of Diff'rent Strokes in its second season.
KB:: Imagine how difficult it would be to shoot Samm Levine [F&G's Neal] next to Martin Starr and John Daley [F&G's Sam] now?
JA: Yeah, Martin Starr and John Daley are both close to 6 feet.
H: Hope they also got wider.
JA: And Samm Levine looks exactly the same. So it would've evolved into a different type of story. I always thought that show would've become about whether Sam Weir will still want to be friends with Neal and Bill after he gets good-looking. We touched on that a little bit when he started dating Cindy Sanders, but that really wasn't the direction. And then we were going to have the gym teacher marry Bill's mother, and then Martin, who was getting taller and skinnier, we'd have join the basketball team and be caught between the jocks and the geeks. While Neal got bitterer and bitterer.
H: Are there any stories you wanted to tell with those characters that you never got to tell?
JA: We thought that if we did another season, we'd have to have Lindsay really get fucked up -- that we had kind of milked her for all she was worth in that gray are between "Am I a good girl?" and "Am I a bad girl?" And the only place to go from there is: acidhead. That's why we sent her off to the Grateful Dead. We thought, "Well, that would be a nice way to end the series, and if we're going to come back, she's going to get in so much trouble." She'd be at war with her parents and high all the time, and that would be the next phase of the show.