Sometimes Those Who Teach Can Also Do
CB: Now, it's funny that you've given me so much background on the premise of the show, because I recently read an interview with Enrico Colantoni where he conceded that the short version of the premise, "teen-girl PI in training," is a bit of a tough sell, and a lot of our posters who have tried to hook their friends on the show have found the same thing. I'm reminded of my own experience telling people about Buffy The Vampire Slayer, which I watched from the very beginning. It was like, you started out saying, "It's a show about a sixteen-year-old girl who fights vampires," and before you could get to the characterization or the storytelling, there was a dust cloud in front of you and your friends wouldn't return your calls.
RT: And that point was made to me before the show ever aired at a Television Critics Association panel. People asked, "Is this a silly concept?" And I'd answer that yes, the one-sentence description is, because it sounds like Nancy Drew. But Nancy Drew was always looking for secret treasure in the haunted cave or something ridiculous like that. We really try to focus on the detective work, but also to write mysteries we can solve. That's why "Clash Of The Tritons" worked so well -- the kid in the coma, the school society -- they were small stories. And we also really want to limit the guns on the show. I think we need them every once in a while, but I don't want the focus to be on the guns. That's a lesson I learned from "The Girl Next Door." Also, "Silence Of The Lamb" made me really uneasy -- we're going to do a B-story about a serial killer? I mean, the thing about that episode that we all got very jazzed about was putting Lamb and Keith on a case together. But in retrospect, I wish it had been a smaller case -- important, but not a serial killer, because that was too much for a Neptune B-story in one episode.
CB: If it hadn't been a serial killer, it probably would have aired in order, right? Wasn't it pulled because the serial-killer plotline was deemed inappropriate for pre-Christmas fare?
RT: Oh, no, actually. That was just a function of when UPN wanted to air new episodes against other networks. The reason we flipped those two episodes was that "An Echolls Family Christmas" obviously had to air before Christmas, and "Silence Of The Lamb" didn't.
CB: You mentioned "The Girl Next Door." I have to tell you that's my least favorite episode.