"The Word 'Coma' Bugs The Hell Out Of Me"
CB: You mentioned that you're pleased with the mini-arc format. Whose idea was it?
RT: The first person who mentioned it...well, this is actually, I don't want to say a bone of contention, because I don't really think anyone's arguing over it, but the studio first mentioned the idea to me, and I liked it, and I called Dawn Ostroff at the network. She loved it, and she immediately got on the phone with her programming person and asked if we could divide the show into blocks. So I can absolutely say that the idea to have uninterrupted blocks was Dawn's. The idea of shorter mysteries, I think, actually came from the studio.
CB: So let's talk about the first arc, and a bit of the...unpleasantness. [Rob laughs.] It's fairly well-known that you've come under some heat for the rape storyline, most notably in the Entertainment Weekly review that I'll spare you from quoting from. But they gave "Lord Of The Pi's" a D. I'm on record as disagreeing with that assessment. But that must be heard to hear from a publication like EW when they've treated you pretty well in the past.
RT: Oh, they've treated us great. In fact, Gillian Flynn [the EW reviewer in question -- CB] has put us on their Top Ten list in the past.
CB: Right. So that must have been very disquieting.
RT: It was. It really bummed me out.
CB: So, talking about the serial-rape arc: when you thought about it, I'd guess you were aware that it was a potential minefield. How did you weigh the pros and cons of doing that arc?
RT: Well, I suppose there's part of me that doesn't quite understand where the line is between sending seven kids off a cliff in a bus and, you know, a serial rapist who drugs his victims and doesn't, say beat up women -- why one is okay fodder for television and one's not. You know, I don't actually think it's the serial rapes -- I think we've taken the most heat for how people perceive the Lilith House women.
CB: Well, that's my next question, so let's talk about that. Some people think that the depiction suggested that you see women negatively -- as shrill and humorless, among other things.