I just read a really interesting blog entry by venerable tech guru Leo Laporte on his frustration with Google Buzz, and essentially how he discovered that all his effort and internet sharing were starting to live primarily with services like Twitter and Facebook, Buzz etc, where he didn’t actually OWN access to his data. It really hit home reading how he realized that he should be concentrating on sharing in places HE owns, so one day his life record doesn’t get erased because the company went out of business or chose to do things with his data he didn’t agree with. I feel like it’s a good reminder for all of us to have a place to store our thoughts that is permanent, thus my renewed effort to share more on this blog. Ok deep thought out, now to this week’s episode!
We are smack in the middle of the season, and I’m very pleased that we’ve encountered a plot twist: Zaboo’s mom! My goal this season, if I haven’t said it before, was to be much less linear than season 3, and take more turns with plot and character throughout. Web series seasons are a weird hybrid of TV shows and movies, so it’s really anyone’s definition of the “best” way to do it. I just decided to try something different this time, and I’m pretty pleased with the result.
I always intended to bring Viji back as Zaboo’s mom, but I was very paranoid about rehashing the same storyline of “oppressive mother trying to get her son back” so I struggled a while to figure out how best to portray her differently from Season 1. I was kinda inspired by an encounter with someone who was a HUGE jerk to me years ago, but out of the blue approached me to apologize (I think it was an AA thing, but whatever, lol), and I was so conflicted about how to feel about it that I decided that something similar might be an interesting character approach for Avinashi: Why is she there? And Why is she so nice?! :). Also I have to say, the button for the episode is soooooo funny to me, only because Fawkes showing up at the dinner was such a great surprise (and his “kissy face” line the most quoted of the ep, such a great delivery!), I really tried to work hard at misdirecting everyone that the Fawkes/Codex relationship was over, so hopefully at least it was a bit of a jarring moment to end on!
Another favorite thing of mine in this episode is the Ollie/dog video montage. Sean Becker put that together without my knowing about it beforehand, and all the little videos in the window are actually dogs from friends of the Guild! We all sent him videos of our dogs being cute and they made the cut (hope we had them sign release forms, haha.)
Oh Episode 7, you were so difficult to write. I have to say, this episode literally went through 8 rewrites, no joke. At one point, it was JUST Codex and Avinashi and Vork, another draft only had Zaboo and Avinashi and Codex, and another had no Codex entirely! What?! It was really because I couldn’t make up my mind how to resolve the Fawkes storyline for draft after draft, but when my producer Kim Evey gave me a single valuable note: “Fawkes has to be at the dinner”, I went, “AHA!” and strangely enough that helped solidify how I rewrote the whole Codex/Fawkes arc and found something I was really happy with. So, moral is, good notes=VERY VALUABLE!
I love how Sandeep played his discomfort during the scene, there’s just so much unspoken about how he wants to like his mom, but simply can’t trust her, and how mortified he is when she brings these awful things from his past up. The dynamic is really delightful, and I love the running gag that director Sean Becker added with Vork and the bread in the suitcase, it just never gets old!
In addition, the button to this episode is my favorite of the season (Episode 10 I think is my favorite OF the season, but we aren’t there yet 😉 ). The order of the episode was actually different from what we shot, the intention was actually to end on Vork and Avinashi’s beat of being nice to each other. The scene with Fawkes and Codex was BEFORE that, but it didn’t seem to work in the edit, grr. Luckily I think I got the idea to flip them around, and we were able to end with that crazy fan shot that I didn’t even think we’d use in the end because it was too wacky for the middle of the episode, and is now my favorite thing ever! ALSO, not to pat my own back, but I did that last line as an improv line. YES, I can do funny adlibs SOMETIMES (although it’s usually Zaboo getting the credit for that, rightly so 🙂 ).