Glee returns next week and I am beyond excited. There are some amazing things coming up in the back 9. I recently had the chance to participate in a conference call/Q&A with Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, two of the Executive Producers of the show. They talked about the extreme popularity of the show, the many relationships (and relationship possibilities) and the super talented guest stars.
It’s more than just a successful TV show, I mean with the CDs, the iTunes, and the tour. Are you ever surprised at how quickly it became so popular?
B. Falchuk: This is Brad Falchuk. I think we’re all very surprised. I mean we shot the first 13 episodes without any of them airing, except we did the special sneak screening of the pilot, so we had no idea what we had. We thought we had something very entertaining and good, but we didn’t know it was going to be quite so epically popular quite so quickly. We’re very pleasantly surprised, obviously. And we knew we were working hard to achieve that, but we didn’t know it was going to become the kind of phenomenon that it has become. We certainly couldn’t have expected that. It would have been inappropriate to expect that; it would have been hubris.
I. Brennan: This is Ian. Yes, on a daily basis it surprises me. We believe in the show and we knew it was good, but I had no idea. I thought that it would kind of be like a niche hit that was good and people liked, but somehow it just struck a cord with people, and that is a real, real pleasant surprise.
So the back nine episodes seem to sort of focus on how Finn will try to win Rachel back. What will we see from that?
B. Falchuk: Well the Finn/Rachel relationship is obviously a core to the show. It’s something that’s really sort of important because it’s the bridge of the two worlds that really in the pilot we were trying to put together, which was this sort of popular jock boy with this unique Glee girl. She represents Glee and he represents the rest of the world. And so we always are going to explore that relationship in many different ways, and it’s going to be a push and a pull in that sometimes it’s going to be him going after her and sometimes it’s going to be her going after him, and they’re always going to sort of be watching each other from afar. No matter what’s going on in their lives they’ll always have one eye on the other one. So we’ll see a bunch of that, and then by the end, I think by episode 22 of the back 9, so episode 9 of the last 9, we’ll reach a really temporary conclusion to that.
Well everyone’s favorite couple seems to be Puck and Rachel. What can you tell us of the developments between them that we’ll see in the back nine?
B. Falchuk: Well every good girl likes a bad boy, and there’s nobody more good than Rachel and nobody no more bad than Puck. So we had no idea it was going to be quite so popular, those two. We did it, sort of again like I said, we shot all those episodes in a bubble, and so we didn’t know that putting them in a relationship was really going to make people so excited. So we go back and explore that a little bit in the back nine, and like I said, we’ll continue to explore it. It’s high school, and everybody is always bouncing around to everybody else in high school, so that won’t stop.
I am curious is there has been maybe any pressure felt on a lot of the cast. It kind of seemed to just skyrocket, and it’s everywhere. You can’t escape; even when it’s been off for four months there’s always something going on, White House, record deals, anything like that. Has there been any pressure felt amongst you guys?
I. Brennan: This is Ian speaking. Speaking for everyone I mean we just got back from Chicago where we filmed Oprah and then went on to the White House; we just got back last night. I was shocked at how poised and professional everyone has been. And like Brad said earlier, this has been a journey of about a year for them. And so you can see how some of these kids, like Chris Colfer who is 19 years old, how poised and how awesome he is in interviews and on camera, and how much the kids like one another, and like us, at least for now. I think it’s an interesting time for them, but they all seem to be handling it really well, kind of the publicity and the fame and all of it. I could not have been more proud of them this weekend.
This question is specifically for Ian. I know you based the initial premise on your experiences singing in show choir at Mt. Prospect High School. I’m wondering what feedback you’ve heard from teachers and students involved in show choir?
I. Brennan: I mean I think it’s amazing. I’ve heard kind of rhetorically a lot of schools, I think, are going through, I mean we’re in California, which is having such an incredible budget crisis right now, and I think that’s happening in states everywhere, and I actually heard from a guy who worked I think in the public school system somewhere in Washington state and he was like yes, we’re having a ton of problems, programs are getting cut. The one thing he said, he was like the one thing no one is touching now is Glee Club, which is such a fascinating blow back from this show. Like if you said a year ago that we were going to kind of be a nationwide commercial for show choirs I would have never guessed it. So it’s a weird kind of snake eating its tail aspect for me to have kind of come full circle from when I was in mixed company. I was a cherub; I had the worst haircut and real bad t-zone issues, like just greasy forehead, super skinny in an ill-fitting tuxedo and a sequined tie. And 15 years later this would be happening. It’s all very, very strange and wonderful.