The Gray Area Season 2

Inside the Gray Area — “Where Are the Lads of the Village Tonight?”

July 28, 2020

Writer and showrunner Edward Champion discusses the genesis of this seven part epic, how the first part was inspired by a pre-World War I novelty dance hall tune, the origins of the portals, doing research on World War I, Richard Aldington's Death of a Hero, the origins of Scarlett Idamo, the importance of being always connected with human emotions, the connections between mysticism and counseling, the great Katrina Clairvoyant and why he took the right chance in casting her as the lead, why Adelphi is a good source for New York actors, earning the right to enjoy fun story details by knowing the characters, the influence of Lynne Tillman's American Genius, the problems with present fantasy narratives, the mistake of prioritizing effects over human character and actors, the brilliant acting of Phillip O'Gorman, how Christopher Eccleston's incarnation of the Doctor served as a starting point for Thomas, the problems with pitch-perfect Broadway musical numbers, singing from the heart, karaoke, how artistic imperfections can be virtues, the long process of selecting jazz music for the lengthy bar scene, Free Music Archive, researching LGBTQ culture by going to the right places in the real world, the importance of honoring and respecting subcultures in art, lesbian slang, connections to “Brand Awareness,” conscious and subconscious interconnectedness to other stories, cancel culture, why it's essential to be transparent and honest about yourself, the criminologist John Braithwaite and reintegrative shaming, the moral failings and solipsism of Jon Ronson, the stylistic device of using the microphone as a kind of sonic camera, the influence of Mikhail Kalatozov's I Am Cuba, how people are innately familiar with cinematic semiotics, Graham Greene, why any artist needs to be drawn from multiple mediums, the joke I played on my good friend Marc Stein with the role of Dave, how storytelling can uproot the patriarchy, Bobby's connection to “Brand Awareness,” how the incredibly talented Liz Rimar brought dimension to defy stereotype, finding a loophole to the Bechdel rule, the fluidity of sexuality, the problems of looking outward when there's a lot of inward pain, the tensions of being an addict, guilt and judgment, the punk rock sound design of the relapse moment, when people mistakenly believe that the bartender is your friend, James Bond, Plymouth gin, Lars Iyer, finding empathy when reading a hit piece, compassion and groupthink, paying honor to the great writer Scarlett Thomas, Yelp ratings, his obsession with odds and probability, how he and Jess Cuesta came up with the “impish introvert” angle for Scarlett, the value of patience, and cold pizza as a hangover cure. (Running time: 32 minutes, 29 seconds)


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