[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]
I’m reasonably certain a good time was had by all with that crackling, heartfelt Killjoys Season 4 premiere, penned by series creator Michelle Lovretta. This week, Lovretta graciously agreed to answer questionsÂ over e-mail about the premiere, the two-season renewal, her favorite episodes to write, and more.
“The Warrior Princess Bride” gave us some wonderful insight into how Dutch and Johnny’s relationship has evolved, and Lovretta says it was a mix of fixed ideas and things that changed as the series progressed. “We’ve certainly poked a stick at their friendship origin story a few times through the years, which I’ve really enjoyed. When I first wrote that scene in [Season 1] where John and Dutch are sitting in the rambler and talking about the day they met, I was already hoping we’d find a way to show the audience that moment, and in season three we finally did,” she explains.
“But ‘what happened next’ and ‘how did they become Killjoys’ was still a bit of a fascinating question to me. I knew some of the larger pieces, for sure, like how Dutch got her name. I’ve sat on that wee trivia tidbit since our early development days, so I’m really glad I got a chance to pull that moment out of my head and put it on the screen while we still can. It was just an opportunity I couldn’t resist, for a variety of reasons. Partly it allows me to tell a fun piece of backstory while we can, sure, and get in some good old Killjoys caper shenanigans.”
“But it’s also a way to pause and take a lighter breath after the finale’s crazy cliffhanger drama, while still moving the serialized story forward. Because while this may seem like a one off story, it’s not. Khlyen, as usual, is playing a more advanced game than everyone else, and Dutch and team will spend part of this season trying to figure out exactly what that game is. Why this memory, why now, is part of the riddle.”
The post-Season 3 renewal for two more seasons was a surprise for Lovretta, and it created a whirlwind of emotions as a certainty that they were cancelled changed to having 20 more episodes to wrap up. “It meant a heck of a lot of shock. I went from being confident we weren’t coming back to a sudden double order,” she says.
“A day before our greenlight I was emailing with our cast, asking how they wanted to to be told if we were canceled — call, text, weeping telegram? I know a lot of people think showrunners are being coy and that secretly we know weeks in advance, but honestly at a certain point it’s all in the hands of the business people.”
“[Often] all we can do on the creative side is sit and wait for the call. In between you hear a lot of backchannel updates [like] ‘it’s looking good!’ [or] ‘oh no wait, we’re probably toast,’ but after a while that becomes white noise because none of it means anything until you get the real call.”
“And this time, we found out we got two seasons worth of final episodes so we could plan our ending. I am and will always be grateful for that opportunity. I love this show, this cast, this big fat world of stories, and our amazing fans. I’m proud of what we’ve made, sad to go, and really happy Adam [Barken] and I have time to tell the ending.”
While Lovretta took a step back from day-to-day showrunning, she’s still heavily involved and writing several episodes. “I tend to write three styles of eps for us — openers, midseason origin reveal stories, and finales. Of the three, I think season openers are hardest — you haven’t got any ramped up, pre-existing emotional stakes to pay off or play with; it’s all about beginnings and setups and new character introductions; and it usually involves a bit more exposition than I’d like,” she points out.
“Premieres usually get allocated a bit more money to be fancy and blingy, though, and that part I love. Fun fact: suddenly having double your usual episode order means that our shooting schedule is tighter than ever now, so we had to shoot 401 in less time than any of our other season premieres. I’m very proud of the amazing work our EP director Stefan [Pleszczynski] did to make that happen and still buy us a little glitz and a lot of fun.”
“A couple of times I’ve elected to write back-to-back episodes for scheduling reasons — 301-302; 401-402 — but it nearly kills me each time. And I deeply love finales, but they’re also the most terrifying to write because you don’t know if you’ll ever be back, so you have to figure out how to leave the audience wanting more without leaving them on a too-cruel cliff.”
“So I’d say the most fun I’ve had is just writing those midseason ‘character heavy’ episodes (107, 207). By that point of the year we’re ready for a big character turn or two, and I have a set of production challenges I give myself so we can start putting aside resources for the finale. I find writing towards those specific limits really enjoyable.”
“Some of my fondest memories on this show are the hilarious horse trading meetings I had with our amazing S2 line producer, DJ, as I started breaking 207: ‘Okay, can you write an ep with no VFX, one less day, and a half day out?’ ‘Yes…but I need a bathtub, a decapitation scene, and a fight in the woods.’ That, my friends, is the joy of making television for me.”
Last week, Lovretta marked the beginning of the road with the series, posting a picture on Twitter from when they kicked off the Season 1 writers room four years ago. Asked what she’d tell herself now, her advice is simple. “Maybe sleep more,” she says. “Maybe sleep at all. You adorable idiot.”
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Catching Up with Ted Lasso and Previewing Season 2
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] The not so dirty little secret about how I approach a new series is that I sometimes make a call based on the headspace I’m in at the time. It’s been a minute since I’ve picked up a show after the first season and then binge…
Interview: Henri Esteve on Grown-ish Season 3
An interview with Henri Esteve, who plays Javi on Freeform’s Grown-ish. He talks about his season three experience.
For All Mankind Season 2: Talking with Wrenn Schmidt, Krys Marshall, Jodi Balfour, and Sonya Walger [Exclusive]
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] One of the hooks of For All Mankind is that it’s very much a story about the women of NASA. In Season 2, we explore the journeys of the women in the program, either through their own service or through their family affiliations. Four of those…
Rosy McEwen Talks The Alienist: Angel of Darkness Season Finale [Exclusive]
[Warning: Spoilers for the season finale episodes.] How’s everyone after that finale? I will freely admit I got a little misty in episode eight as John told Sara why he loved her, and later that he wanted her despite what he might forfeit, and then at the end when he…
Rosy McEwen Talks The Alienist: Angel of Darkness [Exclusive]
Hands down, one of the best surprises of The Alienist: Angel of Darkness is that the serial killer this season has been front and center alongside the cast as a fully-formed character. We’ve watched Libby Hatch devolve from a prim, mild-mannered nurse to a woman in a rage hell-bent on…
The Alienist: Angel of Darkness Relationship Recap: John and Sara
[Warning: Spoilers for “Belly of the Beast” and “Memento Mori”] If you’ve read me for a while (thank you!), you know two things — I lean way, way in on the characters I adore and I loathe love geometry arcs. So, I’m torn about where we are and where we…
Louriza Tronco Talks The Order Season 2 [Exclusive]
[Warning: Spoilers ahead for Season 2.] The Order’s second season is dark yet delightful entertainment on many levels, and one of its biggest sources of joy and snark is the sassy Gabrielle Dupres. Last season, she was assertive and deadly and fairly annoyed with the world. This season, she’s been…
Previewing Netflix’s Virgin River
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] Full disclosure: I have a Netflix account for my Mom, but I’m not a regular viewer. If I get a heads up on something, I’ll go look for it, but I don’t have a wander across its offerings, which, as I understand it, is how most…
Final Thoughts From the Killjoys Team [Exclusive]
This is the day of the week I’d normally hit you up with a Killjoys preview, but now that we’ve put the series to bed and released Team Awesome Force into the wild, I have one more treat for you–some final thoughts excerpted from my conversations with the Killjoys folks….
Michelle Lovretta Talks Wrapping Up Killjoys [Exclusive]
[Warning: Spoilers for the series finale.] To quote Miss Jackson, “That’s the end?” Yes, friends, it is. And like I promised you, everything would be, was, and is alright. I went to the Killjoys source, series creator Michelle Lovretta, who wrote the last episode, to break down that delicious finale….
What They Said: Three Revealing Conversations from Survivor’s Remorse “Closure”
WARNING: Spoilers for Survivor’s Remorse “Closure” The latest episode of Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse featured conversations that showed characters really digging deep into their thoughts, emotions and motivations.
Two Takes: The Catch “The Knock-Off”
Who can you trust? If this episode of The Catch was any indication, the answer is just about nobody. Betrayal was running rampant as Felicity (Shivani Ghai) arose from the dead to seduce-con Margot, Gretchen (Maria Thayer, Gotham, The Mindy Project) played gold-hearted Alice 2.0 before swindling Ethan, Tessa jumped…
What They Said: Top 3 Quotable Moments from Preacher “El Valero”
Both Quincannon and Jesse refuse to give up on what they each think is rightfully theirs. While Jesse is struggling to face the consequences of his actions, Quincannon has laid his past demons to rest and is hellbent on moving forward and putting Annville on the map again. Despite a…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Supergirl “Worlds Finest”
Oh, Supergirl. That ending was cold. But I can’t hate on you because the latest episode has quickly become one of my favorites.
What They Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Black Sails “XXIII”
The dialogue in “XXIII” is phenomenal. It’s always a fun ride when Black Sails carries its viewers along without giving them the chance to catch their breath. When an episode moves at this unforgiving pace, there is no chance for a breather nor is there a respite from the information…
What Lucifer Said: Favorite quotes from Supernatural “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
Supernatural episodes are almost always funny but thanks to the dialogue and a certain man speaking said dialogue, I laughed a lot during “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” You know, when I wasn’t busy fearing for Sam’s life or wondering what in the world was going on with Dean and…
What They Said: The Flash, “Legends Of Today” and Arrow, “Legends Of Yesterday”
Two nights of Arrow +Â The Flash = what more could we ask for?! I don’t know what it is about blending these shows, but I canâ€™t help but feel that every time they come together, they somehow become greater than the sum of their parts. And thatâ€™s saying a lot…
What they Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Graceland “Little Bo Bleep”
Shoot outs. Fake outs. And long-awaited revelations. “Little Bo Bleep” was a jam-packed episode that wrapped up some loose ends and totally frayed others. Â It finally gave us one Sarkissian in jail and pulled back the curtain on Briggs’ master plan, but it also set up Jakes for a world…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Poldark “Part 4”
â€œWhat have I told you, I don’t require my wife to crochet and sip tea, but I do require her to remember she’s not a beast of burden.â€ No, Iâ€™m not talking about The Rolling Stones! I have to admit though, just for a second, the lyrics popped into my…
3 Moments of Goodness from Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Johnny and Dora”
The most satisfying part of this season’s finale has to the Jake and Amy kiss. Well, they kiss three times but the last one is the best one — and it means something. The Charles and Rosa dynamic was also great. I love how she’s convinced he doesn’t know anything…