You know what I love about LA? Very few other cities, you can be walking down the street and see a naked meth-head driving a black muscle car.
The most important question, of course -- where does he keep his keys?
Right, I've been working on the season 2 premiere, so I've been tardy. I'll do my best to catch up.
Questions from "The 12 Step Job":
Rebecca: Although we've talked much about episodes being aired out of order, I don't think I've ever seen the explanation of WHY that was done. Is it always a clearance issue, or sometimes something else...like, what, for instance?
Well, the network often has a different idea, based on their knowledge of their audience, for what episodes will most effectively hook viewers. Sometimes it's tone -- they wanted "The Wedding Job" to go later, as it's an off-speed ep. Sometimes it's audience-building -- they felt "The Two Horse Job" was a more "typical" episode, and helped getting new viewers introduced to the style and content of the show, so it was moved earlier in the run. Considering our success, I'm not going to argue with TNT's judgment.
The intended air order, which should be the DVD order --
1.) The Nigerian Job
2.) The Homecoming Job
3.) The Wedding Job
4.) The Snow Job
5.) The Mile High Job
6.) The Miracle Job
7.) The Two Horse Job
8.) The Bank Shot Job
9.) The Stork Job
10.) The Juror #6 Job
11.) The 12 Step Job
12.) The First David Job
13.) The Second David Job
R.A. Porter (and others): Speaking of clearance issues...I've been trying for the life of me to figure out this song that Jack Hurley's grunting over in the opening. It sounds like Shane MacGowan to me, but it's not a Pogues song I know. I can't get a very clear listen to the lyrics and can only grab a few snippets, but when I searched based on those I came up empty.
Berg answered this in the Comments: "Since everyone and their mother keeps asking about the song from 12-Step, thought I'd chime in. Although I'm sure this info will appear in a future blog post by Rogers. In the script, Chris Downey and I indicated our desire for a Pogues-slash-Flogging Molly type tune. Because purchasing source music (prerecorded songs from established artists) isn't in our budget, we left the task in the very capable hands of our talented composer Joe LoDuca. "Can't Go Home Again" is the song he created for us. At the moment, it's not available anywhere. Will let you know if/when that changes."
Oh, and R.A. your review of The First David Job hit the character nail on the head. Nicely done.
Becky: Do the actors ever get to ad lib any of what they say or is all of that in the script?
They usually do one where it's just the script, and then play a bit. Many of my favorite bits in the show are actor improvs.
Andrew Timson: Funny as the last line was… it scares me that Nate is that clueless, if he truly was going to go get a drink. How did he rationalize the fact that he had to detox? And when he gets himself killed, who's going to run the joint? Sophie can probably handle it, I guess, but putting any of the others in the center seat is asking for disaster.
Oddly, addicts -- and Nate has several addictions -- are very good art rationalization.
Leah: Question -- is there going to be a Leverage presence at ComicCon? You have been attracting Fans (with a capital F)
I'm all for it. We'll see.
Save-vs-DM: This is probably a very geeky question, but have you actually made character sheets for the main crew, using whatever system you favor? (I know that I've done it using Spirit of the Century) I know that you mentioned that all the characters have Thief 101 skills, but in your mind do you actually prevent them from doing something because "it's not on the character sheet"?
Seriously, e-mail the SoC character builds to the email@example.com account. I want to see those. SoC is really frustrating to me, actually. A lot of great stuff, but as soon as you ge tinto tagging aspects of the setting, it all goes to mush for me. A simple system that they overcomplicate a bit in the rules book. FWIW, I'd go True20 or Savage Worlds for a Leverage game.
Anonymous: just a quick question... Are all of the original cast members going to still be on board for season 2? Hate when a great show goes on but without one of my favorite actors...
Jill: One question - I know that this was the last ep written, so perhaps this will be straightened out in later (aired) episodes, but where did Hardison learn to fight? Last I saw in "Miracle," he was freaked out at the very thought of violence. Now he's an action hero?
This blows by super-fast, but if you watch Hardison fight, he gets punched early, and after that he's mainly tying the guy up with his longer reach, kind of wrestle-grappling. Aldis is very careful about making sure he's still awkward in a physical confrontation.
That said, Eliot's probably giving him some pointers.
Rob: Props, arguably mad in nature, to whoever came up with taking the Goddamned Obligatory Explosively-Propelled Flying Tire and making it relevant.
It's not like I don't KNOW TV Tropes. We read it too. We're actually stealing from an episode of Lupin 3 there...
David: Could you please write a couple sentences (or maybe even a whole post!) about taking and implementing notes from the network and how you have dealt with that through the run of the first season. What do you fight? What do you take? As an aspiring writer, taking feedback is always hard because you're not ever sure which differing opinion to trust or whether to listen to yourself. Any tips on how to weed out good vs. bad feedback and how NOT to be defensive/argumentative when getting feedback? Love to hear your knowledgeable opinion/approach.
Will do a post on this this week.
From "The Juror #6 Job":
Darkrose: That's actually one of the few things about Alec that rings geekily false to me. If he uses standard model of anything, it would be a Toshiba, since they're physically damn near indestructable. Far more likely is that he built his own and has it set up to triple-boot Linux, Hackintosh, and the Windows 7 Beta. (Vista? Please!)
Actually, our friendly hackers tell us that now they're using $300 netbooks running Linux, because they can be dumped at a moment's notice with no worry about the money being tossed.
marag: Did Parker actually have to convince someone or persaude the jury to vote the right way? Alec's speech was great, of course, but it just seemed that learning how to persuade someone was the missing thing at the end to tie up Parker's character arc in the episode.
Yes, she did have to convince the jury, to close it up, but that scene went away in the cutting of the script for time. She had the Peggy tag, so it seemed like we didn't need both.
Zifnab: I'm honestly wondering when we'll start seeing recurring villains or multi-episode plot arcs.
Rarely, if ever.
Carolyn: One dimension of the show which I had a hard time explaining in advance is WHY these (now independently wealthy) people would continue to do risky and potentially dangerous jobs. What do they get out of it? What is the thread which holds them together? Nate is a good leader, and I buy that they would let him guide them through a job. It was obvious why they sought revenge in the first ep, but it's not so obvious what is driving them now. Why did Eliot agree to go to the warehouse with Parker when he really wanted to drink beer and watch football ...
Although other commenters discussed this pretty well, the idea is that they stayed together for the thrill of being on the uber-team, and then evolved into something ... more. There's no guarantee that'll last forever, though ...
Tom Galloway: One problem with the ep; I really disliked the speech Nathan gave Hardison about how if he really tried, he could do anything, become a lawyer, surgeon, etc. Um, the man's a worldclass computer hacker and electronics whiz (not the same thing) and is expert in multiple computer areas. It came across as really condescending to tell a worldclass expert in multiple difficult and practical fields that if he really, really, tried, he might actually be able to make something of himself one day.
Interesting, because that directly addresses one of Nate's problems, one we really hammer in "The First David Job": he still doesn't respect being a thief. One can argue whether he should or not, but that was intentional. Hes grown fond of Hardison, and wants him to succeeed in the legit world where the rules work. Because to him, that place he's fallen from is still the right place to be. Second season addresses this issue.
Nate is not always a very nice person.
Sammie: I see a couple of people have already asked, but I also wanted to know how much of his own stunt work Christian Kane does? Doesn't he ever get hurt or is he really indestructable?
Kane does 99.9999999% of his own stunts. And yes he does get hurt. Don't frikkin remind me.
Maya: Nate is so often seen with a glass of scotch in his hand. I was wondering, what is in Tim's glass in reality when he's filming those scenes? I doubt it's alcohol for real.
It's tea. I'm the one with the real booze in his glass.
Pcat: One thing we loved about it is that it shows Sophie having a relationship with people other than Nate -- and it's a relationship that doesn't rely on nagging and disapproval for a change. Everyone is at the top of their game, and that's fun to see.
Pcat! Anyway, yeah, if you look at the eps in the order above, you see the Sophie arc tracks a little more evenly, and it's not so Nate-centric over the course of the season.
Annnd before we get to the questions for "The First David Job", a sidebar:
We knew it wouldn't work. The Sophie/Nate relationship. Well, not at first, but as soon as we started working with the actors (and it was really Tim and Gina who got us here), we realized:
a.) If Nate's as screwed up as we want, Sophie's a sap for putting up with it now that she's actually working with the guy on a regular basis, but
b.) if Nate's normal enough for the relationship to work -- a relationship built on the already tenuous foundation of romanticized, idealized verisons of each other -- he's not as fucked up as we want.
So we embarked on an occasionally frustrating, but to me much more creatively satisfying arc, of showing that real relationships are really, really hard. Sophie, in the arc of the season goes through:
1) this guy I've got a sexy, flirty relationship with, kind of a mutual crush based on our exotic lifestyle, is finally available ...
2.)... but neither of us are exactly who we think we are ...
3.) ... he's a drunk. A baaaad drunk ...
4.) ... who won't talk about his problem, or even what we're doing here in this weird pseuod-relationship ...
5.) ... who plainly really cares for me but that bit of vulnerability is almost worse because he ...
6.) ... won't stop drinking and is getting worse and ...
7.) ... shutting us all out and self-destructing in front of us and --
8.) -- now says, out loud, how much he despises the fact his ex-wife thinks he's a criminal. Like me.
Frankly -- fuck that. Fuck YOU, Emotionally Unavailable Guy. I'd steal the Second David too.
So basically, Nate/Sophie was always meant to stutter. We'll see what happens now that they're starting from a different place in Season Two.
The two halves of the finale should really be seen together. The first half is Action Half, while tonight, while action-riffic, is mostly Nate closing out his emotional arc for the season. For better or worse. Whether his need for vengeance finally destroys him -- well, we DID say that we closed out Season One without any idea of whether we had a Season Two ...
Okay, questions from "The First David Job":
Alex D: I really liked this, though the continuity problem around how/when Sophie hooked herself up on the roof made my head hurt. Felt like a real step up in danger and stakes, the way a season finale should.
She reached down and hooked on while we were watching Parker run across the roof. Honest.
Thomas: LASER TRIPWIRES DO NOT WORK LIKE THAT!
Do not even get me started on the laser tripwires. However, TV Tropes basically require their presence for The Big Heist. And what's that? It's the oncoming rumble of the FUN TRAIN! WOOOOOOT!! WOOOOOOT!
Brian: ... why isn't there a single closed circuit security camera? Why, when the vibration sensor went off, didn't the security guys just look at their little screens and say, "Oh, there's someone in there!"
Oddly, this one is true. Our security consultant spends a lot of his time explaining why there are no closed-circuit cameras in most of these secure areas now. Go figure.
RA Porter: My only very small complaint is that I wish you'd given Alex Carter more to do. That guy's *funny*.
We only got Alex for that small role because he's friends with Mark. And he has more to do this week. But it was totally him doing us a favor.
Maya: Oh, a question. Was it a coincidence that Nate punched Ian in the face right after he'd kissed Sophie's hand? Could it be that there was a tiny bit of jealousy on his part as well? It may be that it felt good to punch him on several levels. :-P
Oh yes. And Nate's not the only punchy one this week.
Michael Clear: I didn't quite get why Nate never told his ex that she's working for the man responsible for her son's death.
Not explained. But explained this week.
Mitchy: I have a technical question about the ear pieces the team uses - oddly, Hardison kind of addressed it tonight but I didn't quite catch all the dialogue. When the team are wearing the ear pieces, they can hear what the other members of the team are saying. So how does that work when they're seperated and may all be talking at the same time, or having conversations amongst themselves? Is it just a cacophany of noise they have to learn to tune out and pick out the important stuff from?
They are built with the same circuitry as sonic screwdrivers. Plotconveniencetonium.
Right then, this is your open thread for the Season One Finale. I'll do a wrap-up this week, and then once-weekly updates on the show. Might actually start blogging about something else, finally ...