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Talking 'BrainDead' with Robert and Michelle King
June 13, 2016  | By David Bianculli  | 1 comment
 

Monday on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, I review the new CBS series BrainDead, which I like a lot. (You can access the review on the Fresh Air website.) But here on TVWW, I offer a special mini-interview with that show’s creators…

Robert and Michelle King went straight from The Good Wife to their new summer series BrainDead, a 13-week science fiction political satirical comedy premiering Monday, June 13, at 10 p.m. ET. I interviewed them for my upcoming book on quality TV, then checked in with them again a few weeks ago to get a last-minute update before my edited manuscript went to press.

Since I asked about BrainDead, and got some responses too specific to use in my book, I thought I’d share some of their remarks here.

First, about their leading lady.

“What we’re happiest about is Mary Elizabeth Winstead (left), who’s the lead,” Robert King told me. “She plays Laurel. She’s an amazing actress. We knew, from her independent [film] work, that she did both comedy and drama well. But it doesn’t seem like you’ll get more than one Julianna Margulies [the talented, Emmy-winning star of The Good Wife], but we kind of ended up in a very good place with our lead, where we’re thrilled.”

Michelle King explained that while BrainDead will feature “a few” familiar faces from their old CBS series, behind the scenes they’re using a lot of the same crew and collaborators. And the tone of the current political season, against which BrainDead and its tale of politicians possessed by aliens is set, she said helped the two of them concoct the 13-episode summer series.

“You only feel as though you can never go too extreme,” she said. “Nothing is off the table.”

And finally, they explained how they used green-screen technology to keep the series as current as possible, particularly when it came to the many TV screens shown in the back rooms and offices, presenting clips of actual news footage of actual presidential contenders. The deeper it got into the campaign season, the more they swapped out and replaced certain images, speeches, and politicians.

“We thought [Texas Republican candidate Ted] Cruz would take it all the way to the convention,” Robert King admitted. “So we had a lot of extra screens where we were going to put Cruz. And we thought [Vermont Democratic candidate Bernie] Sanders would drop out sooner. So now Bernie is landing on a lot of the screens that were meant for Cruz.”

Consider it a creative form of post-production course correction. Or, if you prefer, a course-correcting type of Cruz control…

 
 
 
 
 
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1 Comments
 
 
Michael Mara Strauss
Well I am intrigued. The ear evacuations have me whirling. Like the lead gal mucho. Will miss TGW, it was an excellent run and the clothes on Baranski, I feltvelegant each time she was on screen. Posted a watch this on FB. Good luck.
Jun 17, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
 
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