Phil Klemmer and John Enbom (Writers)

Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and comments. (December 23, 2006)

MI.net: Also, another little boo-boo. In "Driver Ed" it was established that the crash happened at four, but in "Versatile Toppings" it was moved to 7 pm.

John: It was?

Phil: I didn't notice.

John: Someone will be fired for that.

Phil: Wait, that's my script, man. [chuckles] So it happened at 7 in "Versatile Toppings"?

MI.net: Yes, but in "Driver Ed" it was at 4.

Phil: Uhm...let's see, what month did the crash happen again?

MI.net: September, I'm assuming.

Phil: The sunset.

MI.net: Ohh. Maybe it was Pacific time versus Central?

Phil: No, it seems like, I just remember from the footage...Boy, we have to go back and look at our room notes for that. They were out there on a field trip...boy, that does sound lame.

John: Uh-oh.

Phil: I've got some explaining to do, man. This is why I avoid dates and times.

John: It is really difficult.

Phil: [chuckles] We've got a little timeline up on our board that deals with our second mystery which we are not allowed to talk about. But it's up there so...

John: Yeah. You know that we have learned from our past mistakes and we actually have a very detailed little list of events. We are getting it all very tight this year.

MI.net: One funny scene was in "Cheatty Cheatty Bang Bang" at the end when Big Dick leaves in a helicopter.

Phil: Yeah, we love that scene.

MI.net: What inspired that kind of wackiness?

Phil: I don't know. I don't think it was on the page necessarily.

John: Yeah, a lot of that was just kinda of the freneticness of how it ended up getting shot. We did love the idea of Beaver seemingly unwittingly bringing down his dad's empire and his dad running madly around, sorta revealed as the snake that he is.

Phil: For that our producer Dan Etheridge had to spend a week of just bribing and begging and doing whatever else to sort of put a helicopter up on the roof of the building...

John: Getting a helicopter on Veronica Mars is not...

Phil: We are not 24.

John: ...an everyday occurrence.

Klembom: [chuckle]

Phil: We probably had one take to do that. We also had the help of one of our new editors this year, Dan Gabbe, who was then an assistant editor, I think. He found a groovy song. Was that a Spoon song?

John: I don't know.

Phil: I don't know. If there's ever a great sort of music cue, like a pop music thing, it comes form Dan Gabbe, who's our resident expert on indie pop rock. The song at the end of the most recent episode to air, "Charlie Don't Surf," that was another Dan Gabbe find. And it's been stuck in my head for two days since I watched the episode, so that must be good.

MI.net: Do you guys ever come up with some song selections for the scripts?

Phil: I write them in all...well, I used to write them in all the time, but it's tough because understanding the music budget and what it costs to buy these things is humbling. The one thing I did fit into the show was the Aaron-beating-Logan montage song in "Return of the Kane" which was "Ventura Highway." We were looking for sort of a counter song to beating your son.

John: [chuckles] Music to beat your son by. There's actually a great CD of music to beat your son by.

Phil: [chuckles] Actually, the first song I suggested was Olivia Newton-John's "Have You Ever been Mellow?"

John: [cackles]

Phil: Which was considered a little too on the nose as far as counter mood. I think I saw that in a subsequent draft and God willing, hopefully we'll acquire the rights to it because I would love to hear that on Veronica Mars.

John: I don't try it as much just because Rob has that stuff sorta very hardwired himself. He likes to do it. He's good at it. He's very knowledgeable about putting music to the show and everything. Plus there's the constant tension between the fact that it's basically a teenage show and we're all these old men whose references go back to our Led Zeppelin in college days. Every now and then... I think something just got thrown out. Well actually, a million things got thrown out. In the last script we just wrote, there were all these music references and what not, and Rob was just like, "This is ridiculous. We're a show about a teenager and it's like she's got the musical taste of a forty-year-old former Spin editor."

MI.net: How does Rob keep track of stuff like that?

John: Just one of the things he does.

Phil: When he writes, you come into the office whatever time, and he writes with just blaring music.

John: Yeah, you can hear him out in the parking lot. If I roll in at 8 o'clock or whatever, his office is sort of poking out at the end of the building, and you can just hear this music just blasting out. He writes to stuff. He gets CDs of music all the time and he's always just sorta keeping track of what he likes and what's good to put in there. And he sorta bounces all over which I think also has been really good for the show.

MI.net: And right after that helicopter scene, Veronica does that "They all died because of me" kind of thing. That's just one of the good examples of how the show balances of humor versus all this melodrama. Were you ever worried, "Well, maybe we should pull back the humor a little bit." Just to make it not such a sharp break in the mood?

John: I think the notion that the world is like...that the Veronica Mars world is like...I don't know if just a noir version of it's not a sympathetic caring world that wraps itself around you. But it's a world were things are just doing what they are doing and good things and bad things just happen in the midst of that. I think to a certain degree we feel it's staying true to the tone, not just of the characters in the show itself, but the world of the show. So there's obviously stuff that every now and then, "Well, this is just ridiculous" or whatever. And we sorta maybe toss it out because it's too corny or too ridiculous and too silly. But in terms of clearing the decks to make way for just "This is the dramatic moment," I don't think we feel the audience needs those sort of cues or whatever.

Phil: Yeah.

John: That's one of the things we like about the show is that everything coming at once.

Phil: I think if we do have a morbid, depressing A story we will look for the B and C things that will offer some counter point to it. I don't think we see that as inconsistency. I think we attempt it to be a smattering. In one of the episodes that I have upcoming, was I think the first one we've really done on the show that has sort of dramatic throughline through all the stories and it was just by coincidence. It was actually a strange sensation to look at the one-pager and be like, "Oh man, there's a theme running through these three stories." There are TV shows that start with that, and try to make it all fit, but we think of three nifty stories and we're not so concerned...they don't have to perfectly harmonize. It's nice to be hopping around in different moods within an episode. Dick Casablancas, always comic relief.

John: [chuckles]

Phil: Especially if you're doing something just awful and gut-wrenching as this year's first mystery, I think it helps.

John: Well, also in the sense it's also Veronica's mechanism for dealing with the world and it's also a way to see what she's up against. Because when you look at someone like Sheriff Lamb: constantly inappropriate and unsympathetic and his own kind of asshole take on things other people would find deeply serious, and I think that's very much the world she lives in and that's how she deals with it.

MI.net: In "Blast from the Past" how did Madame Sophie know about Lilly? Was she really psychic? Did Jackie tell her?

Phil: Yeah. That was Cathy Belben's part of the story. She did the A story for that one, but I believe we did have her selling Veronica out.

John: I think was supposed to be the idea. Jackie had told her about all this stuff.

Phil: Yeah, the boob cream thing was the indication that she had betrayed Veronica. I think once we get to "Wait, who knew about my boob cream?" that was "Oh..."

John: Jackie's the rat!

MI.net: That was a little confusing. We were like, "maybe Jackie told her, well, maybe she didn't."

Phil: It's the Mammamax clue.

MI.net: The clue to everything. Broke the whole story.

Klembom: [chuckle]

MI.net: "My Mother, the Fiend" focused a lot on Lianne, Jake, and Celeste. Why did you guys decide to bring up that old history considering the Kanes weren't that important then?

Phil: I think when we had originally come up with that baby story, Trina Echolls being sort of this mystery baby, was something that came sorta after the fact. It was one of those cases working backwards. I think we really liked it as a groovy A story and then Rob just decided, "Hey, this would make it even freakier if it was somebody that we know, and then somebody who means something to the fans of the show."

John: And I think we wanted to at least keep alive the notion that Veronica had these thoughts and feelings and things about her mother that she was still dealing with. And the idea of wrestling with what kind of kid was she was also something that we wanted to address. This idea that Veronica having obviously conflicting feelings about her mom as an adult and then run into this notion that her mom might have been a horrible kid [chuckles] and having to wrestle with that.

MI.net: The fans, by the end, they hated Lianne so they're like, "Arggghh."

John: [chuckles]

MI.net: Was Trina always intended to be the mystery baby?

Phil: No, no, that's just came up, actually with that episode but it seemed to work.

MI.net: That episode also had the beginning of Mac and Cassidy. Did you guys have any idea that couple would be that popular?

Phil: No, I didn't.

John: It certainly didn't surprise us because Tina and Kyle both are immensely winning people and actors in their own right. And we love both of those characters. And I think the idea of putting them together sorta seemed like a cute couple. And they both did such a great job of being almost this island of normalness in a world largely defined by venially backstabbing. I think it made sense to us. There is that part of us that is like, "It is too bad that he's a horrible rapist." And poor, poor Mac.

Phil: But she's bouncing back.

John: She's bouncing back.

MI.net: Did you intend for Cassidy to be that cute and adorable?

Phil: John and I were in on the casting and he was just head and shoulders our favorite guy. Maybe it was just my knowledge of how things would end for him, but I always saw the darkness in that kid.

John: What's funny because I think at the time that we cast him, he had not been chosen as our murderer.

Phil: Is that true?

John: Because we cast him in season one for "A Trip to the Dentist" I think. I think that's where he showed up and at that point we had not figured out exactly who'd done it for season two. He kind of expanded greatly from there.

John: But I also think, not only is he a great actor who did a great job, but I think between his family situation and everything, that generated so much sympathy for his character. Just me thinking of that moment of him happily watching TV and his dad comes in and fake stabs him, to me that was when I was like, "I can't stand it. I have to root for him because look at what he's dealing with."

Phil: And actually seeing Kyle and Ryan, the real-life Dick and Cassidy, on set. They were ridiculous.

John: Wow, comic.

Phil: They did have this big brother/little brother always sorta assing around like relationship.

John: And they had mastered some sort of figure skating maneuver where Kyle would come racing across the set and then Ryan would lift him up into the air.

Klembom: [chuckle]

John: It had to be seen to be believed, but it was pretty hilarious.

MI.net: That's one that fans had a hard time reconciling. "Aww, Cassidy is so cute. Wait..." And all that cuteness just kinda disappeared in the final episode.

Phil: Yeah, we've seen people can come back as different characters so maybe there's hope for Kyle.

John: [chuckles]

MI.net: That would make people very, very happy.

Phil: I guess you guys are all aware what we did Tim Foyle's character?

MI.net: You brought him back.

Klembom: Right.

MI.net: In a bad wig.

Phil: Yeah, who knows what prosthesis we'll put on...prosthetics we'll put on him to make him....

John: Yeah, that's definitely one of the big downsides. We were happy to go with it and we knew he would do a great job, which I think he really did, but we were also bummed to know that at the end of the season he would be splat on the ground.

Phil: [chuckles]

John: Not available to us any more. Because we really did like him a lot. I loved his character. And his relationship Dick and Mac and all that sort of stuff was fun to write.

MI.net: It was like, "Aww, did you have to make him all that bad?"

Klembom: [chuckles]

Tune in next week for the final installment.

Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and comments. (December 23, 2006)


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