A chat with Greg Grunberg, Greg Grunberg interview, Heroes, Matt Parkman, Alias, Felicity
Greg Grunberg

TV Home / Entertainment Channel / Bullz-Eye Home

See where "Heroes" placed in the Spring 2009 Edition of our TV Power Rankings!
Don't miss Will's Heroes Blog!

This ought to make you feel old: Greg Grunberg has been a television staple for more than a decade now. He’s been acting for even longer than that, of course, but with no small amount of help from his good buddy J.J. Abrams (at least initially), Grunberg has managed to maintain a steady presence since 1998, when we were introduced to him as Sean Blumberg on “Felicity,” and from there, we came to know him as Eric Weiss on “Alias.” For the past three seasons, however, he’s been Matt Parkman, the man who messes with your mind every week on NBC’s “Heroes.” Bullz-Eye talked to Grunberg in connection with the appearance of “Heroes” on our TV Power Rankings, and we asked him about the progression of the show during its two-volume third season, what we can expect from the season finale, and even dared to ask him what he’d say to someone who said, “The show sucks, it hasn’t been good since the first season.” How did he react? Read on.

Greg Grunberg: Hey, Will…? Hi, it’s Greg Grunberg!

Bullz-Eye: Hey, man, how are you doing?

GG: I’m doing well. How are you?

BE: I’m good. Pleasure to talk to you.

GG: Yeah, you, too. Thank you for wanting to talk to me!

BE: No problem. Actually, I met you right before the premiere of Season 2, when the cast of “Heroes” gave the members of the TCA a tour of your set.

GG: Oh, very cool! You were in that group, then?

BE: Yeah, I believe I told you, “If this acting thing doesn’t pan out, you’ve got a heck of a future as a tour guide.”

"I just loved that stuff with Daphne and giving her her last wish and all that stuff. And it was also really emotional stuff for me when she said, 'Do me a favor: let me go,' that kind of whole thing. I thought it was just so beautifully done, and that’s typical Bryan. He knows what happened and the reality of the emotion and those real character moments."

GG: (Bursts out laughing) Now I know exactly who you are! That was actually a fun time, though. You know what I love about that? Everybody got to shine. We gave the tours, but they set up all of those little areas with the set designers and the special effects guys, and they’re really the ones who make that show pop. So, yeah, it was really cool to give them the exposure they deserve, y’know?

BE: Absolutely. Well, I don’t know if they told you specifically why we wanted to talk to you today, but it’s about “Heroes” being in Bullz-Eye’s TV Power Rankings.

GG: Yeah! Very cool!

BE: Now, I have to admit that the show has sunk a bit in the rankings, but it’ s still holding strong in the top 20.

GG: Yeah. But that’s good!

BE: And, y’know, truth be told, I have to think it would’ve ranked at least a little bit higher if we hadn’t cast our votes for the rankings immediately before the episode written by Bryan Fuller (“Cold Snap”) aired. I think we’ve all really been digging the show since he rejoined the gang.

GG: Oh, yeah. Everybody on the show has been really thrilled as well. It’s interesting, because my episode, 3.17 (“Cold Wars”), which I thought was really strong, I just loved that stuff with Daphne and giving her her last wish and all that stuff. And it was also really emotional stuff for me when she said, “Do me a favor: let me go,” that kind of whole thing. I thought it was just so beautifully done, and that’s typical Bryan. He knows what happened and the reality of the emotion and those real character moments. Another one that just happened is that stuff with HRG and his wife and the divorce. Yes, it involved Sylar shapeshifting, but it was real. It was real and emotional, and it was an identifiable thing where you’re letting your spouse down, but you’ve got important stuff, and where are your priorities? Bryan is so good at that.

BE: In my blog, I made a comment about how it was pretty easy to believe that Sandra would’ve been serving HRG with divorce papers.

GG: Yeah! Exactly! And that’s why he didn’t question it. It wasn’t, like, “Where is this coming from?” He knew he deserved it, and that’s earned. When you create characters and you can tap into a story like that, if it’s earned, then it’s so powerful. That’s what I think Bryan identifies and doesn’t let slip by. It’s one of those things where it’s, like, “No, no, no, let’s not just breeze over that moment where they’re mad at each other. Let’s give some consequence to that and some weight to it.” That’s what people want to see. That’s the interesting stuff you can relate to. And he’s so good at mining that.

BE: So given that the first episode of the “Villains” arc premiered at Comic-Con and everyone just went, for lack of a better term, apeshit, were you surprised at the sudden backlash from the fans a couple of episodes in?

Greg GrunbergGG: You know, I’m never surprised. I’ve been very lucky to be on some shows that have dealt with this in the past. “Alias” dealt with it, “Lost” dealt with it. It’s really hard because…to get back that feeling of discover that you have in the first season of a show like this is so hard. The discovery for the characters, the discovery for the audience. So, yeah, I mean, I was surprised because we’re so far ahead of what’s airing that it’s kind of hard to fix it that quickly and really judge if it needs fixing, because maybe a couple of episodes down the line you see why the episodes start out the way they do, and there’s a bigger payoff. It’s tough. It’s a tough thing in TV because it takes us so long to make the shows. But I’m never really surprised by that stuff, because it’s a smart audience, and you’re never going to please everybody all the time.

BE: With your character specifically, has there been any plot arc that happened that, either when it was happening or after the fact as you were watching it, you thought, “Oh, this didn’t work”?

GG: Hmmm. That’s a good question. No, not for me, actually. I’ve really liked my stuff. The only thing I would say is that I try and play everything really, really real, and when I’m being Bad-Ass Parkman, it has to be justified. It has to come from a place where he’s trying to protect his wife or himself or find out crucial information. Because at heart, he’s a good guy who just wants to do the right thing. I don’t think I’ve ever really been put in any position like that. I think other characters possibly have, but they kind of keep my stuff pretty grounded as much as it can be on our show. So, no, I’ve been really pleased.

BE: Talking about being Bad-Ass Parkman, I’d actually made a comment about how, this past week, you ended up not actually pulling the trigger, as it were, and I said, “Oh, Matt didn’t go through with his plan. Again.” And one of the readers said, “That’s because Parkman is a good guy. He would never kill anyone innocent. If he did, his character wouldn’t work.”

GG: Right. And his intentions, again, were, like, “You know what? He took something of mine, I’m gonna take something of his.” But ultimately I think that, if he were to have killed her, she was an innocent, and it would’ve tainted him forever. Having said that, though, Parkman does do something that he will regret forever before this season ends…and it’s pretty great. It’s one of those things that, on the surface, everybody else is happy about, but how it was pulled off and the secret that he’s going to carry with him is gonna be…it’s gonna fuel Season 4. It’s something that’s gonna haunt him and he may have to fix, and there’s no real easy way to fix it. I hate to be so vague, but you know how it is. It’s the big season finale sort of cliffhanger thing that I’m involved in, and people are gonna be shocked, but they’re gonna be shocked at what happens, at how it happens, and who pulls it off. Well, I’m obviously the guy who pulls it off, but you’re gonna be, like, “Wow, unbelievable. I never thought he would do that.”

BE: How do you think the season was invigorated by having it split up into two volumes, “Villains” and “Fugitives”?

GG: Well, I think it worked for us, because…y’know, “Villains,” when you’ve got a bunch of villains running around and everyone’s a superhero, it’s hard to ground that stuff in reality. When everybody’s puffing out their chests, then suddenly there’s no real threat. Everybody’s got a power, and it’s like when I see the future and everybody’s flying around. It’s a little bit unrelatable. So I think it was a good thing for us to get back to “Fugitives,” where we all have a common goal, which is that the bad guys are chasing us, and it’s very clear. Those lines are drawn. There’s an episode where we’re in the hospital, and you’ve got to pan over the good guys and pan over the bad guys. And Adrian was on the good guys’ side, and then he ended up turning and working with Zeljko (Ivanek), but you didn’t know his intentions at that time. But it was much clearer. I remember watching the show and, at that moment, going, “Okay, now we’re getting there.” I think it made a lot of people very happy that they know who was good and who was bad, at least on the surface, because it got too confusing for awhile. Also, I like the idea that we have volumes because it gives us essentially two season finales and two season openers. Even though they’re technically volume openers, it’s more exciting that way, and it helps to market the show.

="I try and play everything really, really real, and when I’m being Bad-Ass Parkman, it has to be justified. It has to come from a place where he’s trying to protect his wife or himself or find out crucial information. Because at heart, he’s a good guy who just wants to do the right thing."

BE: Did you enjoy the character of Usutu within your storyline?

GG: Yeah, I love him. I think he’s great. I thought it was a bit…and Bryan and I talked about it…it’s kind of an easy device, when you can take the future and see what’s about to happen. I don’t love those easy devices. Like, time travel is gone…and I think it’s a really good thing that time travel is gone on our show. It’s sort of too easy. But that character, I love the mystery of him, and Ntare Mwine is just wonderful to work with, so, yeah, I loved playing against him.

BE: What were your feelings when they told you that you were going to get a love interest this season with Daphne?

GG: I thought it was great! I really did. Although Brea Grant is a lot younger than I am. (Laughs) What I love about Daphne is that she is the personification of that sort of anime character. She looks it, she acts it. She really put a lot of sharp, quick movements into her acting and her dialogue. It was who she was. It was like she was on caffeine all the time. We got along really well, and she’s now a really good friend of mine. So I was actually sad to see her go, but I was excited for me, just at the story development and having my wife coming back into the picture and getting my baby back. To be able to…in Season 4, my big thing is to hold on to this family and to make the family work, first of all, because there’s a lot of contentious baggage to deal with, but also to protect these people that I love and this simple thing that I’ve always wanted: a family. I think it’s really exciting.

BE: I know you were certainly central to his story, but I can’t remember: did you actually have any scenes with Robert Forster during the course of the season?

GG: Um…yes, I did. When I was in Angela’s head, in her dream. In the hallway, we had stuff there, where he was, like, “Women are terrible, Parkman. You can’t trust ‘em.” That was great. I loved all that stuff.

BE: He seems like he’s just the coolest guy in the world.

GG: He really is. He’s so cool. That’s why guys like Quentin Tarantino use him: because he’s cool without trying to be cool. Here’s a guy who you assume on the set that he is who he is, and that he’s similar to his characters and be kind of mysterious and cool. And, yet, he has a gift, and he’s…I hate to use the term “old school,” but it’s in a really, really good way. He’s such a pro, and he gives everyone a gift when he works with them. He’s just incredible to work with. He’s a guy who you…I’ve worked with Don Rickles, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some really great people. Eric Roberts. They’re just these guys who come from a world where they appreciate good material and working with good people. Henry Winkler I worked with. These guys are just solid, and that’s who I kind of would love to be like. I’d love to have their careers. They just keep working forever because they’re pros, they’re good at what they do, and people like working with them.

BE: Who’s your favorite character to be teamed up with that you don’t get teamed up with enough?

Greg GrunbergGG: Right now, I’d have to say Adrian (Pasdar), because I love the stuff between the two of us. I love that sort of partnership. I thought we had great chemistry together, and he’s such a good…well, everybody on the cast, we’ve become really close and have that chemistry, but he and I really had a shorthand, and if you watch, our dialogue was really overlapping. A lot of it was in two shots, because they didn’t care about overlapping dialogue and clean dialogue in our close-ups, because it was just natural, and it really worked for the stuff that we had to do. So I would love one day to be partnered up with him again.

BE: What’s been your favorite episode of the season thus far? Of either volume?

GG: I’d definitely have to say Episode 3.17 so far. That was just huge for me, and it was…again, it wrapped up emotions, and…well, it’s hard to play when you’re in an ensemble and they’ve got a storyline like they have, where I basically created this love affair. I mean, there’s really no relationship other than in my head. We definitely care about each other, and we’re leaning on each other, but there’s no real romance there other than what I’ve sort of fabricated because I don’t have the family and the relationship that I want, or somebody in my life. They were able to wrap that up, finally, and in a way that can resonate with the audience. I think it was huge, and, again, I thought it was beautifully done. I just loved that episode. It connected with the audience in a huge way. I know that through Twitter. I went onto Twitter, and people went crazy about that. And, by the way, you can put that in. Please put the link to my Twitter. I love the immediate reaction I get after an episode.

BE: Done. So, look, were you guys, like, rooting for “Pushing Daisies” to get canceled, so you could get Bryan Fuller back into the fold?

"I always wanted ('Alias') to end with Sloane walking into his own office, and you think he’s practicing talking to somebody, saying, 'Look, I did everything you told me to do, but it just didn’t turn out the way we thought,' but then suddenly his chair swings around, and it’s me. And I’ve been running the whole thing the whole time."

GG: (Laughs) I never root for a failure. I learned that when we were on “Felicity.” There was a show that failed on the lot, and suddenly all of this food showed up on our set. I was, like, “What is this?” And they said, “Oh, they cancelled this other show right before their lunch.” And I said, “Throw that food away! We don’t want to touch that food! There’s no way I’m eating it!” So I never root for anybody, because it could happen to you in two seconds. I’ve learned that. But, all right, having said that… (Laughs) …it was also awesome to get Bryan back. I think Bryan was being consulted with, anyway, while he was doing “Pushing Daises,” even though he didn’t have time to do it. But it was great to get him back full time.

BE: Zeljko Ivanek seems to really blend well with the cast, particularly in his scenes with HRG.

GG: Yeah. He’s a great villain, and he’s really clear cut. I don’t think you’re ever gonna…I mean, we saw a softer, more human side, but even in that human side, he was taking advantage of this woman and lying to her. He’s such a great actor, you know? He won an Emmy for “Damages.” He’s amazing. He’s one of those people that I’m so lucky to have worked with…and will continue to work with, I hope.

BE: Yes, I know you said you can’t really talk much about what’s upcoming in the final few episodes, but can you tell us if the final episode ends with a full-fledged cliffhanger, or will we be comfortable ‘til the new season starts?

GG: I think it’s a little of both. I mean, we have so many stories going on. But the overall story, the big picture story, will be answered. But it’ll be answered in such a way that you’re, like, “Wait a minute, if they did that, then…holy shit, that means XYZ!” You know? You’re not going to be waiting for something to happen so much as you’re gonna be set up to know that Season 4 is gonna be all new and…when your mind starts thinking about what the possibilities are, it’s pretty great.

BE: Have they decided what the title of Volume 5 will be yet?

GG: No, I haven’t heard anything. I don’t know.

BE: I wanted to ask you a couple of quick questions about some of your other shows from the past.

GG: Okay, cool!

BE: With “Alias,” obviously, you said you were hearing from the viewers on that one as well, as far as the show transitioning from season to season, I guess you’d say. Was that rough going for awhile?

Greg GrunbergGG: It wasn’t for me. But it was, I think, for J.J. and for Jesse and the guys who were really running the ship. Also, the technology was a lot different. Things are a lot faster now, there’s a direct channel. Back then, it was, like, “Don’t talk to the fans, don’t take ideas from them, and be careful what you communicate.” And J.J. always said, “No, I want to hear what they have to say, and I want to address them.” He was one of the first people to actually answer back directly. Before Twitter or any of that stuff. He was talking directly back to the fans. He’d go to a fan site and he’d say, “Guys, I hear what you’re saying.” And a lot of people would say, “This is not the real J.J. Abrams,” but he would finally convince them. So it was much tougher on him, but I think he handled it beautifully.

BE: Were you comfortable with the way your character was left at the end of the series?

GG: Um, I was, but…what’s interesting with a character like Weiss is that they get to a point where they really have to delve into your character, and they run out of story, and a character like mine becomes so much more interesting when he’s being peppered throughout. I got more action, I got more involved. But then you want to be a bigger part of the series finale, and…I had left the show already before the series ended, because I went to do “The Catch,” which J.J. and I created, but it didn’t get picked up. So I was off doing that, but I came back and did a couple of episodes in Season 5. So, yeah, I wasn’t really a main member of that show by the end, but…I always wanted that show to end with Sloane walking into his own office, and you think he’s practicing talking to somebody, saying, “Look, I did everything you told me to do, but it just didn’t turn out the way we thought,” and then suddenly his chair swings around, and it’s me. And I’ve been running the whole thing the whole time. (Laughs) That, of course, was my dream…and it was never gonna happen. All of my characters, I would ultimately love for someone to go, “No way, he’s bad?” Because you’d never expect me to be bad.

BE: With “felicity,” did you have a favorite of Sean’s entrepreneurial ideas?

Greg GrunbergGG: Yeah, I mean, I loved Smoothaise. (Laughs) That was sort of my thing. And, y’know, that character was based on me. I always have crazy ideas. Right now, I’m actually launching…well, it’s not such a crazy idea. It’s turning into a really great idea. It’s called Yowza!

BE: Yeah, I read a little bit about it on your site.

GG: Yeah, we’re the #1 mobile couponing software, and it’s on the iPhone, and it’s huge. I mean, we have the Container Store and Islands Restaurant and Finish Lines stores and Forever 21 and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Target, and all of these great retailers have jumped on board. Guitar Center! And they’re offering these incredible offers only through Yowza. And the website, obviously, is http://www.getyowza.com. And we’re welcoming all mom and pop stores, single stores, smaller chains to come on. They can control their coupons on a daily basis, so they can change them. It’s the most green way to stimulate the retail industry again, offer great deals for people, and it’s a fun thing. I mean, I love the iPhone. I’m addicted to it. And it’s a great app. And it’s gonna be free! The application is gonna launch in a couple of weeks, and it’s a free app on the iTunes app store. Apple’s very behind it, and it’s really exciting for me. That’s been my…I’ve always had ideas, but this is a really big thing, and it’s really working. The retail industry is really embracing it.

BE: Yeah, I’m definitely going to have a link in the piece.

GG: Oh, good, good. Thank you!

BE: One other “Felicity” question: at the time you were doing the show, were you just incredulous at the reaction to Keri cutting her hair?

GG: I was. It was also at a weird point in the show, when people were looking for a reason why the ratings were dropping and it was sort of losing its fizzle, so in a way, it was great to be able to blame it on something as superficial as that. And I know JJ said many times, “Oh, sure, it’s her hair, that’s what it is.” But I also feel like, y’know, it was disappointing because they made such a big deal about it, and there was really nobody to blame. JJ went up and down the ladder, checking with people outside the show, people in TV, but when I looked at it, I got it. I thought, “Well, when Keri has shorter hair, she’s smarter and sharper and she doesn’t look as vulnerable.” So I get it. People get used to their characters. You get used to the people you love. It really said something, I think, as to how endearing she is to everyone and how they didn’t want to change that image of her. You look at it that way, and it sort of says how much they loved her.

"With Bryan (Fuller) on board and Tim (Kring) and Dennis (Hammer), I’m really excited about Season 4. It’s gonna be stronger character stuff, and it’s gonna get back to real characters dealing with these unreal situations, which is the core of the show."

BE: Who’s the best musician in Band from TV, other than yourself? And be honest!

Greg GrunbergGG: I don’t think anyone compares to me. I think I’m the best drummer in the world, not just in my band. (Laughs) I have to say, we have a guy named Chris Kelley, who’s our musical director, and he is incredible. Barry Sarna, our keyboard player, is from the Eagles. We stacked the deck pretty good. Chris Mostret is our sax player, and he also plays with the Eagles. These guys are amazing musicians. But as far as actors are concerned, Hugh Laurie I think hands down is the most creative musician, as far as musicianship is concerned. He’s just incredible. He brings great songs to the band, songs we wouldn’t have thought of, that are catchy and that you remember, and we put our own twist on them. We’re just about to play Heroes for Autism. If you can put a link on there, it’s http://www.HeroesForAutism.com. Sheryl Crow is on the bill, we’re playing, Rainn Wilson is hosting and playing with us, Nikka Costa is going to be playing, and Wendy and Lisa, who do the music for “Heroes,” are going to be playing. It’s really going to be great. It’s coming up on April 19th at the Avalon Theater, but you can buy tickets on the website. And then if people want to buy our album, since all the money goes to charity, they can just go to http://www.bandfromtv.org and get all the information, buy the DVD, and support all our charities.

BE: Speaking of good causes, how’s your son doing? (Writer’s note: This was a reference to the fact that Grunberg’s son recently had brain surgery in an attempt to help his epilepsy. Grunberg is the founder of TalkAboutIt.org, where he helps inform people about the condition.)

GG: He’s doing well!

BE: I’ve got a 3-year-old daughter, so I find myself paying attention to what other parents go through.

GG: Yeah, I appreciate that. He’s doing fine, thanks!

BE: You know, when I put out an open call for questions from readers, I posted a picture of Matt Parkman in deep concentration, with the caption, “You will not ask me about my role in ‘Malibu’s Most Wanted.’”

GG: (Bursts into laughter) How perfect is that? I’m actually proud of that!

BE: Well, I figured it gave me the chance to ask about it. How was that experience?

GG: It was pretty great, really. Jamie Kennedy is awesome, and I love comedy. That’s definitely where I’m gonna be concentrating when “Heroes” runs its course…in hopefully ten years. But I definitely want to move on to comedy, and I feel so comfortable doing it. I love it, but I’ve never really been given the chance to do a straight-out comedy, so I’m looking forward to doing it. I think that movie has a cult following. But, hey, at least you didn’t ask me about “BASEketball.” There are some skeletons in my closet, you know.

BE: That was on my list, too. Right next to “Senseless.”

GG: (Laughs) There you go! Oh, God…

BE: That’s the beauty of IMDb. Everyone’s secrets are out in the open.

GG: That’s right. There are no secrets!

BE: What’s your favorite project that you’ve worked on that didn’t get the love you thought it deserved?

GG: Right now, it’s a movie that I co-wrote, co-produced, and starred in, called “Group Sex.” We just got…we’re finalizing a distribution deal with IFC, and it’s just so funny. It’s a romantic comedy set in the world of a sexaholic recovery group, and it’s really funny. It’s got Henry Winkler, Tom Arnold, me, Lisa Lampanelli, Josh Cooke, James Denton, Hayden Panitierre…I mean, there’s so many people in this movie. And it’s just one of those things that I’m hoping it doesn’t slip through the cracks. I think it’s going to do very well once it gets out there, but I wish we would’ve done a big college tour. I’m still pushing for a lot of that stuff. (Pauses) But I guess that doesn’t kind of answer that question.

BE: (Laughs) Anything else on the resume that leaps to mind?

GG: No, I mean, I think “V.I.P.” got the love it needed… (Laughs) …and some of that other stuff. I’m proud of the projects that I’ve done, and I’m proud of the stuff I’m doing personally, charity-wise. So it’s all good.

BE: The one I was wondering about in particular was “The Jake Effect,” since, y’know, there were seven episodes made, but until Bravo did its “Brilliant but Cancelled” thing, it never even made it to air.

Greg GrunbergGG: Yeah, that was a shame. And it was also a shame because single-camera comedies were just about to hit, and we had a great one, but we didn’t get to see the light of the day. That was just a business decision that NBC made. Luckily, people can still see it and download it on iTunes. But that was so much fun. But, y’know, what came out of it was a really strong friendship with Jason Bateman and his wife and kid. So I was excited about that, but, hey, it was a comedy, I liked what I got to do, and at the end of the day, I got to do seven episodes of something I had fun doing instead of just a pilot.

BE: I’ll go ahead and start wrapping up here, but what do you anticipate for “Heroes” next season?

GG: I think that, with Bryan on board and Tim (Kring) and Dennis (Hammer), I’m really excited about Season 4. And the network’s certainly really behind it. Y’know, it’s just gonna be stronger character stuff, and it’s gonna get back to real characters dealing with these unreal situations, which is the core of the show. Paraphrasing that one line on the poster, it’s ordinary people with extraordinary abilities, and that’s where we’re going. We’re going back to more of a Season 1 feel for Season 4.

BE: I’ve followed the show all along, from beginning to present, but I’ve certainly preferred the episodes that focused as much on character development as they did the superhero aspect of it.

GG: Yeah, and that’s what set our show apart, and I think that was at least half of the genesis for it in Tim’s mind when creating this show. He saw “The Incredibles” and thought, “Wow, these people are trying to live a normal life, but they just can’t.” That, and also a few other things influenced him, but that’s always been what was most interesting for me. If you don’t have characters that you love…you might want to take the train ride, but you’re gonna want to get off if you don’t like who you’re sitting next to on the train. So that’s where we’re headed in Season 4.

BE: It definitely seems like the cast seems to get along both onscreen and off, at least based on how I’ve seen ya’ll act at TCA events.

GG: Oh, definitely. We know how lucky we are, and we don’t have a diva in the bunch, and we all support each other. Where you can really tell is when I send a blast E-mail out and I say, “We’re doing this ‘Heroes for Autism’ thing and it’s gonna benefit Autism Speaks, and come support it,” everyone responds back instantly, “I’m in. Where do I need to be?” We all support each other, and that’s what it’s all about.

BE: And, lastly, just to be blunt based on what I hear from some of the people on the ‘net, how do you respond to people who say, “The show sucks, it hasn’t been good since Season 1”?

GG: Um…well, I don’t hear that. You might hear that…

BE: I have heard it. I wouldn’t exactly expect that you’ve had anyone say it directly to you, but people do say it.

Greg GrunbergGG: My mom says it. (Laughs) You know, again, it’s one of those things where I would say that keeping a show like this interesting to all of these people is a tough thing to do. Nothing against a show like “CSI,” but a show like that, you do cases every week and it’s more episodic. To keep a show like this interesting is a tough thing, and, again, you’re dealing with a smart audience. People are smart. It’s a comic book world, and you’re not talking about people who don’t want to do a little bit of work when they watch a show. They don’t mind it. They love being interested. I think to keep that interest alive, you can’t pander to them, you can’t make it too confusing for them, and it’s a fine line, so you’re going to lose some people. Some are gonna jump off. But I think the message is out there, generally, that if you were a fan of the show, then you’d better keep watching, ‘cause we’re back, and it’s worth setting your DVRs for the show again. It’s the show that you came to love, and it’s back to its roots.

BE: In the past, it has sometimes been a battle to maintain your suspension of disbelief without saying, “Oh, that’s just ridiculous.” But, obviously, that’s always going to be a tightrope walk for the writers.

GG: Yeah! But that’s what happens. When I read the script and I see there’s a character that can send E-mails through her head, I’m, like, “Oh, God.” But then I see it, and I say, “Hey, that’s pretty cool!” They have a real clear cut vision for how they want to do stuff. So…I don’t know. You try things, and some things work, some characters work, and some don’t. It’s a tough thing. If it was just bubblegum, where you could turn it on, go to the bathroom, come back, and not miss anything except maybe a couple of jokes or maybe a procedural moment where they’re scanning DNA, that’d be one thing. But that’s not what our show is. Our audience really has to pay attention, and they have to want to. And you’re just not going to please everybody all of the time.

BE: Okay, man, I think that’s it, then.

GG: Awesome!

BE: Well, it’s been a pleasure talking to you, and I appreciate you taking the time.

GG: No problem, and, hey, hopefully I’ll see you at one of these events!

You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook for content updates. Also, sign up for our email list for weekly updates and check us out on Google+ as well.

Around the Web