Ian Brennan Interview with TV Guide Canada

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The kids of McKinley High have been absent for almost a month now, but the cast and crew have been hard at work to bring Gleeks six final explosive episodes that will leave fans everywhere wanting more.
To get an idea of the upcoming action and what to expect, TV Guide Canada caught up with co-executive producer and writer Ian Brennan.

TVGuide.ca: What can Gleeks expect heading into these final six episodes?Ian Brennan: Lord. Well, a lot more Glee! I feel like a lot of the storylines that we’ve set up — a lot of the stuff with Kurt and Blaine and Brittany and Santana, those will all wrap up. We’ll continue to develop them. Some storylines will fill out; others will carry through into the third season. There’s a lot going on — we’re realizing as we move on we just have a lot of plot line to cover.

TVG: How long ago did you start mapping out Season 3?IB: We had some things we knew we were writing towards and now we have a pretty good idea of where we’re headed and what the shape will look like. It should be really interesting, funny and unexpected.

TVG: Can you tell us a little bit more about Sue’s “Legion of Doom”?IB: After Sue’s humiliating loss at nationals and on television with her disastrous interview with Katie Couric, she flails a little bit because she’s disempowered and a little nutty. Her Legion of Doom is her last-ditch attempt at getting to the Glee club before nationals.

TVG: How are Dustin Goolsby and Terry Schuster involved?
IB: Dustin Goolsby sort of gets recruited, and then Terry is a little bored, I think, quite frankly. I don’t think the assistant manager position at Sheets & Things is doing it for her.

TVG: Do you guys have limits on how far you think you can take Sue Sylvester? She’s obviously very cartoonish, but is there a danger when she’s pushing kids into lockers and stuff?IB: You should see the stuff we cut! The line is when it’s not funny. The key to Sue is that it’s funny and silly. You don’t want her to be some moustache-twirling villain; there’s a sweetness to her, even to her random pathological abuse that I think is really appealing.

TVG: You guys have done a lot of typical high school storylines, but in a very real way. Body image, bullying, even the gay kiss, which was some of the best television I’ve ever seen. Are you looking specifically to push boundaries with the way you cover some of this stuff, or how do you make sure you give these issues the proper treatment?IB: We’re not out to push boundaries, that isn’t the point. With the kiss in particular it was doing justice to a storyline we’d spent a lot of time on, and had become a focal point for the whole season. So we had to do it justice, and do it honestly. We tried to do it as real as possible, and that’s what made it good. We’re just trying to make a show that’s engaging and real. What the experience of high school is right now, and it’s much more nuanced and intricate of an experience than it even used to be. It’s a really complex place to be.

TVG: Will we ever see more of the McKinley hockey team that you guys introduced a while back?IB: Yes, most definitely. Oh right, because it’s Canada.

TVG: Because it’s Canada?IB: No, I was curious as to why you were asking about the hockey team because I’ve never been asked that before, but that’s clearly why you’re asking. [Laughs.] Yeah, no — we should explore in-depth the phenomenon that is Ohio hockey. We should. I’m going to make a note of that.

TVG: Can you say anything about the upcoming 90-minute episode?IB: We have a lot of story to tell and I think that’s going to be a big episode for us and a really, really good one. We always end up doing that — all of our episodes come in long initially, and then it’s sort of like this terrible process of having to cut stuff down and to lose songs so we have this opportunity this time to not do that. It’s such a godsend.

TVG: And finally, how does Charice’s return fit into the final six episodes?IB: I don’t think she’s going to be in all six, but she’s going to play heavily in them. It’s going to be great to have her back.

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