October Road: The Complete First Season takes viewers into the world of Nick Garret (Bryan Greenberg). Having written a popular novel about his friends back home, Nick suddenly finds himself ostracized from this group when he returns. Recently, we had the chance to sit down with October Road writer/producer Josh Applebaum to discuss this show, it's themes, characters and where it's heading for Season 2.
As a writer and producer on October Road were you naturally attracted to the idea of a writer having to face his characters in real life?
Josh Applebaum: It's funny, on the one hand I was terrified of doing a TV show about a writer because on the face of it nothing could possibly be more boring than a TV show about a writer! (Laughs) We came up with this notion of this character Nick having written this book and having reflected on his friends from back home, yeah, it was really compelling to us. You always put your personal stuff into everything you write in one way or another and you're kind of terrified of people to see it and how they're going to react to it. Particularly if they feel like you're commenting on them. The funniest thing about October Road is we wrote a show about it and in some ways, because the show is about this group of friends and their sort of parts of my, Scott (Rosenberg) and Andre's (Nemec) friends in all these characters, it's almost like this weird self-fulfilling prophecy... a show about a guy who wrote a book about his friends and now we're putting our friends and our old relationships into the show and we're getting into a shitload of trouble. (Laughs)
You guys have so many different characters on the show. Is it ever tough trying to service them all in each episode while still trying to tell Nick's story?
Josh Applebaum: That's right. We're really lucky to have Bryan as our lead. Every show needs its fulcrum which he certainly is. It's like you said, we're reentering this world through Nick's eyes but we're also lucky in my opinion to have such a great cast. We're dying to write scenes for each of these actors on the constant. In any relationship show like this it's always going to be hard to feed all the mouths, you know? When you have 12 series regulars it's always going to be hard to feed all the mouths, particularly when you always need to focus on Nick and Hannah (Laura Prepon) as kind of the center of everything. That's what's nice about now we have 13 episodes in Season 2 as opposed to the 6 we had in Season 1. We get to kind of pace things out.
We don't feel as rushed to tell stories so we can kind of pace it all out where maybe in a certain episode Nick and Hannah will have a smaller story, to make room for some of the other characters to... it's kind of like trying to create a whole universe that the audience will want to live in.
Do you think that one of the reasons that people have been attracted to that show is maybe this need to want to return to the past? To return to where you came from?
Josh Applebaum: I think absolutely. As we've always said there's two types of people, the people who stayed in their hometown and the people who left their hometown. In the show we kind of covered both of those territories. Nick is obviously the guy who left and then everybody else who stayed, I think... it's just an absolutely relatable topic to connect with people. I think people feel like if you can explore your past you're going to find something out about who you are and particularly who you are now and where the future may take you. Some of us who kind of want to forget our past and not acknowledge it and be able to reinvent yourself, as much as you're able to reinvent yourself, Nick loved becoming a professional writer, you're still who you were when you were 16 years old, playing air guitar in your daddy's basement.
It's like no matter what you do your friends will never see you as anything despite what you accomplish.
Josh Applebaum: Dude! You have no idea. I go back home and on the one hand it's like fancy, Hollywood writer-guy! And all they like to do is take the piss out of me. There's nothing that gets them off, in a great way, I love it! As well they should and then I'll take the piss out of them for never having left home. (Laughs)
This show is different than a lot of the shows on TV, it's not a procedural, it's not dealing with hot, political issues of the day, it's really just a show about people. What do you hope viewers take away from watching it?
Josh Applebaum: It's funny because Andre and I had worked on Alias for three years. Scott Rosenberg, on top of having written some great independent features, he also wrote Con Air and Gone in 60 Seconds... we basically come from a world of high octane, high body count entertainment. All of which we adored and was a blast but we were at this point where it was like, wouldn't it be nice to create a world where it's about friendship and family and reconnecting and still be entertaining? There would still be romance, humor and drama and soap opera in all of it, but creating a warm world that could speak to people in their late 20s and early 30s.
Is there something that people could take away from that... it's that thing where I'll run into people and they'll say that there's a different character that everybody can relate to or draw upon or feel like they're speaking to them personally. That's the biggest accomplishment.
What can viewers expect from the Second Season?
Josh Applebaum: As far as I know it's starting in late November, hopefully after the finale of Dancing with the Stars will be the premiere of October Road. Which would be fantastic. It's up in the air at the moment because they're still kind of assessing how they're fall shows are doing so they want to keep their flexibility. We'll be premiering soon and you can expect some really awesome sh*t! (Laughs)
Josh Applebaum: I'm kidding. For starters in the season premiere, if you stick around for the final moments, there will be a huge twist thrown into the Sam paternity issue; the issue of who is the kid's father. Not even so much a twist but a new angle on it that completely plays into everything you've seen before but something you may not expect coming. It changes the rest of the direction the season goes in in kind of a great way.
October Road: The Complete First Season comes to DVD October 30 from Touchstone Home Entertainment.