Hello to our wonderful friends and froggies alike!

Tonight marks the season finale of the amazing USA Network show Complications and to celebrate, two executive producers Matt Nix and Mike Horowitz interview each other… About the show… Because that’s what you do when you celebrate a season finale.

Before we begin, set those DVR’s! You can find all the info for Complications right here!

So without further ado, we present our exclusive interview with Matt Nix and Mike Horowitz! Or maybe we should say “Matt Nix’s and Mike Horowitz’s exclusive interview with Matt Nix and Mike Horowitz”? It gets so confusing when you let the inmates run the asylum…

Complications Interview with Matt Nix and Mike Horowitz

Mike Horowitz (Executive Producer and Writer): So, Matt, why do an interview on I See the Frog?

Matt Nix (Executive Producer, Creator, Writer, Director):
Because, Mike, our show is the third highest rated original drama on the USA Network, which means that EVERYONE SHOULD BE TALKING ABOUT IT! So we’re taking the opportunity to publicize the show on every outlet we can before the finale tonight at 9PM!

What’s it like for you being on a show that you’re really proud of, and that is doing decently well for a cable show in 2015, but that doesn’t get a whole lot of attention in the press?

Mike: Slightly frustrating. I feel like everyone who’s watching it really likes it, and I want to scream from the rooftops for more people to come check it out. Luckily, more and more people are coming, but man, there are so many other shows out there. I assume you’ve been getting the same positive reaction that I have?

Matt: Yeah, people seem really into it. I get a lot of comments about its binge-watchability. People telling me they watched a bunch of episodes in one day. So that’s nice. It’s weird, though, to have a TV show in a time when there’s SO MUCH TELEVISION. It’s a little scary, frankly. Nine years ago, when my first show Burn Notice was premiering, there just weren’t that many cable dramas and it was easier to get some attention. Now it seems like every network is doing original programming. That’s good from a creative standpoint in that there are more opportunities to do what you want to do. But it also means that it can be hard to reach your target audience. 

So, for example, Complications is often described by people who watch it as “kind of like ER meets 24.” And it is – it’s this very propulsive show with a lot of action. But inevitably, some people see a guy in a doctor coat and go “Ah, whatever, he cures diseases,” because they just don’t have time to actually sort through all the options. And it means there are people out there who you KNOW would like the show who never see it. Hopefully we can reach those people somehow. Any ideas, Mike?

Mike: I think that’s why a second season would be so important. People can trickle in, watching and binge-ing over the break between seasons, and get invested in our characters before we send them on another adventure. We approached the season like one big movie, and I think it’s probably best watched that way. (Although it might require something if you wanted to fall asleep after).

If you’re asking how to get more people to watch this season, BEFORE our big finale tonight, I have no idea other than the glorious I See the Frog. Hopefully people set their DVRs.

Btw, I think it’s a great finale, but who cares what I think! Your kids are our most important bellwether. What do they think of it?

Matt: My kids were very into it, I have to say. They binge-watched the entire season by sneaking the air master DVDs out of my backpack. And they got into yelling matches about how uncool it was when one of them watched an episode without the others. If the show is inspiring that many tears and recriminations among the 8-13 year old set, you have to feel pretty good.

So for this show, we’ve started doing something we’ve never done before – live-tweeting the show. How do you feel about that? Do you feel like it moves the needle? Or are we just amusing ourselves while we drink wine in your living room?

Mike: I honestly have no idea how much it’s helping, but it definitely feels good to do something. When we trend nationally for almost two hours, that has to drive some people to watch… right? At the very least, it has to help fans connect even more to the show and the cast…

To me, the funny thing is that our show is kind of terrible to live tweet. We made a smart, well-acted, mostly serious show. It’s not exactly begging for snarky one-liner tweets. As a reaction to that, my tweets have become increasingly absurd. Maybe hardcore viewers can read our commentary after they watch – and other viewers can enjoy the two-screen experience. Have you enjoyed live tweeting?  Do you think it makes a difference? Hate to repeat the same questions, but I’m curious…

Matt: It is pretty lame that you’re asking me the same questions. To answer, though: I agree that it’s fun to do something. I think it sends a message that we all do it together, as well, that we are, actors and writers, really into making this show. That we care about it. And I think that matters. 

People outside of Hollywood are often unaware of just how jaded people get about the shows they’re working on. You get the actor who is “so over” his show, or the writer that’s just kinda phoning it in. And that wasn’t the case AT ALL on Complications. Everybody was bringing their A game. Which was a great experience.

What did you think of the experience of working on this show versus Burn Notice?

Mike: I only did web content for Burn Notice season one (because I’m an idiot and turned down your MULTIPLE OFFERS to join the show as a writer), so I wasn’t on set in Miami much, or in the writer’s room, and thus… I missed most of the first year figuring-it-out madness and the jitters of having a new show. Burn Notice was already a hit when I became a staff writer… so Complications was actually my first time on a first year show, which was awesome! And tiring! Having to put together a whole new team and create an all-new style for our show involved so many meetings and decisions. It was intense. And because I think we chose wisely, it was really rewarding. 

That said, Burn Notice was a way more exciting set to visit. Insane weather, big personalities, and lots of explosions. You lived a week before it was time for lunch!

Speaking of set… you directed tonight’s finale. What are some of your favorite (non-spoiler) memories from set?  And are you aware that I was also in Atlanta during the same time, working on our show?

Matt: I recall your frantic phone calls about what various shots ought to look like as we scrambled to get every little thing we didn’t get during regular shooting. Your panicky anxiety was always a treat.

As for directing the finale, it was really a pretty smooth process. Everyone really came to play. My favorite moment was probably when Jessica Szohr had a huge speech to do and we were about to get kicked out of the hospital where we were shooting. She normally took a little bit to get warmed up so I was really concerned we weren’t going to get it in the forty minutes we had to do a big emotional scene. And just when I was sure we were well and truly screwed, she just BRINGS IT, first take, BAM! And the crew started applauding. And I was just stunned. We got one more take and a close-up, and then Jason (O’Mara) did the same thing – absolutely nailed it on the first try. And with thirty seconds to go, we wrapped the scene.

Another favorite moment was shooting some of the action with Beth Riesgraf. She did that for YEARS on Leverage, and was great at it, but we didn’t have much of that kind of thing for her on the early episodes. So putting her character in a situation where she could show her stuff was great.

Also, directing my daughter Esme as Rebecca was so much fun. She hadn’t acted that much before except for little movies we made at home, but she was such a pro. Jason was amazing with her, too. I was just sitting at the monitors and they started talking about Shakespeare between takes, and then they started doing monologues back and forth. It was this wonderful little moment that I’ll remember forever.

What was your favorite moment of the season, behind and in front of the camera? 

….Delayed response…

Mike: Sorry for the delayed response… my panicky anxiety was crippling me. 

One of my favorite on-screen moments was seeing John panic when he thought he’d lost Antoine at the start of the second episode. On the page, I thought it was sort of a weak act out (if only you were a more talented writer), but somehow, seeing Jason act the hell out of it… it was amazing onscreen. One of those “We’re Really Onto Something!” moments. 

I had a similar feeling behind the camera in the third episode when John comes into Seth’s house in the third episode. The way Jason reacts, the way he took charge, his delivery of “Don’t bite down”… I knew I’d happily watch that character do anything. 

I think people should finish reading this, they should follow us on twitter (@MattNixTV and @horowitm) so they can join our live tweet tonight, and they should watch an amazing finale that we’re all very proud of.  Any other thoughts for I See the Frog readers?  

Matt: See the frog. Then see “Complications” tonight at 9pm on USA. 

frog_bullet

Comments

comments