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Go Girls' writer's blog: Episode 12

Go Girls Episode 12

Gavin Strawhan

Oh no, the penultimate (second to last) episode of series one already so soon. 

But yes, it is official there is money for a series two, thank you TVNZ, NZOA and SPP and any other worthy acronyms.  And thank you, Joanna Hunkin from the Herald Time Out magazine for being so supportive (not that we read reviews, of course, but for you we'll make an exception).  

But mostly, thank you, the viewing public - well enough of you anyway to tip the people meters (the ones that give the ratings by which all shows live or die) in our direction.

Except, you know what this means...

We have to write another series! Actually, we've already started, which means watching episodes 12 and 13 closely as we panic and wonder what are we going to do with our guys next?!  

Well, maybe not panic, but a bit of healthy fear (along with deadlines or impending unemployment) does focus the attention and get the creative juices flowing.  

Actually, it's really nice now that we know the actors playing characters and what they bring to the show and so we do (more instinctively than deliberately) start to write to their strengths.  

But this isn't supposed to be about series 2, so back to episode 12...

Well, it's pretty clear by the end of the episode, that no matter how disillusioned or annoyed our guys get with each other, come crunch time they'll still have each other's backs. 

And there's an interesting wee frisson going on between Kevin and Britta me thinks.  They're really lovely together, and in some ways the most alike; which is very good reason, dramatically speaking, NOT to put them together. 

But characters some times have a habit of pulling and tugging and getting quite bolshy about what they want and some times we just have to listen. 

Actually, in the original storyline, we had Britta 'comforting' Kevin, just like she did way back when he was about the only 19 year old virgin on the north shore, but somewhere along the line, that didn't feel right.  First I had to make them really stoned for it to work, which didn't feel right either. So in the end, they just talk. We wanted their friendship to be deeper and also sweeter than just sex.

We also decided that it was time Amy fronted up to her true feelings and thought it would be nicely ironic if Kevin gave her the final push into Brad's arms.

With Cody we wanted to bring back the rumour that was seeded in episode 7 and brought up again in episode 8, that Eli might be gay.  But this time it's official and Eli's boyfriend is there to prove it.  I thought Gareth Reeves, the actor who played Philippe, did a brilliant job.  He isn't camp, but he's definitely gay and does a great line in acerbic wit.

I like the scene where Cody confronts Eli about the rumours and it confirms what she has already suspected.  Originally we set it in a day spa, but we couldn't afford the location (because it would have been a big set up for one scene) so we relocated it to Gwen and Wiri's house, which was a studio set.  But that caused some other problems, because when the Director and I walked through the set I realised there was no way Cody could have that conversation in the kitchen with Gwen and Possum in the living room.

But then I had a brainwave - it was a day spa/beauty session - so if Possum and Gwen were having their hair done, it would mean the hair driers could be going and drown out the very private conversation Cody and Eli were having.  Okay, it wasn't exactly genius, but it worked okay.

The hardest scene to write was the big argument between Cody and Britta. I didn't want it to bitchy, but I didn't want it too soft either. I wanted them both to have a strong point of view and for them both to deliver a few home truths.  And plot wise it had to point Britta in the direction of follow through Philippe's wicked plan. But not so much that she'll actually do it.   I did a lot of bloody drafts, then asked Rachel to have a wee poke at it, then I had another poke then I left it for a while and went back to it...  but I think it played okay in the end, mainly because Britta and Cody gave it a sense of honesty.

And my favourite scene, I have to say is the last one, when Eli and Cody finally get it on.  Especially when she asks Eli ('cos her character is basically insecure) - "is it because I look like a boy?"  And he answers: "not like any boy I've ever known." And she says: "that'll do" and they get down to it.  I dunno, for me it was really simple dialogue that said quite a lot. 

I was talking to Peter Salmon, (who directed both 12 and 13), the other day and he said he really liked the episode, but admitted that at the time, it suffered in terms of the attention he gave it, because he was focussing on the big final episode 13.  He says it often goes like that; there's one episode in a block (the Directors usually shoot two eps at a time and this is called a block) that requires the most attention.  So ep 12 was like the quiet, well behaved kid who goes about its business and gets reasonable grades, while its flashier, louder sibling gets all the attention.

And believe me, episode 13 is louder and flashier; but also very emotional and beautifully written.   I can even reveal that there is a wedding but on the other hand, that doesn't mean that they get to say 'I do' without interruption or that everyone gets to live happily every after. 

The writers and some of the directors and actors and assorted spouse, relatives and riff raff are gathering to watch it on Thursday and give it a well lubricated send off, so no doubt Rachel will update you in the final blog of the series.

Can't wait...