6 Things We Learned While Visiting the Set of NBC's 'A to Z' (In Alphabetical Order, Naturally)
In an effort to build buzz around their new Thursday night comedy A to Z, NBC has released the pilot episode on Hulu before its scheduled October 2 premiere. To celebrate, we were given a chance to visit the set, chat with the cast, and rifle through Andrew Lofland’s desk. Here’s what we learned.
8 months, 3 weeks, 5 days, and 1 hour
This is the precise amount of time that the two main characters will date. And while this relationship timeframe makes for a promisingly tight first season story arc, it did leave us with questions about what would happen should it be granted a second season. Luckily, show creator Ben Queen was on hand to quell our concerns. “I feel like putting a ticking clock on their relationship made it feel real,” he says. “In that stage of dating you’re always aware of how long you’ve been together.” As for a season two, season one will end with a huge change to said relationship, which will then set up the next season. A marriage proposal? A break up? We’ll have to stay tuned to find out.
Cristin Milioti Is Adorable in Person
She’s also not on any form of social media, which we kind of admire and are suspect of in equal measure. Having come off such a high profile role as The Mom on How I Met Your Mother, she’s happy to play a role that she gets to define on her own. “There was a lot more of me in Tracey McConnell [HIMYM], I think. So it’s been fun getting to play someone that’s a little different,” she says. And while she may not be on social media, she does watch TV like rest of us - watching Comedy Central’s Drunk History on Hulu. (We like her all the more for that.)
For a show that takes place against the backdrop of an online dating company, the cast has surprisingly little experience in the world of dating profiles, swiping right or left, or flirting via text. Henry Zebrowski, who plays Stu, does occasionally enjoy playing with his roommate’s Tindr account, however. “It’s illuminating,” he says. “I mean it really comes down to two types of people, those who are willing to be naked in the shower for you, or those who’ve just gone on a hike.”
Pop Culture Easter Eggs
While we were pretty satisfied with the use of Back to the Future II in the pilot episode—complete with a Leah Thompson cameo and the famous Robert Zemeckis hover board interview—we were even more intrigued by the promise of other pop culture nuggets throughout the rest of the season. For instance, the apartment that Zelda and Stephie live in is the same apartment that was used for exterior shots in Laverne & Shirley when the two moved out to Hollywood in Season 6. “The great thing about this city is that there’s so much here to use,” says Queen. “I mean, someone lives in the actual Brady Bunch house. Maybe the characters will go visit it. That right there could be an episode!” Great, just maybe leave out Cousin Oliver.
Rom-Com in its purest form
“Love Actually is a favorite movie, and was part of the inspiration for the show. But they’re just not making Rom-Com movies anymore,” Queen lamented. “It’s hard to get male leads to play the roles, so there’s just not a lot them. So the fact that we can still make them on TV is great.” He also quotes The Mindy Project as a favorite show, and one that they pay close attention to. “They follow the Rom-Com tropes pretty well over there, which I love. This show will be more about a single relationship rather than trying to hit every element of the genre. But it’s definitely still a Rom-Com in its purest form.”
Yes, apparently Andrew’s desk is always that messy
But you know what they say, “A cluttered desk leads to a clear mind.” (At least, that’s what we keep telling ourselves.)