×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Listen: ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ Bosses on the Final Season, Plus ‘Happy Together’ EP Ben Winston on Harry Styles

Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” a podcast from Variety featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera.

In this week’s episode, Variety’s associate features editor of TV, Danielle Turchiano, talks with “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” co-creators Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna about the final season of their CW musical comedy.

Listen to this week’s podcast for free below and at Apple Podcasts:

McKenna says the series’ four seasons are “remarkably accurate” to the initial pitch to the network in 2015. “We really conceived of it beginning, middle, and end,” she says. “We really knew this was just going to be about this period in this girl’s life where she’s subject to a very intense romantic obsession and then recovers from it.”

While the season starts with her in jail after pleading guilty to pushing her stalker ex, Trent (Paul Welsh), off a building, Bloom says Rebecca was taking responsibility not just for that action, but for her whole life.

“Taking responsibility is really being fully present in what you are doing in your life and taking that control — ‘This is my life, this is my fate, I’m not going to let other forces determine it,'” she says.

Now that Rebecca is becoming healthier in that respect, Bloom says, “there have definitely been some scenes where it feels like I’m closer to playing myself.”

The 18-episode order for the final season means they’re getting to add more material than they planned, including reprises chosen from their catalog of over 100 songs. But they’re not altering the arc of the season they have had in mind for the past three years. “We’re not going for a big twist,” says Bloom. “We want you to feel by the end of the show that this is not a huge shock, what’s going to happen — it’s going to be organic to what we’ve done.”

In fact, even their final scene is one they’ve had in mind for a while. “There are six words that we pitched as the last words that I think will be the last words,” Bloom reveals.

In the second half of the podcast, “Happy Together” executive producer Ben Winston discusses with Variety‘s executive editor of TV, Debra Birnbaum, the joys of having Harry Styles as a houseguest and what he loves most about working with James Corden.

Happy Together” centers on Jake (Damon Wayans Jr.) and Claire (Amber Stevens West), a couple who allows Jake’s pop star client (Felix Mallard) to live with them; it is inspired by Winston’s own experience when Styles came to live with him and his wife in England. “He lived with us secretly with nobody knowing for 18 months,” Winston says.

What began as a two-weeks-only request to crash in Winston’s attic while his new house was being renovated evolved into a close friendship with Styles, then just 18. “It was a really beautiful time. He is the most wonderful guy you could ever meet,” Winston says.

Styles is now the godfather to Winston’s first child. “I always say I had a teenager before I had a baby,” says Winston.

Winston also has a producing partnership with “Late Late Show” host Corden, and praises Corden’s “unstoppable ambition” and hunger to try new things, keeping the crew on their toes.

“I just don’t know anybody else who has that many talents,” Winston says of Corden. “A day when he sits behind a desk, tells a few jokes, and then interviews somebody on their new project is a day that he goes home sad … because he’s like, ‘Anybody could have done that job today, you didn’t need me. You could have got anybody.’ … When you are faced with that as a leader in James, it makes you better.”

New episodes of “Remote Controlled” are available every Friday. Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, or anywhere you download podcasts. You can find past episodes here and on Apple Podcasts.

More TV

  • Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday

    Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday Night Live' Sketches of 2018

    Just hours after “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a message on social media that said he “really [didn’t] want to be on this Earth anymore,” he was absent from the final 2018 live sketches of the late-night sketch comedy show. But although Davidson did not take part in the sketches or appear [...]

  • Pete Davidson photographed by Peggy Sirota

    Pete Davidson Posts Unsettling Message, Deletes Instagram

    UPDATED: “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a disturbing message Saturday morning stating he doesn’t “want to be on this earth anymore,” then deleted his Instagram account. In the post, Davidson wrote, “I’m doing my best to stay here for you but i actually don’t know how much longer i can last. all [...]

  • Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor

    Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor Arrested for Plotting Sex With Minor

    Disney Channel has severed ties with “Andi Mack” actor Stoney Westmoreland following his arrest for allegedly trying to arrange a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old. “Stoney Westmoreland, an actor working on the series ‘Andi Mack,’ was arrested in Salt Lake City today,” a Disney Channel spokesperson said in a statement Friday. “Given the nature of [...]

  • Russian Doll

    TV News Roundup: Natasha Lyonne's 'Russian Doll' Sets Netflix Premiere Date

    On Friday’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for “Russian Doll” and Benedict Cumberbatch’s “Brexit” film has a premiere date on HBO FIRST LOOKS Showtime has released a new teaser for the upcoming comedy series, “Black Monday,” which will premiere Sunday, Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series stars and is executive produced by Don [...]

  • Vanity Fair Review

    TV Review: 'Vanity Fair'

    There’s something comforting about the predictability of a period piece novel adaptation in the Masterpiece Theater tradition. Knowing the story, or even just the rhythms of the genre, there are rarely many surprises. The women will toss off witticisms and cry careful, pretty tears; the men will steel their jaws and declare their love, ideally [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content