Monday, December 8, 2014

Major Crimes Facebook Chat with James Duff

  • James Duff, executive producer and co-creator of TNT's Major Crimes and The Closer, was on Facebook again tonight answering questions from fans. We've recapped the answers below with a bit of commentary. 

  • At the beginning of the chat, James welcomed everyone and answered a few frequently asked questions:

    James Duff
    Hello everyone and welcome to our third Facebook chat of our Winter season!

    James Duff
    So glad to be here and happy to talk about the season so far and what to expect as the winter unfolds.
      James Duff Here are some answers to frequently asked   questions before the comment section begins to fill up.

      James Duff Jon Tenney is coming back in our next   
      episode. You are going to meet Flynn's daughter tonight.       
      And Rusty is going to be on the show next year, too!

  • So what else did we learn?

  • - There will be two Flynn and Provenza episodes in 2015 (woo hoo! Thank you Adam Belanoff, who writes all of the Flynn & Provenza episodes)
  • - The Christmas episode will be in two weeks and feature a dancing Santa flashmob. 
  • - Rusty has a crush on someone and we'll see it on air next week.

I asked if there were any stories James considered off limits for Major Crimes and why. Here  is his answer: 

       James Duff
 Yes, there are some murders that I consider
       off limits for storytelling on Major Crimes.

      James Duff If I can't tell the story in an authentic way, I don't want to tell it at all.
  • James Duff Stories that involve incest and incredibly twisted behavior are hard for us to dramatize at 9 o'clock.
James Duff And why go there if I don't have to?
  • James Duff I have not gotten inured to the idea of murder. It still bothers me.

    James Duff
    There is plenty of darkness in homicide as it stands. I usually feel gross during the breaking of a story at some point or other.

  • The rest of the recap is below. As usual, I've removed any references to this specific episode that may be construed as a spoiler. Because of the volume of questions, only James Duff's answers are included. He restates the questions in his answers so you can track all of the action. 

     James Duff Deanna L M asks if Rusty will ever publish  
     what he's writing? He will, yes. Or, rather he will publish  
     what he writes.

    James Duff That is part of his future

      James Duff No, but it's funny how often current events end up tracking the show!

     James Duff Debra A thinks DDA Hobbs had great lines last week. Well, they were certainly well-delivered.
  • James Duff Beverly R asks if there is any way there can be less time between seasons.

    James Duff
    Unfortunately, the schedule is not made by us, but we have to take time to write, prep, act and direct and edit the show.

  • James Duff
    Nineteen episodes is actually a full time job for yours truly! I don't get very much time off at all.

    James Duff
    This cannot be done in too much less time than we do it and still maintain the quality of what we are trying to produce.
     James Duff Sue L asks if there is going to be more in the story with Flynn and Sharon. Yes! Stay tuned tonight as Flynn's daughter shows up to ask Sharon some serious questions!
  • James Duff Yolanda B wants to know if Rusty will have a romance.
  • James Duff Of course, he's a teenager. How could he avoid a romance.
  • James Duff He has a crush on someone.
  • James Duff And we meet the person he has a crush on next week.

    James Duff
    @Trinity asks if we'll see a return of DDA Emma Rios when we wrap up the Phillip Stroh story.

  • James Duff
    The answer is yes. Because she's the DDA in Stroh's case.
     James Duff Gail W asks if we will ever see any more episodes featuring Fynn and Provenza in their less capable mode. Next year, two of those!

      James Duff Terri V asks what happened with Fritz's heart 
      attack. We brought it up again in our finale last season.   
      He's wearing a special vest that keeps his heart going!

      James Duff Robin P asks if Julio is married. He was!
  • James Duff But his wife died almost fifteen years ago.

  • James Duff
     He never takes off his wedding ring.

    James Duff
     In two weeks we have a dancing Santa flashmob, a serious bank robbery, seasonal colors in odd places and a potential Christmas concert from a child cellist.
    James Duff
     Plus Sharon's whole family will be with her: all three kids.

    James Duff
     @Carl C asks if we're going to have a Christmas episode! We are!

James Duff
@Tammy with a long name mentions that Julio's temper is worse lately.

James Duff
It is.

James Duff
Helen Lasks whose idea was Shandy? I was always sort of interested in the Andy/Sharon dynamic and seeing whether two people with damaging past relationships could have something special and that made sense to both of them.

James Duff
All the writers must take credit for the good ideas. And I will take credit for the rest!

James Duff
And Steve Tom has spoiled me more than we've spoiled him. I can't tell you how great it is to have actors like you in our world.
  • James Duff We'll be dealing with that later this season.
  • James Duff It's very upsetting. I know.

  • James Duff
    Sometimes, when you are in a situation when someone has shot at you, and tried to kill you, it's hard to just turn all the adrenalin off.
     James Duff Next week, Sanchez is kind of calm. But after  
     episode seventeen this season, he has a long term
     problem to deal with.

     James Duff Krissy E says please don't let TNT cancel
     Major Crimes. Don't worry. We're already coming back for     
     another season!

James Duff
We are breaking season four right now while we finish up editing and mixing episode three!

James Duff Season three, I mean.
  • James Duff Dashia J asks if, now that Rusty has been adopted and is going to college, will he have more friends.
  • James Duff Rusty's journey into full socialization will take time.

  • James Duff Kids who come from Rusty's background often find it very hard to make friends. He is doing spectacularly well in the world right now, but most kids in his situation lose all help from the state when they turn eighteen.

  • James Duff Rusty is incredibly lucky to have someone who loves him and wants to care for him. So many, many foster children and so few adults to help them.

  • James Duff Alex M asks if Sharon would be unhappy knowing about Andy's white lies to her.

  • James Duff Especially considering Jack's lies.

    James Duff My own feeling is that Sharon does't see a 
    lot of white lies anywhere.

    James Duff And that she is probably bothered by Flynn's 
    misrepresenting their relationship. If that's what he's

    James Duff Has he misrepresented their relationship,

    James Duff I'm not sure...

  • James Duff
    Cheryl West says she'd love for Sanchez to find love again.

    James Duff
    He would probably have to deal more finally with the loss of his wife before moving on.
    James Duff
    Just want to mention that five dollar Friday is a fairly universal activity on production sets all over the country, but especially in Los Angeles.
    James Duff
    Mostly, it is for the crew and the background artists.

  • James Duff When the stars of the show or producers win Five Dollar Friday...that does not go over very well...

  • James Duff The crew on this show gives a hundred percent every day.

  • James Duff Honestly. No kidding. People do crazy things to make this show work well.

  • James Duff Kay W says it must make me proud to know how many people like the show.

  • James Duff
    It does. It makes me proud. It makes my family proud. It makes all the people who work here very proud.

    James Duff My partner and I, Michael Robin, who
     produces with me, work with some of the most dedicated
     people you are ever likely to meet.

    James Duff Mike S asks if we'd ever think of doing a new
    spin off. Funny you should bring it up!

    James Duff We have a spinoff ready to go starring Jon
    Tenney and Laurie Holden. But it all depends on TNT's
    new needs.

While James is on Facebook each Monday night, many of the cast members are answering questions on Twitter while the show airs.  

Here's a list of their Twitter IDs in case you want to check it out. If you ever miss anything, just check out Major Crimes super fan Ilona Arcari's twitter feed @ilonarcari. 

  • Mary McDonnell (Captain Sharon Raydor) @MaryMcDonnell10
  • Tony Denison (Detective Flynn) @RealTonyDenison
  • Phillip Keene  (Buzz) @PhillipKeene
  • Graham P. Martin (Rusty) @grahamPmartin
  • Kathe Mazur (DDA Hobbs) @KatheMazur
  • Jonathan Del Arco (Dr. Morales) @JonathanDelArco
  • Jon Tenny (Agent Fritz Howard) @jontenney
  • James Duff (Executive Producer) @JamesADuff

To read a pre-season interviews with James Duff and crew, click here, here and here. To see the recap from last week, click here

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