Well, ladies and gentlemen, that time of the year has come. The time of the year when USA Network makes my life impossible by giving me WAY too many shows I love to watch every night, and not nearly enough time for me to keep up with them all. But I can keep up with at least three, and one of them is the utterly fabulous “Necessary Roughness”. What? You are yet to discover the awesomeness that is Necessary Roughness? Don’t worry, yours truly is here to make up for it. And hit you with a stick in the process, because seriously? You’ve missed out not only on some great storytelling and acting talent, but also on some major hotness here. And you know I’m very serious when I mention that word.
Now, I just interviewed the absolutely charming, smart and funny Marc Blucas (yes those adjectives are all well-deserved, so shut up, I’m not fangirling or anything here), and I’m in full “OMG I LOVE MATTY D” mode. (Note: Matty D is Matthew Donnally, the trainer for the Hawks team that Marc Blucas plays on “Necessary Roughness”) . And don’t even think about it… DIBS, people. I said it first, Matty D is miiiine! Yes, it’s a fictional character, so I’m sure Marc Blucas’s wife won’t mind.
More importantly, I am here to deliver you the goodies, and rest assured that Mr. Blucas always delivers when it comes to that… despite starting out the interview telling me “oh don’t be so sure it will be a pleasure, Alessandra. Wait till I answer!”. As if… I’m an Italian woman with a plan, I have my ways to obtain what I want. And no, I’m not the Godfather, or the Godmother, I just have ways of making people talk. Much like Dr. Dani on “Necessary Roughness”. Isn’t that what journalism is all about? But I digress, let’s get back to business.
SPOILER ALERT: if you haven’t watched the first season and/or don’t want to be spoiled about the second one… stop reading at once, because there are major SPOILERS AHEAD. Are we clear? Good, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
First off, make sure to watch Necessary Roughness without significant others around, so you’re free to drool over Marc Blucas and Mehcad Brooks (as Terrence “TK” King, the star of the Hawks football team) and Callie Thorne (the Golden Globe-nominated lead of the show, as Doctor Danielle Santino) and Scott Cohen (as the mysterious Nico, who solves any problems the Hawks team has). Plus the various majorly hot guest stars. Yeah this show is a pool of hotness, didn’t you know? It’s sports and drama, football players, professional athletes and a hot therapist, HOW can it not be a pool of hotness? Too bad if you missed it, time to play catch up. Both DVD and online episodes are available, so get on it!
Second, if you’ve loved the first season of the show as much as I did, you better clear your schedule for Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. starting June 6th. Because that’s when the second season of Necessary Roughness takes off, and I’m telling you, it’s going to be FABULOUS. I know things you don’t know and I can’t share, so take my word for it.
But let’s get back to the ever charming and incredibly witty Mr. Blucas, who had quite a few delicious tidbits to share about what’s to come for Matt and for my favorite couple, Matt and Dani, this season. There will be comedy and there will be drama, as usual in the perfect mix that only USA Network is capable to deliver with all its shows. Most of all, there will be a lot more of Matt, and that alone thrills yours truly. What, so I enjoy charming, witty, good-looking men, is that a crime? (that obviously also includes Mehcad Brooks who plays Terrence “TK” King on the show, lest someone thinks I don’t notice the rest of the cast).
So, without further delay, here are questions and answers to your own burning questions, too, I’m sure.
Alessandra: “Last time we spoke, it was right before the season 1 finale, and you had a very interesting perspective on how this new season could progress for Matt. I think it’s safe to say things are going exactly in that direction this season, which means Matt is dealing with major personal and professional changes, that will also imply him finally competing for the job he always wanted. I know that you finally had scenes with at least one of Dani’s kids, too? Can you tell us a bit more about what we are to expect from all this, how Matt will deal with literally entering a new family and facing a lot more responsibility at work, and how you as an actor feel about it? …Maybe bad because there are too many lines to learn?”
Marc Blucas: “Oh it’s never bad in that sense, the more the merrier for an actor! And yes, I get to meet the kids!
On a selfish note, this season is great for me because I have so much more to do. Last season I was kind of just “the boyfriend” you know? Because as a trainer there wasn’t all that much I could do, especially because that left me out of a lot of stories. We’re up to filming episode 8 now and looking at the macro, I think this season is spectacular. The scripts and the people that they’re bringing in as guest stars are incredible, and the storyline is great. Again, on a selfish note , for me this season has brought a lot more opportunities, like for example with Nico and Matt getting to have a lot more scenes together. It allowed us to further their storyline and learn more about Nico and about Matt, and see more about their relationship; and it’s great, because it’s given both Scott and I a lot more scenes where we could explore different aspects, and it’s always nice when there’s movement, there’s activity happening, as an actor those are things that you can sink your teeth into.”
Expanding on what’s going to happen between Nico and Matt during the season, Mr. Blucas said that some tension will come up at some point, but not because of jealousy, but because of work interfering with personal life. And who wouldn’t expect that from the “all work no play (except with the owner’s wife, ouch!)” mysterious Nico?
Marc Blucas: “Nico and Matt have had some real moments, they both want the same things, but go about it different ways. We have a few moments throughout the episodes where Nico does his thing and I don’t like the things that he does but he’s effective, so I’m fine with it. But the minute it starts to become detrimental to my personal life then I care about that, and that happens a couple of times this season, so that’s given Scott and I as actors a lot to do, but also a lot to question, like “how contentious is this? How heated is this?” In a movie you know what level to go to, based on where that relationship travels at the end of the story, and we’re not there, we don’t know what that is, so we gotta ask ourselves “How far are we going? How intense does it need to be?”.
Back to the promotion issue, the charming Mr. Blucas told me there are going to be many implications for it, including a whole new set of dynamics for Matt at work.
Marc Blucas: “The promotion (for Matt) was something we had talked about when we had shot the pilot, believe it or not. And this season we got to explore that. And this by the way tells you how cool our creators are, that they’re sitting with actors asking them how they see their character evolving and where they think the story should go.
Matt’s promotion causes a shift of power, so the whole balance changes now. They’re all above me on the food chain of pro sports thus far, so they can do and say what they want and I have to nod my head and do what they say. When suddenly, having an opportunity to go to the front office is a complete shift of power, and it changes all those relationships because I get to have a say and decide who’s gonna be drafted and who’s gonna play, and what we’re going to do and all that. So everything changes.”
What’s surprising is that Matt’s opportunity stems from utter disaster, as the Pittmans do divorce (oh yeah, it happens) and are of course fighting over ownership of the team, which causes a real earthquake for the Hawks financially. Not to mention, it causes the ever elusive Marshall Pittman to show up for the first three episodes of the new season (Pittman will be played by the uber talented Evan Handler, remember Charlotte’s husband from “Sex and the City”?)
Marc Blucas: “They really pulled from what really happens in sports (with the Dodgers owner divorcing his wife and filing for bankruptcy) to throw a monkey wrench into the rest of our lives on the show. Ironically what’s usually a bad thing for people, for Matt — and I made it clear from the start with the creators “Look I really want him to be ambitious, especially for an athlete in that world, I don’t think Matt just wanted to just be a trainer” — becomes a good thing. Suddenly when the front office is into shambles there’s an opportunity to jump into that, maybe it’s the Titanic, or maybe not, but for Matt, as volatile as it is, there is an opportunity .”
Now you don’t think I let go of the personal side of it, what with my major love for Matty D. and Dr. D.? I’d never give up on getting the scoop about them. And Mr. Blucas didn’t disappoint, of course.
Marc Blucas: “On the personal side, Matt’s relationship with Dani starts out pretty secretive because we want to see if it goes where we want it to go before involving the kids, and then there’s a lot that happens that comes with a relationship evolving. Entering a family, adjusting to it, which of course provides both drama and comedy, just like in real life.
What Callie and I have said all along regarding Matt and Dani is, we want a relationship that is based on respect and trust and friendship, two people who genuinely enjoy each other, an adult relationship. So knowing this is the frameset that Callie and I always wanted to bring to the relationship, in the story there comes a point where, especially for Matt, it’s “the secret thing is fun, but hey, if this relationship is gonna kick to the next level, who cares about the rest of the stuff?”
So, Matt will need to accept that “well ok there are kids who need to accept me and I them” and Dani will have to accept the fact that “well so we work together, who cares, it happens all the time that people who work together fall for each other.”
And yes it goes fast (between Matt and Dani), but I do think that later in life you kinda KNOW those things. Personally, I got married later in life, and when I was dating, usually three sentences and I knew whether I was interested in them or not. And when you know, you say “ok let’s try to see where this goes.” And these two people (Matt and Dani) had that, and it gets to a certain point and it’s like “so we like each other, we enjoy being around each other, and we gotta come out of the closet for this to go on.”
“I don’t want to ruin the surprise, so I won’t say too much. The primary sticking point for Matt and Dani… it was just so beautifully written. […] It’s been a really nice arc with this relationship and it’s been a nice way to have tension and solving it and some other tension and solving that too and then there’s some more and we’ll see if that’s solved or not. Of course there will be drama “The Perfect Storm” would be completely boring if there wasn’t a tidal wave, and the same applies to a show. So you’ll have this or the other tension and see them navigate through it.”
Alessandra: “And in that sense, I know about a major development that I won’t spoil (note to the readers: yes it’s MAJOR, and no I won’t spoil it, because I don’t want to have USA Network put a professional killer after me) but this causes you to have scenes with Dani’s friend Jeanette (played by Amanda Detmer). Was it fun to have more scenes with Jeanette and to get to know her better? You didn’t have scenes with her last season, did you? (other than in the pilot episode)”
Marc Blucas: “Matt has a pretty clear sense of who Jeanette is because he met her in the pilot when she introduced him to Dani. Lucky for us, we have an actress who is exactly like her in Amanda Detmer, and who could not be more fun to be around, and she and I and Callie are cracking jokes the whole time on set. It’s a nice dynamic. It’s another thing that’s very real, that when you’re in a relationship you start meeting everyone’s friends and as an adult you’re setting your ways, you have your restaurants and you have places you like to go to and things you like to do, and suddenly you meet another adult and you have a whole new set of things brought into your life, new people, and you need to find common ground, just like in real life. All that stuff has just been so rich, and the writers have done an excellent job with it.”
Alessandra: “Matt and Dani will once again join forces to save TK, of course. How does Matt’s relationship with him evolve this season and what can we expect? I know Matt helps TK in a specific way by advising him to see a person that ends up helping TK finally open up to Dani about his PTSD… What can you tell us about what’s coming up with Matt and TK, will that relationship progress this season as well?”
(note: excuse me while I try to recollect my thoughts here, because talking Matt and TK at the same time? Is it getting really hot in here or has summer finally arrived? Ahem. I promise the following is what Mr. Blucas said though. Thankfully my typing skills overcome any kind of hotness problem.)
Marc Blucas: “Dani, Nico and Matt, they all have a soft spot for TK. Mehcad finds the perfect balance between being real and between being that childish, arrogant, over the top athlete when he plays TK. Mehcad is so talented and found a way to play that perfectly, so that we know there’s that person in there that we love and we want that person to come out, but at the same time we deal with that other character.
Whether it’s the GM job or the trainer job, in the show I need to get the guys ready to play. So that’s what I need to do with TK as well. Dani is there trying to handle it on the other front, but with that kind of character it’s always very difficult to find a way to make him ready to play and to make it work.”
I think it’s great how genuinely nice this (very handsome) man is to his co-stars (the above was a major endorsement of Mehcad Brooks’s wonderful job on the show, right?) and how he genuinely appreciates working with them. It is always refreshing to hear about sets where people get along great and truly enjoy each other, despite being there to work. And Mr. Blucas made it very clear that what makes “Necessary Roughness” special is also the relationship between the actors.
Marc Blucas: “I don’t want to give it away, but we’re having some amazing guest stars on the show this season. Whether it’s cameos or just good actors coming onboard and being on the show for a while, we genuinely like each other and get along… me, Scott, Callie, Mehcad. And I think that… that to me is kind of surreal. It’s like “Hey, these people are friends and friendship translates on screen”. It’s so much fun, it makes that very-long-hour TV schedule and season go that much faster and be more enjoyable.”
If all the above didn’t convince you that Necessary Roughness is the hidden TV gem you still haven’t discovered, here is a wrap-up speech from Mr. Blucas on why you should watch the show… and it’s very convincing. This gentleman sure doesn’t lack eloquence! He really does have a way with words. Maybe that’s why he’s such a good actor?
Marc Blucas: “I think our show really provides something for everyone, my grandma loves it and my best friend who plays basketball in the NBA loves it. It’s dramatic enough, it’s funny enough, it appeals to so many audiences cause even if it’s told from a female point of view you’re in a masculine world. The cases of the week are so different and varied and funny, it’s not cops doctors and lawyers, we’re outside that world and I think that’s interesting in the TV world as well. “
I think those big blue eyes and that ridiculously charming smile are a strong and very interesting selling point, too, but that’s me. What, I had to throw this in there. Now you can go back to wondering why we don’t meet men like Matty D. in real life.
And just so that you know, yours truly isn’t leaving you without some more scoop… courtesy of the master of accidentalsexiness herself! Look out for Marc Blucas and Callie Thorne to appear in exclusive video interviews on our site soon. And remember that scoop I refused to give? Marc Blucas may have given it out himself in his interview with the ever amazing Rosy during Upfronts! Quite sure USA Network won’t put a killer after him, so there! Sometimes it’s all about giving the actor the right lead, and the rest will follow. Wait, this suggests I could just give Monsieur le Vartan the right lead… and him falling in love with me will just follow! Genius!
And you guessed it, thus endeth our chat with Mr. Blucas about what’s great in Necessary Roughness and why he is so great (he didn’t say that, I am saying it. He’s a down-to-earth, humble man. But my inner fangirl cannot be kept on a leash for long.) Still not watching Necessary Roughness? Tant pis, as the French would say. But you can’t say I didn’t warn you. Thanks for your patience and for your love, see y’all when the next hottie shows up! I mean when we have our next fabulous interview. Bye, darlings!
Catch the season 2 premiere of “Necessary Roughness” on Wednesday, June 6, at 10 p.m. on USA Network!