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Are George (Jeremy Sisto) and Dallas (Cheryl Hines) this generation’s Ross and Rachel from Friends? Not as long as Suburgatory’s creator Emily Kapnek is in charge. She’s all for letting the characters give in to their urge to merge. It’s the relationship part she’d like to hold off on. Aw, they’re just like us.
Note: Spoilers. Don’t read on if you’re not interested in knowing what lies ahead for the couple.
“I do think that they should sleep together at some point soon,” Kapnek tells The Hollywood Reporter of where she’d like to take George and Dallas’ flirtation.
“I think it would be really, really fun and I think you want to see it come to a head,” she continues. “Again, I think that you have to inch into the dating part and what the real possibilities are for their relationship.”
That said, the series creator does feel that the awkward attraction between the two characters makes for very fertile storytelling ground. So, while she sees sex before commitment between the two, there’s still much road to cover before Dallas makes an honest man out of George (and vice versa).
At any rate, Kapnek gives THR a breakdown of the relationship’s past, present, and future, which I’ve organized into a timeline below.
Halloween 2011: George sees the light. “Dallas is not a likely candidate to wind up with George,” Kapnek points out. “As much as you want to see them together, it really has to feel justified. We did a lot early on to sort of throw them together and have George glimpse her unhappy marriage so that it feels warranted. For George to just come in and be like, ‘Oh Dallas, of course,’ and just throw the two of them together because they’re two leads in the show, it wouldn’t resonate and it wouldn’t feel real.”
Christmas 2011: The kiss that never was. “Dallas was able to take back the kiss,” Kapnek says of the couple’s smooch under the mistletoe. “George was sort of stunned and maybe not responding the way she thought he would and she dismissed it as, ‘Oh it’s Christmas, lighten up George. We’re under the mistletoe.’ And off she goes… In that moment would kick off what we described in the writers room as a baton that they kind of pass back and forth in terms of their sexual interest in each other.”
February 22, 2012: Dallas is (sort of) single and ready to mingle. “Obviously, Dallas is just going through her divorce,” the creator says. “Dallas dates a very handsome character who is played by Wilmer Valderrama and George gets jealous. It’s very clear that it gets under his skin watching her make out with this guy.”
February 29, 2012: Romantic detour. Oh, Sheila. “Fred [Chris Parnell] reads Sheila’s [Ana Gasteyer] diary. He starts to get in his mind that Sheila is obsessed with George Altman. It’s a very, very funny episode, where he goes about trying to sort of win his wife back and get her affection to focus on him. It’s a great, really, really funny episode, strong episode for all three of them. Parnell, Ana, and Jeremy are all just hilariously funny in that little odd triangle.”
April 2012? After a hiatus, the plot thickens. “In episodes to come,” she says. “As Dallas starts to process her divorce a little bit more and she gets depressed, George is there for her. You get to see their relationship sort of deepen. I think that the implication and hopefully, as we have these moments where he’s comforting her as a friend, they’re kind of laying the groundwork for something that would be more. It speaks more to their ability to have a relationship in the future.”
May 2012: Rollin’ with your homies (aka the age of Alicia Silverstone). The Clueless star reunites with Sisto when she drops in to Chatswin as Eden for a four-episode arc at the end of Season 1. “It’s heartbreaking. It’s really sad,” Kapnek says. “She comes in and I think that George sort of buys Dallas’ line about the kiss, ‘That wasn’t about you.’ She’s dating. He figures in his mind, ‘Well, I guess this is not maybe what I thought it was.’ He begins to date and allows himself to fall for this woman. My favorite parts of that storyline are watching Dallas process that. It’s really sad. It’s really sad in a great way. It’s really great.”
Fall 2012? Hit it, but don’t quit it. From what I gather, it sounds as if Kapnek wants to have the couple’s first sexual encounter with each other sometime during the second season. “I do think that their fascination with each other and then having an involvement with each other and dipping in their toe and then sort of retreating a little bit could be very gratifying,” she says. “I think to me, it just feels more right and more truthful than having them sort of, launch into some ‘playing house’ scenario where they’re all together and Dalia [Carly Chaikin] is suddenly Tessa’s [Jane Levy] stepsister. That just feels like too much too soon for me.”
Not anytime soon: Love and commitment. “I think like lapsing into a show where George and Dallas are together as like a blended family thing,” she explains. “I can’t imagine doing that anytime soon.”
“This is a really complicated thing to navigate,” she also adds. “So, we just want to make sure that we handle it in a way that doesn’t feel overly convenient or oversimplified, but that we take our time and do it in a way that feels like we’re actually honoring what it would mean.”
What do you think of the plan for George and Dallas? Tell us in the comments section below.
Suburgatory airs Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. on ABC.
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro
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