Fairly Legal’s Producer Anton Cropper Talks What’s Coming Up In Season 2

Fairly Legal - Season 2 - Anton Cropper

If you watched last week’s premiere of Fairly Legal, then you know that Kate’s life was turned on its head a bit. First she finds out Justin cheated on her while they were still together and then her boat blew up. Yikes!

During our set visit a few weeks ago, Producer Anton Cropper took some time to talk to TV Equals and other reporters there about what is coming up for Kate this season as well as what else we can expect from Fairly Legal in season 2.

As a reminder, Fairly Legal airs on Fridays at 9pm on USA, so make sure to tune in tonight, but for now enjoy the interview.

On what changes we can expect this season on Fairly Legal

Anton Cropper: I think the biggest change in this season from last season is that we’re a lot more vested in our cast. Last season the show dealt a lot with outside stories and outside things that took place. Where this season, there’s a closer and deeper connection to our characters and our cast. We still have all the fun and all the stories, and every week we go on a different adventure, and do those things, but I feel like we have just have a little deeper, and closer connection to our characters, which all in all makes the show a little more entertaining and a little more fun than it was last year.

On new character Ben (played by Ryan Johnson)

Anton Cropper: The character of Ben is really fun. He’s very charismatic, outgoing much like Kate. Ben gets what he wants, knows how to get it, knows how to win, but unlike Kate his means of going for it, and his morals are very different. It’s a very fun dynamic because they’re both very smart and they both often do whatever they need to do to get what they want. The difference is they just want different things. I think Ryan [Johnson] has really brought a lot to the show. It’s a nice interjection into our cast of something that really amps this season up and gives us a new dynamic, and really gives Kate someone to play off of and be in cahoots with. So it’s a nice, fun, playful both adversary and a good colleague for her to have. Ryan’s just done a phenomenal job. He’s really brought it to life and added a great dynamic. He’s an amazing guy and a very talented actor.

Fairly Legal - Season 2 - Anton Cropper 01

On finding out more about characters this season

Anton Cropper: This season, I feel we are really focusing on our characters and allowing them to have lives both within and outside of Reed & Reed. And bringing other players into our world that can support them and show different sides of our characters. We had never seen Lauren outside the office and we go to her house now and we see other sides of her.

And same with Leo. We’ve seen him now in new relationships and friendships and we go to his place. So we step outside of this world of Reed & Reed, and start to explore them as people, and characters within the show, and the worlds that they live in, and not just in this small bubble that’s surrounded by outside stories that are brought in. This year we really have a good combination of these stories that we’re telling, but have been able to infuse our characters much deeper into them.

On Justin and Kate’s relationship

Anton Cropper: One of the things for myself and for the creative staff in whole was the fact not really knowing everything that transpired between Justin and Kate, and not knowing where they had been, or really where they were going. And being able to see this other side and some of the reasons why their relationship did work, and why their relationship ultimately didn’t work, I think is really important. Last year, we saw some of that on the surface, but we didn’t get a true understanding of what their relationship was, and why it didn’t work. This year that gets addressed and resolved. I don’t know if it ever really gets resolved, but it gets addressed, at least. And that is a good start to it, and it’s fun watching her have to deal with that reality.

On the symbolism to Kate leaving her shoes behind after Justin’s reveal

Anton Cropper: It’s sort of like if you go somewhere and you’re in a hurry to get away, if there’s a fire or anything like that, there is that-that is sort of the idea behind it. You essentially want to escape, you want to get away so fast that you don’t really care what you leave behind. And as we know with Kate, she has a great wardrobe. And so leaving a great pair of shoes behind… [laughs] I think that’s a really important thing with Kate just as a character is that she’s always on the go in her personal life and professional life and she also has a tendency to run away from things. So there is that sort of symbolism in it, where not only is she running, she’s running as fast as she can, and will not let anything stop her to get away from something that she ultimately doesn’t want to have to face.

On the actors improvising

Anton Cropper: We have a very collaborative creative team overall. From Peter Ocko [showrunner] and the writers, to myself, and to the cast, and we really believe that everyone brings something to the table. We’re not ever opposed to allowing the magic to happen. Baron [Vaughn], we always do a couple takes where we just sort of let him go, and just do whatever he does, and it often makes the show.

On what happens to Kate after the boat explosion

Anton Cropper: It definitely starts off with sort of nowhere to go after that, and she happens to find somewhere pretty soon.

On whether Ben will continue using Leo as his assistant

Anton Cropper: No, Ben does not. Ultimately, I think [Leo]’s allegiance is always to Kate. I think that they all end up calling on Leo in some form or another. But his alliance is always with Kate. And so, he will always look out for her before anyone else. Their relationship continues to grow between Kate and Leo, and I think this season we really found a nice stride with the two of them even more so than last year, where you can actually see their relationship grow, and be more than just assistant-boss. There’s a real friendship there, which is nice.

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On the Justin and D.A. Davidson storyline

Anton Cropper: Justin really comes alive this season. He’s much more than just a sounding board for Kate. They still have that dynamic, but we really get to see Justin sort of come into his own, and have his own stories. It’s nice seeing him with that, and Esai Morales, of course is great as Davidson, and he’s in quite a few episodes. It’s great seeing this camaraderie between them, and I think also between having Ben and Justin, and seeing more of them, it adds a much needed sort of jolt of testosterone into the series as well.

On finding relatable storylines

Anton Cropper: I am not a writer. I was around for some of the process, but we definitely want it to be something that people can relate to, because a lot of things that we go through, and that our characters go through, and that our guest stars and storylines go through, the stakes are higher than what they would be for everyday people, but they’re things that everyone goes through. I think that’s another thing that’s a great draw too, and it keeps you captivated because you always can put yourself in that person’s shoes. There’s always something there that the audience can relate to. Whether it’s our cast, or whether it’s what Kate’s going through, or whether it’s Justin having to now run against his boss and still work for him. There’re all these different things at play.

On the conference room table

Anton Cropper: Watch the conference room table every week. [laughs] No, there’re little things here and there. We try to have a little bit of fun, and we try to put some things in a couple different places. Just little things for the audience that tunes in every week. There’s generally a different fruit on the table. Something colorful and fun, it’s become an ongoing thing where everybody when they get the dailies or the episodes that air, everyone’s wondering, “Oh, what’s on the table this week?”

Although, I will say, to be perfectly honest, with 13 episodes, it’s kind of hard to find colorful interesting fruit. So, there might be a couple of repeats in there.

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