Exclusive Interview: Parker Young Talks Suburgatory Season 2 and Ryan Drama

Suburgatory Season 2 Episode 3 Ryan's Song (7)

ABC’s Suburgatory has returned this season with already a couple strong episodes, but more importantly Lisa found out a big secret about Ryan.. [Spoiler] he’s adopted! Which actually explains a lot.

Well, in tonight’s episode “Ryan’s Song” we’ll see that storyline play out a bit more as well as what looks like lots of Ryan-ish moments.

TV Equals caught up with Parker Young who plays the deliciously funny and dim-witted Ryan to talk about what is coming up for his character on the romantic front, the adoption drama and more. Check out what he had to say below and don’t miss him in tonight’s episode of Suburgatory titled “Ryan’s Song” which airs at 9:30pm on ABC.

What’s coming up for Ryan this season?

Parker Young: This season has been so much fun for Ryan. I think especially because season one Ryan was kind of here a little bit, there a little bit, wasn’t a huge part of the season, or at least not the first half of it. So it’s taken a big shift which has been so much fun for me, since I play the character. So it’s been awesome, but basically we end season one with the whole adoption debacle. Lisa finds out that I’m adopted and we kind of start off season two with the family sort of in this drama that they now know I’m adopted. Lisa now knows I’m adopted, but I do not yet. She sort of uses this as sort of blackmail. She hopes that she can leverage the fact that I don’t know against my parents in order to kind of get what she wants. So there’s all this sort of family drama about the adoption, and then ultimately, I don’t find out until later on in the season, like around Christmas.

So there will be a build up?

Parker Young: Yeah, absolutely. There’s a build up there, which is a lot of fun, and then when I find out it’s crazy. It’s absolutely crazy. Ryan basically loses faith in all that he’s been led to believe up to this point. If he’s not really a Shay and this isn’t really his family, then he questions what really is real then, and loses his identity and renames himself, of course. He strips all his clothes off and goes running around the city like a madman, like a wild animal. It’s madness. It’s pretty funny. I don’t want to give away too much, but I get rescued by another family and that creates a whole new family relationship for the Shay’s. We confront some serious issues, or some secrets, I guess, that our parents have been keeping from us.

When did you find out about this new direction for your character, towards the end of the first season?

Parker Young: Yeah, towards the end of the first season there was this relationship between Ryan and Tessa that started to further develop. I think that people were kind of hoping that they would get together, and so it just sort of moved in that direction. I really didn’t know how much more a part of the show Ryan or the Shay’s were going to be until we started getting the scripts. And I mean it could all change. We could move in a different direction, but now it’s just been really fun. We get to explore also, in this second season, the relationship between Tessa and Ryan further.

Suburgatory Season 2 Episode 3 Ryan's Song (6)

There are a few clips that came out hinting that there were going to be some hot and heavy scenes with Ryan and Tessa. How was it playing that?

Parker Young: Fantastic. It was great. I think my first day of filming the first season, Jane [Levy] and I had a bunch of making out to do, and I don’t know what was weirder, that first day of work, having to kiss this girl you just met or now, after having worked together for a while. It was probably weirder this time just because you know the person and you’re like, ‘Well, we’re friends now.’ I don’t know. I think the scene turned out really well, and as far as my character goes, it was the best day ever, ever, ever.

Now that you’ve had some time as Ryan Shay, do you have any new insight as to who he is?

Parker Young: It’s been a really interesting process for me, and I can’t speak from past experience. This is my first time on a show like this where I have the luxury of getting to kind of discover a character, and it’s been a really interesting process.

Season one, I had no idea really what the character was because the character, the way that Ryan Shay became in the first season is completely different from the Ryan Shay that I auditioned for. When I auditioned for him he wasn’t even supposed to be dumb at all. He was just like a jock, and then the scenes got cut from the pilot and then the very next episode that I was in, I got the script and he was like a total idiot. I was like, ‘What the hell is this?’ That right there was really kind of shocking and I was like, ‘Okay, they want me to be dumb now,’ and so I felt like a lot of it was trying to create the character in a way that the writers envisioned him.

So, a lot of it was just like, ‘Is this what you guys want from him? Is this what it is? I don’t know.’ It was just difficult, and as time has progressed, I was very appreciative that he became a dumb character because it gave him freedom to get away with doing a lot more that served the comedy. Whereas, if he wasn’t dumb I think some of the stuff would be a little bit creepy, like humping a locker and all that stuff that’s a little bit creepier. So that was cool, but now in season two I’ve sort of just kind of taken ownership of Ryan and I’ve been moving him in the direction that I see fit, given what the words say on the page, but just kind of making him more into this real person that I think he is. I think it’s definitely progressed in a positive way.

Any message for the fans of the show as they get ready to watch the remaining episodes of the season?

Parker Young: I really just feel so appreciative that they’re fans. I guess I just want to say, ‘Thank you, guys for watching. Because enough of you watched you get the second season and we will not disappoint.’