Creators of the series The Great North, along with some cast members, joined a panel recently to discuss working on the series and what they hope for going forward into a second season. Sisters Wendy Molyneux & Lizzie Molyneux answered questions on their animated series alongside pal and co-producer Loren Bouchard, as well as cast members Dulcé Sloan, Nick Offerman, and Jenny Slate. The panel presented the sixth episode in their first season, one that highlighted the erasing of lgbtq+ history that can occur as well as featuring a same-sex kiss. Afterward, the questions started with Wendy and Lizzie, looking into their inspiration behind creating the series and what drove them to do so. Wendy mentioned their love of Nick Offerman and how perfect he'd be as a dad character, especially alongside a character like the main teen girl, Judy, as the daughter. The importance of exploring a geographical location different from Bob's Burgers became a cornerstone to the settings they'd focus on.
When discussing the development and onboarding of characters and those who voice them, both Lizzie and Wendy agreed on knowing who was right when they heard them. This became a big deal when they heard Sloan speak and immediately felt she represented Honeybee's character and would fit the role beautifully. They maintained that an important part of any show is not being afraid to put some pressure on your characters, from making difficult decisions to navigating the daily rough stuff specific to their lives. When it came to getting one of their most famous stars on the show, Alanis Morissette, it became a simple act of sending her over the script and deeply hoping she'd respond well to it and low-and-behold she did just that. Although a fun joke was made that they went into Wendy's backyard and did some spellcasting, the relief was grand when they heard she was excited to join the team.
First impressions of The Great North's script from the cast were given, going from Dulcé to Jenny, and finally to Nick. Dulcé talked about receiving the script while working on The Daily Show, and how she loved the character of Honeybee and that it was written similar to how she herself would speak, and that delightfully surprised her. Jenny became excited to be asked back, as someone who voices Tammy on Bob's Burgers, it felt like an honor to have continued work with Wendy, Loren, and Lizzie. She also mentioned how she'll watch the show as a fan with her family. Nick mentioned how he had known Wendy and her husband for a long time and got connected that way, as well as the fact his wife, Megan Mullally, voices Gayle on Bob's Burgers. He also would like to think he inspired the character of Gayle's cat, Mr. Business. Loren Bouchard talked about his involvement with The Great North and described it as if he was a "jealous lover", keeping an eye on some fantastic Bob's Burgers creative minds he hoped wouldn't leave. Bouchard feels an obligation, similar to a "big sister" figure, describing himself, to be there as a guide when needed.
The connection to the story and how it was told became evident as the panel discussed how they feel about The Great North and the recent work from home that involved creative improvised voice recording sessions. Nick talked about how he very much enjoys the empathetic nature of the storytelling as it goes along with a forward progressive mindset from the jokes to the plot. He also mentioned he loves the inclusion of songs in the series, even though he refers to his own as "mediocre" even though he has always loved music himself before this. Dulcé quickly mentioned her own enjoyment of singing in the theme song for The Great North, happy to sing silly songs after being in many serious musicals herself in the past. Much was discussed about singing, along with the troubles of recording that and regular lines while at home, from Jenny's weird wi-fi signals in New England to Dulcé's experience with being sent equipment of her own from the studio to help her out. There was always an intention of music, but the pandemic didn't help in some of those areas.
The second season of The Great North was discussed towards the end of the panel. Wendy and Lizzie both talked about the amazing opportunities that come with early renewals, especially for the lengthy process that is in an animated television show. Expansion of the world the show is set in, along with other characters, is important to them going forward. Mentions of holiday-themed episodes, from Halloween to Thanksgiving, as well as a full musical episode, were all discussed. The ability to expand due to seasonal opportunities definitely was exciting to the team. Also, some names were dropped for guest stars for the second season including Pam Grier, Patti LuPone, and the man of Flavortown himself…Guy Fieri. Many laughs and wholehearted dedication to The Great North were shared in the panel, and now we can't wait for the next season!
Bleeding Cool TV on Instagram: For all of the stuff too random and bizarre to make the site, make sure to follow us on Instagram (with an official launch on June 19): Bleeding Cool TV (@bleedingcooltv).
BCTV Daily Dispatch: For a look at what's going on across the television and streaming landscape, sign up for Bleeding Cool's daily email round-up of the news you need to know here.