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Interview: Enrico Colantoni on “bang” up start to Remedy’s second season

On Monday night, Remedy, Global’s Enrico Colantoni-starring medical/family drama, returns for its second season, and fans better be ready to get shaken up. At the very least they have to prepare to watch their favourite characters, including Colantoni’s Dr. Allen Conner, go through one of the biggest shake-ups in the show’s history.

In the name of keeping things spoiler-free, that’s about all we can say about the premiere. But the good news is, we spoke to Colantoni himself, and he offered a few more clues as to what kind of chaos is ahead, both for Allen and the entire series.

The season premiere starts with a pretty big … let’s say “incident.” How was it shooting that scene?
Enrico Colantoni: We start the season off with a bang! [Laughs.]

It was a little out of our wheelhouse. It’s safe to say that whole season isn’t going to be like that. It’s a nice way to reintroduce the world and have a little sensationalised drama, which is fun and fun to do.

Can you say if that event is going to ripple through the season? Or are there other events that come along during the season that have a bigger effect?
What’s wonderful about our show is that the shoe doesn’t drop; it sort of falls really slow.

We watch our main characters find their way [this season]. They’re all dealing with being a fish-out-of-water in a way. Sandy has a new baby and she wants to come back to work. Mel is dealing with this man. Allen is in the ER. Griffin is dealing with living with Zoe. So, the [event], I would say is the metaphor of what’s going to happen, but it’s not an indication of what’s going to happen. It really builds to this place where the whole family has to deal with and can’t avoid Griffin anymore. That’s an extraordinary nine episodes of just watching him fall really slowly.

Allen is going through some challenges this season as well. His area of expertise is not being valued at the hospital anymore and he’s being thrown into the ER environment. How is that professional havoc going to change him?
Rico has the best time playing Allen this season. He doesn’t have to hide behind a desk. He really is getting his hands dirty.

But [Allen] really is a fish-out-of-water at the beginning because it is a young man’s game. He doesn’t have the dexterity to deal with 20 different patients. He wants to spend time, he wants to be the doctor who heals every individual, and you just don’t have time in the ER. You send ‘em off—you either send ‘em upstairs, or you send ‘em home. So he has a hard time understanding that. But what it does is it brings a lot of integrity back to the ER. He’s saving a lot of lives that otherwise would have been lost. But on the other hand, he’s learning how to function quickly. He gets excited about it.


But the glue is always … this family is despicable. They are! In a subtle, sublime way, they’re despicable. They’re just so insulated.


He’s getting reinvigorated.
Yeah! He’s getting reinvigorated. You just see the joy. Even in the fourth episode, which you haven’t seen yet, the first time you see him, he’s like a little kid. He’s got his first gunshot trauma coming in and he’s all excited. That sort of shifts [things] and that episode affects him deeply.

So it wasn’t necessarily the change he wanted, but the change he needed?
Yes. He realizes how much he hated being an administrator. He realizes that, of course, he loves medicine. And it affords him more time to be the dad he wants to be, needs to be. How Greg Spottiswood manages to make it all dramatic is beyond me. He’s that skilled, because I’m having the best time in the world. And he is, certainly, as well.

But the glue is always … this family is despicable. [Laughs.] They are! In a subtle, sublime way, they’re despicable. They’re just so insulated and I don’t know if xenophobic is the term, but they’re just like, ‘Stay away. We are an island. We don’t need anybody else.’

They have each other…
But in such a co-dependent way!

You have played a father figure to many strong women, career-driven women. How important do you think it is to portray these deep father-daughter relationships?
What an opportunity to play a dad to someone who is already an adult! My kids are still teenagers, so you have to pound that voice in that head and hope that somehow, when they’re 30, they’re going to hear dad stop them from going down the wrong road.

Playing Keith Mars [on Veronica Mars], I think, had more value to it because he was all she had. And he did allow her to be her own person at a young age, which is such a gift. These guys are too smart for their own good! The fact that they even listen to me still …. and the fact that he still tries to butt heads with them is like, what are you, an idiot? You should have let them go a long time ago, but you’re just so stubborn and wanting to control the whole thing. They’re adults for God’s sake, but you treat them like they’re kids! There’s nothing valuable in that. [Laughs.]

But that’s part of being a dad, right? You’re always going to have that urge to come in and control the situation.
It is! It doesn’t stop! And that’s what makes the show beautiful. It’s beautiful because it’s real.

I like using the word ‘sensationalize’ because a lot of these medical dramas are [that]. They’re relying on the false sense of drama. I always had this debate with the writers on Flashpoint. Like, it’s already dramatic, why do we have to fake the drama?

That’s what made Parker so special to me. While everybody else is freaking out, he’s going, ‘Guys, calm. Let’s move.’ Which is how you deal with situations. You don’t go, ‘Oh, this is really important!’ We know it’s important. And that’s how we deal with Remedy. Like, this is fucked up, and this is how we deal with it. And when it really gets heightened it’s all about, ‘You shut up! No, you shut up!’

The bickering is so beautiful on this show. And I love it.

 Remedy returns Monday, March 23, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global.

Emily Gagne

Emily Gagne

Emily has been analyzing her favourite shows since she wrote about how much she loved Goosebumps in her school journals. She spent three years writing about Canadian TV for TV Guide Canada and now runs a completely girl-powered movie and TV blog called Cinefilles. She loves talking about puns, Breaker High-lights and dorky, but strong female characters.
Emily Gagne
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