Matt Watts had finally gotten over the cancellation of Michael: Tuesdays & Thursdays when Bob Martin called, saying CBC wanted a Season 2. Yes, five years after the events of the first season, the comedy renamed Michael: Every Day is back.
Returning Sunday, Jan. 15, at 9 p.m., the first two episodes find Michael—David’s (Martin) former patient—in full control of his life and enjoying success in a new city. The same can’t be said for David, whose home and psychiatry practice are in a shambles. It doesn’t take long, however, for Michael to call on David for help, leading to darkly comic moments over the course of six episodes. Written by Watts, Martin, Don McKellar (who also directs) and Lynn Coady, and co-starring Jennifer Irwin (Eastbound & Down) as Sammy, Tommie-Amber Pirie (Bitten) as Claire and Ed Asner as Dr. Wasserman, we spoke to Watts and Martin about the circumstances surrounding the series’ revival and what viewers can expect.
Clearly, Tuesdays and Thursdays wasn’t enough. It has to be every day now.
Bob Martin: We’re kind of embracing the idea that each season, if we do a third, is a standalone and you don’t have to have watched each previous season.
Maybe Wednesdays next season…
BM: Or maybe space! We don’t know.
Did you always, in the back of your minds, hope Michael would come back?
BM: After we completed the first season, we were working on a second season and were outlining it in great detail. And, for certain reasons, that didn’t happen. So, no, we didn’t think it would come back. We thought that was it, that was the end, and we were very happy with the first season and glad we had made a serialized show that had closed on the story beat. It didn’t feel like an open-ended show, necessarily. But then, yes, we were very surprised to be invited back.
Matt Watts: There was a lot of behind-the-scenes string-pulling that I’m not privy to. There were conversations between very important people and then a phone call to you and then you made a phone call to me.
BM: Yeah, that’s right. It was a surprise. It was out of the blue. Speaking for myself, I had booked a lot of other stuff to survive. I was like, ‘Oh my God. I love these characters and would love to revisit them.’ It was a bit of a logistical problem to get all of the creative together to do it. But, they knew we were excited about continuing to explore these characters. And you had an idea about doing a TV-movie version of Michael as a revisit.
MW: I always like this idea of one of the first lines is about the 15-year relationship. It kind of sets itself up about a relationship over a long period of time, so you could revisit these characters like what they did in the Seven Up series or Boyhood. It was always in the back of my mind that we could go that route. It took me a long time to let go of the show. We were both upset and you buried yourself in work. I got kind of depressed and anxious and spoke to the press about everything that was going on. And then I took a few more years and finally let it go, and then I get a phone call from Bob going, ‘We’re doing it again!’
BM: This feels like a bonus season.
MW: Also, a lot of the crew came back. When we wrapped the first season, I didn’t have a great last day on set. But I figured I’d see them again next season and then I didn’t get that. It was getting to revisit camp again.
When we start the season, Michael is the one that has it together and it seems David’s life is falling apart because he’s trusted someone and got burned.
BM: That’s my favourite scene of the two seasons. David finally thinks he’s found someone he can trust.
MW: The question we asked ourselves this season is, ‘Why this patient and why is he so special?’ We answer that this season. There is a revelation that comes later to explain all that.
How different is the original Season 2 from what became Every Day?
BM: We had to condense the episodes down to six.
MW: And we had to pick up five years later, so we took that into affect. The original second season picked up six months later. This was a five-year gap, so we had to make a lot of adjustments and changes. The last two episodes stay the same because we always had this idea for the season that we really wanted to do and that’s in the show. The show builds to this event in the fifth episode that carries into the sixth.
Michael: Every Day airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on CBC.
Image courtesy of CBC.