"GM: Are you surprised at the way the series has become something of a phenomenon?
SM: When I got on board, I knew that it had the possibility of being that. If you asked anyone who read that pilot, they would have said the same thing — that it had the possibility of becoming that. I am not surprised. I certainly didn’t realize that the episodes were going to finish the way they did when I first started, which was that kind of we end on a climax, this kind of thriller aspect. It finishes with this crazy ending that is actually solved in the cold open of the next episode. So what it makes you do, OK, certainly when you’re watching it on DVD, you go, I’ll just watch the cold open of the next episode, just to find out what happened and then I’ll stop. It’s like crack. Three episodes later you’re like, Oh my God. It’s 3 o’clock in the morning. That seems to be a consensus.
GM: So you’re saying you’ve tricked people into loving the show?
SM: You completely trick people into buying your drug. That’s what we’re about. We’re selling drugs.
GM: What do you think it is about the series that people really respond to?
SM: Sex, drugs, all the rock and roll you could possibly hope for. Blood, comedy. Suspense, thriller. There’s so much. There’s all the deep metaphor underneath. You can either see that or not. We don’t care. We’re going to get you to watch it anyway. It’s always amazing me, some people go, Oh my God, I didn’t realize that so and so dying meant this. You might not have even thought of what that metaphor was. It’s very strange that we have this power that we have where people watch our show to escape, pure escapist drama, of course, but also they do like to see what’s going on underneath. They like just the pure comedy of it, the chewing-gum-ness of it. One of my favorite quotes is that television is chewing gum for the eyes — ours is like chewing gum with acid in it. I know what it is, but I can’t quantify it. I can’t tell you what it is we do, but I know that if I were creating a show, I’d want to watch something that has some jokes in it, something that’s sexy, something’s that a complete diversion from my life that makes me think about my life a little bit. The framework of a vampire show does that, especially if it’s grounded in truth. I think what we do very, very well is do fantastical crazy, but it’s grounded in truth. When it comes to other shows, what I liked about “The Walking Dead,” the pilot, is that there you are looking at Atlanta and it’s gone. And you kind of believed it for a second. I thought they did that brilliantly that episode."
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