Murtz On The Scene: Exclusive Interview With Hemlock Grove Executive Producer Charles ‘Chic’ Eglee

 

You probably already know who Charles ‘Chic’ Eglee is… you just don’t know it yet.

Hemlock Grove‘s new showrunner is a legend in the television business and is responsible for some of the best shows of all-time. These include recent hits including The Walking Dead and Dexter and older classics like Murder One and The Shield. A character development specialist, Eglee was brought on to offer a fresh pair of eyes to the sophomore run of Netflix’s groundbreaking horror drama series, Hemlock Grove.

Hemlock Grove debuted last year and the horror-thriller is based on the 2012 book novel by Brian McGreevy. Both the book and the series are set in the fictional Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania, a place known for its clear class distinction where you are either really rich or simply struggling to make ends meet. The town’s main sources of employment are the Hemlock Acres Hospital and the Godfrey Institute for Biomedical Technologies.

The story primarily revolves around Roman Godfrey (Bill Skarsgard), heir to the town’s wealthy Godfrey family, and his friendship with the town’s gypsy newcomer Peter Romancek (Landon Liboiron). In the first season, the reluctant and new-age crimefighting duo work together to solve a series of brutal murders that are being committed by a Vargulf (a mentally insane werewolf). Along the way, they not only discover secrets about themselves, but about all the people around them as well.

While the first season follows the book as closely as it can, the second season breathes new life into the series because it doesn’t have to. Its biggest success is that it isn’t predicated by a preexisting notion of what to expect. As a result, there is a freshness about the sophomore season that greatly improves it. With a smaller density of work to adhere to, there is a much tighter storyline to follow and as a result, it’s a much easier ride to absorb.

Perhaps the best part about Hemlock Grove is the fact that it doesn’t take itself seriously. It doesn’t attempt to hide its surreal plotlines. If anything, it celebrates them. In a day and age when television has become completely predictable, Hemlock Grove is anything but. Just when you think you have everything figured out, it turns out that you really know nothing at all. In that regard, it isn’t like anything else you have ever watched.

I recently caught up with up Chic Eglee to discuss how much the show has changed in its second incarnation from its first. I also quizzed him about whether his experience on shows like Dexter and The Walking Dead influenced his work on Hemlock Grove and he opened up about his feelings on the juxtaposition between characters and they violence that they choose to employ. We also talked about the concept of the flawed protagonist (think Walter White or Dexter Morgan) on television today, and while it is clear that Peter is the hero of the story, I asked him if Roman could also be considered to be the good guy as well. Eglee discussed the reconstruction of Olivia’s tongue in the second season and how he based it on an experience that one of his real-life friends went through. We also chatted about the new Netflix model of storytelling and how refreshing it is to not have to write in recaps at the beginning of every episode or cliffhangers at the end to accommodate commercial breaks in addition to the assumption that many will be watching the episodes in consecutive order. Finally, I pitched him on an idea for a new character for the show’s third season.

Check out the video above! Also, stay tuned to the end of the video for an exclusive scene from Hemlock Grove‘s second season.

If you want to jump right into season two or just need a Hemlock Grove crash course, here’s a quick video catch-up of Season 1.

 

Hemlock Grove’s second season debuted July 11 on Netflix.ca and all episodes from the first and second season are now available to watch online.

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