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“Miracle Workers: Dark Ages” sees Steve Buscemi shift from playing God to a local excrement remover, and Daniel Radcliffe ditch his awkward angel for a soft-brained prince.
Given the malleable nature of the TBS anthology series, creator Simon Rich was presented with a blank canvas for Season 2. Rich made the decision to leave behind the polished halls of Heaven Inc. for the grimy streets of a medieval town, and radically change his entire cast of characters in the process. According to Rich, “the beauty” of the format is being able to pivot the series on a dime and explore whatever themes come naturally.
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Whereas Season 1 of “Miracle Workers” was based on Rich’s 2012 novel “What in God’s Name” and dealt with love and fickle nature of life on earth, “Dark Ages” is based on an as-yet-unpublished short story and tackles the struggles of Geraldine Viswanathan and Radcliffe’s characters to move beyond their respective family businesses of excrement removal and tyrannical kingship.
When it comes to forming each new season, Rich says the length and detail of the source material doesn’t play a wholly essential role, but rather serves as “the basic thematic, comedic thrust” of the season, as well as providing a couple of central characters.
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After Season 1, it was literally back to the drawing board for Rich and his writers.
“The short story is just a jumping off point. I purposefully asked the writing staff to not read it because I don’t want anyone to feel like they’re tied to any text,” he says. “Then we just put up pictures of the cast on the wall and stared at their faces for weeks and months; we moved them around. That’s what so fun about this particular show: we have such an amazing cast, it’s not about, ‘How do we squeeze this...
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