JG Quintel recently took part in a Reddit AMA where he was there to do pretty much the sole promotion that Close Enough is probably going to get, especially now that the show has streamed it’s entire first season on HBO MAX. During the AMA, JG explains what the hell took so long in getting this show from TBS to rumored to be on Adult Swim to finally getting on HBO MAX.
On why it took so long for Close Enough to release
I think there were several reasons.
The first was that the original trailer we created was fabricated from scratch to pitch to the executives. Kinda like a awesome comic con trailer, but we weren’t cutting from existing episodes. Once the show was greenlit, we still had to go through traditional development which takes a loooong time.
Then I think the AT&T Merger slowed everything down. We were originally going to be for TBS. But after that Merger, the wheels for HBO max must have been in motion, because I think they decided to save us for that, which in turn, meant a longer wait for everyone. Thank you everyone for your patience!!!
How he escaped development hell
Development is hard. You get a lot of people together to try and make something as good as it can be, and it’s all subjective, so we don’t always agree. But you keep making it, throwing ideas up and seeing what sticks. I think the first season of any show is always going to be difficult, because nothing is set in stone, which means everything can be changed.
To get out of it, I don’t know, you just have to keep going. You’re always going to get notes, you just have to find the way to address them so that you like the way it turned out even better than your first choice, and hope you can make it to the end.
On how episodes get produced
We are a scripted show, so everything gets written out and we read it and give notes. Sometimes if you have a really good idea for something you tell the story verbally, and it can be worked into the script.
Then we get it recorded and the VO Talent bring it to life, sometimes the way they read a line, or ad lib stuff, can make us rethink the way a joke could work.
The board artists draw it all based off of those recordings and then they pitch their boards and we’ll make changes there too. Sometimes based off of a visual only, nothing that would have been in the script. When that happens, I like to just quick draw it on some post its or go off and board the bit, because I know the drawings will be funnier than me trying to explain it. (sometimes this doesn’t work, and it was only funny to me, but that’s cool too)
On transitioning from a Cartoon Network series in Regular Show to HBO MAX’s Close Enough
It had it’s own set of challenges for sure. Trying to crack 22 minute stories vs. 11 minute stories was a big one. But as far as coming up with more adult ideas, we’ve always been thinking that way, and I think it makes it easier to get those types of ideas into the show having the higher rating.
Back in the day, we used to put all of our drawings that we couldn’t do on the back of our office doors. Then when tours would come through, we’d have to make sure they didn’t close the door for fear of them seeing all of our crazy drawings. Now those drawing are making it into the show!
The show was originally ordered to 22 minute episodes, so why was it released with 11 minutes
I don’t get too nervous when i’m thinking up the concepts of the shows themselves. I really enjoy making the stuff. But I will say that I get really nervous when I have to pitch in front of a large group of people. Or getting up to speak about the show, like at Comic Con, i get pretty nervous.