Quarterlife, the drama about a 20-something magazine editor who seeks freedom by documenting her life online, came together through a series of unlikely coincidences.
Quarterlife, the drama about a 20-something magazine editor who seeks freedom by documenting her life online, came together through a series of unlikely coincidences. The show — which is from Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick, the team behind My So-Called Life— started its life as a rejected pilot for ABC. Years after that attempt, it surfaced online with a new focus, a new lead character (Dylan) and actress (Bitsie Tulloch, whom Herskovitz met at random in jury duty), and a new social network to support it. And tonight, the series starts its new life on NBC.
Quarterlife — which debuts at 9 p.m. before moving to its regular Sunday time slot — will air like a traditional hour-long drama. But there's little else traditional about the show. NBC doesn't have control of the show; instead, it's being hailed as a new model for TV, one where the producers fully own their product. (Fun fact: Devon Gummersall, aka Brian Krakow, is one of the show's writers.)
The move to NBC was something Herskovitz "had mixed feelings about," as he said in a recent call with reporters — and I'm not sure about it, either. I found parts of the first episode insufferable; from the way Dylan acts much of the time, it's hard to believe Herskovitz and Zwick have ever seen a blog. But there's still something comforting in the rhythms of their language and the earnestness of their characters, and I know I'll be hooked for the whole six-episode run, no matter how much it occasionally makes me want to hurl pillows at my TV.
Herskovitz and Tulloch recently chatted with reporters about the series, and here are some of the highlights of the chat.
- On being worried about the stereotypes of "an Internet series":
Bitsie Tulloch: When Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick say 'Will you play the lead in my series?' it doesn’t matter what platform they’re doing it on. You don’t say no. . . . The other reason I really wasn’t nervous about it is that I, myself, tend to watch TV shows that I have missed on TV on my laptop. So if I was doing it, and I have friends who do it all the time, then I had no misgivings about thinking that it would be successful at all."
Lots more from Tulloch and Herskovitz, so read more