“Legit” didn’t leave main characters Jim (Jim Jefferies) and Steve (Dan Bakkedahl) in the best places at the end of Season 1, and life doesn’t get much better for them in Season 2. Still, according to the cast, watching their downward spirals is going to be so much fun for viewers.
Zap2it visited the Venice, Calif., set of “Legit” in November when Jefferies, DJ Qualls, Bakkedahl and creator Peter O’Fallon were shooting one of the final episodes of Season 2. As they later teased at their 2014 TCA Winter Press Tour panel, this season will deal with Jim suffering from sex addiction and Dan being an alcoholic. It’s not going to be a pretty sight.
“The career’s going downhill this season,” Jefferies tells Zap2it and select other outlets on the set visit. “I might be a bit more famous next season if we get a third season. All of our lives are in a downward spiral [in Season 2].”
O’Fallon adds, “The concept of the show for me is it’s a big dark hole with a big bright brick of light in the middle. That’s kind of what the season is. It’s very dark, but you see this bright light in the center — and it’s fun.”
Many of the plot lines in Season 2 tie together more than they did in Season 1. In fact, the cast describes Season 2 as acting like more of a “novel,” and the staff decided to change gears from Season 1 and not write episodes that were straight from Jefferies’ standup.
It seems like the major lessons learned from Season 1 that are being applied to Season 2 involve writing to the actors more. Expect to see Billy and Steve and even Rodney at the forefront as much as Jim is.
“You learn what people are good at, you learn what people are bad at. I feel that this season is definitely more serialized. Rather than just focusing on me, I thought that a lot of the shows this season are a little bit more ensemble,” Jefferies says. “Of the 13 [episodes] last year, a couple of them were s***. We’re trying not to do that this year. We’re trying not to have two or three episodes that are s***.”
Qualls adds, “Also we know each other better, so it’s easier probably to write dialogue because we know the characters.”
According to Bakkedahl, many storylines — like Steve’s descent into alcoholism, which began at the end of Season 1 — were drawn from seeing what worked while filming.
“That’s one of the things I love about this show,” he says. “As much as there’s an idea ahead of time of where things are going, there are those discoveries in the moment on set where they go, ‘Oh wait a second, this is something we can run with.’ That doesn’t happen, I don’t think, on a lot of traditional shows.”
Season 2 will also feature a slew of guest actors. Beyond the already announced Carrie Fisher as a “sexually aggressive casting agent,” George Lazenby as Jim’s father and Dr. Drew as himself, also expect to see appearances by Magda Szubanski as Jim’s mother, Jill Latiano (Glenn Howerton’s wife) as Jim’s love interest (and first-ever onscreen kiss), as well as Tom Arnold and Bob Saget.
Jefferies’ real-life mother wasn’t a huge fan of finding out that “James Bond” is playing his father while he would likely cast a “morbidly obese person” to play her, but Jefferies is over the moon about the casting of Szubanski. Based on what the cast and O’Fallon say of Season 2, it seems like the relationships between parents and their children will come to the forefront.
Beyond Steve’s separation from his wife and what that means for his relationship with his daughter, the dynamic between Billy and Steve and their father, Walter (John Ratzenberger), will be tested when Walter moves in with the guys. Then of course there’s the relationship between Jim and his parents, which will be newly explored this season.
Maybe the increase in the family dynamic is a response to discovering that the FXX comedy plays well with real-life families. “A lot of families have been watching it, which I think is bizarre,” Jefferies admits. “Peter Rice, the head of Fox, said to me it was his 13-year-old son’s favorite show.”
But of course, this is “Legit’s” spin on family life. In one scene, Steve and Jim and their fathers get jerked off at a massage parlor with only paper-thin walls separating them. Prepare to be disturbed and made uncomfortable in true hilarious “Legit” style.
“We’re stealing all of our plotlines this year from ‘Dallas,’” Jefferies jokes.
That’s the charm of “Legit,” though. “On most shows, you can look at them, you can go, ‘Now here’s the funny moment, here’s the moment where things come to a halt,'” Bakkedahl says. “On a show like this, I’m not always completely sure how someone’s going to read a particular moment, but I think we approach it with an honesty that earns us the laugh later, if it’s an honest moment. Or if it’s a laugh moment, it’s honest enough that it earns us the right to do something heartfelt.”
“Legit” Season 2 premieres Feb. 26 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FXX.