Young-adult ensemble returns in Edward Burns' comedy-drama series
A year later, the friends who fuel “Bridge and Tunnel” are still coming of age in the ‘80s.
The EPIX comedy-drama series written, produced and directed by co-star Edward Burns (“The Brothers McMullen,” “She’s the One”) starts its second season Sunday, July 10, with big developments for all of its central characters. Former flames Jill and Jimmy (played by Caitlin Stasey and Sam Vartholomeos) have new romances despite their continuing mutual attraction, Mikey (Jan Luis Castellanos) reconsiders pursuing an accounting career, Stacey (Isabella Farrell) aspires to dance in a stage show, and Tammy (Gigi Zumbado) becomes the drummer in an all-female band that manager Pags (Brian Muller) hopes to get signed to a major label.
Also familiar from such movies as “Saving Private Ryan” and “The Holiday,” Burns lends acting support as Jimmy’s devoted father Artie while also fulfilling most of the principal creative duties on the show. “I think the older I’ve gotten, the less I feel the need to play the lead myself,” Burns reasons. “And with a piece like this that’s such an ensemble, I have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to young and talented people.”
Co-star Stasey also had worked with Burns on an earlier, very similarly themed project (“Summer Days, Summer Nights”), and she says she’s found “Bridge and Tunnel” to be “straightforward. The women here are all powerful and self-assured, and they don’t always make the best decisions or pick the right guys, but they definitely do exactly what they want to do all the time.”
Seen previously in the series “Reign,” Australia native Stasey has a particular “Bridge and Tunnel” challenge in maintaining a Long Island accent. “I was really stressed out about it during Season 1,” she admits, “because if you do it wrong, it can sound really cartoonish. But I had an immediate and unconscious knack for it, and I don’t know why. It just worked.”
Burns confirms that for Season 2, he tailored the “Bridge and Tunnel” characters more to their portrayers. “In talking to them,” he reports, “I discovered that Gigi turned out to be an incredible drummer, and Isabella was a trained ballerina and dancer. I also found out that Sam and Brian are very good singers.”
A distinctive element of “Bridge and Tunnel” remains its soundtrack, populated this time by such hits as Heart’s “Straight On,” Bonnie Tyler’s “It’s a Heartache” and Kansas’ “Carry On, Wayward Son.” Burns explains, “I’ve been working with the same music supervisor, Tracy McKnight, since 1999 and my movie ‘Sidewalks of New York.’ Not only does she have great taste, she’s got long-standing relationships at all of the music labels. And she’s great at figuring out how to get what we want while keeping it within our budget.”