Gritty, seriocomic FX series opens its second season
Scott Ryan deems being in-between American and Australian viewers a good place for him. Again.
Though he wasn’t necessarily counting on a second season of his FX series “Mr Inbetween.” the show’s star, creator, writer and executive producer is pleased to return with 11 new half-hour episodes beginning Thursday, Sept. 12. Gritty and morbidly amusing, the saga of brooding hit man Ray Shoesmith (Ryan) gets fresh twists through his new relationship with paramedic Ally (played by fellow returnee Brooke Satchwell) as he does his best to raise his adoring young daughter Brittany (Chika Yasumura) and care for his illness-afflicted brother Bruce (Nicholas Cassim).
First televised in his native Australia just after being brought to the U.S., “Mr Inbetween” expands upon Ryan’s Melbourne Underground Film Festival-winning 2005 movie “The Magician,” which introduced the Shoesmith character. “I started writing plays when I was about 10 years old, when I was still at primary school,” Ryan explains. “And it was always dark comedies that I was writing, so that’s just what I do. I can’t help it.
“It’s that balance thing, so I’m always trying to put humor in the situations,” notes Ryan. “Even though some of those situations might be quite dramatic or dark or tragic, there’s just that natural instinct in me as a writer to want to try to make it kind of funny, too.”
Though “Mr Inbetween” has its tough moments, Ryan insists physical conflict isn’t his main concern: “I just like people talking to each other. I remember, when I was much younger, watching ‘Lethal Weapon’ … the Mel Gibson film. My favorite part of that is when he goes over to Danny Glover’s house and just hangs out with his kids. That’s my favorite scene in that movie. It’s the kind of mundane things that I find interesting, more than the ‘going for the action’ stuff.”
A producer and editor on “The Magician,” Nash Edgerton — brother of actor-filmmaker Joel — also is a “Mr Inbetween” executive producer as well as its director. Co-star Satchwell has seen Ryan’s creativity close-up for some time, also since they were roommates for several months. Of their characters in the show, she says, “As far as she’s concerned, he works in security. And she’s a paramedic, so her work life is very, very busy. Their domestic life together is very simple, initially. There is a very genuine, energetic connection between Ray and Ally.”
Satchwell adds about Ryan, “I have huge respect for what he’s done. It’s extraordinary to reach a global audience on your first run and then to get a second go at it, and I think this will supersede the first series. As a friend, I’m incredibly proud.”