Mrs. Davis Co-Creator Tara Hernandez On Crafting Peacock’s Wild New Sci-Fi Series [Exclusive Interview]
I’ve not seen a ton of the show, admittedly, but this feels like the kind of thing where, especially because I know Damon got into some of this with “Lost” years ago where they just were chasing their tails, so how long would you ideally see this going? Is this a one season show? Is it a four season show? Do you have a rough idea of where you guys would like it to go?
Yeah, I think we really, and just my personal tastes, I really love a great season of television. I love a story that’s introduced. I love a nice conclusion on it. I think we had to know where we were ending up. We pitched the show, when we pitched it, it was very important to have the landing place.
That is nice to hear.
Yes. It has a landing place. We had to know what the North Star was, especially in a show that can feel like, “Is this going to go off the rails? Are they just going to be chasing their tails?” Just my personal preference about storytelling, whether that comes from really loving feature films or just loving a hero’s journey that’s a really closed-loop narrative, I think the world of “Mrs. Davis” is such that it has legs, but I think it is a great eight episodes. If that’s what it is, it’s just a really nice story. And people will be satisfied.
And it’s up to them. They’ll let us know. But yeah, I love the world. It’s been really fun. I love the people we get to work with. I would love to do more and I think it can sustain more, but I will be very, very proud if it’s eight and done.
I remember for years everyone was yelling at me, “Watch ‘Game of Thrones.’ Come on, you’ll love it.” I will never forget when that last season aired, the amount of people that just shut up about it. Movies are my thing, so when I get caught up in TV, I’m like, “Is this going somewhere?”
Exactly. Yeah. There were so many threads to tie up in that show. I think for us, it is Simone’s story, her arc. Especially when you do a quest for the Holy Grail and a treasure hunt, you’re like, “Are we going to be looking for this thing for four seasons? Come on.”
Yeah. “Where’s the cup?” for four seasons feels a little…
Exactly, if that’s what it even is. I think that’s the way of streaming now, they’re going to get four episodes. So it’s a month-long commitment, like a five-week commitment, and by the end of five weeks, the chatter will be like, “Oh, it does have an ending.” So it isn’t like a season of television with 24 episodes where you have to wait for someone to tell you, “Oh, it does wrap up.”
People will know in a good amount of time. I think that’s why it was important for us to give critics as much of it as we can. We’ll give you all of it, where they can confidently tell their readers, to my husbands of the world, who are like, “What did they think?” You can say it’s good.
What we’ve seen lately is this weird impermanence with streaming where stuff is just now no longer available anywhere, which is wild. But you are making this for a streaming service in an era where streaming is uncertain. Do you have any fear that this may just not one day be able to be watched anywhere? Have you talked to Peacock like, “Can we please get a physical media release?” Is this something you’ve thought about at all?
God, now I am.
I’m so sorry to put that out there.
I was like, “I saw ‘Westworld’ just evaporate from society.” I had the real privilege of working on a show that is, I was told that “Big Bang” is still one of the top five streaming shows on HBO Max. It has so much permanence. That is — love it or not, it’s around.
You’re going to get those residuals forever. Don’t you worry.
Beautiful. I love this jacket. Thank you, Sheldon.
That’s your “Big Bang” jacket.
It is. It’s got that comedy vibe. Absolutely. [laughs] That is the nature of what we’re doing. I love “Patriot.” I love “Servant” on Apple [TV+]. I love these smaller shows that only live in our hearts and in our minds. If I tell someone to watch it, they’re like, “I don’t know where to see that.” It is scary. So we all need to put everything on film, put it in a vault and protect it, or send it into space … For us, I think the greatest thing is just that it’s a part of conversation now. That’s all you can really hope for.
There’s so much great stuff. There’s so much great stuff I intend to watch that I don’t get around to, maybe because you guys didn’t tell us to watch it. But I feel that the biggest mark of success isn’t being evergreen, but being at least people watched it now. At least a couple of your friends are going to be able to talk about this show.
With how much TV there is now, if you can break through, it’s nuts.
If three people you know are recommending a show, great. That is a huge success.
It’s wild. “Yellowstone” is the biggest show on TV. I know two people that watch it. It’s really weird how that happens.
I’m the closest to watching “Yellowstone.” I’m like, “This wouldn’t have been something on my radar.” But I’m angling towards it in a way I never thought I would. I’m not going to watch it, unfortunately, mad respect for everything that Tyler Sheridan does.
He’ll have to just live with it in his house made of money.
He’s fine. He doesn’t need me.
“Mrs. Davis” premieres on April 20, 2023 on Peacock.