Showrunner Raimi Obershon and director Tim Andrew consider themselves Team Falling Water, and even though they are new to the series beginning with the upcoming second season, I'm inclined to agree.
Going into its second season, Falling Water follows the story of three unrelated people who discover they are sharing different parts of the same dream. They are all invested in it for different reasons and it the dream has different waking life repercussions for each. The stakes are high.
According to Obershon and Andrew, Falling Water is going to receive a shot of adrenaline, and in the first of two pieces before the premiere on USA Network tomorrow night, you'll find out for yourself what to expect from the one of a kind drama during Falling Water Season 2.
The way Obershon explains it, he and Andrew were "brought in to kind of take what was wonderfully done in the first season and try to spin it a little. Give it a little adrenaline, kind of if the first season was all about our characters, trying to figure out what they have. Who they are. How they fit in. What the big scheme is."
And they have big plans for the Falling Water Season 2. They're going advance on the previous season by allowing the characters to have a bit of an adventure utilizing the skills they learned about during Falling Water Season 1.
Obershon shares, "We keep calling this an exciting and odd existential drama really. It's really about people trying to figure out who they are and where they belong in the world.
"What's fun about genre and why I love doing it so much and Tim as well, is that you can talk about real human issues and real human problems, kind of on a sidecar way in which you have cool stuff like people dreaming in weird ways, which makes it a lot of fun.
"This season follows three of our heroes, Tess, Burton, and Taka and a few additional people we're bringing into the mix who we're very excited about. Taka has a new partner at the 51st Precinct in the Bronx, Alex, who doesn't drink.
"She says at one point, 'My biggest dream is feeling the tomatoes to see if they're ripe. And being concerned that maybe the produce isn't as fresh as it should be. Those are the dreams that I have.' "She's partnered with this guy who has these incredibly elaborate dreams and is able to move in and out of people's dreams at ease."
While they know who fathered Tess's son, James (who will be played by a different actor), they are not ready to share that information just yet. Obershon said, "That will become an important thing down the line of the season. There's a lot of secrets that are going to be revealed and hopefully in a way that will be different and exciting and striking.
"Also, if Tessa's journey last season was about finding her son, this season is actually about finding herself. Finding out who she is. There's more unanswered questions than just, 'Did I have a child?' It turns out, she did. 'Who is this child?" 'Where did it come from?' 'Why did they hide this from me?' 'If they're lying to me about that what else are they lying about?'
"Burton, on the other hand, has gone through a true existential crisis. He thought that he didn't care about anything. He thought he was just there to be a fixer. Suddenly when he realized the implications of what he was involved in, felt that he had to do something.
"This season will be a lot about him trying to figure out, 'How do I rectify the horror that I was partially responsible for,' in the first season.
"Taka, who has I think has gone through some of the hardest stuff in the first season by kind of not quite reconciling his relationship with his mother and never completely understanding what it was ... He probably, of all of our characters, has resisted the gift that has been given to him.
"Now he finds himself ... when we meet everybody it will be six months after the end of the first season, and when we meet him, he is more than determined not to dream again. Fate has a funny way of tapping you on the shoulder and saying, 'Guess what? You can't ignore what's been given to you.'"
While it worked last season for the characters not to be able to distinguish between their dreams and waking life, for Season 2 it makes sense for the characters to know when they're dreaming, and it's up to Andrew to come with distinct worlds for each of them to do their dreaming.
Andrew said, "One of the great things about the show is that unlike any other TV show out there, you have access to dreams and to shoot those as part of the story is a gift that we've exploited, I think."
When he and Obershon met, they discussed the possibilities that every dream could be different, opening up endless possibilities for Falling Water. "You could have a nightmare one night, and you might have a happy dream the next night. Everybody's going to have different dreams on different days. The possibilities are endless.
"We always challenge everybody in every department. 'How do we make this more interesting?' It's actually hard, I think, to write and conceive of a dream. We're very linear in our approach to things, and we'd write things in a way that is clearly understood.
"Dreams often aren't like that. Like, 'Why am I suddenly ... I'm floating and there's a dolphin. I don't know why I'm thinking about dolphins. Over here, there's my mother. Oh my God.' It's all very weird, you know?"
Their new process lit up every department in their quest to make the dreams visually interesting. Everybody started paying more attention and offering suggestions.
As much as they do practically, they also attempt to defy the laws of physics. Andrew explains, "We might be having this conversation and it starts raining inside here, but it's not raining outside or in the hallway. I'm sure all of us have had these weird sort of elements in dreams and they make them visually spectacular.
"The simpler they are, often they more impressive they are. I've shot some scenes and we've chatted about them after, and I'm like, 'Oh my God. I can't believe how fantastic that looked,' and I didn't realize until we were doing it that it would be so beautiful."
It's not only an element most shows don't have, the dreams are useful, providing characters with information that might only be mined later when they begin to interpret their dreams.
Obershon and Andrew are also encouraging the actors to make suggestions on behalf of their characters. Some have gone so far as to send clips of themselves doing different things they thought might be useful for dream sequences that have ultimately been incorporated into Falling Water.
While much of the action during Falling Water Season 1 occurred in the dream world, during Falling Water Season 2 there will be more of an evening out of the drama.
Obershon says, "I think we've been successful of making sure that things that are happening in the dream world have consequences in the real world, and vice versa. There's some bad things happening, that are happening both in the real world with real world consequence, but are being facilitated in the dream world."
It's very important for the two worlds to be woven together as much as possible for the sake of drama.
If you watched Falling Water Season 1, you know things could be taken to the next level by people as passionate as Obershon and Andrew. Tomorrow we'll have thoughts from the stars in preparation for the premiere. Don't miss it!
Falling Water returns to USA this Saturday, January 6 at 10/9c.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA Member), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.