believe it or not Julio Torres and Ana Fabrega– who has contributed to and starred in HBO’s cult-hit comedy Los Espookys With SNL alum Fred Armissen— didn’t intend there to be a three-year hiatus between seasons one and two of her show. Actually, it should be pretty quick. “The gap between the first season and the start of the second season felt really quick,” Torres says via Zoom, before Fabrega steps in: “The show came out in the summer of 2019 and in the fall we were writing.”
Unfortunately, the world had other plans related to COVID-19. Fabrega and Torres, who play the unfortunate but well-meaning Tati and spoiled Andrés, in the series that follows four friends as they turn their love of all things scary into a business and fabricate horror-movie-esque situations to help voters of their Latin American City – remember the uncertain time her show was left in limbo as production in Santiago, Chile shut down between filming episodes four and five. “Personally, I was in denial about the whole thing,” says Torres. “I was very frustrated. It wasn’t until I got back that I realized, oh no, when they say global pandemic, they mean it global Pandemic.”
But good things are worth the wait. Los EspookysThe second season takes even bigger swings than the series’ debut, effortlessly promoting humor in situations ranging from presidential elections to office birthday culture and men wearing a dangling earring, in both Spanish and English. “We’re a very entertaining type of show,” says Torres. Fabrega and Torres joined in the conversation vanity fair about her unorthodox methods to make HBO’s most unconventional comedy.
vanity fair: How far along were you in filming Season 2 when you had to call it quits?
Ana Fabrega: When cases started popping up in the US, we were in Santiago, [Chile]. It took a little longer for the cases to get down there. For a while I was like, ‘Oh, we have a pretty good buffer of time.’ When cases started popping up around town and we had some close conversations on set, we broke up. There was a feeling of, “Oh, we’ll be back in a few weeks.” Obviously that didn’t happen. So it was just a kind of wait and see when we will be able to go back to Chile to finish? HBO tried to reassure us, “Don’t worry. We’ll get done.” But after a year where we can’t go yet because they had different COVID protocols there than here, so we couldn’t shoot, then it was like, ‘Man, okay, who knows how long will it last? ” It ended when I was two years old. Then we could just go back and essentially pick up where we left off.
Julio Torres: Patient zero of our close encounter on set [actor and comedian] Sam Taggart, who arrived and was then notified by another gig that he may have been exposed to COVID. At the time COVID was obviously this weird and scary thing and then he was taken to a hospital and it turns out he didn’t have it. But that was scary enough that we were like, ‘Okay. The best thing is to switch off and move on.”
How closely do you both work together and with your third co-creator, Fred Armisen, when you come to the Los Espookys plot and screenplays?
Fabrega: When we start writing, we’re going to spend a couple of weeks just throwing out a few ideas of stuff we think is funny without worrying about putting it all together yet. Once we have a big board to draw ideas from, we’ll start putting things together and try to connect the dots. I think this season was much more about characters than plots. That was only because I knew the characters better. Now we can really write for them in a more differentiated way than in the first season.
You can mix absurd comic book sequences with snarky social commentary. How do you manage this balance?
Torres: It’s not really planned. We write the whole season, which I think is pretty unusual for a TV show. We don’t really have a squat writer’s room. We’re going to conceptualize the season and then we’re going to bring in some help to help structure it and have solid arcs and all that stuff. We’re a very entertaining type of show. To be honest, we’re rebuilding a lot of it. I know I was like, oh, I want Andres to play with the bad stepmother. And then it’s like, “Okay, well, what would allow this to fit in organically?” I think because Ana and I are very opinionated people, comments come naturally. But it’s never like, “Oh, let’s do this thing.”
https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2022/09/inside-the-unconventional-journey-to-los-espookys-season-two Inside the Unconventional Journey to ‘Los Espookys’ Season 2