Alan Yang Interview: ‘Forever’ creator
“We wanted to be as exciting as a show like ‘Lost,'” explains co-creator, executive producer and Emmy winning writer Alan Yang about his Amazon comedy “Forever.” “They were just pummeling you with surprises yet it felt earned at the same time,” he says of how his show’s surprising twists and turns emulate the classic sci-fi drama’s crazy plot twists. Watch our exclusive video interview with Yang above.
“Forever” stars “SNL” alums Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph as a loving married couple that have become stuck in a boring and predictable rut, whose lives are suddenly turned upside down. The show is equal part an hilarious observation of the routine minutiae of relationships and an existential and supernatural meditation on life, companionship and purpose. It is impossible to describe the show without spoiling the many surprises that are revealed in the first three episodes, and it is best to watch the show without any prior knowledge of what to expect. “It’s insane,” Yang declares. “The first three episodes are kind of like three different shows entirely, and it’s so rare to be able to preserve surprises.”
“Without giving too much away, it really is an examination of marriage and of relationships and the idea that we are supposed to be with someone forever, but what if that were literally the case and the torture that in some cases we might experience,” Yang explains, adding that “this is a show about all marriages in general, and the temptations and the boredoms we all encounter.”
While the show veers into some unexpectedly left-field territory, Yang and his co-creator Matt Hubbard (“Parks and Recreation”) were keen to ground the show in the daily nuances of married life. “If we had one ingredient that was super supernatural or insanely crazy,” he explains, “we would try to balance it with an argument about how you load the dishwasher or something mundane, something relatable.”
After his Emmy-winning work on “Master of None” (he won for writing the episode “Parents” with co-creator Aziz Ansari) and many of his other recent projects, Yang is often asked about his views on diversity in film and TV, particularly from his perspective as a creator of Asian descent. He is immensely proud of how far the industry has come. “We’ve taken so many strides and we’ve taken so many steps forward that it’s a thrill to be talking about it at all,” Yang admits. “We’re just starting, and it’s the tip of this Asian iceberg,” he adds. “It’s very exciting. As someone who never saw anyone who looked like me on TV or in movies growing up unless they were working in a restaurant or a laundromat or a nerd bullied at school; it’s exciting and I’m proud to be part of it.”