Are you still wrapping your head around last night’s Hit The Floor Season One finale? (It was a doozy, wasn’t it?) After suicide, PR stunts, rape allegations, car sex, lies, and more lies, creator James LaRosa is on hand once more this week to give us his take on the episode that was–before he makes us suffer through an godly wait before Season Two’s delicious truthbombs start to drop.
Read on for his thoughts and thank yous.
I’m doing things a little differently this week.
Emily Exton has been doing an amazing job all season writing episode recaps and I’m gonna assume she’ll kill me in that department again this week. This week we aired our season finale, and, well… I’m a little emotional. So for my final blog, I’m going to be saying a bunch of thank yous. Because a TV series doesn’t get made on its own. And Hit The Floor is an especially communal effort. Like a hive. A sexy demented hive.
I love them all. We love each other. Which you can tell if you follow everyone’s Twitters and Instagrams and whatever the hell else we’re on. A friend asked me on Facebook if we ever work on Hit The Floor or if we just stand around and pose with each other. I’ll be honest, it’s a lot of posing. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Kimberly Elise: The first person we cast, the last face we see this season. Sloane went from a runaway protective mama with a secret to a sexcapading champion of all the dancers, one who’s positioned herself as a mole in Season 2, working inside Devils Arena to take down Oscar Kinkade. You know Kim is a talented powerhouse, you may not know she has one of the kindest souls in the universe. Positive people are amazing. Surround yourself with them. Awesome things happen. Like a hit show.
Taylour Paige: I thought for sure Ahsha was going to be the hardest role to cast. The ingénue is always the one character you want to punch in the face. But then Taylour walked in. She made Ahsha so unbelievably likable because SHE’S unbelievably likable. She has no filter, she has no shame. She is living every second. I fell in love and fall in love every time I see her. She also busted a flip in her audition that made me forget everyone else that walked in the room. She is a star.
Logan Browning: I thought for sure Jelena was going to be the easiest role to cast. The bitch? Come on! But casting Jelena drove several execs to near-suicide. Not me though. I knew she was out there. By now hopefully you know Logan is not Jelena. What you may not know is how hard Logan worked to become her. After the pilot, she spent an entire summer taking about a million dance classes and got herself to where she could share that floor with the other women. I’m so inspired by that. Logan will stop at nothing, which I guess makes her Jelena after all. In the finale she ousted Olivia in the most draglicious firing ever, but it was her breakdown in the lockerroom that people will really remember.
Dean Cain: With all the estrogen running wild on this set (of which I probably contributed half), Dean is such a studly shot of testosterone every time he walks in the room. And as professional as he is (the only actor who didn’t have to come back and do ADR after we wrapped!), he is also the biggest ham, ending every take with some improv that makes everyone bust up. At least he makes ME bust up. He also makes me feel inferior standing next to him because HE’S F–KING DEAN CAIN. I thank him for being him, and for being the best basketball technical advisor a guy could ask for.
Charlotte Ross: No one can summon a tear like Charlotte Ross. She took a hard-ass character like Olivia and gave her so many layers (one of which is still thankfully a hard-ass, my favorite flavor of Olivia). She’s also quick off the mark–we were filming that scene in Episode 3 where Ahsha begs for her job back and I pulled Charlotte aside and said, “Oh hey, you don’t know this but you slept with Pete and are realizing in this scene how awful what you did was because it contributed to driving Sloane away and leaving Ahsha without a father. Ok go.” And she went! Watch that scene again, it’s all there baby.
Katherine Bailess: Kat has the heavy lifting of keeping things light on a show where, you know, people die. And she nails it each and every time. Kyle is our Southern stripper and one of the most brilliant minds on the show, and Kat makes you believe it. She’s also game for anything, including having sex with Stephen Colletti in a locker at 7 am. When someone is that game, it makes you want to write for them more and more. And judging by how you all have responded to her character, you kinda love her too. AND WAIT SHE’S MARRIED? TO SMITH JERROD FROM SEX AND THE CITY? Oh you have no idea where this story is going in Season 2…
Valery Ortiz: On a show where everyone is a sweetheart, Valery STILL wins for biggest sweetheart. When we tested actresses for Raquel, we had a scene where Raquel reads to her son Miguel and she was so warm and wonderful that she stole the job (and my heart) right there. I want her to read me to bed. I thank her in advance for doing that (I’m free Thurs. night, Val!). I want to thank her also for making Raquel a character you want to get behind. Is Pete the guy for her? Or is there someone else on the horizon? Stay tuned…
Jonathan McDaniel: Real men are vulnerable, and Jonathan isn’t afraid to go there as German. In a world of big money and big fame, German’s just this unapologetically sweet guy who stands by his girl. Their break-up was brutal, a lot of that thanks to Jonathan’s delivery of that speech. And the single tear that fell down his cheek, STFU. This guy is the real deal, and even though Ahsha went there with Derek, you know her story with German isn’t over…
McKinley Freeman: The man is a poet, a cupcake lover, the best person to go furniture shopping with, just a spectacular, spectacular dude. His biggest skill is making Derek the kind of bad boy you want to see get the girl. When he did that line of blow at the mansion (through a rolled up check to his mama), you felt so bad for him. And his pick me speech? What does Season 2 hold for Derek and Ahsha now that they’ve done the deed (AND ON THE BACK OF A CONVERTIBLE NO LESS DAAAAAAAYAAAAAAAM)? Hmm…
Robert Christopher Riley: It takes a lot of man to play Jelena Howard’s boyfriend. And we saw a lot of the man in the pilot (ahem). But we saw his best asset in his break-up scene with Jelena. Rob is all in, no matter what. That includes behind the scenes, where he spent a ton of time behind the monitors watching our directors work. He has a Devils hat and I’m pretty sure he’s tricking out his car with a Devils logo too. That was the plan anyway but he might’ve been drunk. I love the idea and I’m not drunk at all. A little high though. BUT HIGH ON ROB.
Don Stark: What a f–king scum bag. I mean Oscar! He may or may not have murdered Mia. (“Water under the bridge”?, what an a–hole!) In real life this guy is sweeter than the basketball cookies he brought on the last day of filming. He was the first person to predict we’d be a hit. He said he had the same feeling about That 70’s Show, which he rocked that awesome ‘fro on for eight seasons. Our original cheerleader, we love Don to death. Plus he’s funny as hell. In that inappropriate way you really like.
Bernard Curry, Rick Fox and Johanna Braddy: My fearsome threesome. As Jesse, Chase and Mia you showed serious guts (getting it on with LJ in a hotel, Olivia on a desk–and playing a RAPIST!–and not being afraid to look like a crackhead and emotionally unravel in front of our eyes, respectively). Thanks for injecting HTF with your unique brand of crazy.
I want to thank ALL my actors for their ability to keep secrets. You didn’t give up one! Now I must put you all back in the dark as the writing begins on Season Two on Monday. Mwahaha.
The Devil Girls are the lifeblood of this show, and these women work so hard day in and day out to make something truly epic. The best way for me to show my respect is to list each and every damn one of them by name because they should be recognized as the crazy talented mind-blowing individuals they are.
* Carly Anderson
* Starkesha Brown
* Caitlin Carver
* Reshma Gajjar
* Courtney Galiano
* Allison Holker
* Alaina Hoolihan
* Michelle “JERSEY” Maniscalco
* Stephanie Moseley
* Katrina Norman
* Monica Soto
Take a bow, ladies!
Thank you also to our genius choreographer Michael Rooney and his left and right hand Danny Valle for blowing me away every week with routines that were all so different and so fierce and so everything. Methinks the Emmys will get a bit more Floor-y in the choreography department next year…
I didn’t do it alone people. Big thanks to Ayanna Floyd, Jason Ganzel and Tonya Kong for sharing their twisted brains with me and helping breathe life into this wild world. Huge thanks to my assistant/our writers asst (and writer for Season 2!) Sarah Fahey for being a tireless ball of enthusiasm and for infantilizing me to where I can no longer perform basic simple functions for myself.
Big thanks to Sanaa Hamri, who directed the pilot, Millicent Shelton who KILLED the season finale and Tamra Davis, Daisy Mayer and Melanie Mayron who all lent their scary talent to making Hit The Floor the slam dunk it is (slam dunk, get it? As Oscar would say, that’s a pun). Who run the world? Girls.
I’m indebted to those who let us use their songs for our major numbers. Big love to Beyoncé for kicking us off right, and to Robyn, T.I., Noelia, Sam and the Womp, Fall Out Boy, Haley Reinhart, B.o.B., Willy Moon, The-Dream, Xzibit and P!nk (HOW OHMYGODDD WAS THAT FINAL NUMBER???). This show is 100% music driven so to have such kick ass music to dance to has been incredible.
Next time you watch the show, pause on the credits, opening and closing, because these are names you should know. Wardrobe, hair, make-up (you know these three departments alone on a show like this are staffed with cyborgs), camera, post, right down to craft services who feed all our fat faces. The onscreen talent gets the glory but the crew on this show is m–her f–king dope. LOVE YOU GUYS!
MY FELLOW PRODUCERS: Maggie Malina is a star. Jeff Olde is an oracle. Jill Holmes is a rock. Bryan Johnson is the Energizer Bunny. Maria Melograne makes the impossible possible. And I’m grateful for all of them.
THE NETWORK: VH1 is amaaaaaaaazing. They love us, they support us, they sometimes make out with us. Ok maybe not but I so want them to. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
Last and most, thank you to the fans. We debuted with wonderful numbers, but we grew nearly every single week. You liked what you saw and you told people. And that made the show. The amount you love us on social media, how invested you are in this world, it blows me the eff away. I opened up my brain to you and you leapt right in head first and said YES, I like it here. Which is the biggest compliment a writer and a person could ever get. You inspire me to get even crazier in Season 2.
And I will.
It’s been a breakthrough season of dancing, scheming, loving, sexing, lying, and bombshelling. And we’re only getting started.
See you soon, kids.
[Photo Credit: James LaRosa]