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Lizzie Bennet Diaries showrunner Bernie Su speaks to Hypable about the end of the series, auditioning Ashley Clements, dealing with criticism, and more.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries has been a crazy journey, and no one has lived it the way showrunner Bernie Su has. We spoke to Su the day after the Lizzie Bennet Diaries finale aired. Now we can share Su’s insight with you, from his initial motivations to take on the project, what he would have changed in hindsight, how he deals with criticisms of the show, and much more.

If you need something to fill that Lizzie Bennet-shaped void in your heart, check out Su’s recently launched web series, Lookbook. The series follows the tumultuous world of (fictional) fashion blogging, and stars Lizzie Bennet‘s own Wes Aderhold – known for his portrayal of the sly and manipulative George Wickham. Or if you would prefer to wallow in nostalgia for a little longer, read Hypable’s top 10 Lizzie Bennet Diaries episodes, and see if you agree with our choices.

Hypable’s interview with Bernie Su:

Hypable: How are you feeling now that The Lizzie Bennet Diaries has finished?

Bernie Su: I’m mixed. A lot of good and a lot of sad – there’s no bad, there’s just good and sad. It’s such an experience, and I think as an artist, completing it is really the joy. We finished, we finished. I saw most of the cast yesterday at different times, and I saw the four girls together and took a photo of them. I had to take a moment to be like, “Wow.” Just, you know, feelings.

The outpouring from the fans and all that – my silence over the last couple days shouldn’t be taken as a sign that I have no feelings, I’m just trying to not pour everything out to everybody. Regardless, I feel really good and I’m really proud that we got to finish the show. I’m really proud of how we did. I’m pretty proud of what we have accomplished, as far as the legacy of Jane Austen.

There are critics, and people say we did things right, we did things wrong, we shouldn’t have done that, we should have done it this way. That’s fine, that’s cool, you can say that about the show, but I’ll just say that we gave it everything, we left it all on the table. It’s all there, and we can’t be faulted for trying – that’s the one thing I can always say. I’m just really proud of my team, and everybody, and what we accomplished.

When did this journey begin for you?

The first time I met Hank [Green, co-creator] was in March 2011. We didn’t get to start working on the show until actually after Vidcon 2011, and that’s something that a lot of people don’t know – people think we started working on it right away. It really wasn’t, we talked two weeks after we met for the first time about the show, but then we both realized how busy we both were.

I encouraged him to wait until after Vidcon, and that if we’re still feeling that we should do this after Vidcon (and this was four months later) then let’s go for it. And sure enough, at Vidcon I saw him, and he was still as enthusiastic, and the week after Vidcon he messaged me and was like, “Let’s do it!” I was like, “Well if he wants to do it, I’m in.”

“If anything for me, I just needed to make sure that my partner in this, Hank, would be as passionate as I was – and he was.”

So the real journey of it all started August 2011. Then we were developing it and talking every week or so about the show, and the details and nuances of what we were going to do, until finally it got to the point in November where I went, “Well, we’ve done all the development. We’ve got to either cast this thing, or shoot this thing, there’s nothing else we can do at this point.” The initial casting, they came in for the first auditions in December 2011, and that’s where it really began for them.

Were you in the first auditions?

Yes, I was. I saw every person who came in.

Do you remember Ashley’s first audition?

Yes, I do. Very much so. We had two days of auditions to audition the first four girls, and Ashley came in the second day. Either she was that good, or the other candidates just weren’t working, but she was the only Lizzie that day that was close to what we were looking for; the first day there were a couple others.

But I remember pretty vividly – I remember writing in my notes after she came in that she was the best Lizzie we’d seen all day. And clearly she was. That’s in my audition notes, I remember it very clearly. Mary Kate [Wiles] came in the first day, Julia [Cho] came in the first day, and Laura [Spencer] came in I think the first day as well. But Ashley was definitely second day.

Who was the most difficult to cast, apart from Lizzie?

Well I’ll say that the one that had the most conversation during the callbacks was Jane. Mainly because we had called back more Janes than anybody else, because we had a lot of good candidates. Coming out of the callbacks, there were two very, very strong candidates. That became a discussion that went all the way to the top, as in Hank and Katherine (his wife) had different opinions.

It’s good to have a discussion, but Hank had a hunch and Katherine had a hunch that was different. Hank wanted to go Laura, and I was like, “They’re both great.” I basically wrote a message to Hank, “Here are reasons why both candidates are great, and what each candidate gives you that the other doesn’t.” I think for Laura, she is very doe-eyed, and that really plays for our Jane well. The other candidate doesn’t have the same level of doe-eyed-ness, and not that it hurt her, but it was a different take on it. So I’d say that would be the one that had the most discussion.

“With Mary Kate I felt like, well there’s the benchmark. Let’s see if anybody jumps over it.”

And then Julia as Charlotte was also towards the end of the day on the first day. I knew Julia, I knew of her and I’d met her, and I was like, “Oh this is cool. I like this take on it.” So I was really happy with that one.

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On May 2, 2016, J.K. Rowling commemorated the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts by apologizing for killing Lupin, and telling us that the Grim Reaper almost chose Arthur instead.

Father figures have always been an important aspect of the Harry Potter series, and Rowling always knew that a few of them (RIP Sirius, Dumbledore, Lupin) would have to be killed during the Chosen One’s seven-year journey. Interestingly, Rowling revealed this week that Lupin could’ve been alive today if it weren’t for the fact that Arthur Weasley made it through Order of the Phoenix. As the author explains it:

This is a hard pill to swallow, and the first time we’re explicitly hearing that Arthur living meant Lupin dying. So, we thought we should debate this topic. Did J.K. Rowling make the right choice when she chose to kill Remus Lupin over Arthur Weasley? We asked two of our writers to each defend a position.

Selina: Yes, killing Lupin was the right choice

arthur-weasley-and-harry-potter

Let’s journey back in time. The year is 2003, and you’ve been up for 72 hours straight, ploughing through the overwhelmingly long Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It’s been a bumpy ride, Harry’s fifth year being decidedly unpleasant, and you’re emotionally exhausted. Then you get to the Department of Mysteries, and here we are: Sirius is dead. Just like that, the man who could have been Harry’s adoptive father, his way out of the hellish Dursley household, is gone.

Now imagine you going through all that, except Arthur Weasley had also died in the middle of the book. You wouldn’t have been able to take it.

Ultimately we might argue that J.K. Rowling should just have kept them both alive, but at the end of the day, it was important for her to kill off one of the series’ two fathers, to achieve the symmetry of leaving a child without its parent(s) like Harry had been.

Not only did killing both Lupin and Tonks leave baby Teddy an orphan, perfectly mirroring Harry’s own experience, but it was also — arguably — an act of mercy to kill Lupin rather than Arthur. Teddy Lupin would still get to grow up with people who loved him, knowing that his parents died heroes, while Harry and the Weasleys (who’d already lost Fred) would get to keep their family intact. Considering the lengths J.K. Rowling went to to effectively end Harry’s childhood (killing Sirius, Dumbledore, and Hedwig), leaving both Weasley parents alive allowed us to end the series on a hopeful note. The parents don’t always have to die in order for the children to grow up.

I’m not glad that Lupin died. But if the choice was between him and Arthur, I think Jo made the right call. Knowing that Harry and his friends could still visit the Burrow after the Battle of Hogwarts — and that even if the place was a lot less bright without Fred, it still felt like a safe, loving home — is a great comfort, especially knowing how much Harry valued the Weasleys and the surrogate family they formed around him.

Laura: Killing Lupin was wrong, she sacrificed the last of the Marauders and the keys to the past

lupin-and-harry-potter

Let’s revise the top of this article, shall we? His name is Remus Lupin, not just Lupin, the best Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher that Harry and company ever had. Without Remus Lupin the trio would have been dead: no Expecto Patronum, no recognizing Bogarts, no practical experience with Grindylows, Red Caps, or Hinkypunks. Harry and every student in his year was left with a substandard skill set thanks to Quirrell and Lockhart. Without question, Remus Lupin laid the groundwork for the success that was later achieved by Dumbledore’s Army. He made up for lost time, in a positive and uplifting manner, and was the friendly guidance the students needed.

This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week, and what better fictional teacher to appreciate than Remus Lupin. He never underestimated his students, he challenged them to do more than they ever thought possible. He didn’t just spend time with shining stars like Hermione, but he made time for people that no one else cared to. Would Neville Longbottom have ever had the confidence to succeed in leading Hogwarts without Harry, Ron, and Hermione without Remus Lupin having taken a personal interest? Every other teacher wrote Neville off as either incompetent, a fool, or both.

The one thing Remus Lupin provided to Harry that Arthur Wesley couldn’t was insight into Harry’s past. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating on Arthur, but it’s not a role Arthur could ever fill. Remus Lupin could talk about James and Lily from first-hand experience: funny stories, hopes, sadness, all of it. Harry was left with no one to fill that role. There is an irreplaceable void in Harry’s life thanks to Remus’ death. Harry needed Remus.

Had Arthur died it would have been tragic, but his tightly bonded family would have had each other. His children were well grounded, knew who they were, and were ready to face the world. Arthur had done an amazing job raising them along with Molly. Remus didn’t have the chance to reach his fullest potential. Had Remus lived, he and Harry would have been new parents at relatively the same time. They would have progressed from a teacher/student relationship to just being friends. They would have watched their boys grow up together and been there for each other as parents in the post-war world.

Now it’s your turn! Vote in our poll and hit the comments to debate it

‘Wayward Pines’ season 2: What we know so far

Meet the cast of new and familiar faces.

11:00 am EDT, May 3, 2016

We’re still about three weeks away from the Wayward Pines season 2 premiere, but we’re now getting our first look at the largely new cast.

Wayward Pines season 2 will have a lot of new characters, as season 1 ended with the death of main character Ethan Burke, played by Matt Dillon, and saw the surviving adults placed back into suspended animation while the First Generation took over the town, which had become perhaps the last surviving hold of mankind in the year 4028.

Human civilization died out nearly 2,000 years earlier, and what remained mutated into carnivorous creatures called “Abbies” (short for “Aberrations”). A scientist named David Pilcher foresaw the calamity and created Wayward Pines as a sort of ark to preserve the human race with a select group of people — and whose children would become the first generation of Wayward Pines.

The new season will explore the First Generation’s “iron-fisted rule” of the town and the rebellion that follows.

Now we have our first promotional photos for season 2. First, the full cast promotional shot:

Wayward Pines season 2 group shot

Next, meet the main cast members:

Jason Patric as Dr. Theo Yedlin

Wayward Pines season 2 Theo Yedlin

Per Fox, Dr. Yedlin “awakens from suspended animation and finds himself in the middle of this rebellion, as he tries to understand what Wayward Pines really is and help preserve the endangered human race.”

Djimon Hounsou as CJ Mitchum

Wayward Pines season 2 CJ Mitchum

CJ is “an original resident of Wayward Pines and a historian for the town with extensive knowledge of its complex origins, and the one person who can provide a unique bridge between the current world of Wayward Pines and the previous world that humans inhabited.”

Hope Davis as Megan Fisher

Wayward Pines Megan Fisher

Megan Fisher was a major player in Wayward Pines season 1, using her skills as a hypnotherapist to head Wayward Pines Academy, which taught the First Generation. In season 2, per SpoilerTV, Megan “is in charge of the scientific research being conducted on the Abbies, and remains deeply involved in the development of the hearts and minds of the future of humanity—Wayward Pines’ ‘First Generation’.”

Tom Stevens as Jason Higgins

Wayward Pines Jason Higgins

Another character who appeared in season 1, Jason was a devoted follower of David Pilcher. He became the leader of the new Wayward Pines led by the First Generation. No doubt he will be the leader of one side of the civil war going on in Wayward Pines.

Nimrat Kaur as Rebecca Yedlin

Wayward Pines Rebecca Yedlin

Per EW, Rebecca is an accomplished architect and Theo’s wife. Shocking nobody, she “has her own secrets she keeps” from her husband.

Josh Helman as Xander Beck

Wayward Pines Xander Beck

Xander is described as “a self-assured charmer” who is “working from within to undermine Wayward Pines.” That’s a role that sounds familiar from season 1, as there was an underground rebellion working to discover the truth behind the town led by Ethan’s ex, Kate, and her husband.

Kacey Rohl as Kerry Campbell

Wayward Pines season 2 Kerry Campbell

Kerry is another member of the First Generation. She is both “a member of Jason Higgins’ brain trust” as well as “one of his most trusted advisors.” This sounds like the role Nurse Pam played for David Pilcher in season 1.

Besides Davis and Stevens, the following season 1 cast members will appear in season 2: Carla Gugino (Kate Hewson), Toby Jones (David Pilcher), Melissa Leo (Nurse Pam), Tim Griffin (Adam Hassler), Shannyn Sossamon (Theresa Burke), and Charlie Tahan (Ben Burke). Terrence Howard (Sheriff Pope) is also expected to appear.

Finally, have a still from the season 2 premiere, featuring Dr. Yedlin and a familiar face from season 1:

Wayward Pines season 2, episode 1 Kate, Theo

Wayward Pines season 2 premieres Wednesday, May 25 on Fox.

Will you watch ‘Wayward Pines’ season 2?

UnREAL season 2 is gonna be amazing, if this trailer is anything to go by.

We were blown away by the first season of UnREAL, the Lifetime drama tracking the inner workings of a The Bachelor-style reality show.

Full of awful people doing awful things, UnREAL had it all: Romance, intrigue, betrayal, death, and love. It unravels the mysticism of reality show culture (tl;dr: It’s all made up for ratings), while telling pretty compelling stories about selfish people.

In season 2, Rachel (Shiri Appleby) and Quinn (Constance Zimmer) are back for Everlasting‘s new season, with new bachelor Darius Hill (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s B.J. Britt) ready to win the hearts of the female contestants.

And if this trailer is any indication, this season is gonna be even wilder than the last:

Refreshingly, UnREAL doesn’t shy away from contentious, real-world issues. Having a black contestant is something The Bachelor itself has not yet managed to do, and of course, the reactions to that on the show are going to reflect both the good and bad parts of humanity.

Related: Why we need UnREAL‘s complicated feminism (opinion)

We’re hugely excited to see how UnREAL handles that, and of course to find out what exactly happened to Rachel after the season 1 finale — where, if you remember her scorned ex-lover Jeremy liaised with her mother to get her back on the medication which Rachel claimed ruined her life.

On the topic of life-ruiners, another returning player this year is last season’s bachelor Adam Cromwell (Freddie Stroma), whose whirlwind relationship with Rachel almost destroyed the lives of everyone involved with the reality show’s production.

Creators Marti Noxon and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro have said there is some unfinished business between the pair, but we can’t exactly imagine them riding off into the sunset together!

‘UnREAL’ season 2 premieres Monday, June 6 on Lifetime