HBO brings class into session with the current release on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download pack of comedy that will test your take on laughter with “Vice Principals: The Complete First Season.”
When the Principal (Bill Murray) resigns from North Jackson High School, the position of principal is being carefully watched by two very different teachers. Neil Gamby (Danny McBride) is a no-nonsense teacher and counselor who isn’t about to change his tight ship ways and Lee Russell (Walton Coggins) who has a frightening side all wrapped up in a well dressed charming teacher. The outgoing principle knows neither of these men is fit to lead any high school.
Taking on the new incoming principal Dr. Belinda Brown played by Kimberly Herbert Gregory, these two are going to turn the school upside down until one of them wins! Fellow teacher Amanda Snodgrass played by Georgia King, is a new teacher who wants to do well at North Jackson High. Her first run in with Gamby doesn’t work out well and gives her an idea of what she is dealing with.
But sometimes weirdness makes strange bedfellows as Amanda tries to understand Gamby and realizes that he isn’t exactly what everyone thinks. The season’s journey for Amanda is filled with twists and the reality that sometimes we are all a little two-sided.
Georgia as Amanda has been busy performing on the small and big screen. I first have to give a shout out to her 2012 performance in one of my favorite hilarious film “Cockneys vs. Zombies” playing the role of hostage Emma. She also played the role of Goldie in the television series “The New Normal” and Jess in “Vicious.”
Now, Georgia is the sweet and understanding Amanda Snodgrass in the HBO series “Vice Principals”. I had the complete joy to speak with Georgia about her role, working with McBride, Coggins and Gregory and what it’s been like to be on a show that tests our funny bones.
Jeri Jacquin: Hello Georgia, thank you so much for talking with me today. How are you?
Georgia King: Great, how are you?
JJ: I’m so glad we finally were able to speak today. I have to tell you, I have been singing the praises of your show because it made me laugh so hard.
GK: Really? Oh that’s so great to hear, really it is.
JJ: It could also be that I have a twisted sense of humor so there’s that tidbit. What was your reaction when you got the script?
GK: Actually I was super lucky because I got the entire first season in one email, that’s nine scripts. I sat down, read them and felt like I had been tickled and slapped in the face at the same time and turned upside down. I mean it was wonderful but the show is also mixed with pain, mistakes and a bunch of humanity. It actually moved me as well as making me gasp and laugh. I remember script two when [beeping out spoiler here!] and things like that usually happen in a final episode of a season. I thought “oh my this is wild!” Also this is a wonderful series because they wrote it like a very long movie.
JJ: That’s the other thing I thought was amazing about this show is that you are not allowed to breathe while you are watching it. Everything happens so quickly and it’s like you can’t pick up your jaw because it’s just immediately going to fall again.
GK: Also, the writing is just so clever and it’s a testament to Danny, the writing team and everyone behind the camera. For me it didn’t feel like a quick 30 minute show comedy because there are so many ups and downs. I mean you are feeling desolate in some episodes and gleeful in others. Its very exciting to do the process and then watch it thinking wow, we did that and it’s powerful for different reasons. It’s kudos to Danny and Jody Hill and David Gordon Green for making that happen.
JJ: Watching it is almost exhausting!
GK: Try being in it <laughing>
JJ: Personally I don’t think I could take an hour show. I truly think 30 minutes is all the jaw dropping hilarity I can take on this level.
GK: It feels like an hour in the best possible way.
JJ: Your character is Amanda Snodgrass, and don’t take this wrong but is the normal one.
GK: Oh yes, she’s smack in the middle of chaos and I think what is super smart about the set up for my character is that she is a new teacher. She has a lot of ideas of what it will be like and she’s excited and a lot of positivity. The reality of the situation is very different than her expectations and I think that’s really fun to play.
JJ: It’s interesting to what your character grow because even though she doesn’t really lose that new teachers hope, she embraces a little bit of the craziness about the other characters that even they don’t realize about themselves.
GK: Yes, I agree absolutely. What I think is so wonderful about the show to is that it’s not about the kids but the adults who are behaving worse than the students. Their preoccupation with everyone is their own rivalries and it’s not to do with helping the kids. They are busy being selfish and you realize that Amanda isn’t all put together either. You start to see she has a lot of issues and it was exciting to work with Danny to figure out what it is between Amanda and Gamby, two very different people, and track that relationship. If you want the audience to cheer you on, it is important to figure out what the dynamic of that relationship is. That was a very cool collaborative experience with Danny.
JJ: By the end of the season what I came to understand about Amanda and Gamby is that the reason you both click is because you recognize the same insecurities in each other.
GK: Totally, good, yes you got it!
JJ: A plus for me!
GK: I’m smiling so hard, that’s it! They are two very lonely people who are not where they thought they would be at this time in their lives. They don’t know where they are going and have hopes and dreams filled with insecurities. I think also, and it might be a cliché, but we are the best of ourselves around each other. Amanda and Gamby feel safe and secure together and it shows by Gamby validating Amanda’s writing and supports her. He doesn’t make her feel self conscience about this dream of hers and it’s a beautiful thing – amongst all the terrible things of course.
JJ: We have to talk about working with Danny and Walton, which had to be just a hot mess of fun.
GK: It’s like a dream hot mess of fun. These two men are two of the best human beings I have ever come across, so is Kimberly for that matter. Well, let’s throw in everybody because it’s true. You know how in interviews people say ‘oh this is the best cast I’ve ever worked with’, well, for me it actually was. We work so well together, we play hard and all lived together in Charleston for eight months so we were joined at the hip like a gang. Walton and Danny are incredibly smart men, insanely smart men and incredibly generous and so funny but in different ways. Because of that they complimented one another. I can’t believe I get to work with them.
JJ: I spoke to Kim already and after laughing and talking with her I completely understand how she got the role of Dr. Brown. Now speaking with you it is seriously clear how you were chosen to play Amanda Snodgrass. Both of you are so sweet talking about your cast mates and knowing this is the craziest show ever put together – so whackadoodle that it’s amazing beyond belief.
GK: Oh that’s so cool, thank you for saying that.
JJ: When the season was over I was bummed.
GK: A friend of mine came to the screening and she was so livid that season one ended the way it did. She can’t believe she has to wait a year to find out more.
JJ: I’m walking over to my Blu-ray player throwing the box at it saying ‘this is some b.s. right here’. I didn’t want it to be over, I mean I have my guesses about the finale ending but come on!
GK: That makes me so happy. It was one of the most insanely amazing experiences I’ve ever had. I was so excited to work with this group of people that I didn’t realize until episode three that I was working with Danny McBride! I was so overwhelmed working with the group.
JJ: I wanted to really thank you so much for talking to me.
GK: I’m so excited you like the show, it’s awesome.
JJ: I can’t wait to see what Amanda is going to put up with next.
GK: There is so much more to put up with.
JJ: Gamby has a lot more to throw her way and I can’t wait to see what it is!
I so enjoyed speaking with Georgia (and laughing) today and honestly could have spent the entire afternoon talking about the show “Vice Principals”. King as Amanda gives a sweetness in the middle of madness that is extraordinary. There are so many twists and turns in her character that season two can not come soon enough.
That being said – I love that fact that she sees something in Gamby that everyone else doesn’t. Yes, it’s nauseatingly sweet and I’m owning it! I’d also like to be a fly on the wall during filming of the next season just to see it all come together.
“Vice Principals: The Complete First Season” is a must-see for everyone with a twisted sense of humor. McBride and Coggins together are a duo that not only bring the best of dark comedy but man they can be disturbing in an awesome way. I love the show and nothing is going to change my mind. It is testing, irreverent, kind of gross, hilarious, jaw-dropping, insane and pretty much a good time.
The series is co-created by Danny McBride and Jody Hill and will have a second season on HBO. This should surprise no one because I’m not about to be happy being left with these two still in high school! I want conflict resolution, okay no I don’t, I want to see Gamby and Russell take another shot at their dream job.
The Blu-ray and DVD include the Exclusive Bonus Features of Deleted Scenes, Blooper Reel (prepare for serious laughs) and Audio Commentaries with Cast and Crew including Danny McBride, Jody Hill, Walton Coggins and more.
Prepare yourself for everything you think is funny and find out it’s so very much more!