“‘The Baker and the Beauty’ Boss: Noa & Daniel’s Big Decision Is ‘Just the Beginning’”
The finale’s title might have had some fans worried about superstar and fashion mogul Noa (Nathalie Kelley) and baker Daniel (Victor Rasuk), but The Baker and the Beauty had a surprise up its sleeve that surprised everyone — including his family!
By season’s end, the Garcias had a decision to make about selling the bakery, and Daniel’s was the deciding vote. But first, the rest of the family was in for a surprise: not only did Noa get off the flight to her movie and reunite with Daniel, but the couple got engaged!
While the series has yet to be renewed, showrunner Dean Georgaris is hopeful and already planning Season 2. “There’s so many combinations we didn’t get to explore in the first season simply because of where the characters were,” he told TV Insider. “Now we’ve thrown them all in the same bowl. Now they’re all — Noa and Lewis and Vanessa — Garcias.”
“We get to have [Daniel’s younger sister] Natalie get an after-school job working with Noa, so now she’s around her hero and she’s getting to see what it’s like to be an entrepreneur,” he continued, “But does that impact how she views going to Princeton?”
Here, Georgaris breaks down the finale and what’s next.
Any update on Season 2?
Dean Georgaris: No, and I don’t expect we’ll hear for a couple weeks still just because with COVID and with all of the uncertainty about all of the pilots they were planning for this season, the networks have a really complicated situation to navigate. We were excited that it would have been very easy for ABC to just say no to everything that was even remotely on the fence, and so for both us and [For Life], the fact that we’re still very much alive means a lot to all of us.
Was it always the plan to end Season 1 with Noa and Daniel engaged? Was there any debate about showing the proposal?
It was always my plan. [Laughs] That plan was questioned sometimes. People said, “Wouldn’t it be better if we ended the season with them broken up?” My argument against that was I always thought the key with that relationship is yes, she’s the most famous woman in the world, but at the end of the day, the love story needs to be filled with moments we can all relate to.
To me, the notion of getting an audience excited about, “We want them together,” and then ending the season with the “careful what you wish for” moment of, “Oh yeah, how much together do you want them, surprise, they’re engaged” allows us in Season 2, to tell, for them, a story about, “Is love enough?” It’s one thing to have the whirlwind and the fairytale and the feelings and the “I want to be with you,” but does a person snore? Which side of the bed do they like? Who’s going to wear the pants in the family? Partnership is different than emotion, and the plan has always been for Season 2 to ask those questions. So, for me, Season 1 always needed to have the proposal.
Interestingly, no one ever said to me, “Let’s see the proposal.” I did have people say to me that they were worried that the proposal would feel like it was the end of their story instead of just the beginning, but I said, and I think the family’s expressions show you, “Wait a minute, you guys did what? We wanted you to go get her. We didn’t want you to ask her to marry you!”
How is everyone going to react after that initial shock?
What becomes interesting for us as writers is you want to try to have your audience aligned with at least some of your characters. We’ve spent Season 1 not just setting up Daniel and Noa but really setting up four love stories: Daniel and Noa’s, his parents, Mateo and Vanessa, and Amy and Natalie. The plan in Season 2 is to actually tell four love stories, track each couple’s, but love at a very different moment in the evolution of relationships: the intensity of young love with Amy and Natalie, a very different dynamic between Mateo and Vanessa, the “are we actually good for each other as life partners” with Daniel and Noa, and empty nest with Mari and Rafael.
Both the audience and the Garcias at times in Season 2 will vacillate between being excited for Daniel and Noa, being nervous for Daniel and Noa, being furious at them at times. What’s great is Noa now is much more integrated in the Garcia family. You can have those scenes where Noa is bonding with Maria over what an idiot Daniel’s been.
Will what the family does about the bakery remain up to Daniel? Will recent developments in his personal and professional lives influence that and change how the family feels about him having the deciding vote?
Oh, that’s an interesting idea. As it’s planned now, that engagement won’t influence what he says and what the family ends up doing, but I reserve the right to change my mind as I think about that because that’s a good idea.
I remember reading an interview with Vince Gilligan about how when they were making Breaking Bad, which is obviously a very different show, they never wanted to set things up and then let them linger too long. You promise something one episode, you try to get to it right away. In Season 2, all the things we set up at the end of the first season, we’re going to hit the ground running right in the middle of all of those. The decision about the bakery, you’ll know what it is. You’ll know where Mateo and Vanessa are. We’re not going to drag out those questions. Season 2 starts with those as starting points and then leaps forward ahead.
Noa’s career is also taking a turn.
It wouldn’t be true to Noa or Daniel if she didn’t do the movie. She’s going to do the movie and then we’re going to get to see what it’s like as you’re waiting to see whether or not that movie’s great and it’s a hit and what that’s going to mean for her career.
Likewise for Daniel, he’s moving forward not working with his family, whether that be with videos or other opportunities. They both are starting to see professional dreams come true, and that’s just another form of pressure that you can put on a relationship, especially one where you’ve committed to each other by getting engaged, but you aren’t married yet.
Everything goes under the microscope, including how many months out of the year are you comfortable not seeing each other. Does career always come first? What about time for a family? What’s exciting is because we’ve set it up that both Noa and Daniel have professional opportunities, it means that can become yet another thing we explore in Season 2.
Mateo’s career is taking off, but his hopes for a relationship with Vanessa hit a snag. Those two aspects of his life are entwined.
The speed with which Vanessa and Mateo hooked up and fell for each other is the one thing that changed dramatically in the planning of the show. Originally that was going to be a slower burn. Then after about halfway through filming the second episode, we were all sitting around watching David Del Rio and Michelle Veintimilla together. They’re all so fantastic, but whenever we would see them together, even just the little moments, there was so much life that we felt like their relationship could move at the speed it does in Season 1.
Going forward, it’s exactly what you were talking about. It’s about Mateo has one dream that’s starting to come true but the downside of that is the guy he works with every day is starting to date the woman he’s in love with. That’s classic, juicy, dramatic stuff. There’s a dynamic that will surprise a lot of people to Vanessa and Mateo’s relationship in Season 2. I promise it will not be a boring one.
Natalie and Amy were really in a good place at the end of the season. Should we worry about high school and things changing?
What you should worry about is exactly what you said. For them, it’s that intense — at least for Natalie in particular, because that’s really who we see the relationship through — first love, and it’s a really healthy love, and she’s picked a really good partner. We all loved that about that relationship. There was a very conscious choice. We felt like we’d seen a lot of fairly unhealthy first loves on TV lately, dramatizing a lot of the drugs, betrayal, and suicide, and all of those things are real, there’s also just sweet first love, as well. We wanted to tell that story in Season 1.
In Season 2, what we’ve talked about doing is life has a way of starting to throw actual obstacles to that when you’re in high school, particularly Amy’s going into her senior year. Where do you go to college and then how much time can you actually have for each other? We all are rooting for them and we all think they’re a great relationship. All of us knows what it feels like when you’re starting to question, you want what’s best for this person and you want this person and what if they’re not the same thing? What if what’s right is 3000 miles away or you need to work six days a week? That’s a love story we’ll all be able to relate to.
I absolutely loved Lewis, and he had some of the best lines in the finale. Daniel’s reaction to Wilbur was so funny.
The idea that Lewis is actually his last name and that he had a really dorky first name was Dan [Bucatinsky]’s idea.
And things are looking up for him, with his health and with Trevor, right?
Yes. Dan’s range as an actor — he’s an incredible writer himself — is massive and when you first meet him, there’s a familiarity to the wise-cracking agent/manager, but as the season went on, you got to see there’s a lot more to him. In Season 2, whether he thinks it’s a great idea or not, Noa’s got a fiancé and that means basically Papa Lewis is going to be ceding the role of shoulder you cry on, first person you tell, person whose advice you take the most, to Daniel.
It creates space for his character to think about, okay, “How do I fill up that side? Is it Trevor and adopting a child? Is it, I want to discover some more young talent? I’m going to take on Mateo as a client?” There’s a chance to get to see Lewis do something new. He’ll always be Noa’s manager, but she’s not all there is in his world now, and I’m excited to see that character’s world expand.
I want to see him more with the family.
Yes. Dan speaks Spanish, and if I could’ve gotten away with it, I would’ve had him full-out curse in Spanish as the last line. But we couldn’t quite go that far.
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