The Resort, the TV series from Palm Springs scribe Andy Siara, is a neat mix of comedy, mystery and thriller. Starring Cristin Milioti and William Jackson Harper as Emma and Noah, it’s about a married couple on a 10th-anniversary vacation who discover an unsolved mystery from 15 years earlier.
We spoke with Siara about The Resort, especially how it encapsulates the films that influenced him, and whether or not it’s a coincidence that so many of his projects jump back and forth in time.
Siara loves 90s film and it influenced several of his projects, including the 2020 movie, Palm Springs. Those influences are also evident in this series that balances comedy with a mystery/thriller element.
“The earliest version of this started out as a comedy with a coming of age story, without all those other elements,” Siara shared. “Over the many, many years of developing this, I [started] throwing in all the things that I like as an audience member. I like the early 2000s coming-of-age indies that were such an important part of my life. I also love early 90s comedies and mid to late 90s disaster movies. On top of all that are the adventure movies, Spielberg and films like Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones and Jaws. My later in life [discoveries] like art films and the writings of Jorge Luis Borges became an influence on this as well.”
When it comes down to it, Siara writes what he wants to see based on the films that shaped him. Then, he finds a way to draw viewers into his world.
“I remember when I saw Force Majeure in 2014. The earliest version of The Resort — it was a feature at that point — was inspired by that film,” he told us. “I wear my influences on my sleeve, and I was trying to put in things that I know I would want to see. The difficult part is making viewers care about each one of those elements, balancing the comedy with like the heavier drama stuff, and riding this line of silly to sincere with some natural disaster stuff thrown in.
Palm Springs, Lodge 49, and The Resort share the same DNA of working with different timelines and juggling between them. It’s not always intentional.
“It’s probably been a coincidence more than, ‘Oh, I guess this is what I like, and I’m trying to crack something inside of myself. I’m looking at it all like it’s therapeutic,'” he said. “I’ve definitely realized over the past several years that there’s something about time that is trying to get out of my brain and that I’m trying to wrap my head around.”
He added, “At the same time, that is what I’m attracted to as a viewer, things that are told out of order. It’s a nice way to keep me excited about whatever I’m writing. To keep me on my toes, I do these jarring jumps back or forward or somewhere else in time. Because if I get bored writing it, then the audience is going to get bored. It’s a way to keep me on my toes. I hope it then trickles down to keeping the audience on their toes, too.”