Exclusive 'Suburgatory' Interview: Parker Young Talks Season Finale and Tessa's Bedroom
Exclusive 'Suburgatory' Interview: Parker Young Talks Season Finale and Tessa's Bedroom
Things are looking rosy in Chatswin. When the season finale of Suburgatory airs, the show doesn't have to worry about the future. ABC recently renewed the suburbs-set comedy for a second season. This is great news for Parker Young, who plays sweet and dim-witted jock Ryan Shay.

Young has been having a good year overall though. Between washing cars shirtless on Suburgatory, Parker found time to drop in on the Madison Avenue denizens of Mad Men to steal Pete Campbell's girl in a recent episode. This summer he'll be spending some time in the hot seat as a contestant on FOX's The Voice knock-off dating show, The Choice. Just like in Chatswin, everything is coming up roses for Young.

The season finale of Suburgatory focuses on Mother's Day, where Chatswin tradition has the moms running in a 5K race. Ryan Shay, of course, is 120 percent behind mom Sheila while Tessa feels left out of the tradition.

BuddyTV spoke with Young before the Suburgatory season finale to discuss the recent renewal, the close-knit cast, and his hopes for a rekindled romance with Tessa.

Congratulations on the Suburgatory renewal! How did you feel when you found out the show would be back for another season?

You know I was so excited. I was in my car driving and I got a text message. I was super excited but I was also thinking I'm going to get a ticket if I'm looking down at my phone for too long to verify the news. So I called my dad that I just got word we officially got the green light for a second season, could you check? So he checked and let me know. I'm excited, so excited. Not surprised because you know I have so much faith in the show, but so happy to finally hear that it was official.

Did you speak with any of the cast after you heard about the renewal?

We've all been kind of excitedly emailing, group emailing. There's been a bunch of group emails saying 'yay' and 'happiness'. So it's been a lot of fun. It's just been a good day.

So what can we expect from your character Ryan in the season finale?

It's Mother's Day and Chatswinians take Mother's Day very seriously. Ryan loves his mother and will do whatever he can do to make sure that she is happy and feels appreciated and lovely on Mother's Day. So really in this episode Ryan's going to take it, like everything, to the 100% place like he does anything. And just really try to be a part of making Shelia's day special and making her feel loved and amazing.

The show has played a little bit with the relationship between Ryan and Tessa, where do you see that relationship going?

Where do I see it? I see us getting married [laughs]. You know Ryan loves this girl. I mean love is a strong word, but he's at the very least infatuated and really intrigued by Tessa. And you know he's going to continue to do what he can do to impress her. He's going to take advice from people like George and try to become just a great guy for her. So yea, he definitely has high hopes.

Now that there's definitely a season two where would you like to see Ryan go next season? What's your wish list for next season?

Tessa's bedroom [laughs]! I think that I've had so much fun just exploring life with Ryan. He's so innocent and just excited about life and optimistic about things. He's willing to try new things and explore new things; I'm just excited to continue to go down that road with Ryan. Tessa has opened his eyes to possibilities outside of some of the close-mindedness and sheltered lifestyle of Chatswin. I look forward to continue to open his eyes to life and the possibilities that exist in the real world, which is where Tessa's from. That's why she's so intriguing to him. She offers kind of a glimmer of reality outside of Chatswin. I think season two will be kind of a continued eye-opener for Ryan.

Tessa's clearly originally from New York City. How do you see Ryan reacting if he ever had to go to New York?

That's my thing, I think that Ryan's been so sheltered. I don't think he knows that there is a life outside of Chatswin. I don't think he's ever experienced anything like that. I think the closest he's been is playing football against guys that come from elsewhere. And then Tessa, and that's really it. So I think it would really be exciting for him to explore life outside the boundaries a little bit.

What's been your favorite episode to work on this year?

Well the first episode I shot was actually on my birthday, it was the barbecue so that was a lot of fun. Just because it was the first episode that we were back after the pilot and it was my birthday and I was washing a car shirtless. It just kind of broke the ice there like 'hey here we go, this is Suburgatory!'. So that was a lot of fun. Then I had a lot of fun in "The Bottom" the episode where Ryan hurts his knee and really gets to connect with George. That was a great episode for Jeremy and I. And then I really enjoyed the boob grab. You know, for more than one reason. [laughs] But I just think that Ryan really got to show his sweet side and how much he cares. How much he truly does care for Tessa. He's not just doing it to be a shady dude that grabs boobs, he genuinely likes her. He thinks that's the way that you thank a person.

The show recently staged a little bit of a mini Clueless reunion. Since Suburgatory is a comedy that deals a bit with teen life what would you say are your personal favorite teen movies?

That's a tough one! I don't know. I mean the first image I got in my head, I don't know why because it's not really a teen movie, but when I was little I remember watching Tom and Huck and I just pictured them as teenagers when I was younger. I was like, oh they're teenagers! I want to be like Huckleberry Finn! Gosh I'm going to have to say Clueless. That's the only thing I can think of and I sound like such a 16 year old girl.

So you recently guest starred on Mad Men, what was that like?

It was amazing. I really kind of lucked out that I was able to leave the Suburgatory set for a bit and shoot this. It was a great experience. Both great sets, I mean I had so much fun on both of them. It was really cool diving into a different world, a completely different world. They really take, for lack of a better term, they really take their shit so seriously. Down to the last, every last detail, they really take pride in their show. It was just an honor to be a part of it.

What's it like to work with the Suburgatory cast? Are there any pranksters on set?

I think we've got a cast full of pranksters and I'm excited to explore that in season two now that we've got a second season. The cast is amazing, everyone gets along so well. We all went to Vegas together to celebrate the pickup of the back nine, we just really get along well. Jeremy was actually Punk'd a long time ago, like really Punk'd. I watched it recently and it's hilarious. I would love to punk him! I would love to set up some sort of elaborate Punk'd scheme on set, so I'll have to keep you posted on that one.

Well there you go! Season two that's what you can do.

Season two, exactly!

The season finale of Suburgatory airs May 16 at 8:30pm on ABC. For more fun check out the ABC site.

Morgan Glennon
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of ABC)