LEGO Masters hit the ground running, bringing the beloved LEGO brand to a game show format with charm, pizzaz, and most importantly, lots of LEGO bricks. The competition series was a massive success for FOX, as it would go onto become the number one rated new show of the season, and anticipation was high for season 2. The wait is finally over, as LEGO Masters season 2 premieres tonight on FOX and ComicBook.com had the chance to speak to LEGO Masters Judges Amy Corbett and Jamie Berard as well as Master Builder Nathan Sawaya all about what's in store for this season, the new and improved challenges, and so much more.
All three were thrilled at the success of season 1, and they took some of that experience and knowledge into the new season to make it even better for tooth fans and the contestants.
"I mean, first of all, I think we are all blown away by how many people watched and loved the show, but me personally, I mean, it was new for all of us. It's a new format, it was new having builders and building awesome creations and it was new for the public," Corbett said. "I think part of it was just how can we celebrate the creativity? Because honestly, people are making absolutely incredible creations and how can we, as judges really be a coach to the teams and help push them every challenge to be better and better."
"Yeah, and, I think we also learned about the experience of the viewers at home," Berard said. "We wanted to... from season one, we learned how important it is to make sure that people understand our thoughts, what is the challenge? What are they trying to do? Because in the end, they're looking at amazing models all the time, and they just need to understand why is this one better than that one, or what are they seeing that we're not seeing. So, I think definitely for season two, we tried to be much more deliberate in our language in trying to help people at home follow us on a journey to discover who's who are the best Lego Masters."
"Yeah, and behind the scenes, we learned a lot about what it takes to put a TV show together that focuses on LEGO so much, especially when it came to creating the models that would be used on set and the pieces for the challenges for the contestants," Sawaya said. "It was a lot of learning the first season about deadlines and what we could get done in a limited amount of time. But, I think we tried to excel and make this season even bigger."
That time crunch was one of the season's biggest challenges, but that wasn't the only adjustment the team had to make as the show moved shooting locations and had to adjust to filming during a pandemic.
"Well, that's a huge challenge of course, is that when we get the idea for a challenge, we only have a few days, maybe a week to finish up what we need and get it on set," Sawaya said. "Season 1 was different in that we were shooting the season in L.A. And my art studios in L.A., So we could build it here, and if we needed to get it to set, it was a mere 10-minute drive. This season was very different. We shot in Atlanta, the set was in Atlanta, but my studio stayed in Los Angeles. So, we also had to think about packing, and shipping, and that timeframe as well, so that really put a burden on us. Plus there was this little thing, like a pandemic going on, so we had to, it was really just two of us in the shop building the entire season. We couldn't hire a team due to COVID protocols, so it was really a challenge from a time management point of view too."
"And, I think in terms of the challenges on set, no matter how much we test and try out, I think there's just such a huge degree of unpredictability as to what the builders will actually come up with and how they will approach the challenge," Corbett said. "So no matter how much you think there's no way they're going to manage to build this in this time, there are just so many uncertainties on the set that you cannot account for, and I think that also makes for some great surprises as well along the way."
"Yeah, that's actually one of my favorite parts is when you get so many talented people in the same room that have to do the same thing. You never know what they're going to come up with, and, there's a specific challenge that I'm thinking of right now that I was just giddy with excitement at how many ways people solve the same problem," Berard said. "And, you knew some of them were maybe not going to work out, but I just love the reach that they're trying something new. I think that's where you can get the biggest surprises and biggest excitement."
Season 2 looks to raise the stakes on the challenges, but there is one challenge that they tried to make work in season 1 that will finally be making its debut in season 2.
"I would say a variation of a challenge, like we have a fashion challenge in season two that we really were trying hard to make work in season one, and we just couldn't quite get the whole thing to come together," Berard said. "So, I think we've learned to have a bit of patience. We actually have a lot of challenges that we want to do, and then, it's just getting that balance right. We look at the whole season, we try to take people on a journey where you can see all of the skills that our teams have to offer. And, I think it's striking that balance that allows us to bring some challenges forward this season, and then we have to wait on some of them for a future season."
LEGO Masters wouldn't be as fun without the comedic talents and sheer enthusiasm of host Will Arnett, and I had to ask if he does his Batman voice all the time backstage.
"Yeah. I have to say that the first season, it was still so weird to just hear his voice come on the set. And like you said, it's either Batman or I think of BoJack Horseman, some of the characters that he's done, you just hear him in the room and you're like, 'This is awesome.' It's not like he has to put it on. It's just him. But the best part I think about Will is just, he is naturally just funny, and he really is mischievous and playful. And when he gets that chance to just go off the rails, so to speak, those are the best moments, because there's just so much of an experience when you're surrounded by people, as long as we are, they're just building, it's intense," Berard said. "There's all this pressure to build, and then Will comes in the room and it just sometimes can become chaos or just really wild, and that's wonderful because people look forward to that little burst of energy or that unknown quality and that is totally Will."
"Yeah, he's a lot of fun. He just makes us laugh all the time," Corbett said. "He loves putting me and Jamie on the spot as well and asking us the difficult questions that we're not quite ready to answer. And just, I think we're laughing behind the scenes all the time, whether it's together with Will, or actually, sometimes Jamie and I are just watching the screen of Will having his check-ins with the contestants, and the two of us are just absolutely in hysterics at the jokes that are going on."
While he's great on set, I would imagine he might cause chaos in Sawaya's studio. "He has not visited the studio," Sawaya said with a laugh.
"I don't think you have insurance for that," Berard said.
With the crew having a full season under their belts, they've spotted a few traps that contestants can fall into, and they are ones to look at if you plan on competing in the show down the line.
"I mean, the biggest thing is people not thinking about their time, I think. And I'm seeing, they're not going to get this finished, or pieces lying around the table, and you're like, 'You got literally two minutes to go and you have all these chunks everywhere and it's nothing.' 'And unless you can fit it together, then it's not going to work.' So I think just in general, managing your timing because 15 hours seems like a lot, but it is not when you've got that pressure on you," Corbett said.
"Yeah. I think there's also a degree of testing that some people could benefit from. Like, if they have a really different idea, something that hasn't been done before, to just give it a little bit of a mini-test would go a long way," Berard said. "But, I think some people commit quite early to something that they just think will be amazing and can sometimes be really surprised at the results in the end, because they didn't think of testing along the way."
"And, you'd be surprised at the number of people who don't step back and look at their build, the way that Jamie and I are going to judge it," Corbett said. "They're so in the details and they don't take a step back to realize, every single thing is blue. So that thing, they just spent five hours building is totally lost in this sea of blue. But you're so caught in the moment, I think those small mistakes are so easy to make."
"But that timing, that deadline, I think is the brilliance of the show, right? Because when you build with Lego at home, you're not under a deadline. And when you have that deadline, that's something you're not used to and that's what creates a bit of drama," Sawaya said. "I think from my perspective, it's key in that having that deadline so that there's enough time, so that these builders can create amazing things, but also give them a lot of pressure at the same time, so that they're forced to work quickly. And, that's just why the show works so well."0comments
You can watch the big premiere tonight when LEGO Masters season 2 debuts on FOX at 8 PM EST.
Are you excited for LEGO Masters season 2? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things LEGO Masters with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!