Kingdom Exclusive: Creator/Show Runner Byron Balasco Interview

As the creator of Kingdom, Byron Balasco didn’t want to reveal too much about the upcoming third season of his show. It was also last summer, while he was still writing it.

Now the third season is premiering, and will end up being the final word as it will be the DirecTV Audience Channel show’s final season. I spoke with Balasco at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. Catch Kingdom Wednesdays at 8 on Audience.

WLE: Where is season three of Kingdom going to pick up?

BB: Well, I can’t tell you exactly where it’s going to pick up, but it’ll pick up in an unexpected place. We always like to jump around time. Maybe it’ll be a week later. It could be two years later. You just never know.

WLE: Where will we find Jay?

BB: If I can’t answer the specific time question, it’s hard to answer where we’re going to find Jay, but look, he’s been through a lot. He’ll either be reeling or trying to push it down.

WLE: What have you been most proud to illuminate to the public about the world of MMA on Kingdom?

BB: I think probably the real human struggle. Just the fact that these people, while their lives maybe are a little more extreme than your average person, they really want and feel the same things anybody else does. While they’re not doing something most people would really normally do, they feel and hurt and long and want the things that everybody does.

WLE: You talk about sexuality in MMA, women in MMA. Is there another topic you’d like to work into Kingdom?

BB: It’s not really agenda driven or topic driven. If it’s just the human experience, then we’ll get to it. I think the topic of age, when you’re coming towards the end of your run and your identity, I think that’s definitely something we’ll do with Matt.

WLE: Sure, I don’t mean as an agenda, but what else would make a good story for Kingdom?

BB: Yeah, I think you’re right on it, but I think the idea of progressing through life and the fears that people have that come along with that, I think it’s something that we will be exploring a lot.

WLE: What can you tell us about Alvey and Lisa?

BB: They have to figure out a way to live together. They’re two people that love each other deeply. They’ve gone through a lot but they also have a business together and they’re also part of the family. Family can be very dysfunctional but as fucked up as it seems from the outside, they’re your people. You can really go through a lot together and not be but not separate. We have to figure out new ways. The same thing goes for Alvey and Christina as well. It’s a long life. Maybe there are some unfinished things between them that were never really explored.

WLE: Is there hope for Christina?

BB: There’s always hope but addiction is not an easy thing, particularly that kind of addiction. IT’s always a fight. It’s not really something you ever outrun.

WLE: And Nate?

BB: I think Nate is coming to a crisis point in his life for better or worse. Again, to figure out how he wants to live his life.

WLE: Is cut day the most intense MMA gets or is there even more I haven’t seen yet?

BB: The cut is just prolonged suffering. The only way to do it is to do it. It’s brutal.

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