There’s a lot to like when it comes to the soapy, frothy drama of VH1’s “Hit the Floor.”
As we reach the third season finale, of course our attention goes to Jude (Brent Antonello) and Zero (Adam Senn), who have made major steps in their relationship this season. While their biggest obstacle early on was the fact that Zero, a star basketball player for the Los Angeles Devils, wasn’t comfortable bringing their relationship out in public, that hurdle was jumped when Zero took the step and came out.
But with so much resting on that part of the relationship, I had some questions for out series creator James LaRosa about what’s coming next for the couple. Zero has been searching for his sister with the help of a private investigator, but will they come face-to-face in the finale? Or could the fact that Jude’s homophobic father, Oscar (Don Stark), is out of prison complicate things further? Or is there new drama coming their way?
Of course, I also had to ask about a possible fourth season of the show. First, though, I started the interview asking about killing off regular characters, as LaRosa did last week when fan favorite Raquel (Valery Ortiz) was killed.
James LaRosa: Oh, yeah. I had someone say, “If you kill Raquel I’ll kill you.” I’m pretty sure they were kidding, but yeah, people definitely have strong feelings. [Raquel] is somebody who the audience loved because she was a good person, right? She hadn’t really screwed anybody over, she’s got great relationships with everyone on the show. She’s the one that really they all go to when they need help or need something.
I knew that removing her, for lack of a better word, would leave a giant hole for the entire cast of characters, and particularly at a time where all hell is breaking loose. I mean, this is when everyone, in the finale, would be going to Raquel going, "Oh, I've got this problem," but now they don't have her. So it kind of allows stakes to be even higher.
Even the dance number in last week's episode wasn't the usual high adrenaline, but was so filled with emotion and it totally fit with what everybody was going through. It was really beautiful.
JL: Thank you. We’ve never done a dance like that in the sense that it was a 360. Normally you’re kind of shooting in one direction, but the camera was right in the middle of all the girls dancing around it while we kind of turned. It was something we’d never done so I was glad to be the one to play with that. But yeah, I’m happy with the way it turned out.
Let’s talk Zude, my favorite couple on the show.
JL: You’re not alone.
Just backing up a little bit, once Zero came out and all that kind of happened, how did you approach their story beyond that? His being in the closet was such a big part of the story, so was it a challenge to move forward?
JL: First of all, on “Hit the Floor” we tend to blow things pretty quickly. Like, Ahsha being Pete’s daughter was established in the first episode and it was revealed to her in the second. I don’t like to hang onto secrets for too long because sure, there is drama in the whole secret element, but there’s always a secret. You can always find something. But it’s the explosion, if you’re willing to really go there, that has really all the drama.
And with Jude and Zero, first of all, I knew that their story wasn't just a "we're a secret couple" story. I think there is a reality to the fact that sometimes as a gay person you can be with someone else who is either gay or bisexual or just not sure or not admitting [it], and I think we've all, maybe, many of us, had that experience and it can be a bit crushing, particularly if you're the one doing the crushing and you're like, "Why can't I get through to you?" I think that's reality.
But to me, it was more. I couldn't live in that world very long as a storyteller because I think then it gets depressing. I think then you're really telling a story about shame and you're exploring all the negative aspects and confusion around sexuality, when really that's not what the story was about. Zero had been with men and women. It's not like he was like, "I can't, I'm not macho…" that was never really his thing. His thing was about letting people in and being himself and taking off the mask.
So their story [of] him coming out in the big dramatic way he did, for me was always kind of the beginning of their story. It was an opportunity to go to the next level. So even though people were like, "Wow, he just kissed him on-court in front of everyone? I guess that's the end of Jude and Zero's story line for the season." I was like, "Oh, you guys have no idea."
Frankly, they're our most functional couple. They have each other's backs, they plot together, they have great chemistry…when somebody steps out of line they're the first person to yank them back, if someone steps to one of them the other one protects them. I mean, it's really the kind of relationship that I would love to have, and if I'm allowed to have it on television then that's great.
And we've gotten to learn more about them as individuals, and I think sometimes when you couple up characters it becomes all about these two people and particularly, if I may say, when it comes to gay relationships. I mean, that's basically what they get boiled down to is they're the gay couple. Once Zero did what he did on the court and came out, that's when you really started to get deeper into Jude's feelings about his father and Zero's backstory. Now we've learned that not only does he have a sister, but in the last episode they found her. And they're there for each other throughout that.
Here’s the clip when Zero finally decided it was time to go public with his relationship with Jude:
What can you say about the finale where Zude is concerned?
JL: The finale definitely is Zude-heavy, so fans should be excited about that. I will say that the Laura story continues and they keep being Zude. I think when you see the teaser for the finale they’re not the happiest. Obviously, Zero is smashing something so there could be things going on in the finale that might be disruptive. They have a lot on their plate and they have to deal with me, being in the finale myself, I kind of swing by the Zude story line. I’m actually going to be making a little appearance on “Hit the Floor” for the first time after three seasons.
Is there any news coming about a fourth season of the show?
JL: We usually find out information at the end of the season, so nothing I can share, but the show has done well. We had something like 1.3 million viewers this last episode. So we’re doing well, and the rest is in VH1’s hands at this point.
“Hit The Floor” airs Mondays at 10 pm on VH1.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.