Daybreak’s first season dropped on Netflix a couple of weeks ago, and fans that plowed through to the ending of the post-apocalyptic comedy were starkly divided. That’s exactly what the creators were hoping for.
In an interview with Polygon, Daybreak showrunner and creator Aron Eli Coleite explained why he was thrilled to see fans picking sides and how the series will evolve if Netflix orders a second season.
[Ed. note: Spoilers for the entire first season of Daybreak.]
In the final moments of Daybreak’s first season, as the heroes claim victory over Baron Triumph, Josh finally apologizes to Sam and begs her to take him back. She refuses. For some fans, the moment was a slap in the face, as if Sam’s choice to go lead the jocks rather than stick with Josh was a turn toward villainy. Meanwhile, other fans loved the moment and felt that Sam was finally getting the chance to take her rightful place in the story.
“One of the original very, very first things that we knew about the season was Josh was going to spend a whole season trying to get the Sam,” said Coleite. “They were going to defeat Baron Triumph together, and then they would go their separate ways because she would not want to return with him and she would want to lead the jocks.”
Coleite says the ending wasn’t designed to create controversy, but to have strong enough characters that viewers could identify with either side depending on their own experiences. Neither one was necessarily right or wrong, the idea was to make it a matter of perspective. Josh may be the narrator for about half the show, but in episode eight, we see Sam’s point of view and realize that maybe Josh hasn’t been as honest as we thought.
“Something that’s really important to us in the writer’s room is talking consistently about point of view. Um, especially when it comes to, um, individual characters,” says Coleite. “You have people who see Sam’s side of the story of like, ‘I didn’t ask you to cut off your, your finger and you don’t know what I’ve been through.’”
Based on Coleite’s comments about Sam and Josh “going their separate ways,” it seems that if Daybreak gets a second season, the characters won’t necessarily have worked out their differences. One thing fans can expect, however, is for the story to stay in about the same spot if the series gets a second season.
While most of the show’s big plot threads were tied up at the end of the first season it does have a few questions left to answer. Perhaps the biggest question of all is why and how the apocalypse happened, but it isn’t clear if we’ll ever get an answer to that.
On the subject of the show’s bigger questions, Coleite said, “We do want to answer some questions or at least give theories as to why things have happened and we’ll continue giving that out. But we realized really early on that’s not what the show was about ... It’s really about building a sandbox for all these different characters to exist in.”
And it seems like if Daybreak does get a second season, that sandbox might get a little bigger. Daybreak’s first season stayed pretty centrally located in Glendale, a city within Los Angeles County. Just about everything that happened was around Glendale high school, and fans shouldn’t expect a second season to stray too far away. But, Coleite suggests that fans might get a slightly better idea of what the rest of the world is like if the show continues.
“In season 1 we’re looking through a keyhole and seeing a little slice of Glendale. In season 2 we would open the door a crack and be able to see a little bit more,” Coleite said. “I think what we want to be able to do is open the aperture just wider and wider until we can see more and more of not only Los Angeles, which there’s so much of to explore, but the world.”
For now, it seems that fans will have to be happy with their keyhole-view of Daybreak as Netflix hasn’t announced a second season of the series just yet.