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The creators, writers, and executive producers of Bravo's Dirty John had a big task at hand when it came to the first episode of the limited series: They needed to make fans understand how a self-made woman like Debra Newell (Connie Britton) could fall for John Meehan (Eric Bana).
"The story is about falling in love with somebody who, on the surface, is seemingly giving you everything that you would want in a companion, but then as time goes on, you realize that those things aren't either genuine or there's also other aspects of this companion that are very troubling, if not dangerous," said executive producer Richard Suckle.
Connie Britton, who met with the real-life Debra Newell, understands the power John immediately held over Debra. "John is a master at manipulation," she explained. "He's a master at identifying exactly what people want to hear, what they don't want to hear."
Couple that manipulation with the fast and furious feelings that come with falling in love and you have a better understanding of how their relationship could move so quickly.
"The most important thing in Episode 1, as far as trying to understand what Debra was doing, was [to] immerse yourself in the emotional and the physical aspects of falling in love and how fast it happens," said Jeffrey Reiner, who is both a director and executive producer on the show.
And speaking of moving fast, creator and executive producer Alexandra Cunningham said, "By the end of the first episode, we wanted to clear the highway for all the chaos that comes that we're going to get to much more quickly than you might have been expecting, because there is a lot of it."
For even more insight into the series, watch the full episode of Dirty John After the Episode above. And make sure to tune in to Dirty John on Sundays at 10 p.m. Preview Episode 2 below.
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