See Season 2: Joe Strechay teases the new season

Joe Strechay behind the scenes of See Season 2 - Courtesy of Apple
Joe Strechay behind the scenes of See Season 2 - Courtesy of Apple /

See Season 2 recently returned to Apple TV+ last week with new episodes airing weekly. The show’s sophomore season hasn’t wasted any time on expanding the universe, adding room for new locations, including the Trivantian empire and the Payan capital.

Perhaps the biggest news regarding See Season 2 is the addition of Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista as Baba Voss’s estranged brother Edo Voss. The first episode immediately introduced us to the intense rivalry between the two siblings as tensions mount between the men and Baba tries to save his family.

Joe Strechay, who has worked on shows like Daredevil, is a co-producer and blindness consultant who worked on the show’s first season and continues his work into the second season. He chatted with Show Snob about how they expanded the world within the show and how they created a world molded by blind people.

See Season 2: Chatting with co-producer and blindness consultant Joe Strechay

Show Snob: See Season 2 really expands the universe of the show. Can you talk about what it was like to plan this season and develop it?

Joe Strechay: Season 2 takes what we did in Season 1 and opens up the world quite a bit. Jonathan Tropper took over as our showrunner and our executive producer and brought me into the writer’s room. We wanted to explore those worlds where you see the Trivantians and Paya, and you see more of it and different aspects than you saw in Season 1.

You’ll see the differences between the military and the army, how they fight, and the different strategies and formations. In my role as a co-producer and [overseeing] movement and blindness, I had a team of choreographers. We developed formations for our military and how they moved through the world, and how they send signals and communicate, and the culture, rituals, and postures that these people use.

Getting to work with all of our actors, whether they’re actors with sight or blind actors, I was really lucky to get to help in all these different aspects.

Show Snob: What is the interplay between the sighted actors and characters versus the blind actors and characters on the show and behind-the-scenes?

Joe Strechay: I work with every actor that comes on our show, whether they’re portraying blindness or not. We train all of our cast and crew around blindness when they’re coming on. They go through an orientation because we want to bring them into this world, and we want to make sure they understand the world because the characters with sight grew up in a world that is built by people who are blind.

Every day, their interactions are around blindness. They’re part of these communities, so making sure they understand that and live that, and maybe some of their movements and gestures are built around that community.

Show Snob: One of the things I’ve found interesting about this show is the intricate and developed ways of communicating, like the knots in the ropes. How was that developed on such a large scale?

Joe Strechay: Our production team and art department in Season 1 figured out the knots and Steven Knight as well. The knots are based on the Mayan knot language idea, and we took it and spoke about how things could be almost like the braille code, so there can be a letter-for-letter version of the knots or, just like braille, short-form words, short-form letters. One knot stands for one word, or two knots next to each other means something, just like the braille system works currently.

See Season 2
Joe Strechay behind the scenes of See Season 2 – Courtesy of Apple /

Show Snob: One of the biggest developments for See Season 2 is the addition of Dave Bautista as Baba Voss’s brother Edo. What was it like to work with those two actors together?

Joe Strechay: It was tremendous getting to work with Dave Bautista and Jason Momoa. They’re both such talented actors and people. Dave is super internal and considerate and spends so much time thinking about what his character would do and process. Then he’s just a natural mover and athlete, and he brings that [to the role].

Jason wanted to take what he was doing in Season 1 and bring it to a whole new level in Season 2. He came in 100% committed and wanted to do things in the right way. There were times we realized that he was thinking about it differently and was using something I had taught him prior, and we’re like, “yeah, okay, that makes sense, too!”

Show Snob: You mentioned earlier that you developed military strategies and choreography. What was the easiest part of developing that, and what was more complicated?

Joe Strechay: The scripts are one thing, and then we have to figure out what we can create for film and how it makes sense.  My choreographers and I would play with these movements to figure out what works and how it can be different and how it might work in the world and how it would be effective, maybe borrowing ideas from SWAT teams or special forces and adapting it for a world of blindness.

You’ll see our movements are often based on real things like the sighted guides, people who are blind guiding other people. If you go to large blindness events or Paralympics events, you might see multiple people connected, and that’s where our Witchfinder formation comes from. You’ll see the difference between the Trivantian formations and the signals of how to move out and spread apart, and we get to be creative and work together to figure it out and create that world.

Show Snob: You can really tell you guys put a lot of thought and care into considering how this world would be. I know something really important to you is demonstrating that accessibility and not falling into casual ableism. How do you take all of those things into account?

Joe Strechay: Apple, Endeavor, and our production are committed to accessibility and inclusion, so we have actors who are blind or low-vision work on our show. We have nine actors in Season 2. Three of them are recurring. We provide opportunities to these actors and make sure that they only have to worry about acting and not about accessibility.

And every actor prepares differently, whether they’re an actor with sight or an actor who is blind or has low vision, so we figure out what that is and how we can meet those needs. For myself, I can’t see, and I work in a visual medium. I have an assistant who works with me to describe every take, so I ask them for specific information, and they provide it. We go through and spend time learning and training. All of us are committed to creating a world that is respectful of the blind community.

And also, with ableism, one of our themes in See Season 2 is ableism. Jonathan Tropper wanted to address it without calling it out directly. But you’ll see ableism right from the start in Episode 1 between Baba Voss and one of his children, whether it’s the characters who are blind toward characters with sight or characters with sight toward the blind characters, or even the characters who are blind [being ableist] toward each other.

Because every day in my life, I face ableism, people trying to decide what I can do and what I can’t do. We wanted to make sure we creatively addressed that.

See Season 2
Joe Strechay behind the scenes of See Season 2 – Courtesy of Apple /

Show Snob: Seeing it on a show like this is so impactful because people often don’t even realize they’re ableists. I feel like watching See makes me look at other shows a little differently if they also have blind characters. Is that something you guys hope to influence?

Joe Strechay: Definitely, I just spoke at an accessibility comic book conference talking about the portrayal of blindness, and there are different phases to minority populations migrating into media, and we’re still moving through that.

All kinds of opportunities are being created for these actors who might not often get that opportunity or the chance to play roles where blindness is not the main thing. And I think people who work on our show, like the cast, crew, and directors, go from our show to other shows and see these actors’ talents and want to bring them on.

Show Snob: I’m really looking forward to seeing the rest of the season! What’s something you’re excited for fans to see?

Joe Strechay: I’m really excited for people to see the different storylines between the family members and how each character is coming into their own in a different way, whether it’s Haniwa or Kofun, it’s Maghra, Baba Voss, and the conflict between Baba and his brother.

The heart of our show is family, and I think you see that, and it’s going to e explored in different ways. There are so many more storylines. And if you like the action from Season 1, you’re going to love the action from Season 2 because there is more of it, and it takes it up a notch.

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This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

New episodes of See Season 2 stream Fridays on Apple TV+.