New York single life is a constant struggle between balancing economic survival and romantic stability. For example, I would frequently work late in order to make rent, but those long hours can get lonely... down there. Since I was the only one in the office, I'd Skype with the Mr. Right of the moment. Naturally these conversations would turn sexual (because I'm a healthy young adult male, thank you), and would frequently result in a state of undress that wasn't quite in line with my company's idea of casual Friday.
STAGE17's web series Wallflowers, created by Kieran Turner, perfectly captures this slice of New York life. It follows a group of young New Yorkers (like, actually working young, not Girls young, because who are those girls and where did they come from?) coping with the agony of the dating world as members of a support group for the hopelessly single. "A support group for singles?" you ask. Yep, they exist, and I belonged to one. (Who are you to judge me?!)
What's truly great about Wallflowers, in its second season and free to watch exclusively on STAGE17's website, is that it balances gay and straight storylines effortlessly, in the process portraying what our actual lives are like. So many shows force gay characters and storylines to be introduced because of their gayness, making that aspect of their storyline the only defining characteristic.
A great example of this is the storyline between Bryce and Alex (Patch Darragh and John Halbach). It's believable, organic, and not in anyway exploitative just because it's a gay relationship. This type of portrayal isn't exactly new, it's being done perfectly in Eastsiders, which also features Halbach.
"In Wallflowers, there are straight, gay and bisexual characters. But they're characters first," says creator Kieran Turner. "I wanted to explore what all these different types of people go through in their search to find love... I really despise stereotypes of any kind, especially gay ones. They're insulting and reductive and I feel like sometimes our creative community relies on them way too heavily in order to get a laugh. I think we're better than that and we've moved past it."
You should take a break from whatever list you're "reading" and watch the trailer for your new favorite queer web series, Wallflowers. Of course then you'll want to binge-watch season one.
After you do all that, Skype me (contact name: halanscott). Pants optional.
H. Alan Scott is a writer and comedian based in New York City and Los Angeles.
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