So where’s the funnel cake place? My review of Drama Queenz
October 18, 2011 § 1 Comment
Well, I just finished the first season of Dane Harrington Joseph’s amazing webseries, Drama Queenz, and I can say without reservation that it has become one of my favorite shows, as well as one of my favorite contributions to the exciting and rapidly-growing landscape of Queer New Media. The series, for those who are not yet caught up, follows the lives of three roommates, Jeremiah, Davis, and Preston, who are trying to make it in the theater in New York City.
I love all of the characters, but even more, I love the storytelling. It’s expansive, and the camera work is patient, allowing the actors to do their work and take their time conveying their emotional and physical responses to the events of the series. This is especially important because they don’t merely talk to one another, and fight over the grocery list — although they certainly do both of these things. But they also dance, work out, and otherwise use their bodies to convey a fuller sense of young life in the world of theater. I would be remiss if I didn’t also point out the amazing soundtrack — at some point during every episode, I found myself smiling at the music choice, not because it was ironic or silly, but because it was perfect and served a storytelling purpose.
My favorite episode so far was “By the Sea,” although the first season finale comes in as a close second. While I love following each of the core character’s romantic paths, I am, at least so far, primarily invested in the friendship they share, which serves as the emotional center of the series. I’m interested to see (and plan, of course, to watch) which of the side characters from this first season recur in future seasons, because I do think that another central figure, particularly a woman or a character from a different generation, might flesh out the social world the series portrays. That said, it is common wisdom that three characters are enough to make a feature film, and so perhaps I’m being greedy.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I think is so special about the webseries form — so much of it seems not to need to be said, at least to fans of the form — it allows new creators to create tons of new content on a lower budget, and with little to no censorship! The content is actually less ephemeral than old-form TV, because the creators aren’t so protective of it, and the norm is to offer sustainable access! It is dominated by people who are between slightly-younger-than-me and slightly-older-than-me, and therefore the themes are likely to appeal! All true, and more true of Drama Queenz than of many series. But there’s something more, something specific about the way in which the webseries allows for genuinely experimental storytelling, different-length episodes, and, as I mentioned above, more patient camera work, that seems just right for telling queer stories. Obviously, I’d love to see Drama Queenz on the, er, slightly less small screen of the Network-approved TV, especially if it would mean that its awesome team could be better compensated for their hard work. But for now, I want to celebrate the beginnings, which are a joy to behold. WATCH IT!