With the ending of Queer as Folk, there hasn’t been a gay soap opera capable of building a similarly receptive audience. Ricky Reidling, creator of Boystown, is hoping to create a new series to fill that void.
Boystown recounts the adventures and romances of seven men living in Los Angeles. Reidling (who also portrays one of the characters) has described it as being in the same vein as Sex In the City and Desperate Housewives. However, you’ll see some elements of Queer as Folk and daytime soaps. You have your standard characters but with a gay twist on them – the male bimbo, the mourning widower, the innocent with his abusive ex, the outrageous asshole, etc.
That’s just the beginning – Reidling stated there’s many ways the show and its characters could evolve. For example, the drag queen on first glance comes across as a conniving sex hound (and potential villain), but Reidling says that any future episodes would slowly reveal that this character has lots of deep issues and is not as superficial as first guessed.
For Reidling, this is his first project wearing the multiple hats of writer/producer/director; previously, he was primarily an actor. The premise for this series struck him in the middle of the night - the seven characters came to him and he wrote half of the script that first morning.
In waiting (and waiting) to see if any of the gay networks would approve his pilot, he decided he should launch it himself. He financed the project and took on the multiple roles of actor/director/producer/writer (all the while swearing he’d never take on so many jobs). It consumed a lot of time, from casting of the hunky actors - half of which are gay - to the filming and post production work.
The premise was to shoot it as a pilot for here! TV, one of the two gay cable networks in the US. The show, in its entirety, has aired on the network once or twice, however he has yet to get the go-ahead for more episodes - but in the meantime he has split it up into a series of five minute web episodes. The idea is to get it broadcast, get the audience aware, and then let the network know that there is a potential audience out there who enjoy it and would like to see more of it. He has a second script ready to go, but it’s up to the network whether they go the route of more web based mini-episodes, or (Reidlings’s preference) in the show length quality of Queer as Folk or Dante’s Cove.
The episodes are a bit rough in spots, but watching it as a soap opera, you can see the potential for future entanglements and intrigue.
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