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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

'Feral' Web Series: Memphis Gay Boys Version of 'Girls'


The worthy aspiration of the streaming service dekkoo.com to be the gay Netflix and that site being home to the (oft-reviewed) uber-awesome International gay-themed art-house films from tla releasing prompted breaking a cardinal rule of Unreal TV to watch a web-series. This positive deal breaker is the eight full-length episode series "Feral," which looks to premiere on dekkoo in early January 2016.

The many nice things about "Feral" stem from the trials and tribulations of gay 20-something Memphis housemates struggling filmmaker Billy and almost starving artist Daniel being relatable regardless of your sexual orientation and where you live. Further authenticity comes from Memphis-based director Morgan John Fox filming in that city and making "Feral" semi-autobiographical.

Although 20-something viewers will only compare this show to the HBO series "Girls" and "Looking," those of us old enough to remember the early days of the Showtime premium channel will also view "Feral" as a more dystopian version of the early 2000s drama "Queer As Folk."  This groundbreaking show depicts the daily lives of a group of gay men making their way in a larger straight (and moderately oppressive) world.

The relatability of "Feral" commences with a highly erotic series opening scene in which Billy and equally adorable object of his affection Carl conduct a mirroring acting exercise in an increasingly playful flirtatious style that is sure to prompt a pleasurable response from every dekko subscriber. One spoiler is that the massive baggage slows down the journey on the road to this true love.

The central plot in the pilot in which Billy discovering evidence of drug use by housemate Jordan, who is living there based on Daniel vouching for him, results in Billy evicting Jordan. This, in turn, leads to a hilarious search for a compatible "gay or gay-friendly" roommate. The ensuing freak parade is funny because it is true.

The selected candidate being both an initially casual acquaintance who bonds with the boys artificially quickly as sometimes happens and having some ambiguity regarding the full nature of his sexuality at least through the end of the fourth episode is another "ripped from the headlines" element of "Feral." The sister of this newbie attempting subtlety regarding dancing around the subject while helping her brother move in adds to the fun.

On a larger level, Billy and Daniel must work McJobs and other find ways to acquire the necessities of life while pursuing their inter-related professional and personal dreams. The pursuit of the latter results in Daniel suffering serious consequences from waking up with Mr. Right Now but being completely lost. Folks who can say "been there, done him (or her)" can relate this time.

The final analysis based on the four streamed episodes is that "Feral" is an entertainingly accurate portrait of your life in your 20s with people who are most likely more attractive and witty than you and your friends playing your parts.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Feral" is encouraged to email me. You can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.