New York actor and writer Michael Witkes said he hopes to offer “fresh commentary on contemporary gay dating and culture” with “Interested In,” his new coming-of-age series.
HuffPost got a sneak peek at “Interested In” with an exclusive clip above. The first season of the show hits the streaming network Dekkoo (also an Amazon Channel) March 20. It follows Parker (played by Witkes), a gay Philadelphia college student, as he hilariously struggles to navigate a world of casual hookups and dating apps.
Also starring Thomas Countz, Drew Gardner and Alex Beechko, “Interested In” doesn’t shy away from frank depictions of gay sex. Along the way, Parker also experiences the post-coital messiness and awkwardness that can sour a steamy rendezvous or thwart a prospective relationship.
Witkes, who hails from Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, told HuffPost he drew on a lot of his early misconceptions about LGBTQ life in creating the series, which was warmly received at film festivals in Palm Springs, California, and San Antonio, Texas, among other cities, last year.
“I thought that I would immediately accept myself after I came out,” he said. “But boy, was I wrong!”
As Witkes sought out films and shows that he felt represented his experience, he discovered “most of the narratives about young gay men ended with the main character coming out or committing suicide.”
“I wanted to know what happened to the ones that lived through their shame,” he said. “So I started to write.”
While Showtime’s “Queer as Folk” and HBO’s “Looking” have also centered on gay characters, Witkes believes “Interested In” is set apart from those mainstream predecessors as a portrayal of “realistic life after the closet.” In a further effort to keep the show genuine, he also cast queer actors in each of the queer roles.
“It’s important that queer people tell queer stories,” he explained, “and that we give these opportunities to actors that have the same lived experiences since we’re often cut out of straight roles.”
Catch the original series trailer below.
“Interested In” debuts March 20 on Dekkoo.