The new series “Stray” is giving audiences on the LGBT streaming service Dekkoo a fresh take on the buddy comedy formula (aka, the bromance).
“Stray,” which premiered last month, centers on buddies Jay, a brash gay dude, and Rich, a nerdy straight guy, who talk sex and relationships while reconnecting in New York City years after college.
Pablo Andreu, a straight New York writer who is new to filmmaking, plunged into the unfamiliar territory of screenwriting for the series. He said he created “Stray” because he didn’t see anything out there that represented the dynamic he and his close friend have, where sexual orientation is both topical and incidental to the friendship.
“This is changing somewhat, but you have shows that very explicitly cater to an LGBT audience,” he said. “Then you have ‘mainstream’ shows that have LGBT characters but a lot times the way that that is treated is like tokenism. I hadn’t seen anything that reflected my experience with a good friend of mine where there’s that guy posturing, bantering and teasing — and they happen to be a different sexual orientation — and there’s that bravado and one-upmanship. I don’t think I’ve seen anything exactly like that. That was the idea. I wanted to see something that reflected my experiences of that dynamic.”
Andreu said the fledgling streaming service Dekkoo has given him an ideal place to find his voice as well as opportunities both as a screenwriter and filmmaker.
“I didn’t know Dekkoo or much about indie films or web series beforehand,” he said. “So I was pretty much a layman in that respect. But I delved into it. Now I watch a ton of series. I started writing a column about my misadventures in creating a web series with no experience. It’s through that that I’ve gotten some opportunities. A production company out west reached out to me. That column has made some interesting connections.”
Andreu said that he is already plotting out the futures of Jay and Rich and his plans for future seasons of “Stray.”
“Season two is written out and I see it beyond that,” he said. “Ultimately, I’d like more space to be able to tell the story. We’re introducing new characters in season two and it’s going to be less issues-oriented. A lot of how season one ended up was because of budget constraints. If we can’t nab a location somewhere, a bar or somewhere outside, the easiest thing to do is to just shoot it at an apartment somewhere, which is what we ended up doing. The problem with that is it ended up being, ‘This is what we’re talking about.’ In season two they’re going to be out and about doing more things. There’s going to be more plot than just straight dialogue. It’ll change a little bit because there’s going to be more of a narrative arc than there was in the first season.”
“Stray” is available to stream now on Dekkoo. For more information, visit https://dekkoo.vhx.tv/stray.