“One of the Guys,” a web-based television show created by Temple University students, was named Best Series at the 2014 Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation’s College Television Awards, presented April 23 in Los Angeles.
The show is about three gay friends and their straight roommate. It was created last year by Michael Busca, now a senior English and communications major.
“One of the Guys” follows Madison (Stephen Fala), Alex (Matt McWilliams) and Jonathan (Aaron Palmer) as they interact with their straight roommate, Ethan (Jeff Familetti) and discover their similarities and differences.
Busca, along with producers Jen Parmer and Jaime Sweet, attended last week’s ceremony. Each received their own trophy.
Busca, on his first trip away from the East Coast, said the moment the show’s name was announced as the winner was nearly indescribable.
“We are blessed and so lucky and it’s unbelievable,” Busca said. “It feels like things like this don’t happen to real people, so we were living the dream out there. It is validating and goes to show that what we have to say mattered and all the hard work we put in was being listened to. It is really cool to know that what we are doing means something.”
The series category was the first to be announced.
Busca said he realized they had won when the presenter told an inside joke about the show.
“On our webpage, we make a joke that we filmed the first two episodes on the $200-300 of beer money I received on my 21st birthday,” he said. “They told that tidbit when they were describing all the shows. When they announced the winner, the presenter said, ‘Looks like there will be a lot of beer tonight.’ They said our show name, played our trailer and it was this wave of emotions.”
Busca said he had a speech prepared but due to nerves, his mind went blank.
But his impromptu speech went better than planned.
“I just spoke my mind,” he said. “Thankfully, I thanked everyone I was supposed to.”
Busca will graduate this month and is diving headfirst into his last two weeks of classes — as well as prepping for the Broad Street Run and myriad student activities.
He is also a finalist in the Emmy’s TV directing internship program and has job offers in New York, Los Angeles and New Orleans.
“I wanted to give myself one last summer in Philadelphia. By Labor Day, I will hopefully be making movies,” he said.
Busca said he is still formulating plans for the show’s continuation after his graduation.
He said he created “One of the Guys” to encourage more LGBT representation in media.
“Growing up, I didn’t have gay role models, everyone was straight,” he said. “To be able to sit on my mom’s bed and watch ‘Will & Grace’ and laugh meant that even if I wasn’t living in a world that I knew other gay people, there is hope. There is a story out there and it may not be in your backyard but it’s out there somewhere.”
Being recognized by a mainstream organization like the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation validates his goals, Busca said.
“You throw something on the web and everyone anywhere can watch it at any time,” he said. “That is why it means so much, because it wasn’t an award but a step forward for LGBT content and the community in general. We can’t get married in Pennsylvania and we can get fired for being LGBT but we had an LGBT web series from Pennsylvania win the Emmy. And that is a powerful thing.”
For more information on “One of the Guys,” visit www.oneoftheguysTV.com.