Feral is a new web series – the first produced by gay movie site Dekkoo – about a group of young friends living in Memphis who are finding themselves in the midst of life’s struggles. Billy is dealing with life after the loss of a relationship. Daniel is trying to figure out how to express himself without hurting others. Their friends are working on other issues like coming out and addiction.
One could say this is similar to other series about groups of gay friends and that would be correct, but it’s also different. I like that it’s not based in New York or LA, and it has a more raw, basic quality to it. The dialogue, pacing, and cinematography all point to something that dives a little deeper.
An example is in episode 7 where some of the characters are having some “moments of realization.” Daniel talks with his sister about how he self-sabotages, and I think that connects with many people at that age. Billy talking with Carl’s mother is sweet and sensitive. The conversations they have don’t feel surface level, but real and engaging.
When I first started watching, I felt like I was missing something. Stories that are told out of order sometimes frustrate me, but in this case it made me curious. And it doesn’t take long to figure out a basic idea of what has happened with Billy and Carl, although the details are nebulous for a bit.
I had high hopes for some good character development, and by the end of the series I felt like I knew these characters well. It took some time to dig in, especially given the length of the episodes. However, when you binge watch the whole thing it feels more like a movie that takes you on a journey. Each was set up to have something important to say, and pretty much everyone got somewhere.
Director Morgan Jon Fox has said in interviews that he wanted the series to come “…from a place of honesty.” (Lambert, para 11) It feels like he was successful in that the characters have real struggles, and it doesn’t feel like there’s manufactured drama. Each person is living with what life has dealt.
I would be very interested to see where a second season would take these characters. It’s obvious that their journeys are not quite over, and who knows where they could go next. The way this story was told makes me think that the series could continue to be creative enough to make the next steps interesting and compelling.
Lambert, M. (2016, October 6). Exclusive: Director Morgan Jon Fox Talks Feral, His Latest Southern Queer Drama. Retrieved October 16, 2016, from http://www.out.com/popnography/2016/9/22/exclusive-director-morgan-jon-fox-talks-feral-his-latest-southern-queer-drama