Zach & Dennis: How It All Began (2016-)
No matter what happens between Zach and Dennis – whether they are friends or more – the encounter between the two is life changing.
Synopsis: Zach and Dennis wake up in bed together after what seems like a one-night stand. A connection between the two begins, but what form will it take? As they get to know each other, their relationship could go many directions, and how will their friends react to their age difference?
Gay romances are a dime a dozen these days, but this one is different. This series explores a developing friendship between two people with a significant age difference. Although we’ve seen this before (I’m thinking Bear City, Gerontophilia), How It All Began takes a deeper dive into, well, how it all begins.
Zach is in his late 20s and seems like a free spirit. He wants to be an actor and certainly doesn’t seem like relationship material. In the first episode he makes a comment about how he has left socks all over town. Dennis is late-middle aged and generous in spirit. He doesn’t seem lonely, but he’s also looking for someone to connect with on a level greater than acquaintance.
In the second episode, we see one of the first benefits of their friendship in that they have different things to offer each other. In this case they share experiences – Dennis shows Zach the theater and Zach introduces Dennis to the world of edibles (pot). But this isn’t where it stops for them. Dennis shows him care and unconditional support which might be something new for Zach. And they continue to show each other more about them as they spend more time together.
I like the fact that both characters are figuring out what is happening as things progress. At one point Dennis exclaims to himself, “what the fuck is happening?” Neither of them are committed to one path forward and just let it play out. “There is no deal.” Sometimes relationships no matter their nature take a circuitous route, and sometimes things happen when we least expect it.
I enjoy the exploration of younger and older people getting to know each other in this, and I think sometimes this is something that is missing in our culture. Both sides benefit from getting to know one another and enhances people’s circle of experience. Some of my best friendships have been with people who were quite a bit older than me, and my life is richer because of them.
The story is very well-done, and although the episodes are short they are well blocked. Both actors bring much to their characters, and production values are very good. A very enjoyable watch.
How It All Began is currently available on Amazon Prime and YouTube. Amazon has 9 episodes, but the tenth was recently released. I look forward to seeing more.