It was a whirlwind trip, but I spent 24 hours in L.A. for the premiere of Boy Culture: The Series at Outfest Thursday night — and I'm glad I went!
Outfest, the premier LGBTQ film fest, debuted the first two episodes of the six-episode series, pairing them with a big-screen airing of the acclaimed — and hysterically funny — Noah's Arc: The Rona Chronicles, which had debuted on social media in 2020.
The setting was Theater One at the DGA, where we were preceded by a packed tribute to the late Ash Christian, and a screening of the Charles Busch caper-comedy The Sixth Reel, the legendary performer's first film since 2006 (he co-wrote, co-directed and starred), and a movie that came together last year, during the first wave of COVID-19.
Darryl with series guest star Dalila Ali Rajah, who is in a “sweet, funny and unexpectedly hot” episode
Our red carpet was fun — we did press with Stacey Yvonne of Pride.com, and Jason showed off his transparent shirt, to match his character's motives. Darryl and Derek both had a lot of in-house support, and for Darryl, the event was a two'fer, since he is the star of 'Rona.
Darryl with Mona White, Devyn Johnson & LaDāsha LaBree, who he praised on Instagram as his “core group of Black women who have shown up for me”
Our screening went so well! We had a nice crowd for a 9:45 p.m. showtime in the midst of a pandemic, and it was a trip seeing the entire main cast and all the creatives again after so long.
Sitting next to series star Jason Caceres and his husband Christian, I braced myself in advance of learning the answers to some big questions: Will it play? Will it look good?
I was so relieved when people laughed in all the right places (and in a few I hadn't realized would strike that chord) and to see the footage we spent so much money and time on looks and sounds spectacular.
I know for a fact that Steve Grand, who acts in Episode 2, was nervous about his performance, but he got laughs and people said he was wonderful. He is very vulnerable here, playing into and against type.
Jason, described as a scene-stealer, is just the dose of mayhem the series needed; Derek transforms from sphinx-like to emotionally raw, a big shift for the character everyone remembers as icy; and Darryl grounds everything with humor and warmth, a total reality check whenever things get outlandish, or whenever X dreams he is about to get away with anything.
My assessment of how this all came out was right — our first big review was long and a rave!
After a brief Q&A, we said our goodbyes and immediately went to rate the film on IMDb (I'd appreciate your positive ratings there if you get a chance — it goes toward Outfest awards), then I went with the Caceres-Lopezes to IHOP. Twinks do eat.
The next day, I was up pitching a podcast/doc idea (went great, more on that in the future) and then right back on a plane! It was truly breakneck, this trip.
Where To Watch!
The first two episodes of Boy Culture: The Series are streamable today only at Outfest.org. Beginning August 26, you can stream all six (on successive days) at aGLIFF.org. Then, on September 11, come to FilmOut San Diego, where all six episodes will play and most of the cast and creatives will be on hand for an I'm-sure-raucous Q&A. We are the Men's Centerpiece there, which is a high honor.