Advertisement
Home #Hwoodtimes BRIDESMAN: Grindr tackles gay comedy

BRIDESMAN: Grindr tackles gay comedy

By Valerie Milano

Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 8/14/21 –  Looking for more comedy at Outfest 2021? Here’s a way to close your Saturday night on August 14 with a new series entitled “Bridesman” produced by Grindr. Yes, Grindr, the gay pick-up app, has moved into television production. They are launching a new series directed by Julian Buchan and previewing it at Outfest. Bridesman follows Terry, gay and awful, as he is forced to fulfill bridesmaid duties for his best friend despite his disdain for the construct of marriage and an electric sexual connection with the groom. When Terry threatens to upstage the control-freak Maid of Honor, secrets are made public, parties are ruined, and every relationship is pushed to its breaking point. The lead Jimmy Fowlie is a Groundlings member who was one of the terrible instagays on The Other Two, and wrote and starred in So Long Boulder City, a pseudo-recreation/skewering of Emma Stone’s character’s one-woman show from La La Land. The cast includes Sydnee Washington, Shannon DeVido, Crystal Porter-Bazemore, Megan Chelsea Johnson, David Mudge, Calvin Seabrooks 

Advertisement

Co-star Sydnee Washington is a comedian, actress and podcaster who gained wider prominence after appearing in Comedy Central’s 2018 “Up Next” showcase. She co-hosted the comedy showcase originally started by Hannibal Buress at the Knitting Factory, and co-hosts the comedy podcasts “The Unofficial Expert” and “Hobby Hunter.” During the pandemic, she began hosting an increasingly popular weekly Instagram Live show called “Syd Can Cook”;

Shannon DeVido (who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy and uses a wheelchair) is probably best known for a recurring role on “Difficult People,” and her work on New York stages in Sam Hunter’s The Healing and Teenage Dick at the Public Theater. She was also the lead in Best Summer Ever, a movie musical that opened in April featuring a mostly disabled cast.

Advertisement

The Bridesman series will be six 6-10 minute episodes and hosted on the app, with recurring characters but all centrally focused on the main character played by Jimmy Fowlie. “Gay are harsh critics,” Fowlie clarifies. John Onieal remembers, sight unseen, the reaction on social media to the announcement that the platform typically used for trading photos and soliciting meet-ups would now be adding episodes of television to their grid of shirtless men. “I know that Twitter absolutely dragged this idea of Grindr making a series when they first announced it,” he says. “I thought it was hilarious. It’s getting people talking about it.”

It is all part of an experiment by Grindr. Since launching “Into,” the since-shuttered digital publication, in 2017, Grindr has been exploring ways to engage its users outside of the messaging feature. According to Grindr’s head of marketing Alex Black, even when “Into” was still live, it was the video content that got the most robust engagement. Since the site folded, the company has still maintained a schedule of video production, be it one-off short documentaries about exploring queer identities or the Old Gay Series, in which a group of gay friends in their sixties and seventies in Palm Springs react to Gen Z culture.

“Telling queer stories is something that is actually good business for Grindr,” says marketing head Alex Black. “Promoting visibility and representation can move the needle toward a more accepting world, and a more accepting world means more people feeling free to come out of the closet and live their authentic lives. A larger community means more Grindr users, and more Grindr users is good business. So it really makes sense for us in a lot of ways beyond just the more simple kind of engagement metrics.”

The screening is on August 14, at 9:30 p.m. at the Directors Guild of America. You can also buy streaming tickets for online viewing from 8/15 to 8/17. For tickets to in-person or online streaming, go to https://outfestla2021.com/bridesman/

Advertisement
Previous articleJUMP, DARLING: Swan Song for Cloris Leachman
Next articleFIRSTNESS:  Learning to Communicate in a Different Way
Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and Entertainment Critic at TheHollywoodTimes.today, a website that aggregates showbiz news curated for, and written by, insiders of the entertainment industry. (@HwoodTimes @TheHollywood.Times) Milano, whose extraordinary talents for networking in the famously tight-clad enclave of Hollywood have placed her at the center of the industry’s top red carpets and events since 1984, heads daily operations of a uniquely accessible, yet carefully targeted publication. For years, Milano sat on the board and tour coordinator of the Television Critics Association’s press tours. She has written for Communications Daily, Discover Hollywood, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International, and contributed to countless other magazines and digests. Valerie works closely with the Human Rights Campaign as a distinguished Fed Club Council Member. She also works with GLSEN, GLAAD, Outfest, NCLR, LAMBDA Legal, and DAP Health, in addition to donating both time and finances to high-profile nonprofits. She has been a member of the Los Angeles Press Club for a couple of years and looks forward to the possibility of contributing to the future success of its endeavors. Milano’s passion for meeting people extends from Los Feliz to her favorite getaway, Palm Springs. There, she is a member of the Palm Springs Museum of Art and a prominent Old Las Palmas-area patron.