‘Awful Gays’, a new comedy web series about a pretty awful gay couple in Dublin, will leave you tickled
Awful Gays is a new Irish web series about a gay couple, Maurice and Kenny, who are… well they’re awful.
We caught up with the series’ Director and Producer, Mark Keane, to find out a little bit more about him, the characters and the show.
1. What is Awful Gays about?
On the one hand, it’s a comedy/satire about an awful gay couple – who probably shouldn’t be together – living in Dublin. They’re not politically engaged, they’re incredibly self-absorbed, and lack basic empathy. On the other hand, it’s about lovingly poking fun at some aspects – perhaps the worst aspects – of gay culture and identity.
2. The main characters seem so misanthropic! Are Maurice and Kenny based on people you know in real life?
Yes – me! Well, no, only slightly. I think that both characters represent – to an extent – part of my worst tendencies as a gay man, but are really exaggerated and pushed for comic effect. Like reeeaaally exaggerated.
I think a lot of the situations the characters find themselves in are things I’ve experienced in my own life but made much more absurd.
3. What was your inspiration for the series?
There are a few. I remember after the marriage equality referendum, there was this sense in some circles that everything is better/fine now or whatever, and I personally didn’t believe that to be true, and so part of the idea for the characters came from me wanting to poke fun at that.
Also, after the swath of slightly saccharine images of gays and gay couples in the media (rightly so, of course) during the marriage equality campaign, part of me just wanted to see something more balanced, more honest; gays who were flawed, maybe even gays behaving badly. So I took that desire and turned it up to 90… and voila: Awful Gays!
As far as I’m aware, there are no gays on Irish scripted television – but if there are, it’s not enough, and historically it hasn’t been enough – so here’s a little something to counter that.
And finally – and probably most importantly – life is a big inspiration; taking real life situations, being brutally honest about them, and amplifying them for comedy in order to make a point.
4. What LGBT filmmakers and storytellers do you look up to and why?
I love my Todd Haynes, Terence Davies, John Waters, Jill Soloway, Mike White, Lisa Cholodenko.
I could go on for A WHILE listing why I love each filmmaker individually, but I’ll be merciful and just say that I love those filmmakers because each one of them has inspired me in some way to make work of my own; has proven there’s a place for gay voices/stories in film and TV; has managed to successfully tell gay stories that transcend that box and speak to society as a whole; have very distinct and powerful voices.
Ultimately, I love films that move me in some way, and each and every one of those directors has done that time and time again. Part of me wants to say “they’re great filmmakers, regardless of being gay,” but also part of me wants to say “they’re great GAY filmmakers and they’re ours!”
5. What’s next for Mark Keane and your Awful Gays?
I’m pretty much just focused on launching this for the time being – or for the next seven weeks at least. I guess my hope is that some Irish gays watch it, are able to laugh at it, relate it to it some way, and maybe a bit of satisfaction in finally having some Irish gay characters – however weird and awful – to look and laugh at on screen.
Check out the first episode of Awful Gays below.
The next episode of Awful Gays will be released next Thursday, May 11.
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