Be Here Now-ish A New Queer Dramady

Creative partners Alexandra Roxo and Natalia Leite have an answer for those of us who have been wondering where next queer and gen Y response to Girls/TLW is.

Creative partners Alexandra Roxo and Natalia Leite have an answer for those of us who have been wondering where next queer and gen Y response to Girls/TLW is.

“Be Here Now-ish” is a web-series in production by these two young Brazilian raised Brooklynite talents. Roxo gained early recognition with her film project “Mary Marie“, which was a favoirite on the film fest circut earning her good press and broader recognition. While Leite has been two-time Sundance Screenwriters Lab Finalist and a recipient of the Kodak Grant Award.

The duo are half way to making a funding goal on kickstarter, with just ten days left. We recently talked about just what is life as a queer millenial all about and what Be Here Now-ish attempts to portray.

What was the inspiration for the show?
Alexandra & Natalia: The inspiration for our show was mainly our lives. We felt like there wasn’t anything on TV or even the web that reflected the lives we lead. Here’s how we phrase it on our Kickstarter campaign, “In a sea of media that comments on our generation’s pitfalls and strengths, we feel there is nothing that accurately depicts the world we live in… a world where managing to survive/pay bills/pay for $15 cheeseburgers and $10 kale juices on weirdo freelance schedules is “normal.” Where dating is more complex than trigonometry and commitment is scarce.”

Alexandra: Hence the title “Be Here Now-ish.” My ex-girlfriend named the show probably from watching how crazy I am with multi-tasking and trying to be present but constantly doing 100 things. It’s the idea of sitting in meditation with one eye open checking your OkCupid, of starting your day with a green juice and ending it with a cheeseburger, of having a threesome with a poly couple but waking early for your yoga class. It’s confusing!

It will be hard for anyone not to compare it to Girls, because of the generation and the gender of your characters. How much has HBO’s Girls influenced the way you see TV and what’s possible, AND how much were you influenced by or reject Lena Dunham’s approach to TV (if at all)?
Alexandra & Natalia: We think Lena is rad. She is telling her story and showing her world. She has really inspired so many women and that’s wonderful. For us we want to show our world… We want to show the queerness, the struggle to make ends meet financially and to stay healthy and attempt to find some sort of spiritual path, while dating and having sex in this millenial climate. It’s all confusing and there is a lot of change happening and so we want to help figure it out—on camera.

You mentioned comparing your show to the Real L Word, for the obvs reasons that the you are dealing with gen Y issues of sex and sexuality. But I’m gleaning from your trailer and based on your previous movie (“Mary Marie“) it will be smarter?!
Alexandra: Haha yes yes of course. It sucks that the ONLY well known female lgbtq characters are on the Real L Word/L Word. That’s the only thing people have to compare us to! But our show definitely isn’t a “lesbian” show. It reflects all sorts of sexual fluidity. Though Natalia’s character is very much a lesbian.

This is not really a question but I want you to respond; My beef with TRLW was that everyone was so hyper conscious of their personas for TV that the characters didn’t seem believable or likable—they were “acting out” for the cameras. I find fictional shows about queers much more accurate and moving than these hyped up reality stars. Your thoughts?
Alexandra: What fictional shows about queers? Honestly the gay characters I see on network TV feel very stereotypical to me. But I may be missing some? Someone please reveal a non-stereotypical lesbian or queer female character on TV to me. I’d love to know.

Natalia: I really like Michael Hall’s character in “Six Feet Under”—it felt fresh to me. But as for lesbian characters in television outside of The L Word, I can’t mention a single one that broke the stereotypes.

What are you thoughts on the current state of TV? You are launching “Be Here…” as a web series as a spring board of getting onto cable? As an expriment in story telling? Getting Netflix to produce another original series?

Alexandra & Natalia: TV is an a very exciting place right now. It seems like TV is pushing film away at the moment. With companies like Netflix doing original content it makes it an exciting time for media. We are planning to launch our show online and then write the pilot and pitch to cable! We’ll need our community’s support though to get there.

Lastly, what are your thoughts on the state of queer representation in the media/entertainment. How do you think Gen Y and Z (teens and tweens) see themselves in a world that is moving towards their acceptance? What obstacles do think you still face?
Alexandra: We hope that with time there will be films and TV shows where a characters’ sexuality will be more mater-of-fact, like it really won’t matter if they are gay or straight—they just happen to be gay, in the same way that today a character might just happen to be black and that might not have anything to do with their story in the show. Hopefully our show is helping create this change for the next generations because we are showing our character’s sexuality in a way that is fluid and not cliche.

Natalia: I mean, in my personal life I’m having to “come out” over and over again because people automatically assume that I’m straight just by the way I look. Maybe in the future generations people won’t assume anything about other people’s sexuality, I hope.