Why Queer Sex Is the Lifeblood of Gregg Araki's Now Apocalypse

Taylor Henderson

Gregg Araki, the legendary queer filmmaker behind cult classics like The Doom GenerationMysterious Skin, and Kaboom, and more recent episodes of boundary-pushing teen shows 13 Reasons Why, Riverdale, and Heathers, has landed his own raunchy sci-fi series, Now Apocalypse, a passion project pumped directly from his imagination onto the STARZ network.

Following the openly gay lead character of the show Ulysses (Avan Jogia), Now Apocalypse focuses on a group of horny twenty-somethings in Los Angeles juggling aspirations of love, sex, and fame with foreboding signs that the world is ending—or maybe Ulysses just smoked too much weed...

One thing is for sure: Araki has jam-packed the series with a lot of queer sex. The first episode opens with Ulysses mid-Grindr hookup, interrupted when the guy's husband bursts through the front door and has to jump off a balcony. (This is premium cable, after all.)

"My films always have a lot of sex and sexuality in them because I really feel like it's a really important part of life," Araki told PRIDE. "It's a really important part of forming who you are, growing up, and figuring out who you are and what you're going to be."

"That is such an integral part of your journey as a person that I actually have a thing about a lot of Ameican movies that sort of shy away from it. I feel as a filmmaker, it's really where the important stuff is. As a director, those are the moments where the characters are really revealed and you really get a sense of who the characters are and what they're about."

Ulysses' love interests seem to be harbingers of the end of days; an explosive alleyway handjob with Tyler Posey's character Gabriel in episode one launches a series of ominous events. At a red carpet event last week, Araki also teased Ulysses' pivotal relationship with "a very important character" in the latter half of the season played by Glee's Jacob Artist.

"That's one of the things about the show that I'm most proud of," said Araki. "I really feel like, especially in our given political climate where everything is going backward and trying to get oppressive again, I'm so happy that the show presents a very sex-positive and enlightening view of queer sexuality. It really puts that message out there. I really feel like in these dark times, it's kind of shining this light into the darkness." 

Now Apocalypse premieres March 10 on STARZ. Watch Araki talk about the show in the clip below.

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