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Why Freeform Dramedy Everything's Gonna Be Okay Opens With a Gay Kiss

Freeform Dramedy 'Everything's Gonna Be Okay' Opens With a Gay Kiss

Freeform Dramedy 'Everything's Gonna Be Okay' Opens With a Gay Kiss

Josh Thomas' new TV series beautifully explores grief, chosen family, the chaos of teenage girldom, and living with Autism.

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The pilot of Freeform's newest comedy series Everything's Gonna Be Okay opens with a gay kiss, a purposeful move from creator and star Josh Thomas.

"My mum was like, 'Don’t you think you should have put that gay kiss a bit later because it might turn people off?'" Thomas explains to Freeform's TCA panel audience of reporters alongside his costars Kayla Cromer, Maeve Press, and Adam Faison. "Why do I want people watching this that are homophobic? I don’t want them coming up to me on the street. I don’t want them to know who I am. Like, I put the gay kiss up as a shield so that I don’t have to deal with unlikeable fans." 

Thomas' brand of edgy humor certainly sets the tone for the series. We meet Nicholas (Thomas), a self-deprecating twenty-something-year-old who invites guys back to his garage bedroom for a hookup the day before he heads back to Australia. Everything seems to be okay for Nicholas until his dad informs him that he's dying of cancer and that he has to be the new guardian of his awkward teenage half-sisters, Genevieve and Matilda, the latter is on the Autism spectrum. 

Within thirty of the minutes of the pilot, the three siblings are burying their father and giving hilariously inappropriate eulogies at his funeral. Watching this play out is somehow heartbreaking, hopeful, and cackle-worthy all at the same time. 

Grief seems to be a common thread between Thomas' projects. His former TV show, beloved Australian series Please Like Me, juggled this theme alongside mental illness motifs, dating in your early 20s, and the everyday awkwardness of being alive.

"I always thought that I wasn’t really that scared of dying," Thomas tells PRIDE at the panel. "If I’m on a plane with turbulence, I’m always like, oh, fine, great. This will get some good press if the plane goes down. But then when I look back on my work, it seems like I’m pretty obsessed with death."

Thomas then pivots to a joke. "It felt important to me that if you’re working for Disney that you kill a parent in the first act because that’s tradition. We introduced the dad because I really wanted you to get to know him so you knew what they’d lost."

Fasion, who plays Nicholas's one-night-stand turned love interest, Alex, jumped in, "And I think that’s a huge part, especially for Genevieve’s (Press) character," he said, "to just feeling how it’s this new normal and how to deal with it."

Genevieve is the definition of the awkward high-school girl figuring herself out while Matilda juggles her Autism with senior year responsibilities, her budding sexuality, and intent to lose her virginity before she heads off to college. Their father's death makes everything a bit more complicated, to say the least. 

"Well [Genevieve] doesn’t have anybody," Press replies. "Her dad was the only person that she had to talk to and to trust, and then you take him away and she’s got nobody. But I also think it’s really important to have humor in those dark moments because for me, when I lost my grandfather, I do comedy and so I immediately went and I wrote a joke about it. Which maybe isn’t the healthiest way to deal with grief." She adds, "I think it’s important because life is not just humor and it’s not just dark. So it’s important to have a nice mixture."

"Yeah, life is without genre," concludes Thomas, "so that’s what we try and strive for with this."

Everything's Gonna Be Okay is almost too realistic at times, uncomfortable in the most enthralling way television can be. In a clip shown at the beginning of the panel, we see Maltida asking Nicholas if she can bring two of her friends (who are also Autistic and played by actors on the spectrum) home for a threesome, not exactly a situation you can read up on in the parenting manual. 

There's no doubt that watching a female teen with autism exploring her sexuality on screen is nothing short of groundbreaking, but you'll have to watch to see just how that plays out.

Everything's Gonna Be Okay premieres Thursday on Freeform at 8:30p/7:30c and the first three episodes are on Hulu now. Watch the trailer below:

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Taylor Henderson

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one! 

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one!