Grindr’s First Scripted Series Bridesman Is Messy, Sexy, Gay Fun
Grindr’s First Scripted Series ‘Bridesman’ Is Messy, Sexy, Gay Fun
We caught up with the creators at the Outfest premiere.
For the past 39 years, Outfest, LA’s world-renowned LGBTQIA+ film and media festival, has brought us the best in visual innovation and creativity. This year, with over 300 screenings and panels including 13 US premieres, 3 international premieres and 23 world premieres, Outfest has made good on its mission of inclusivity and diversity.
Expected are the prestigious entries such as Jump, Darling, featuring one of Cloris Leachman’s final performances. There’s the premiere of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, an adaptation of the West End musical hit that will stream on Amazon Prime in September. And there are also entries that are just plain fun, such as Bridesman, a Grindr original series.
Yes, you read that right. Grindr the notable hook-up app primarily for gay men is testing the idea of “Grindr and Chill” by bringing entertaining content for you and your new boo. The app's first scripted series Bridesman follows Terry, equal parts delightful and terrible (played by the incomparable Jimmy Fowlie), as he is forced to fulfill “bridesman” duties for his best friend Judith (Sydnee Washington of Broad City).
Too bad Terry's trying to sabotage his bestie. Why? Well for one, he can’t stand the Maid of Honor, Muriel, played with Type A organizational fierceness by Shannon DeVido. Though to be fair neither one of them can stand their childhood friend Cheryl (Megan Johnson) who they think of as boring, though she might be hiding a sinister past and deadly secrets. There could really be a plethora of reasons, but it may all boil down to Terry wanting to get laid and thinking Judith’s fiance Wyatt (David Mudge) is super hot.
At least that’s the way Terry tells it to his Uber driver/hook-up Oscar (Calvin Seabrooks) as he overshares on their journey from the airport. Bridesman is best as an anti-bridesmaid film. It’s a group of people vapidly bound together by nostalgia and hotness who come together over a weekend to celebrate Judith finally finding a guy that “gets” her.
Combine this backdrop with intricately layered jokes and visual gags, and you get an It’s Always Sunny-esque style feature that’s fecklessly funny. Every actor is a comedian or comedy writer so their timing is a well-honed art and makes for a very competent low-budget episodic.
The world premiere of the series was held Saturday, August 14th during Outfest2021 in Los Angeles. PRIDE had the pleasure of speaking with John Onieal, the director and co-writer of the series along with Frank Spiro, and director Julian Buchan. We met originally on the red carpet at the opening gala and had to get the scoop on what may very well be our new favorite show!
How did the two pitch a series to Grindr, who has never produced anything like this before? “It’s so exciting! It’s been such a long time that we’ve been by ourselves alone in a dark room just writing," Onieal reflects. "I heard they may be looking for content and I tried to get myself in front of as many Grindr folks that I could. I always had a script in my back pocket to hand them to get them to read it. Our script has 40 jokes per minute and I knew once they read it, they were gonna love it.” Both Onieal and Buchan then went on to praise their outstanding cast, giving a special mention to the chemistry between Washington and Fowlie.
The Grindr of it all may cause you to pause at first, but once you watch the show it makes a lot of sense. The show is fun, it’s sexy, and filled with hot guys and gals! It really is the perfect fit! There’s a dry irreverence to the show that is quick and easy. When I asked the guys the best way to break up a wedding was and they replied almost in unison, “F*ck the fiance!”
The show is still awaiting distribution but it will be available to screen during the festival at Outfestla2021.com. I highly recommend giving it a chance and fingers crossed we’ll see it on a streaming service soon.
The reviewer used screeners and virtual streaming to view the show.
Photo Credit: Vivien Best for Getty Images - Julian Buchan and John Onieal