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High School Showrunner On How The Series Is A Celebration of Queerness

High School Showrunner On How The Series Is A Celebration of Queerness

High School Showrunner On How The Series Is A Celebration of Queerness
Courtesy of Freevee; Sonia Recchia / Stringer

The upcoming Freevee show is based on Tegan & Sara Quin’s best-selling novel.

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Tegan and Sara Quin’s teenage story of sisterhood, love, and indie music star origins comes to the screen this fall in High School, and yes it’s going to be very, very queer.

During a panel at the Summer TCA press tour last week, the cast and team behind the upcoming Freevee series discussed how High School is a celebration of girlhood and queerness, along with the pressures to do the story justice.

The show centers on the Quin sisters, as played by TikTok stars Railey (Tegan) and Seazynn Gilliland (Sara), during their high school years in the ’90s. It follows their tumultuous relationship, their young love lives, and the discovery of their musical synergy, set to a backdrop of grunge and rave culture. The challenge of telling that story right was somewhat alleviated thanks to the duo finding the right people to bring it to life. “We probably would have been more nervous if we hadn’t had [co-show runner Clea Duvall] right from the start,” Tegan said. “Clea and I and Sara have been friends for a long time, and when she approached us about turning the memoir into a TV show, I think Sara and I just felt reassured right away that somebody who cared about us, and our family and friends was at the helm.” 

That’s not to say it wasn’t an intense and strange experience for the twins, despite having gone through something similar when they released their memoir in 2019. “It’s very surreal, it’s very nerve-wracking. We’re definitely preparing our family and friends for this next part of the journey,” Tegan reveals. “But, you know, when we wrote our memoir a few years ago, we set out to do something that we thought was really important which was tell a story about queer women, and specifically about music, and coming out, and adolescence in a way that was really smart and intelligent. And I think Clea and [co-show runner Laura Kittrell] absolutely nailed it.”

That the show would become a celebration of queerness and girlhood was important to the Quins, as was that it be lead creatively by queer women. “Sara and I being queer women, we wanted queer women to be at the helm of this show,” Tegan told PRIDE. “Clea and Laura were the absolute perfect partners in this and have taken that queer story and made it so beautiful.”

Railey and seazynn gililand in High School

“It’s a show that queer 15-year-old me really needed and wanted in her life, and it’s also a show that 36-year-old queer me really needs and wants in her life. I think there’s...I don’t know, I haven’t seen anything like it,” Kittrell shared with PRIDE. “I’m really proud of the queer romance that we have. I’m proud of the queer friendships that we have that I don’t think that you see a lot on television. I feel like you get kind of the one character and their love interest, and you rarely really get all of these different shades of the queer experience. And I’m proud of that.”

High School premieres on Freevee October 14. Watch the teaser trailer below.

RELATED | Sara Quin Surprises Fans With New Baby Reveal on Instagram!

 

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Rachel Shatto

EIC of PRIDE.com

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.