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CBC Comedy's newest web series, by Toronto's Kyle Humphrey and Graydon Sheppard, launches November 21
When Toronto’s Graydon Sheppard and Kyle Humphrey first uploaded Shit Girls Say to YouTube in 2011, they didn’t have any high expectations.
“I kind of woke up, went to work, and then I started getting all these emails and interview requests,” Sheppard says, who was working a day job as an assistant at the time in addition to creating his own film work. The video had gone viral, with a lot of us sheepishly admitting that Sheppard’s imitation of a certain type of contemporary womanhood was more spot-on than celebrity guest star Juliette Lewis’s. Episode 1 now has more than 21,000,000 views, with a ton of “Shit [various kinds of people] Say” videos of mostly lesser quality following along.
Although only one person recognized Sheppard in public (“I went out on the street a day or two later, kind of looking around, hoping,” he says) – a speech pathologist who recognized Sheppard’s mouth after seeing the video – more significant opportunities came flooding in.
“We got to do a lot of meetings,” Humphrey says on the phone from Los Angeles, where they’ve since relocated. “We had 25 meetings in one week. It opened up a lot of doors down here in the industry, and we got to move here.”
On Monday (November 21), Sheppard and Humphrey are back with Coming In, an 11-episode micro-series you can watch in one sitting on CBC Comedy.
The series follows Mitchell, a gay man who wakes up on the morning of his wedding day to discover that he’s straight. He’s faced with having to “come in” – or come out as straight – to his partner, his family, his friends.
In some ways, it’s refreshing to see gay characters (or in this case, once-gay characters) celebrating and expressing love for queerness, as opposed to the more familiar pop culture narrative of wishing to belong to the heteronormative world.
“When I was young, I felt like, ‘oh God, if this would just go away that would be fine,'” Sheppard says. “That’s a common experience across everybody’s story.
“But it’s more about upsetting your life: is it worth it to come out? Are you going to lose friends or family? How much are you going to have to readjust? It’s about trying to find a new balance. We wanted it to be universal – straight people could watch it.”
Creators Graydon Sheppard and Kyle Humphrey moved to Los Angeles after the success of their viral web series, Shit Girls Say.
Their goal is to develop the brief series into conventional half-hour episodes for television.
“The idea is hopefully that people will watch all 11 at once,” Humphrey says. “It’s a nice little parcel to snack on, and hopefully you’ll come back for more.”
Watch Coming In here. Want more great local web series? Go here.
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