Wednesday, October 9, 2019

REVIEW: Indoor Boys

Creators and stars, Alex Wyse and Wesley Taylor
The award-winning web-series Indoor Boys recently released its third season, and, Broadway fans, it is a doozy. Created by and starring Broadway favorites Alex Wyse and Wesley Taylor, they have dreamed up a heady cocktail of really funny, really biting, and, ultimately, really fulfilling stories of gay life as a millennial. The basic story is that of two gay young hipster roommates - one a professional stock photo photographer (Taylor), the other a rich kid trying life on his own (Wyse). The joke is that neither of them are seeing life realistically - I mean, stock photos don't portray reality, and living life "on your own" isn't really happening when your parents pay all the bills. That, and we never see them outside their apartments, hence the title of the show.

Happily (for us, anyway) they take their lives seriously, and the snark and manufactured drama is hilarious. And I mean riotously, laugh out loud funny! Taylor's character's self-absorption is matched only by Wyse's character's self-pitying insecurity. Of course, we eventually find out how much of all of that is a façade and what it is covering. Being gay at any age, on any coast, isn't easy.

(top to bottom) Sean Grandillo, Carolee Carmello and Wesley Taylor
Over the three seasons, we see each of the boys work through a series of partners (or just one), meet their equally self-obsessed wannabe influencer friends, neighbors and family. They are a crazy bunch. Here's where the writing is particularly excellent: each character has a specific... oddity... equally endearing and repulsive. The humor cleverly navigates the tricky road of hyperbole and grounded emotion. And here's where the casting over all three seasons is particularly perfect. Nearly everyone in it is a Broadway baby - even the small roles. Anyone and everyone on the theater scene these days appears in the series, including cameos from Alex Boniello, Andre Ward, Noah Galvin, Deirdre Goodwin, Stephanie Hsu, Drew Gehling, Frankie Grande, Josh Lamon and dozens more.

Krysta Rodriguez and Isaac Powell

Daniel K. Isaac

Major roles are played by such stage greats as Carolee Carmello and Veanne Cox (as their mothers), Michael Tacconi (The Cher Show, Bare) as a semi-famous movie star and object of affection, and hilarious turns by Krysta Rodriguez and Isaac Powell as incestuous siblings (yes, you read that correctly), Ann Harada as a, well, unusual landlady, and a sweet potential partner, played by Daniel K. Isaac. Season three also features the delightfully dim and really adorable third roommate, played by Spring Awakening and Rise's Sean Grandillo. Stage actors prove, once again, they are the best in the business.

The Indoor Boys: Alex Wyse and Wesley Taylor
The best thing about the whole series, though, is the writing, which is packed with content, but never feels rushed. It is biting and smart, clever, but not mean. And the characters are sharply drawn, but complex. And while the plot gets exceptionally crazy, it is always balanced with a grounded humanity. These are all people I'd like to know. And both Wyse and Taylor display comedic gifts and (especially in season three) some serious dramatic chops in front of and behind the camera. It is miraculous that in such a short cumulative time, one can get so invested in these best friends with issues. My tears of laughter shared space on my cheeks with tears of raw emotion more than once.

For those of you unacquainted with the series, you can find the whole thing HERE. And, even better, you can binge all three seasons in just about three hours. Unfortunately, if you are like me, you'll be disappointed when it is over. I could have sat glued to my laptop for three more hours and still wanted more. There had better be a season 4!

Grade: A+

📸: Courtesy of Alex Wyse


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