As the digital-entertainment sphere continues to grow alongside the nation’s self-isolation blues, Screen Australia and SBS have announced development for a new queer comedy web series which is sure to take your mind off the world outside (yes, that still exists).
‘Iggy & Ace 5eva,’ is a 6-part digital black-comedy which explores friendship, addiction and recovery through a deliberately queer lens.
Announced as one of three web series established through the Digital Originals initiative, Iggy and Ace are two gay alcoholic best mates who live, work and play together. After Ace decides to get sober, a rift develops between the two friends as Iggy rejects the idea of recovery.
With the potential for Iggy and Ace to go into production for SBS On Demand, Star Observer sat down for a Zoom call with the show’s Sydney-based creators, AB Morrison and Hannah Ngo, to pick their brains about their inspirations for creating original and diverse forms of queer-media.
“It’s a bit personal,” AB said when asked about their inspiration behind creating ‘Iggy & Ace 5eva’.
“I had a close friend who suffers from alcoholism and, in fact, died from it. So, it’s something that I don’t think we get to see a lot of on-screen.
“I think that alcohol is so accessible, and we see a rise of drug use and alcohol go hand-in-hand, so it’s something that definitely affects the community.”
Hannah also touched on the use of comedy despite the series’ seemingly bleak overtones, noting that comedy is used to universalise an experience that is only truly understood by those in the LGBTQI community.
“We wanted to address this as a comedy as well to make it accessible for all audiences. After all, AB loves to say that ‘in life and in art, comedy and tragedy go really well together,” she said.
AB chimed in quickly: “Are you seriously quoting me in a quote Hannah? Wow, that’s so meta!”
AB and Hannah noted that while the show is designed to focus its story through a queer lens, they kept in mind that the prevalence of alcohol addiction spans across all walks of life and instead opted to focus the queer-lens solely on Iggy and Ace.
“The characters happen to be queer, but also are fully-rounded and in-depth individuals,” AB said.
“What happened with my friend was the seed of the idea, but otherwise we’re still in development, so we really want to focus on the main concepts of entertainment. Yet, we also want people to question their relationship with alcohol and other drugs.
“That would be a cheeky bonus,” AB noted wryly.
“The characters are meant to be on different levels as well, just like a lot of these toxic relationships that span from addiction,” Hannah said.
“There’s one who’s really apathetic about recovering, and there’s one whose actively seeking it out. It’s important to talk about. Alcoholism is more prevalent in the LGBTQI community.
“So we really want to find the balance between universal relatability for everyone, while also making sure that LGBTQI people feel that greater resonance.”
AB quickly chimed in: “We promise it’ll be good, though, please trust us!”
Development is still underway for ‘Iggy & Ace 5eva,’ but keep an eye peeled, and a bottle-opener handy for SBS in the near future!