This article appears in our 2017 Fall issue, Facts. Subscribe today!
It’s not easy for a show to capture the radical and diverse undercurrent of queer communities, but this is the goal of Open TV, an online television distribution platform that places inclusion, artistry, and storytelling above mass appeal. This year, Open TV premiered Afternoon Snatch, a web series that hilariously examines rituals of healing, accountability, and support in Chicago’s queer communities.
Created by Kayla Ginsburg and Ruby Western, Afternoon Snatch follows Annie, the humor editor at a feminist magazine, after she suffers a horrific breakup. Over six episodes, Annie’s ragtag queer family helps her move forward and find a new joy in the people who surround her. Featuring nonbinary characters and a diverse cast, Afternoon Snatch does more than most modern TV series—including Queer As Folk, Will and Grace, and The L Word—to realistically explore queerness and homosexuality.
Nonbinary characters are allowed to live fully on the show, rather than being politicized poster children meant to teach us a lesson. Take Sky (Theo Germaine), Annie’s coworker and friend who uses they/them pronouns. Sky is sexually explorative and the show’s comic relief; they’re able to lift Annie’s spirits while dealing with their own new romance. Sky isn’t subjected to tragedies, but experiences much of the same joy—especially when it comes to sex—that we all do. When you compare this to the few mainstream shows that have given non-binary characters any sort of spotlight, such as Degrassi, Sky’s arc isn’t simply centered around the difficulties of being nonbinary.
Afternoon Snatch offers a world where nonbinary characters aren’t defending their right to exist, but simply are. Annie and Sky navigate their gender nonconforming romances as feeling, thinking, hilarious people. They aren’t educational tools for a largely cis audience, and this makes the series feel radical in its exploration of the gray areas of the gender spectrum and sexuality. The modern sitcom still relies on cheap, offensive jokes at the expense of gay communities, but Afternoon Snatch proves that humor exists in shared experiences.
Afternoon Snatch does well by the mission of Open TV. If you’ve enjoyed the platform’s other offerings—such as You’re So Talented, Brown Girls, or Brujo—it’s a perfect fall binge follow-up.