Although I watch my fair share of cat videos, I find I often need more substantial fare to watch. If a series has a strong point of view, an interesting story, and strong performances, I’ll want to watch – whatever the genre. I’ve seen quite a few series about 20-somethings finding their way in the world. None has been quite so impressive as Dorell Anthony’s Pride, a gritty drama about a quartet of friends and their extended circle of family, friends and lovers. Heading up the cast is creator Anthony as the lead character, Kai, Ashley Mitchell as Kai’s sister, Trina, and Braden Bradley and Adam Rios as Kai’s best friends, Travis and Adam, aka Sheneeda.
Dealing with a number of gay archetypes, from closeted to drag queen to macho, as the complex story unfolds these men become less caricatures and more characters. Pride refers not only to gay pride in general (the story begins on Pride day), but also to Kai’s blog entitled “Pride”. Voiceovers of the blog posts are used as an effective soundtrack to many scenes. It’s a device that works particularly well, especially in the later episodes as Kai’s blog gets hacked.
Parties, sex, drug deals gone wrong, betrayals, relationships frayed –all those things and more are found in Pride. Each member of the superb cast delivers a wholly believable performance. A special mention goes to DP CJ Baker whose camera seems to make New York City a character in the series. Dorell Anthony’s script teamed with Brandon Polenco’s excellent direction (he also plays Luis) make Pride a show you’ll want to see more of. Watch Seasons 1 and 2 of Pride on Amazon Prime.
By Susan Siniawsky