A new television drama series with teen LGBT characters at the centre of the storylines has amassed more than 100,000 views on YouTube for its first episode, but we may never see another episode of the series.
Released in January, Subject to Change is the brainchild of Daniel Mercieca who grew up in the Western suburbs of Melbourne and dreamt about watching an Aussie TV drama featuring same-sex attracted teens.
Today, Mercieca has 75% funded the production of the first (pilot) episode with the rest coming from a crowd-funding campaign which raised more than $27,000 to allow the episode to be post produced and distributed via YouTube.
The plotline is your typical teen angst drama. School hassles, bullying, teachers under stress, boys meet girls etc, but in this instance, the plot quickly shifts to one of sexual and gender diversity.
Set in the working-class suburb of Hedley comes a show centered on the lives of three very close and unique friends: neat freak Ben(Aiden Debono), tomboy Karly(Maryann Wright) and drama queen Evie(Katy Avery).
In the crowd-funding synopsis, Mercieca claims, “Through its coming-of-age narrative, Subject to Change will confront the harsh difficulties faced in suburban Australia by following these young adults as they deal with their complex and conflicting emotions.”
“It will be a rocky, isolated road to love and inclusion through their final years of high school.”
This could be any drama series in Australia whether its Home and Away, Neighbours or 800 Words, the storyline is very similar.
“On one level, Subject to Change is purely a coming of age drama series telling the stories of a handful of high school students,” the narrative continues.
“It just so happens that two of our three lead characters are same-sex attracted. For Australian TV, this will be a first.”
As you can see, the first episode ends with the online to offline hookup for characters Ben(Aiden Debono) and Ethan(James Ritchie). Nothing unusual there (other than reminding us all of our first kiss) but what’s unusual is that if a streaming service or network doesn’t pick up the show to produce it, we will never get to see what happens next.
Many of the 100,000 YouTube viewers have asked why the show can’t just be a web series, meaning that it doesn’t cost as much to produce. Mercieca has other ideas.
“Subject to Change has been developed as a high-quality television drama production.
“The costs involved in this level of production preclude the ability to recoup expenses solely on advertiser-supported web streaming services.”
“We wish we could bring you the whole series right away but for now, we’re looking worldwide for media providers (TV or streaming) who are passionate to make it with us.”
Viewers are asked to share the series on social media and put pressure on streaming services by tagging them in the posts.
Time will tell whether this groundbreaking series can blossom like many others have failed before it.