Friends Billy (Jordan Nichols) and Daniel (Seth Daniel) find themselves needing to find a new flatmate when their current one Jordan (Tristan M. Garner) is caught taking drugs. Once they deliver the news to Jordan that he has to go, the friends come together to recruit a new housemate and the mysterious Carter (Chase Brother) is introduced into the fold by Billy’s friend Emily (Leah Beth Bolton).
Feral is a new TV series that tells its story over the course of 10 episodes, roughly running around 20 minutes each. Unlike the traditional TV format, Feral doesn’t particularly follow the kind of narrative structure that you’d expect. Instead the show spends each episode focusing on different scenarios and exploring the lives of the individual characters. One episode is told exclusively through flashback giving greater insight into Billy’s love life and explaining why he is feeling so lost and despondent in the present day.
Billy channels his energy into making a film about his experiences to explore his feelings while Daniel becomes increasingly frustrated with his desire to make art and dealing with a relationship that he really doesn’t seem to care all that much about. The backdrop for the show is Memphis so it has a different feel to other shows of a similar nature. It doesn’t have the glamorous edge of say Girls or Looking, instead taking an arguably more realistic look at life as a gay man in your 20s.
One of the most intriguing aspects of the show is the introduction of Carter. Emily has her eye on him but Billy finds himself drawn to him too. Neither know if he’s gay, straight or bisexual and Carter’s cards are played close to his chest. It’s a strong performance from Chase Brother who makes Carter intriguing and memorable, despite not really having all that much to explore over the 10 episodes.
Feral is a bold series but it does have its problems. A little too often the show gets bogged down by the artistic endeavours of Billy and Daniel, and in particular Billy’s film comes off as a little pretentious and far-reaching. It takes you back to the days of Dawson’s Creek when you scratch your head and wonder if anyone really thinks and talks in the way that he does. The pacing is a little all over the place too and it’s hard to fully invest in the characters when you spend so little time with them, and in some cases that time is infrequent over the 10 episodes.
There’s no doubt that creator Morgan Jon Fox has something to say and Feral for the most part succeeds. As with the first season of any show, the road is a little rocky and I’m hoping that with the next season Feral finds its feet. There is a lot of promise and potential here but a more full-rounded storyline and a little less navel gazing by the main characters would make the show stronger and more rewarding for the viewer.
Cast: Jordan Nichols, Leah Beth Bolton, Seth Daniel, Chase Brother Director: Morgan Jon Fox Duration: 154 mins Certificate: 18 Released By: TLA Releasing Release Date: 30th January 2017