AF­TER­NOON SNATCH

Bitch: A Feminist Response to Pop Culture - - SCREEN REVIEWS - Di­rec­tor: Elly Tier { open tv } —Ash­ley ray-har­ris

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 non­bi­nary 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.

Af­ter­noon Snatch of­fers a world where non­bi­nary char­ac­ters aren’t de­fend­ing their right to ex­ist, but sim­ply are.

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