HIGH DRAMA / Creators of the ‘DL Chronicles’ revive series offshoot after a long hiatus, doesn’t miss a beat
It’s been awhile since we last saw a mesmeric episode of ‘The Chadwick Journals,’ and boy have we missed it. Luckily, just as we were about to write off the series for good, its creators, Deondray Gossett and Quincy Lenear, did us all a splendid favor and announced its resurgence this July. The hiatus, as agonizing as a looming Trump presidency, shouldn’t have been cause for alarm, however. It’s essentially inevitable that the series would eventually return considering its hugely devout fanbase and recurring impact.
“It still seems to be relevant and just as in demand as DL Chronicles,” Gossett tells MOSWN in a recent interview. “Honestly, we’ve tried to move on for the last four or five years, but every time a new generation of young gay black people emerges, we start receiving letters saying the shows have somehow helped them come to terms with their sexuality. Every time we see letters like that we’re compelled to keep going.”
When we last left Chadwick (Damian Toofeek Raven), his pursuit of a book about the undercover lifestyles of sexually duplicitous men is in full swing. His newest subject, Donovan (Nic Few), proves to be more than he anticipates, taking the aspiring writer through an intense, emotion-filled ‘shrink’ session that renders him just as vulnerable as his research participants.
“The show is basically all of the psychological stuff we don’t address inside of the larger show,” Gossett says. “Initially, Chadwick Journals was only supposed to be a fundraising effort. Budget was a concern and we didn’t want a bunch of locations, so we thought about two people talking in a room. These are those first interactions with Chadwick before he wrote the chapters of each guy we’ve come to know collectively as the DL Chronicles.”
Heading into season two, which premieres at this summer’s Outfest, viewers can expect more of the same riveting material.
“This one is a little more like Scandal,” Lenear says. “It’s got all of that fun, heightened TV drama in it.”
“It takes you on the whole ride,” Gossett adds. “There’s drama, irony, and moments where you’re allowed to laugh at the very insane situation Chadwick finds himself in.”
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Chadwick’s focus this time around is the jilted Niquarteli (Thomas Hobson). On the dawn of wreaking havoc in the worst possible way, he comes to Chadwick to share his story. Complicated and unpredictable, Chadwick once again gets more than he bargains for with his latest sit-down.
“It’s a lover scorned tale taken to the nth degree,” Gossett says. “He’s contemplating an unthinkable act of passion that Chadwick has to talk him out of.”
Without unleashing too many spoilers, Gossett goes on to describe the new episodes as being in lockstep with the current aims of black gay culture.
“We’ve evolved from where we were when we first started the DL Chronicles,” he says. “We’ve gone from talking about the proverbial closet to now exploring how we govern and maneuver within our marriages and relationships. It’s sort of a taboo subject that a lot of people don’t usually talk about. We want to throw it out there to start the conversation.”
Gossett also reveals a special cameo appearance by Ty Vincent who plays Trent Porter in Episode Wes of the DL Chronicles. Other cast members include Ingram Anthony (Nigel) and Justin C. Irving (Victor).
A screening tour for the new season is currently in the works, and soon after, the first episode will debut on YouTube. Subsequent episodes will be available via Vimeo for a small fee.
While ‘The Chadwick Journals’ may have taken a hiatus that doesn’t mean Gossett and Lenear followed suit. In fact, aside from prepping the latest episodes, they have been quite occupied releasing a new installment of the ‘DL Chronicles’ titled Thomas and working on shows like CW’s ‘World Dog Awards’ and FYI’s ‘Kocktails with Khloé.’ And who can forget that awesome moment at the 56th GRAMMY Awards that had all of black gay America looking on like proud sons, brothers and nephews.
One of the their next undertakings includes a feature-length variant of the ‘DL Chronicles.’
“That’s the goal,” Gossett says. “We want to expand and flesh out the scripts to become a 90-minute film.”
By doing so he looks forward to relieving some of the constant pressure of new episodes.
“These are independent projects,” he says. “People don’t understand it’s very hard to keep this going. We don’t make a dime. I’ve actually put more of my own money into these shows than I’ve ever made from them. The little bits of money we do receive in donations goes entirely to fund the show. At this point, we do this primarily for the fans.”
When asked to reflect on the significance of their work, Gossett says, “These stories are necessary because we still have quite a few of us struggling with sexuality. When Quincy and I first started doing the DL Chronicles we were in the closet and we were very tired of the same narrative about this phenomenon of gay guys being deceitful with women and spreading HIV. That was never true for us. There’s so many other facets of this experience than the one we keep hearing in the media which damages the community as a whole.”
The two content creators hope that their efforts persists in combating stigmas, and ultimately, pushing people closer to being free.
“Quincy and I went from being in the closet to being out to being married on public television. The emails we continue to receive remind us that everybody has not been along on this ride. Sometimes when you get to a certain point in life personally, you forget that others are still dealing with the things you’ve progressed from. Yes, we’re in a better place, but others may not be. So there’s a lot of work left to be done. Too many of our young people are suffering.”
See the new season of ‘The Chadwick Journals’ at MBBX!
July 17 — 9:00 PM ET — Anthony Liggins Art Gallery, 237 20th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Meet Deondray and Quincy, and the star of the series, Damian Toofeek Raven, after the screening
Click here to purchase tickets