As tough as it maybe for gay millennials (we are so trying to avoid the word ‘twinks’ these days) there is life for gay men after they pass their 50th Birthday. And it’s often a damn good life too. However not completely painless, for this is a generation that lived through the AIDS pandemic which decimated so much of our community.
The epidemic started just over a decade after Stonewall and the birth of gay liberation when so many LGBTQ peeps came out of the closet for the first time, and had been encouraged more than ever to start their first real same-sex relationship. Then very quickly In one very foul swoop it also made us embrace the concept that we wouldn’t have the ‘luxury’ of dying of old age, but now had to suddenly deal with tragically losing our loved ones way too prematurely.
Many of the widowers of that period had to deal with their unexpected grief without the support of a family, and also with what became universally known as ‘survivors guilt’.
In After Forever set in contemporary Manhattan, 50 year old Jason (Mitchell Anderson) didn’t have an AIDS related death but Brian (Kevin Spirtas) his husband of some 15 years still had to face a similar reality when Jason was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Now after winning FIVE EMMYS one of our favorite Web Series of 2019 is back with Season 2 and we finally get to see how Brian’s journey continues after losing his soulmate.
The two of them had led a near perfect life in NY, and had been blissfully happy with a very comfortable lifestyle, and great tight circle of best friends. Now Brian is still living in their old apartment but for the past few months he has been dating a hunky new boyfriend David (Mike McGowan) who, believe it or not, he was introduced to by Jason’s parents.
The apartment may still be totally unchanged, and so too are his circle of friends, but Brian has at last finally opened his own boutique PR Agency which Jason had begged him to do for years. Although he believes his initial apprehension was justified about going alone when his biggest client Patti Lupone fires him over some mistake he made
In eight new episodes of some 10 minutes each. we learn how the repressed Brian who cannot open up to either David or his mother, is still very reliant on Jason who still plays a major part in his life. Although Brian may talk about ‘moving on’ the reality is that he is finding it is far easier said than done.
Spirtas (still every bit as handsome when he played heartthrob Dr Craig Lesley in Days Of Our Lives) created the series with Emmy Award winning screenwriter Michael Slade and kudos to them for the sheer authenticity of the script. They beautifully capture the real angst that Brian (like so many of us) are totally unprepared for, and Spirtas’s touching performance of the frustrated widower is so very pitch perfect. It will get you through the first of two boxes of tissues.
Tony Award winner Cady Huffman is back as Jason’s big sister, so too is Jim Newman one of the original Village People, but it is veteran actress Anita Gillette playing Jason’s heartbroken mother who steals all her scenes and will get you though the 2nd box of tissues.
After Forever is an intelligent and highly emotional drama that so accurately reflects aspects of our community that is too often ignored. With its excellent production standards and the sheer passion that Spirtas and the ensemble invest into it makes it worthy of both more Emmys and both our applause and our heartfelt thanks too.
P.S. Season 1 and Season 2 can be viewed on AMAZON PRIME http://afterforevertheseries.com/
P.S. You may also like to check out QUEERGURU’s interview with Kevin Spirtas and Michael Slade https://www.queerguru.com/kevin-spritas-michael-slade-talk-about-after-forever-their-lgbt-web-series-that-won-5-emmys/
PLUS our review of Season 1. https://www.queerguru.com/after-forever/