Step aside, Orange is the New Black. Though we love you, we think we’ve found some new favorite leading ladies representing the LGBTQ community for 2016. These ladies are spunky, clever, intelligent, and let’s just say kick-ass. Sidetrack Series, an accumulation of ten episodes roughly ten minutes each or more, features nine 20-something-year-old lesbians finding their way through life and love in Brooklyn, New York. The web series gives you those laid-back, cool city vibes while incorporating sharp and humorous conversations among the ladies concerning present cultural issues within the LGBTQ community and our generation. The series is a unique one to come by as it has terrific puns, movie references, and of course, characters that make it difficult not to fall in love with thanks to its producers Kayla Upadhyaya, Kirsten Bledsoe, and Celina Vicioso. Here at Cliché, we’re excited to introduce Sidetrack Series and share the inside scoop of this unprecedented series that’s breaking ground.
Upon being introduced to something new, whether in entertainment, fashion, or beauty, curiosity peaks first with the name’s origination. When asked about the name “Sidetrack,” Kayla said, “It took us a while to come up with ‘Sidetrack,’ but it came from a brainstorming session Kirsten, Celina, and I had over a few glasses of rosé one night. The show is about relationships and how we connect to each other. I think people often have a tendency to look at their lives in very linear terms…but I think relationships say more about who we are, which is why I wanted to write a show about relationships of all kinds. In my mind, we were showing the personal, intimate side of these characters and not necessarily their ‘main track’ in life.” This is something audiences will see within the first episode with Sato, a bisexual who shares her heartbreak and struggles in love with another main character in the series, Adrienne, and other than a hook up with SunKissed89, there’s very little we learn of Sato’s life as a whole, or any of the other characters for that matter.
But don’t be fooled! In what appears to be witty chatter and light-hearted get-togethers (Camille and Asa – we’re looking at you!), there’s a plethora of content that grabs your attention and makes you think about gender. Gender is a hotly debated topic in 2016, and it poses the question of whether gender is an inborn label or a reality. To Celina, “As creators of a show looking to create media that would reach a wide audience, it became extremely important to us to drive home the idea that gender is fluid and exists on a spectrum. It’s so important for us to create media that represents many people, and unfortunately, there isn’t any current media seeking to represent non-binary [someone who does not identify with the label girl and/or boy] people through the creation of a non-binary character. We love Jo as a character and are looking forward to seeing how they continue to inspire the masses.”
Following suit of this belief is their drive to represent the Latino community, as Sidetrack’s Instagram page shares their official contribution to the #latinosbreakthemoldproject. The series includes almost all multi-cultural couples, including one of our favorites, Jallie. As important as it is to represent the LGBTQ community, the producers felt it was crucial to provide a universal cast ranging in race and ethnicity: According to Kirsten,“‘Sidetrack’ was conceived as a way to promote stories about people who are often left out of mainstream media. It’s different than most series in a multitude of ways — our crew is completely made up of women, the majority of our cast is women of color, the content is bold and queer-centric. We’re also striving to tell the stories of these eight people from a ‘woman’s gaze’ perspective, following the lead of shows like Orange is the New Black and Transparent. I hope that queer people, especially queer women of color and gender non-conforming individuals, will find themselves represented in ‘Sidetrack.’”
On a further note, we can’t help but feel this isn’t the end for Sidetrack as there are way too many unanswered questions and barely reached topics of discussion. If you have to know if “rom trag” is going to be a thing for some of the beloved characters, fear not because we’ll be finding out soon enough. Celine gave us this insight: “we are excited to announce that we are officially in season two pre-production! We can’t give anything away, but our main goals for season two are to delve deeper into each character’s life, showcase some of their background stories and develop their personal relationships, while continuing to solidify their tight knit friend group. We might be introducing a couple of new characters as well… You’ll just have to wait and see!” And wait and see we will! We’re curious as to whether “rom trag” will make its way around to some of our beloved characters (Radhika & Sloane, we have our fingers crossed for you), and we’re anticipating more hysterical conversations amongst the cast with references from Gilmore Girls, Orphan Black, and Law & Order: SVU – an obvious decision – based on Kayla’s response to that type of dialogue coming about so naturally:“So much of the dialogue in the show includes direct quotes from my life, as well as Kirsten and Celina’s.” What we can be sure to expect from the producers of Sidetrack, their new production company, Slope-Cago Productions, as well as the cast, is their drive to “push back” and as Kayla puts it, “move to change what film, TV and new media looks like, who makes this media, and who succeeds in the industry.”
Photos Courtesy of Kayla Upadhyaya