“SUBURBAN GOTH” IS A WEB SERIES written and developed by Toronto-based writer, Chandler Levack. Levack, whose work has been featured in SPIN, The Village Voice, Toronto Life and the National Post, amongst other publications, studied film at the University of Toronto and is a recent graduate of the Canadian Film Centre Writer’s Lab program. She’s just come up with this project at we, the people of TSJ, think it rules.
The original 10-minute short of “Suburban Goth” was directed by CFC director Virginia Abramovich and edited by Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux. “Blackbird’s” Alex Oserov plays Tyler (who apparently crushed it at the audition when he showed up in Gene Simmons facepaint).
The Smoking Jacket: Why’d you want to make a show called “Suburban Goth”?
Chandler Levack: As a fellow non-conformist who grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, I wanted to write a TV show about the bleak hilarity of suburban life. Tyler’s black metal convictions are so strong but have deep irony to them — he hates his parents because he thinks they’re phonies, but he relies on them for rides to the mall.
TSJ: What’s gonna happen to facepaint Tyler out in the ‘burbs?
CL: Our series challenges Tyler to grow up while also trying to hold on to his individuality. In every episode, he learns that the world outside his parent’s basement isn’t quite as black and white as he thought it was and is tested to see his parents as people. In many ways, he’s a Holden Caulfield in KISS clothing.
TSJ: Is Tyler based on anyone you know?
CL: The character of Tyler is also inspired by my younger brother, who is actually named Holden and the music of Reversing Falls, who are an amazing indie rock band based in Montreal, whose song “Curse This Place” is “Suburban Goth’”s existential anthem.
TSJ: What does your brother think of you writing a character based on him?
CL: My brother is happy about it, I think.
“He hates his parents because he thinks they’re phonies, but he relies on them for rides to the mall.”
TSJ: Tell me about the timing/setting of the story.
CL: I think that the period between high school and when you are supposed to start your “real life” is of endless fascination to me. I’ve always been attracted to writing about outcasts, coming of age stories and the challenge of how to be an individual in the world. In future episodes, Tyler will be forced to bond awkwardly with his father, take the Go-Train to his first concert at a goth club and will work on his solo music project “Macaulay Falcon.”
So stay tuned and as always, stay goth!
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