Noting the marked dearth of queer Asian characters in current TV series, Curtis Casella and Kyle Cabral asked, “Where are all the queer people of color?” then created a series of their own, “Paper Boys,” where nearly three quarters of the cast and crew were Asian-American, African-American, Latino, or trans.
(New York, NY) April 20, 2018–On May 10, Dekkoo.com, the global streaming media service catering to queer men, launched the six-episode first season of “Paper Boys,” a romantic San Francisco-based dramedy about discovering who you are–and, with a newfound magical power–becoming who you want to be.
“Paper Boys” tells the story of Cole, who, in a brash decision, secretly moves to San Francisco under the guise of his straight best friend’s engagement party to escape a dead-end career and the memories of a passionate summer fling with a boy in New York.
But when he arrives, he runs into the former fling and old feelings resurface. And after his friend, Daren, reveals his engagement was an accident, Cole uses the mysterious powers of a re-discovered sketchbook to try to put their lives back on track, whatever the consequences.
About the Creators
“Paper Boys” was created by Curtis Casella and Kyle Cabral. Casella writes, directs, and edits, and Cabral directed the first two episodes and plays Cole. The two initially met when they both lived in New York City, and became friends when they realized they shared a passion for storytelling.
Casella and Cabral (above with cinematographer Dan Chen) self-funded the first two episodes out of their own pockets and funded episodes 3 & 4 with Kickstarter. They had shot and released the first two episodes when Dekkoo stepped in to finance, expand and release “Paper Boys” as their fourth original series. Previous Dekkoo original series include “Feral,” “Love is Blind” and “I’m Fine.”
Cabral, Casella and cast members Sarah Elizabeth and Kai Liu announce the Dekkoo signing.
Cabral describes the somewhat-autobiographical “Paper Boys” as “the story of a young, gay Asian-American artist who moves from New York to San Francisco looking to jump-start his career and relationships, and discovers he has a magical power that allows him to reshape his life through his art.”
In real life, Cabral is a director, producer, illustrator, and animator who has created cinematics for video games (The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones) as well as his own queer art.
Three-quarters of cast, crew Asian-American, African-American, Latino, trans
In addition to being that rare queer series centered around a gay-straight male friendship and the struggles of millennial friends at disparate stages of their careers, diversity was also important for the creators, so nearly three-quarters of the cast and crew is Asian-American, African-American, Latino, or trans.
“There isn’t much media out there that explores these issues from the point of view of a queer person of color, or even a person of color,” says Cabral, who is Filipino-America. “One of the things that is really important to us is that ‘Paper Boys’ isn’t seen as just a series with gay people of color, but a series with gay people of color with a story and characters audiences like and want to see more of.”
When asked if they planned to expand the show to appeal to straight audiences, Casella says, “I don’t really care about that, to be honest. Straight people have literally every other show on TV that represents the varying experiences of being a straight person in today’s world. I think Kyle and I are proud for people to think of ‘Paper Boys’ as a ‘gay series’. There should be a lot more gay media!”
Watch “Paper Boys” here.
What they said about “Paper Boys” Episodes 1 & 2
“Paper Boys is a delightful new series that takes the sometimes harsh reality of being a confused millennial trying to juggle love, a career, and a new city, and spices it up with a bit of magic to make it all the more captivating.” – The Huffington Post
“It’s fun, sexy and a unique way to look at the gay world of twentysomethings.” – HeSaid Magazine
“It…does impressive cinematic justice on a small budget, but more importantly it feels relatable for combining gay and straight characters into something resembling real life.” – Queerty
Dekkoo (pronounced “DECK-koo”) is the premiere subscription-based streaming service dedicated to gay men, providing the largest streaming collection of gay-centric entertainment available, boasting a larger selection than Here TV, Netflix or Amazon. Dekkoo is available internationally via iTunes, Google Play, AppleTV and Roku. In the U.S. and U.K. Dekkoo is also via the Amazon Dekkoo Channel. Dekkoo original series include “Feral,” “Love is Blind” and “I’m Fine.” www.dekkoo.com •
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“Paper Boys” stills and behind the scene photos.
Stills by Dan Chen.
Behind the scenes photos by Ariana Minolli.