- A young female couple, Laura and Audrey, are seated at a table in a restaurant, facing one another and seen in profile. Laura is holding her drink, Audrey is gazing downwards thoughtfully. If they are on a date, it would not appear to be going very well.
- In close-up, a male couple, Alex and Mitch, kiss one another in a day-lit wooded area.
- Lucas and Claire walk along a path through some woodlands. It's a sunny day, and the shadows of trees cross the path. Lucas is walking several paces ahead of Claire and has his hands in his pockets.
'Two Weeks' began life as a nine-part web series on YouTube and is being screened in a feature length cut as part of this year's Iris Prize LGBT+ Festival. Guest blogger Lucy Smith takes a look at the series and what this format means for queer storytelling.
There are picture descriptions at the end of this post. Two Weeks is a web-series created and co-written by Mary Duong, which follows a group of friends in Brisbane, Australia as they navigate the trials and changes of their intertwining lives. The series puts a spotlight on queer identities, with the clear purpose of eradicating stereotypes. Duong’s characters are human, relatable, and – as a number of YouTube commenters have attested - real. Mistakes are made, nothing is black and white, and I found myself rooting for characters that sometimes hurt the people around them, understanding their choices and commiserating their failures. The episodes are easily accessible (you can watch all nine on YouTube right now!) and some are as short as six minutes, acting as chapters in the three interweaving stories. At first, I thought a series of very short episodes might mean limited story and character development. In reality, however, what I started to find was that the small flashes which captured the characters’ most important moments immersed me deeper in their lives. We, the audience, fill in the gaps. What is left out is as important as what is shown to us. The beauty of its episodic structure and a platform like YouTube is that you can dip into the story whenever you like, even on a bus ride - but it is very easy to get addicted to Two Weeks! Each episode, like any good short story, cuts straight to the drama and leaves you hungry for more. So yes, I very quickly surrendered and decided to just let auto play keep them coming! I was surprised by how quickly I felt I knew these characters, how invested I was in their world. This unique web-series is well worth the watch. What struck me most was how each character acts out of hope. Whatever they do, whether it’s getting back with a toxic ex, exploring their sexuality, or trying to save a relationship, it’s done with a rare fearlessness. The message that comes through is that our lives should be our own, and we can’t be afraid to live this way. It’s this hope that makes the web-series addictive - heart breaking and uplifting in turn, and ultimately a collection of stories so skillfully and thoughtfully made that their full importance may take a few days to hit home. Lucy Smith is a Cardiff-based writer and the creator of the Talking Ink podcast. Two Weeks | The Atrium (Theatre), Cardiff CF24 2FN | Fri 11th Oct | 3:00pm The screening will be followed by a discussion on web series with Two Weeks' creator and co-writer Mary Duong. Buy tickets Picture Descriptions