First look at season 2 of Unsure/Positive
An actor, educator and former crystal meth user, Christian Kiley mined his life to create the HIV series Unsure/Positive, which POZ readers voted as Best Web Series in the POZ Awards 2016 (you can watch all of Season 1 on YouTube and UnsurePositive.com; for more insight and thoughts from Kiley, check out his POZ blog).
Busy with the next season, Kiley tells POZ that new episodes will expand on lead character Kieran (played by Kiley), including interactions with a larger mix of HIV-positive characters (think straight Black women). Plus, he says, “I think the perceived divide between those of us who survived a plague and those of us who were diagnosed later on is a fertile area of discourse. It’s a complicated set of experiences and feelings for both groups of people living with HIV and something we’re not going to shy away from.”
For the new season, Kiley and crew will work with LGBT streaming service Revry. Also on board: Danny Pintauro, former child star (Who’s the Boss?) and current HIV advocate. He’ll play Gary, a work colleague. “Kieran will also start dating,” Kiley says, “which will be very interesting. We already shot a date scene!”
What the heck is Merce up to now?
Charles Sanchez and his producing partner, Tyne Firmin, released their candy-colored musical HIV web series, Merce, in the summer of 2015. Since then, the unapologetically flamboyant and fun-loving New Yorker has won fans across the globe (you can watch episodes on MerceTV.com, YouTube, Vimeo and Revry).
So when will we see Merce again? “To be honest,” says Sanchez, who plays Merce, “I wasn’t sure we’d even do a second season. I didn’t know what I had to say as a writer.” Inspiration struck when a friend was talking about the science behind HIV and cure research. “I have to admit that I’d never thought of a cure—of what it would be like to be cured. The idea sparked something in me and shaped my ideas for Season 2.”
Look for cameos by HIV bloggers Mark S. King (playing Merce’s Aunt Bless!) and Shawn Decker, plus an exploration of gay marriage, slut shaming and PrEP. “I was encouraged by people in the HIV community to write the second season,” Sanchez says. “It’s vital to show a view of HIV that isn’t sad or tragic. The advances in treatments have changed what having HIV means. Merce is a part of trying to help people’s feelings about HIV catch up to the science. Comedy is powerful!”
To learn about a new HIV-themed series titled Mess, read “Gay Sex and the City: a Q&A With Paul Victor.”