Michael Feldman and Michael Rachlis don’t want to redefine marriage, but they’ll happily give traditional unions a satirical spin.
The actor-comedians wrote and star in “Michael and Michael Are Gay,” a new web series that explores what marriage looks like for two “lovable, sex-positive” gay men in the 21st century. The men dropped the series’ debut episode, “Threesome Night,” on Tuesday. The clip, which can be viewed above, finds the couple’s attempts to invite a third man into their bedroom ending on a decidedly unsexy note. (Warning: As you really should expect, the episode contains graphic language.)
Feldman and Rachlis, who are based in Los Angeles, told HuffPost they felt inspired to explore “the expectations [of] what a marriage should be” after they tied the knot in 2015. Although “Michael and Michael Are Gay” is loosely based on their own experiences, they stress that their onscreen characters are “exaggerated versions of ourselves,” with a “magnifying glass on each of our flaws and neuroses.”
The result, they said, is a bit like “Broad City” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” ― with a queer twist, of course.
“We were so excited to start this new chapter of our lives together being both in love and unapologetically ourselves,” the men said in an email. After three years of domestic life, they discovered that “marriage, and the way you express your commitment, means a lot of different things to different couples. And a lot of straight couples feel that way, too.”
“So that became a big part of our mission with the show ― to open up people’s minds to what makes a ‘model’ marriage ― whether you’re gay or straight,” they said.
The men hope to pick up where “Threesome Night” leaves off by expanding “Michael and Michael Are Gay” into a full season of six episodes, and they’ve launched an online fundraiser to finance the production. They’re mostly tight-lipped on what viewers can expect from the remaining five episodes, but a Feb. 16 teaser features cameos by “EastSiders” stars Kit Williamson and John Halbach, as well as YouTube comic Michael Henry.
In real life, Feldman and Rachlis have an open relationship and “don’t want to apologize for the way we construct our marriage.”
Still, they said they want to be clear that “spicing things up with some ethical non-monogamy ... doesn’t make our marriage or commitment any less valid than anyone else’s. But the truth is we often do feel that way, and even go to great lengths to hide it from people. So this series is a way to explore the absurdity of those insecurities.”