Stranger Hearts is a subtle illustration of how varied gay people can be
Now more than ever, we have a sense of how we are all in this together. The new original series from the gay streaming service Dekkoo, Stranger Hearts conveys that sentiment by following three seemingly disparate, but surprisingly intertwined characters—Andre (newcomer Qua Robertson Harper), Billy (musician Matt Moran) and Luka (played by Amo of MTV’s The Challenge and The Real World: Go Big or Go Home).
“I wanted to tell a story about interconnectedness,” said filmmaker Kevin James Thornton about his first serial work.”It’s interesting to me that within a minority group like LGBTQ, there are so many types of people that this could be explored within itself.”
Andre is a shy young African-American man struggling with his sexual identity. When his mother finds a stack of gay porn hidden in his closet, the truth starts inching ever closer to the surface. Luka is a gender non-conforming photographer who has fallen on hard times. In need of a steady job, Luka decides to dip their toe into the risky world of escorting. Billy is a smooth-talking media mogul who finds his life turned upside down when he’s diagnosed with incurable heart disease. While waiting for a transplant, he begins reevaluating his life and learning to appreciate the people closest to him.
As their stories unfold, we experience each individually as they gradually expose where their lives overlap and connect, concluding with a surprise ending. By sharing stories of these three very different characters, Stranger Hearts is a subtle illustration of how varied gay people can be, and how, unlike the typical stereotypes. While they are fictional, the three main characters are portrayed as authentically and empathetically. They all go about their normal lives at a pace that feels legitimate.
Themes such as coming out, relationships (both personal and professional), and hopefulness are explored. Andre’s mom invites him to open up about what she already knows with, “I hope my baby would tell me anything. You don’t have to be scared to tell me anything.” When he decides to finally come out to her, she says, “I raised you. I see you. I always see you, and I love you more than anything, no matter what. You are loved.”
The mother-son dynamic is further represented when Billy’s cleaning lady (who happens to be Andre’s mother as one example of the show’s interconnectedness) tells him to allow his mother to take care of him during his illness. She says, “You let your mama come here and take care of you. You might think you don’t need it, but she needs it. Don’t take that away from her. And you do need it.”
The stories flow, and the characters connect more and more until the shocking ending, which is alluded to in the dialogue: “Where do we go from here? A relevant question at any point in the story unless, of course, you’re at the end.”
All five episodes of the first season of Stranger Hearts are on Dekkoo, which is available internationally via iTunes, Google Play, Xbox, AppleTV, Xfinity X1, and Roku. In the U.S. and U.K., Dekkoo is also available via Prime Channels.
So, if you’re looking for something to binge, you can watch the first season here: strangerhearts.com