As queer adult women there are experiences that many of us share: we all have that ex we can’t get over, that crush we know we shouldn’t have and there’s that one straight girl we know to avoid for the fear of falling a little bit in love with her. Yet these experiences aren’t reflected in the many shows about adults finding their way in the world.
Lena Dunham‘s HBO series girls was hailed as ‘the show’ for women in their 20s, but the show is too white (despite being based in New York City) for us to buy into. Friends is funny but having started in the 90s it’s about as inclusive as a group of grumpy old men and Sex and the City is so heterosexual that it borders on offensive. So it is a struggle to find shows that represent us and entertain us which is why we should be looking away from our TVs and at the web instead.
One show that takes the best bits of Girls, SatC and Friends (with the queerness of The L Word thrown in) is Rent Controlled, a new web series from tello Films.
Rent Controlled introduces us to the fabulous (yet hapless and pathetic) Heather Dean. A queer woman of colour, she’s got limited funds, schoolwork to keep on top of and she’s dating with a woman named Jennifer who doesn’t love Heather as much as Jennifer loves herself. Relatable so far? You bet it is; so when the two inevitably break up and Heather’s heart cracks into a thousand tiny and adorable pieces you only feel for her even more.
Not that the heartbreak is completely ‘wring your heart out’ though, or really sad at all. The seven episode season mostly focuses on Heather navigating her living situation (her and Jennifer share a room in a house belonged to a couple named Ted and Carla), picking herself up and dusting herself off with the help of Kyle and Lauren (her best friends) all in hilarious fashion.
There’s misinformed daytime drinking, night time underage drinking, and dealing with the outcomes of having drunk too much. Along with the alcohol there’s also awkwardness, make-outs, first dates, new friendships, bad dancing and, in the best description of an episode ever, Rent Controlled also features tello’s “first ever lesbian dance mob”.
The development of Heather is also a fantastic reason to watch. As mentioned, you really do feel for her (even though episodes are around seven minutes long) simply because you’ve been there, done that and can either find the humour in your adult mishaps or you’re looking for a bit of hope.
No matter where you fall on that scale, Rent Controlled is a great pick me up and is one of those binge watch-y type of shows (like OITNB on Netflix) that you’ll want to marathon and then watch all over again just to relive the giggles. Head over to the Tello Film’s website to find out how to watch it.