Gregg Araki said he wanted to make a “crazy, wild ride” of a show like Now Apocalypse for the last 20 years. He was speaking Tuesday at TCA alongside the cast of the Starz sex comedy on a rambunctious panel where topics including the role of the intimacy coach were addressed.
Araki, who has directed films including The Doom Generation and Nowhere and is heavily involved in New Queer Cinema, said that he was a big fan of shows such as Sex and the City, Girls and Insecure.
“I’ve always wanted to make a show like that but I don’t feel like you can do that in 2019 because it’s been done, you run out of stories, they’ve all been done so the whole alien UFO conspiracy, dark David Lynch creepy aspect, all of that is the special sauce that keeps this show [weird],” he said.
Now Apocalypse is a coming-of-age half-hour comedy series from Araki and Steven Soderbergh. The 10-episode show, which debuts March 10, stars Avan Jogia as Ulysses, who is struggling to figure out his life in the surreal and bewildering city of Los Angeles. Kelli Berglund stars as Carly, Beau Mirchoff as Ford, and Roxane Mesquida as Severine, all of whom are on quests pursuing love, sex and fame. Between sexual and romantic dating-app adventures, Ulysses grows increasingly troubled as foreboding, premonitory dreams make him wonder if some kind of dark and monstrous conspiracy is going on — or if he is just smoking too much weed.
Soderbergh and Gregory Jacobs also serve as executive producers. Araki directed all 10 episodes and co-wrote the series with author and Vogue.com sex columnist Karley Sciortino, who is also the creator and host of Slutever on Viceland.
Now Apocalypse features a lot of sex but Araki revealed they “didn’t have the time or the budget or the schedule” for an intimacy coach as all 10 episodes were shot in 40 days. He said that he preferred actors to talk to him about any issues. However, he added, “It was important to create a safe environment, but it is another day at the office.”
Mirchoff said the show was liberating to work on and it broadened his horizons, while Mesquida, a French American actress, joked there were no intimacy coaches or nudity waivers in France.
“What is so scary about sexuality? It’d like cold water, just jump in and don’t think about it,” she said.