This Close, the first television show to be written and run by Deaf creators, has been renewed by SundanceTV for a second season. The show, created by and starring Joshua Feldman and Shoshannah Stern, has been praised for authentically portraying deafness, described by Vulture as being a “terrific, quietly groundbreaking series.”
Stern and Feldman began writing together in 2015, eventually crowdfunding their first web series Fridays, on which This Close is based. Their original Kickstarter quickly surpassed its $6,000 goal, and the duo was able to submit a total of five episodes to the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. After making a positive impression on Sundance, the series was developed into This Close, serving as the debut series for SundanceTV’s streaming platform, Sundance Now. The first season premiered on Valentine’s Day of 2018.
The show follows best friends Kate (played by Stern), an ambitious publicist working hard to keep up with the world around her, and Michael (played by Feldman), a graphic novelist reeling from the trauma of a past relationship. In an interview with the New York Times, Stern and Feldman discuss their vision for the show. Drawing inspiration from Girls and Transparent, the show highlights the interpersonal struggles of the two main characters as they deal with careers, relationships, and mental health. The characters’ deafness impacts the story, but Stern and Feldman make it clear in their interview that they don’t want deafness to be the only thing in these characters’ lives, nor do they want their characters to serve as perfect role models for the Deaf Community.
SundanceTV recently announced that a second season of This Close would premiere in the fall of this year. A recent trailer shows that the upcoming season will continue to tackle serious topics such as addiction and depression, as well as lighter moments such as the struggle to properly pilot a canoe. This Close Season 2 will premiere September 12th, and you can watch the first season on Sundance Now.