Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Stan’s Mind-Bending Binge, ‘Now Apocalypse’
'Now Apocalypse' is streaming now.
Ever feel like there are cosmic forces beyond your control messing with your life?
Now Apocalypse is Stan’s new 10-episode series set in Los Angeles and focusing on relationships, success, the LGBTQI experience and… aliens.
To be honest, it’s tough to define Now Apocalypse because it’s so unique, which is a good thing; even the show’s tagline is “WTF?”
What’s It About?
Ulysses (Avan Jogia) and his mates Carly (Kelli Berglund), Ford (Beau Mirchoff), and Severine (Roxane Mesquida), are in their 20s and obsessed with love, sex and fame in Hollywood. Ulysses starts getting anxious when strange dreams hint at a conspiracy. Or maybe he needs to turf the weed?
The show’s creator, co-writer and director, Greg Araki, describes the show as being “like a queer Sex and the City meets Twin Peaks”.
Who’s Behind It?
Now Apocalypse is executive produced by filmmaking legend, Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovich, Traffic, Ocean’s 11, The Girlfriend Experience), and Araki co-writes all the episodes with author, Karley Sciortino.
Araki is a critically acclaimed filmmaker who made his mark in independent cinema throughout the late 1980s and ‘90s with films like The Living End, Totally Fucked Up, The Doom Generation, Nowhere, and Splendor.
In 1992, the film critic, B. Ruby Rich, wrote a landmark article in the Village Voice (later re-published by Sight & Sound) where she listed Araki as part of what she labelled the New Queer Cinema movement, a vital period in cinema history where independent films, made by and for LGBTQI people, told stories that addressed homophobia, AIDS, identity and more. These films had a stark reality that stood in contrast to stereotypical depictions of LGBTQI people in mainstream cinema.
Rich described The Living End as:
“Araki’s stylistic end runs have paid off, and this time he’s got a queers-on-the-lam portrait that deserves a place in movie history – an existential film for a post-porn age, one that puts queers on the map as legitimate genre subjects. It’s quintessentially a film of its time.”
During this period, Araki also helped nurture the careers of Rose McGowan, Parker Posey, Ryan Phillippe, Heather Graham, and Mena Suvari.
Araki kept working though the ‘00s with Mysterious Skin (starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Smiley Face and Kaboom, which became the first-ever film to win the Queer Palme at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. He made White Bird in a Blizzard in 2014, but it was released to mixed reviews, and subsequently, became his last film credit before re-emerging in television, directing episodes of American Crime, 13 Reasons Why, and Riverdale.
It was in his TV days that Araki met Sciortino, the founder of the blog Slutever and Vogue’s resident sex and relationships columnist.
Talking to Paste Magazine Sciortino said, “I wrote a feature script that he [Araki] was interested in directing and we were trying to get it made for a couple of years … Then he came to me like, ‘I have this idea where it’s these four twenty-somethings and they’re in LA, trying to figure out their lives, and there’s this conspiracy theory component’. It was a rough sketch of what the show is. He asked if I wanted to write it with him. I write a lot about sexuality and relationships and that’s a big component of what the show is.”
Araki says he bonded with Sciortino over their approach to sex: “We both very much feel that sexual adventures and confusions and all the hook-ups and mistakes you make when you’re young are a super important part of growing up and becoming who you’re gonna be. I don’t think of the characters [in Now Apocalypse] as promiscuous or slutty, but as being young and figuring out who they are.”
Another big part of the show is its setting, Los Angeles, Araki’s home: “LA is that place where dreams and reality and fantasy blend together. The world of the show is very surreal, like anything can happen. And that’s what LA is.”
Who’s In It?
The cast is made up of actors mostly known to those who watched Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel as kids. To add to the show’s authenticity, Araki casts a lot of actors who were former teen stars in sitcoms; you can tell their awareness of the mechanics of Hollywood aids the depiction of life in La La Land.
Avan Jogia plays Ulysses and previously appeared in the teen series Victorious and the short-lived Battlestar Galactica prequel series, Caprica.
Kelli Berglund is Carly, another former teen star who spent five years on the sitcom Lab Rats, and Beau Mirchoff – who remains shirtless for most of Now Apocalypse as Ford – has appeared on Desperate Housewives, CSI: Miami, and The Fosters.
The cast all look like they should be on Riverdale or Girls, but Araki and Sciortino’s take makes those shows look tame in comparison. If your thirst has never been properly satisfied by all the raging hormones on shirtless TV dramas, Now Apocalypse delivers with sexual energy big time.
Now Apocalypse rides on a sexual sci-fi wavelength with a little millennial burnout and a pinch of stoner paranoia, meaning you can invigorate your TV schedule with something truly unique.
(Images courtesy of Stan Australia)
Watch the outlandish and addictive new series, Now Apocalypse – now streaming only on Stan.