The Hinterlands

The Hinterlands logoWritten and directed by Michelle Elliott and Danny Larsen, The Hinterlands is a compelling musical web series that tells the story of a teenage boy, Paul.

Set in what’s assumed to be Middle America, The Hinterlands follows Paul as he traverses the often lonely world that is life as a closeted teen. Dealing with bullies, homophobia and insensitive parents, Paul considers taking his own life, something all too real in the current climate of rampant teen suicides.

From the series website:

Meet Paul. He’s 16. He’s into theoretical physics. He lives in the middle of nowhere. And he’s gay. Being a scrawny, queer science nerd practically makes him a bully magnet. And as the harassment piles up, Paul contemplates taking his own life. In THE HINTERLANDS, a six-part musical miniseries, Paul struggles to keep his head above water as he confronts intolerance, his sexuality and the rocky path of adolescence.

The Hinterlands screenshot of Paul filming with his iPhone.

Distinctly dark and melancholy, The Hinterlands doesn’t shy from exposing physical, social and cyber-bullying for what it is: damaging. And yet, its true message is that hope and compassion are just as common as pain. Coupled with PSA messages from The Trevor Project, the web series calls out to saddened teens (it’s intended audience) to tell them that there are others out there who think they’re “worthy of love.”

The Hinterlands screenshot in a high school.

The songs are awesome (I particularly love the opening number and “The Boy That I’ll Never Know”) and the directing is surprisingly well done. Though at times a little overdone, The Hinterlands has a relatable protagonist and a much-needed message of hope. You should probably share this with whoever to get the message out that It Gets Better.

The Hinterlands screenshot of Paul getting bullied.

The Hinterlands screenshot of Paul being cyber-bullied.

The Hinterlands screenshot of Paul at a funeral, lying next to the grave.

The series is also reminiscent of Bare: The Musical, another wonderful musical focused on gay teen suicide. Check out the first episode (and musical number) of The Hinterlands below.



Episode 1: “The Hinterlands”