• 'After Forever' explores the lives of gay men in their 40s. (Amazon)Source: Amazon
The series hopes to change the way older gay men are portrayed in media.
By
Samuel Leighton-Dore

25 Feb 2020 - 4:32 PM  UPDATED 25 Feb 2020 - 4:32 PM

The first season of Amazon digital series After Forever, an emotionally raw depiction of life as a gay man after the age of 40, made history last year by winning more Daytime Emmy Awards than any other LGBTIQ+ drama series in history.

Now it's back for a second season.

Starring out actor Kevin Spirtas, who also executive produces the series with Michael Slade, LGBTIQ+ media organisation GLAAD celebrates the series for changing "the way older gay men are portrayed in media" through "relatable and touching characters who infuse huge humour and heart into the short-form episodes".

Speaking in an interview with GLAAD, Slade conceded that he had been surprised by the show's success, particularly given it started out as "a little passion project".

"That we got Season One made, and aired, and that it developed the following it did was astounding," Slade, a playwright and award-winning children's book author, told the organisation. 

"That we started winning awards at festivals around the world was amazing. That we got 8 Emmy nominations was insane. Still, as Kevin and I headed to the Emmys we agreed we should not have any expectations about winning… and then came the first award and all the others."

He added: "It was like a surreal dream. But by the time Kevin and I stood on the stage accepting the award for Outstanding Digital Drama Series… looking out at thousands of people cheering for us… and for this gay love story, I thought, we really have come somewhere as a society." 

Spirtas, a veteran actor and Broadway producer, said it was rare to see middle-aged gay men portrayed in television and movies, and even rarer to see them "presented as vibrant, sexual, fully human beings."

"Odds are, had we taken this story to the networks, it would not have been made, at least not as it was," he continued.

"But digital series have allowed honest stories to be told about all sorts of groups who have been invisible or nearly invisible on traditional platforms. After Forever has shown there is an audience anxious to follow and become involved in a deep, honest gay love story… and though we wanted to create the series to give our contemporaries a story they could relate to, it has been particularly gratifying to discover that ours is far from exclusively a gay middle-aged audience."

You can watch the trailer for the second season of After Forever below:

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