Anyone who has ever tried to dismiss the story as “boring” will eat their words as soon as they see it fellow travelersShowtime’s upcoming historical fiction series that reminds us: You can’t spell “Annals” without…well, you’ll see…
Based on the 2007 novel of the same name by Thomas Mallon. fellow travelers is, at its core, a decades-long romance between two men: Hawkins “Hawk” Fuller (Magic Mike‘s Matte Bomer) and Timothy Laughlin (Bridgertonis Jonathan Bailey). But it’s also a fascinating “travelogue” of sorts, tracing changing cultural attitudes toward queerness from mid-century to the early ’80s.
The men meet in D.C. at the beginning of McCarthyism, when U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy stoked fears of Soviet-Russian influence and tried to track down left-leaning individuals seen as adherents of communist ideals. This movement also included the Lavender Scare – a time of moral panic surrounding homosexuality.
But just because gay men like Hawk and Tim had to stay closeted in public doesn’t mean they kept a low profile behind closed doors.
Actually, loudly a new preview piece from EWThat sounds like fellow travelers gets real and blunt about bedroom politics, giving viewers “some of the most erotic depictions of same-sex sex ever shown on a premium television network.”
In conversation with the cast and the creatives behind the series, the EW The feature gives us a glimpse of the very specific sexual chemistry between Bomer and Bailey’s characters. “What sets [the series’] “Aside from the sex scenes, they move the story forward,” says Daniel Minahan, who directed the first two episodes. “The way they move the story forward is based on the transfer of power that takes place between them [the characters].”
To put it a little more bluntly, what Minahan is trying to say is that it’s pretty obvious from the start who’s on top and who’s bottom in this relationship, but their dom/sub dynamic is constantly changing and even shaping the narrative of the series.
It seems like every two weeks there’s an online argument about whether or not sex scenes in film and television are “necessary.” So we’re excited to see what these people will say about it fellow travelerswhere it sounds like sex Is the point, in many ways.
A brand new clip offers a tantalizing glimpse of just that. In the middle of a pretty serious work meeting, Hawk starts playing with Tim’s chest hair – and even tweaks his nipples a little. Tim tries to get the more connected Hawk to invite him to a social event, and he knows exactly the trick:
“I’m your boy, right? Hm? And your boy wants to go to the party,” he demands as he gets on his knees between Hawk’s legs.
“How much does he want to go?” Hawk asks as his “boy” slides further and further down.
Well then, good! You didn’t lie fellow travelers gets hot and heavy!
Elsewhere in the EW piece, series creator Roy Nyswaner (who also wrote last year’s gay romance starring Harry Styles, My police officer) shares that one of their only rules for depicting sex on the show is that they would never do the same thing twice.
“[The rule] was that we wouldn’t perform the same sexual act more than once or the same combination,” Nyswaner reveals – which sounds like it was harder to follow than they realized. “I remember when we were writing Episode 8, my co-writers and I said, ‘What haven’t we done?'”
As if this wasn’t already one of our most anticipated TV shows of the year! Now we have (at least) eight more reasons to tune in.
Of course it isn’t Only about the sex, although everyone involved seems fully aware that sex sells – they even admit that last year’s leaked set photos of Bomer and Bailey frolicking shirtless on the beach were “not a bad thing”.
But Nyswaner and his team seem pretty confident that they have an “emotional and powerful show” that queer people of all ages can see themselves in.
We’ll find out on October 27th fellow travelers Premieres on Showtime, with episodes streaming simultaneously on Paramount+.