I like science fiction, mysteries, TV, and queer representation, so stumbling across the pilot for After Oil is a Venn Diagram of perfection.
The concept is simple, if a little too real these days. After years and years of use, the world has just run so low on oil, it can’t sustain itself anymore. In the five years that have passed, Briar Dunlop took on the challenge of raising her younger sister and turned her paper route into a delivery service that brings rations to townspeople … for a fee.
Everything is working out alright, a little dangerous but nothing Briar and her Pahokee Riders can’t face. That is, at least, until her youngest rider, Earl, goes missing. Spurred by caring for her riders, Briar and her girlfriend Sarah retrace Earl’s last ride and make a rather gruesome discovery. But more than that, they may have stumbled upon a revelation that will change Pahokee forever.
What if there is more oil?
Young Adult Fiction, Queer Audience
It’s not a secret that I love YA fiction. I read The Hunger Games and Ready Player One, and while I enjoyed the telling of those stories, it constantly annoyed me that I didn’t see young me in them. There was a smart young woman, sure, and the nerdy one with glasses or a dramatic birthmark, but where was the young queer? Where was the youth struggling with both her terrible world and her daunting reality?
While I’d love to say “dystopian novels are post gender/sexuality” that just isn’t the case. In fact, in a post-apocalyptic world, people might be even more obsessive about heterosexuality, as continuing the human race would ‘depend on it.’ If you’ve ever read Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan series, she created a world that fell back through time due to lack of resources, and actually addressed those issues.
All this is to say, it’s rare to see a story where you find yourself represented just as you are. After Oil has a queer PoC protagonist who has a girlfriend (so no celibate ‘mom’ persona here).
Check out the Pilot
Want to see more than just one episode? You know how this works.
Good luck, After Oil. I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of the show!