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In The Girls Guide three’s company too

It isn’t surprising that some have made comparisons between the trio of characters in the new web series The Girls Guide and the threesome in a popular 80s sitcom, but writer and director Justine Stevens insists it is purely coincidental.

“I have never watched Three’s Company,” laughs Stevens. “There are a few people that have brought up the reference, so I guess I need to check it out.”

Beyond both shows featuring two women and a man though, there really are few other similarities.  And even while Jack’s sexuality may have been the butt of many jokes in Three’s Company, in The Girls Guide the story forgoes the innuendo by focusing on the exploits of lesbians Lucy and Victoria (played by Christa Andersen and Briana Rayner) and their straight friend and roommate Shaun (Lucas Blaney).

Members of the cast of The Girls Guide: Seanathen Hewlett, Natasha Alexander, Briana Rayner, Lucas Blaney, Christa Andersen and Chelsey Moore.

Members of the cast of The Girls Guide: Seanathen Hewlett, Natasha Alexander, Briana Rayner, Lucas Blaney, Christa Andersen and Chelsey Moore.

Born out of writer and director Justine Stevens desire to do a final project with classmates from a BCIT television and video course, The Girls Guide was also her answer to a lack of lesbian content on the internet and a way to present a story in which being gay wasn’t the real issue.

“It was important to have characters who were already confident about their sexuality,” explains Stevens.  “I didn’t want it to be about coming out, but more about making relationship choices.”

More than a single focus on lesbian relationships though, The Girls Guide also focuses on the straight roommate Shaun, a decision that Stevens says came from her own life.

“That came from the fact that I was living with a lesbian and straight guy,” explains Stevens.  “The lesbian-straight male dynamic is a fascinating one to me as there are a lot of similarities in that they all love girls; a lesbian and a gay male don’t have that same connection.”

Both writer and director on The Girls Guide, Stevens says the writing came out of necessity, while the directing is where her real passion lies.

“I want to be a director so directing was always going to be what I wanted to do on the show.  I wrote it because I had the idea and so I had a show to direct,” she explains.

Another necessity was in having to film all the episodes at the same time, as the house the roommates share in the series was to be demolished.

“The way we filmed it was quite different partly because our main location was going to be torn down,” laughs Stevens. “All of our actors had other jobs too, so we were working around 9 to 5 work schedules.”

Pleased with the reception the online series has received so far, Stevens is open to the idea of more.

“If there is a place for it I’d be thrilled to make more, but we’d have to find a reason why they all moved because we don’t have our location anymore,” she laughs.

New episodes are released each Thursday. Visit http://www.youtube.com/user/TheGirlsGuideTV.

Mark Robins on Google+

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