The boys of The Queens Project are back and better than ever. The hilarious webseries debuted its second season in late 2017, and it picks up where we left off with Ash (Ken Arpino) and Gabe (BJ Gruber), while giving more screen time to the comical ensemble cast as well. Fans of the series will be delighted that the episodes for Season 2 are a bit longer than they were in the first. Also, they’ll notice that the production values have increased. This didn’t happen by itself though, and it’s really thanks to viewers like (hopefully) you.
After premiering on YouTube in May 2015, the first two episodes of the The Queens Project started to rack up views (the second episode now has over 1 million views). This led to more episodes being written and filmed, which then led writer and star Ken Arpino and his co-star BJ Gruber to start a crowdfunding campaign for a second season. “With that money,” says Gruber, “we shot Season 2 over five days. It was much easier to make a continual and cohesive story.” The funds also allowed them to use better equipment to film and edit the second season, which is why the production value is visually improved.
The writing for the season doesn’t squander the opportunities unlocked by the crowdfunded finances either. “For Season 2, I really wanted to show off the fact that we had a killer ensemble cast,” explains Arpino. “And, I think that they really delivered.” Viewers have responded positively to the expanded roles for Nick (Trey Gerrald) and Nick 2 (Tim Murray) and the addition of Andre (Andre Jordan). “They’re really enjoying more than just Gabe and Ash at this point,” says Arpino. “They’re enjoying their world.”
Yet, Season 2 doesn’t shy away from the possibility of a budding romance between Ash and Gabe. “Gabe and Ash have been friends for a really long time and after Season 1, when Gabe gets outed as a closet nerd, Ash sees him in a way that he hadn’t really considered Gabe before,” says Arpino. “So, their black and white relationship becomes gray.” This kind of plot can feel familiar, but it is inspired by events from Arpino’s own life. “I truly do write things that happen from my real life, it happens to other people too,” Aprino explains. “So, I just keep it natural to my story. I can only tell it the way that my eyes see it.”
With Season 2’s cliffhanger ending, fans will be happy to know that the stories of Ash and Gabe will continue. But, Season 3 will also be informed by the outpouring of love that the ensemble cast has been receiving. “The coolest part about Season 3 is that it’s truly not just about Gabe and Ash anymore,” says Arpino. “You’re going to get to really meet Nick, Nick 2, Andre, and Trey – the guy who becomes Ash’s sublet when Gabe books his job.” These fun and funny additions to the series are fully welcomed and embraced by the shows co-stars, which is why the audiences love them too. “Within our very talented ensemble cast, we give everyone an opportunity to showcase their skill sets,” says Gruber.
Because of the success of the crowdfunder for Season 2, Arpino and Gruber launched an IndieGoGo campaign for Season 3 on January 24, 2018. “We really want to be able to keep our production quality the same or take it even higher,” explains Gruber. “If you have anything to spare and enjoy watching us, please donate.”
The funds raised for The Queens Project also benefit the larger project that Arpino has created by bringing eyes to his It’s Get Funnier channel. “I want It Gets Funnier to be a place where people can share and enjoy comedy in a constructive and streamlined space,” explains Arpino. Inspired by the creative efforts of people like Kit Williamson and Matt Wilkas, Arpino’s goal is to create a community of LGBTQ artists creating and sharing high-quality comedy. He envisions this space being easy for viewers to access the work, binge on the shows, and enjoy this art for free.