Nyle DiMarco has proven himself as a model, winning America's Next Top Model. He's proven himself as a dancer, having won Dancing With the Stars. The multihyphenate has also proven himself as as an actor and staunch activist for deaf communities. And now, he's going to behind the camera as executive producer for Netflix's heartwarming and relatable Deaf U.
If there's one thing we've found Netflix can do extremely well, it's finding a binge-worthy docuseries — Tiger King and Cheer anyone. If the trailer for Deaf U is any indication, the streamer has another hit on its hands.
The show revolves around a group of college students attending Gallaudet University, a private college for deaf and hard-of-hearing students — DiMarco graduated from there in 2013. Throughout the series they live their lives: class, relationships, and more.
"Gallaudet's undergrads are 700 women and 300 guys," one woman signs in the trailer. "And the women here are just wow." And there we have it, our first lesbian kiss of the season.
The show depicts the same sort of run of the mill college drama we've come to love and expect — one character is complaining that people think he's a fuck-boy while his friend confirms that's what he acts like — while also giving visibility and representation of deaf and hard-of-hearing communities. We see this in big moments when cast members discuss coming from a hearing culture and how some find issue with their mouthing, and others like when a server puts a bottle between two people at a dinner — the bottle, ostensibly would block the view of their hands making it more difficult to communicate. The series will debut on Netflix on October 9.
The project is one of a few DiMarco has in the pipeline. In July he sold a comedy starring him as a deaf man as a half-hour project. That month, he also revealed he is developing a feature film based on the book Deaf President Now! The 1988 Revolution at Gallaudet University.
"The project is set during the week of protests at Gallaudet in 1988 after the University's board of trustees selected a hearing candidate for president of the school over several equally qualified deaf candidates," The Hollywood Reporter reports. "After eight days of rallies, boycotts and protests — known as 'The Week of DPN' — the selected hearing president resigned and Dr. I. King Jordan was named the university’s first deaf president."