The New TV Show from Luca Guadagnino (director of Call Me By Your Name) Tackles Issues Like Sexuality and Gender Identity

By Hanna McNeila.

Beyond last Summer’s HBO hit, Euphoria and Hulu’s June release of Love, Victor (a spin-off show of the 2018 movie Love, Simon), queer coming-of-age TV shows are still few and far between. Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino is entering the TV world in an attempt to fill that gap.

The trailer for the upcoming show, which is scheduled to premiere on HBO on September 14, dropped on Sunday and gives the audience a bit more insight into the characters that are about to hit our screens this fall. Guadagnino fans are already waiting with baited breath.

The star-studded cast consists of Jack Dylan Grazer, Chloë Sevigny, Alice Braga, Kid Cudi, and Jordan Kristine Seamon, with an original score composed by Dev Hynes. The plot centers around two teens, 14-year-old Fraser Wilson (Grazer) who moves from New York to a military base in Italy with his mothers (Sevigny and Braga). Upon his arrival, Wilson finds himself growing close to Caitlin Harper (Seamon) who lived on the military base with their father (Cudi) a few years prior.

During the eight-episode limited series, the characters grapple with sexuality and gender identity. One poignant scene in the trailer depicts Sevigny’s character questioning teenager Caitlin Harper on whether she wants to be a soldier, asking, “does your father know that when you say you want to be a soldier, you mean male soldier?”

The trailer is reminiscent of the Guadagnino style. It begins with a piano rift (Rhythm Studies: No. 2 by Jeroen and Sandra Van Veen) similar to the one used in the Call Me By Your Name trailer (Une Barque Sur L’océan From Miroirs by Andre Laplante), and comes as the perfect poetic accompaniment to the opening sentence, “in the body, where everything has a price, I was a beggar,” a line from the poem Threshold by Ocean Vuong, whose poetry explores themes of transformation, desire, and loss.

Guadagnino’s film Call Me By Your Name received Academy Award nominations in four categories, and an upcoming sequel is in the works. Although Guadagnino is widely known for the award-winning movie, the director promised that the upcoming show will be vastly different to his past work. In an interview with Variety, he stated that “Call Me By Your Name is about the past seen through a prism of a cinematic narrative. This is about the here and now. This is about the souls of now.”