Jen Tullock and Hannah Pearl Utt aren't a couple, but they play one on TV. Close friends and writing partners, they co-star in the new Super Deluxe web series "Disengaged," which raises the question: now that we can marry, should we?
"We wanted to tell a story about co-dependency," Tullock, a self-described out, proud lesbian, told SFGN. "We found ourselves in relationships that we were deeply rooted in and couldn't escape from. That became the perfect springboard for a story not only about gay marriage, but about modern relationships and how the vocabulary for them is shifting and evolving."
"We are reassessing our thoughts about marriage," added Utt. "A lot of our friends are getting married and divorced."
Tullock is a comedian, a writer and a voice actor. Also a musician, she's released "Jentari," a rap album. She's been seen as a "sardonic soccer mom" in national ads for Twixt, Wal-Mart and and Toyota. Utt is an actress with a number of independent films to her credit. The women are partners in "Dodge and Demure," a production company in which they collaborate on projects to showcase themselves as actors and writers.
Utt, who has a boyfriend, calls herself "a proud ally," and said that she was "passionate" about gay rights. "I'm passionate about all human rights," she said. "It was sad to see that my friends did not have the same rights as me."
"Disengaged" follows the humorously mad adventures of Sydney (Tullock) and Jules (Utt), a lesbian couple who are feeling the pressure to get married in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling legalizing gay marriage in all fifty states. Marriage may not be right for them, but they proceed anyway. The series makes its point through neurotic humor akin to Woody Allen--in the hilarious second episode, Sydney and Jules' wedding planner has a meltdown in front of them.
"Humor is how Jen and I deal with everything," Utt pointed out. "We don't know how to communicate without humor."
The women assured SFGN that they were not against gay marriage. "It's wonderful that we now have the right to decide for ourselves," said Tullock. "As a young, queer person, I'm not blind to how hard people before me fought. I'm grateful for the work they did."
A lot of my friends happen to be gay," Utt said. "Its a basic human rights issue--I'm baffled that the prejudices exist."
Both women acknowledge that the legal protections which come with marriage are important, but agree that 'tying the knot' may not be right for everyone.
"Just because you can get married doesn't mean you should," Tullock said. "There's a lot of sociopolitical pressure to get married--I saw and experienced the pressure to get married. The humor in "Disengaged" is how these women decide to be the torchbearers for an institution that's not right for them. We want to satirize the narcissism that's rampant in our generation."
"I don't mean for the show to sound anti-marriage," Tullock said. "It's more about the ritual of the marriage machine. These are things that can't be described as funny or sad. They exist in that middle ground. Our relationships are filled with joy and pain."
The first season of "Disengaged" can now be viewed on You Tube: http://bit.ly/23lFLfY