It's been said before, but we'll say it again: Representation matters. It especially matters when it comes to character portrayals in television and film, which often serve as the broadest means of communication in the Western world. Shaina Feinberg had this in mind when she created Dinette, a BRIC TV series that premiered October 8 about a group of female and gender non-conforming friends navigating relationships in Brooklyn. The six-episode season that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival primarily takes places in a local diner where Feinberg's characters converse, eat, argue, and check-in with each other every day.
"Dinette treats queer characters in a matter-of-fact way —they are flawed, dynamic, sexy, romantic, granular— they are part of the culture and daily life in the same way that mostly cis male characters have been presented historically," Feinberg tells Broadly. "I grew up watching movies and TV that showcased dudes hanging out with other dudes. Rarely did I get to see women hanging out with other women in a way that represented what I saw in real life. So when I got to write Dinette I had, like, two decades of scenes stored up."
Having created content for Refinery29, RIOT, Shatterbox, and IFCʼs Comedy Crib, Feinberg's specialty is depicting the intersections of gender, sexuality, and comedy in a thoughtful way on screen. "In the final episode, there is a scene with Jude Dry and Drae Campbell —both masculine presenting people. After we shot that scene they were both like, 'We wouldn't normally get to be on screen together because people would just think we are the same type.' Which is ludicrous. They are not the same type at all, despite being masculine presenting," Feinberg says.
"It's time we have more representation of all the many kinds of women and gender non-binary people who exist in our lives. Dinette is what our world looks like, it's just not a world we get to see on TV."