Signal 23 TV continues to release some pretty riveting and groundbreaking series. Yep, the network that brought you Steel River, About Him, About Justin, Tex Brown and more is back with a new heart-wrenching series, Uncle Joey.
Starring the network’s newest web star, Thomas Mackey, the series tackles and makes social commentary on HIV, an issue that has long plagued the LGBTQ community. Although there have been great medical advances in the fight against the disease, the stigma attached to it is as venomous and damning as ever. Check out the extended trailer for the new series below:
Just watching this trailer brings out a whole array of emotions. The first being how powerful it is to see a character with HIV in such a prominent role. This is all very touchy subject material and its enaction will really tie into the success of the series and how the audience receives it. Second, we love seeing the relationship between Joey and his nephew.
We have seen Jordan Preston Carter as “Quincy Young” on Tyler Perry’s The Haves & The Have Nots, but never in a role like this. Seeing a young child question a grown man about his HIV status is brand new territory indeed! Finally, and truly, we have to give Henderson Maddox his props on casting Thomas Mackey. The man is walking piece of art! You may remember him from the web series, Triangle, but we are sure you will be giving his Uncle Joey role top billing after viewing the series.
We are really surprised Signal 23 TV decided to move forward with a series about a man living with HIV and having to deal with the personal and social repercussions of that. Henderson released the following statement via the company’s weekly newsletter last week:
Message From The CEO,
No one ever forgets the moment when you walk in to the doctors office to get tested. Instantly you remember every encounter and every mistake you may have made. Chills creep up your spine of the mere chance of knowing you may walk out with your life being changed forever. Three times in my life I took that dreadful journey. Three times I fell on my knees thanking God for protecting me. As I get older sex is still amazing but Im so ever cautious about who I engage with. And when I do engage making sure to always do so safety. Vowing that I never want to have to walk down that hallway and sit in that chair again. I never want to sit on the edge of the green chairs waiting on the colors to change in the testing instrument. I never want the fate of my life to be spoken by someone else. Although I know HIV is not as fatal as before with all I have going on I can’t imagine dealing with another obstacle.
For a while now fans have asked me to tell a story of a character struggling with HIV. For a while now I have put it off. I was fearful of telling what I thought was such a sad story. Fearful of telling the story and offending individuals who’s day to day life is living with the virus. When Thomas Mackey came to Signal 23 TV I knew from watching him he was more than just a supporting character. He had leading man all over him. I took time trying to figure out what could his story be about. I knew I had to touch on a new topic. I first decided to touch on a relationship between a father and son. I also didn’t want to exactly create another “gay” character. The character either had to be straight or “bi”. Then I thought about “curious”. No one ever touch on the “curious” storylines as much. I asked myself what is his struggle. I remembered film “The Pursuit of Happiness” and I started to strip the character of all the basic things you need to raise a child. I then said that’s just not enough. It came to me, “What if he is living with HIV?” This was an opportunity to not only show an amazing struggle but to educated people on the disease. More importantly educate them on the disease in 2017, not the 2001 outdated news that echoes in our brains. Nervous about what Thomas may feel I remember sending the text. I told myself no matter if he accepted the role or not I would create the series. After he accepted moments later I named the character Joey and the series Uncle Joey. I am so excited to create such an amazing story. And to top that off the cast is ricilously talented. Thomas Mackey who such a raw find and needs no introduction, Jaquay Wilkerson who I think is truly the next Will Smith. Wilkerson just has a certain swag about himself that you just can’t say no to. And to top it off his acting chops are far past most in Atlanta. Monyetta Shaw plays Elise and she so talented and soon more will realize she is more than just a drop dead gorgeous mother of two. Finally the icing on the top is my little secret weapon. Jordan Preston Carter from HAHN is the cherry on top. The beautiful ensemble is sure to be one know world wide by the end of the season. I have never been this excited about telling a story and trust me you are in for a treat.
Let’s all be sure we support this series guys. Happy viewing!