Clea DuVall directs several episodes of the coming-of-age series based on the band’s own teenage experiences.
Tegan and Sara’s teenage years serve as the inspiration for Freevee’s all-new, original series, High School, which is adapted from the band’s 2019 memoir by executive producers and co-showrunners Clea DuVall and Laura Kittrell. Ahead of its fall debut, ET has an exclusive first look at the series’ cast, including TikTok personalities Railey and Seazynn Gilliland as Tegan and Sara, respectively.
In addition to an image of Railey and Seazynn, who are making their TV debuts with the series, ET also got a first look at special guest stars Cobie Smulders and Kyle Bornheimer, who play the twins’ parents Simone and Patrick.
High School, which is also executive produced by Tegan and Sara Quin and Laura Kittrell, as well as Plan B’s Dede Gardner, Carina Sposato and Jeremy Kleiner, is the latest anticipated LGBTQ-centric project about finding your own identity, and how that journey is made even more complicated when you have a twin whose own struggles and path to self-discovery mimics your own. Set against the backdrop of the 1990s’ rave and grunge culture, the dramedy will weave together parallel and discordant memories of two sisters growing up down the hall from each other.
“This is not, like, a goofy, surface-y show about sisters who fight over clothes. Like, this is our story. It is about identity and it is about depression and it is about drugs and alcohol and it is about sex and it is about homophobia,” Sara told ET, explaining that they wanted the series to “feel sophisticated.”
When ET last spoke to Sara, she opened up about adapting the memoir for TV and reuniting with DuVall, who they previously collaborated with by contributing original music to her queer Christmas rom-com, Happiest Season.
“I remember our agent being like, ‘Man, I can see this being a TV show or a movie.’ And we were like, ‘Really, are you sure?’” Sara said, recalling how they never wrote the book with the expressed intention of taking their story to the screen.
But soon, they realized there was an opportunity to expand queer storytelling on screen. “We don’t see stories like ours told very often,” she said, explaining that “a story about queer teenagers who are not, like, feminized or who are sisters” is very unique.
As for working with DuVall, who co-writes and directs several episodes of High School, Sara said it made perfect sense to team up with her here. “She’s not just our friend, she’s actually kind of a sibling,” she said, explaining that they’ve spent Christmases together and have been a part of each other’s adult lives for years.
“After she read the book, she called us and said, ‘Look, I would be honored and humbled if you would let me try to take this material and turn it into a television show,’” Sara recalled.
Now, High School is set to debut on Freevee on Oct. 14. During the network’s presentation at the Television Critics Association’s 2022 Summer Press Tour, the series unveiled its first teaser, giving fans an even closer look at what’s to come.