Yesterday, we shared news that rugby legend and longtime icon to the LGBTQ+ community Ben Cohen had made his acting debut in British anthology series, Patterns.
The series rather ingeniously casts Cohen as himself—or, rather, as a poster of himself that comes to life to share words of advice to a closeted teen who idolizes him. It’s fantastically camp and, really, who could complain about another opportunity to see the rugby hunk shirtless?
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg with Patterns, a high-concept comedy that introduces us to a world of eccentric characters, and finds them all flitting in and out eight different genres across eight distinctive episodes, all centered on LGBTQ+ themes.
Every episode introduces its own standalone story, each adopting a different comedic style, like slapstick, classic TV sitcom shenanigans, and the extremely British theatrical art of pantomime.
All the while, characters recur across stories. So, for example, someone who pops in for a line or two in one episode might be the lead of the next. No matter which order you watch the series in, the interwoven character dynamics bring new context—and new layers of comedy.
If that all sounds a little confusing, then perhaps director Rex Glensy can help clear things up. Speaking with Dekkoo, he explains the core inspiration for the series:
“In all of our lives, we have these different circles we cohabit. We have our family circle, our work circle, maybe we’re in a Bridge Club and we have our Bridge circle… It’s all very cyclical, and we are ourselves in each of these circles, but we behave somewhat differently depending on who our company is. And Patterns is exactly that: The various circles that we all inhabit, and maybe the habitual behavior we exhibit, regardless of whom it is that we’re interacting with.”
In other words, each episode’s unique genre represents said social circles, and part of the fun is seeing how the characters interact within each. Got it!
Aside from the closeted teen and his Ben Cohen poster, Patterns other stories include a “reverse catfish,” conspiracy theories, pizza deliveryman hook-ups, feuding siblings, reality television drama, and a really hot guy lifting weights while a woman ominously plays an organ. So, yeah, it all sounds pretty wild.
All eight episodes of Patterns are now streaming exclusively on gay streaming service, Dekkoo. You can watch two different trailers below, though—fair warning—neither makes anything about the series any less confusing, and that’s by design.