‘This Close’ Review: A Heartfelt, Complicated Series about Two Deaf Best Friends

In This Close , which will air on the streaming service Sundance Now, one of our two protagonists is a graphic novelist. He’s also deaf, and is confronted by a fan at a signing event about why he doesn’t have that representation in his published work. “Because it wouldn’t sell,” he signs to him, in the frankest possible manner. It’s something that he, Michael ( Josh Feldman ), struggles with throughout the short, 6-episode season, in terms of authenticity. If not him then who? The same issues are faced by his best friend Kate ( Shoshanna Stern ), who is also deaf, as she lip reads and speaks out loud to try to fit in better not only at work (and with her clueless boss, played by Cheryl Hines ), but with her hearing-abled boyfriend Danny ( Zach Gilford ). Meanwhile, Kate and Michael also share an exceptionally close bond, in a literal manifestation of the idea of two friends who speak their own language. That question of representation and working outside of one’s comfort zone are at the heart of This Close , which was co-created by Stern and Feldman out of a fatigue at waiting for meaty […]

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