Writer Shevon Singh describes The Switch, the brainchild of Amy Fox, as an “unexpected sitcom.”
The pilot, which just wrapped up shooting at the end of July, follows Sü, a thriving software manager who suddenly finds herself out of work, openly trans and crashing on her ex’s East Van couch.
“What it’s really about is transitioning, and so in a very practical way, we follow Sü as she transitions from male to female, or as she completes that transition and starts to own her new identity,” director Monika Mitchell explains.
“I feel it has tremendous universality, because I know it’s rare that the story of someone transitioning from male to female gets told, especially in a light, witty, magical way.
“But I feel as though every person who has gone through any life crisis — from immigrating to a new country, getting divorced, experiencing the death of a loved one — all of those are really painful experiences that blow up your identity, and then you have to go through what we lightly term transitioning but is really the reassembly of your identity,” Mitchell says.
Many viewers will be able relate to Sü (played by Julie Vu) as she looks at life through the filter of her new identity. “She’s finally given herself this gift of owning her new identity,” Mitchell says, “and she struggles not to put it back in the closet, so to speak.”
Despite bumping up against the heaviness of marginal living and multiple oppressions based on race, class, queerness and more, Sü is an optimist.
“She is the person we all wish we could be when we fall on such hard times,” Mitchell says. “Even when she makes mistakes or does things that are goofy or just flat-out stupid, you’re behind her, because life gave her lemons and she’s making some kind of crazy, fabulous, pink lemonade with a splash of vodka.”
In addition to the pilot, Fox and the creative team behind The Switch are looking to develop six more half-hour episodes for Season 1 and a short documentary called A Different Trans 101.