Bridget McManus can be considered a lot of things (and rightfully so): a host, director, screenwriter, comedian, creator. But there’s one position that she’s managed to transform into a web series that is equal parts funny, endearing, and honest – wife.
McManus’ web series “Happy Wife Happy Life” features two married lesbian couples, including McManus and her wife of a decade, Karman Kregloe, discussing, debating, and dissecting the ins and outs of relationships.
“I always hear marriage is difficult, even challenging,” says McManus in a phone interview. “We love the idea of couples talking about how great it is to get married. Marriage is fucking awesome.” McManus and long-time friend Cat Davis conceived the idea, later asking their respective wives to be a part of the self-produced show.
McManus hadn’t even thought about marriage before meeting her now wife, but “love at first sight” became a reality when she met Kregloe. They married in 2008 and were among the 18,000 same-sex couples who were able to get married before Prop 8 was passed. They were grandfathered in, but that allowed McManus to see the immense privilege in being a married lesbian couple.
“Marriage is two people coming together to make each other’s lives better,” says McManus. “It’s letting the person you’re with flourish and allowing yourself to evolve, too.” It’s this sentiment that drives the show’s core; being a partner in all senses of the word and allowing for mutual respect and growth. The four women offer an insight into how to make the most out of married life and allows for a very literal glance into what married lesbian couples look like for younger queer people.
The show has unconsciously begun to recode the heteronormative marriage therapy trope into something more queer-centered and humorous, qualities that has led to the production of two seasons (and counting) of the web series. McManus is delighted with the response to the web series, but stresses that there is still a distinct lack of LGBTQ content in the mainstream media, but urges young queer people to seek out and even create their own representation.
“Everyone can put their stuff out there on the internet,” says McManus on finding more LGBTQ media. “[The internet] levels the playing field; of course, it’s not 100 percent leveled, but that doesn’t mean the minority can’t flourish and thrive too. I just want to see more queer content. I want to see more points of views and perspectives.”
McManus has seen the “nonstop growing and thriving” in the queer community but acknowledges it may not be accessible to everyone. Web series like “Happy Wife Happy Life” have gained mainstream traction for the LGBTQ community and become an important and central platform for new queer creation.
“Happy Wife Happy Life” season 3 premieres on June 3 on tello Films and was recently submitted for an Emmy Award in the “Outstanding Short Form Variety Series” category. McManus is working on multiple other projects as well, with no signs of slowing down in sight.
Watch episode 1 from season two below: