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Girl In The Woods’ Krysten Ritter On Directing An LGBTQ+ Love Triangle In Teen Monster Hunter Horror Series

Minor spoilers are ahead for The Girl In The Woods. 

When it comes to YA genre movies or television shows, it's almost assured there will be a love triangle baked into the fold. In regard to Peacock and CryptTV’s The Girl in the Woods, its core trio find themselves caught in their feelings for one another. But in a rare and refreshing bit of TV, these relationships are a lot more nuanced than Team Carrie or Team Nolan. The monster hunter horror series from director/executive producers Krysten Ritter and Jacob Chase, of Come Play, who helped construct a queer love triangle that speaks a lot to what it can be like as a high schooler today trying to understand oneself. 

In The Girl In The Woods, now streaming exclusively on Peacock, Stefanie Scott’s Carrie escapes from her colony and finds shelter in Sofia Bryant’s Tasha. There’s a spark between the two of them, as Tasha also wrestles with her longtime feelings for best friend Nolan, played by Freaky breakout Misha Osherovich. Meanwhile, Nolan struggles with gender identity. It’s one of the most intriguing elements of the show, which director/EP Krysten Ritter spoke with us about. In her words: 

I love the relationships in our show. Carrie, our main character, she’s from a colony, a cult really, where they see the world in a very different way. So it was an opportunity for us to comment on how people view things in the modern world because in their colony, people are not judged by their gender or their sex, they are judged by their spirit, so that’s how we got to approach this show and our love triangle goes everywhere and it’s about the people connecting with each other, it’s not about any kind of identity, it’s about who loves who. You never know who’s going to get together and that was really fun for us creatively.

Throughout the show, we learn about Carrie’s ex on the colony, Kylie Liya Page’s Sarah, as she begins to become attracted to Tasha all while monsters erupt in her small town. Ritter shared with us that she really loved exploring all the dynamics of the show's relationships. It also makes it more fun on the creative side because which characters get together is a lot less cut and dry than a more traditional teen series. Reed Diamond, who plays Carrie’s father and colony leader Hosea shared with CinemaBlend why the series’ LGBTQ+ elements spoke to him as a father himself: 

This is literally the show my daughter has been looking for, forever. My daughter is almost thirteen and she’s looking for a show that has horror for real, mythology, good scary horror and she’s looking for really good LGBTQ+ representation, so when I read the pilot I go, ‘Oh my god, I have to do this show, I have to be in this, because this is the show my daughter most wants to watch… What she’s looking for in a current show is to see the LGBTQ+ representation to be a matter of fact, not a focal point. She doesn’t want to see LGBTQ+ representation geared just for a straight audience. When I saw that relationship between Nolan, Tasha and Carrie, I go ‘these are the conversations I’m having everyday with her.’ It’s what she and her friends are thinking about. It’s so current and it’s so real.

Reed Diamond may play an inhibited colony leader but, as an actor, he felt incredibly rewarded to work on this inclusive series that puts LGBTQ+ youth front and center without its characters being solely defined by their sexuality and gender. Important conversations are present in the series about this topic, but there’s so much more to these characters than their genders and sexualities. And ultimately, it's all handled in a very sophisticated way. 

CinemaBlend also spoke with series star Misha Osherovich, who shared their thoughts on the LGBTQ+ love triangle they get to be part of as Nolan. As Osherovich told us: 

I can’t get over how appreciative I am about their friendships that evolve into love relationships that surprise even this trio. That’s what life is, it’s messy, romance is messy, especially when you are a teenager and so many times teen shows get that wrong and it becomes very sort of romance novel-y, but that’s not what we ended up with, we ended up with a group of kids realizing ‘oh, shit’ I have feelings and it’s amazing.

All eight episodes of the first season of The Girl In The Woods can be streamed on Peacock. And be sure to check out CinemaBlend for other great LGBTQ+ shows that should be on your radar.

Sarah El-Mahmoud

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.