Sometimes, your best friends can often be the people you know very well – mainly your family. The popular, acclaimed series GILMORE GIRLS demonstrated that axiom for seven seasons as it followed the adventures of Lorelai Gilmore and her young daughter Rory, a duo whose friendship was just as strong as their maternal bond. Now, one new comedy web series imagines such a relationship – in this case, that of a hip, wisecracking gay father and his more mature, adult-like straight son. JUST US GUYS, written and created by Chris Lilly, portrays the often unpredictable yet always loving relationship between Scott Young (played by Craig Watkinson), a single father whose fun loving personality contrasts with that of his son Max Sherman (played by Skyler Seymour), a smart, no-nonsense teenager who’s seemingly wise beyond his years. Incredibly, even though they’re father and son, they have different last names.

The series also stars Tammy Taylor as Joyce Young, Scott’s uber-conservative mother who kicked him out of the house upon learning he was gay, but who now wants to repair their damaged relationship. 4 prequel episodes (featuring Danny Marks, Jr. as Scott and Matthew Boehm as Max) have already aired on the show’s official web site and Youtube pages with new episodes airing on both platforms in March of next year. The series’ IndieGoGo campaign has been extended, already having raised just over $1,400 of its $5,000 goal with less than two days to go before its deadline of November 25th. In addition, the cast includes several characters heavily inspired by GILMORE GIRLS: Dylan Haynes (played by Todd Lanker), owner of a local restaurant and essentially the Luke Danes of the series, plus Nathaniel Weiss as Max’s rival and frienemy Eric Jackson (the show’s equivalent to Rory’s nemesis and later friend, Paris Geller).

The show also features Amanda McDonough as Max’s main squeeze Beth (deaf in the series and in real life), and a host of guest stars including Robin Thorsen (THE GUILD) as Max and Scott’s landlord Patricia, Chris Salvatore (from the films EATING OUT 3, 4 and 5) as a wannabe actor/musician (Salvatore plays himself in fictionalized form, Lilly says), and Mark Cirillo as Zeke, Scott and Max’s neighbor who is both painfully shy and painfully paranoid.

Heavily influenced by GILMORE GIRLS and the work of its husband-wife team of Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino, Lilly created JUST US GUYS originally as a novel during the popular NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) event. Yet, he initially wanted to create a much darker tale. “When I first started writing, I wanted to write something similar to BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. I got a ‘scary’ pilot written and then I wanted to see where else the characters would go. So I used the writing exercise, NaNoWriMo (the exercise is to write a 50,000 word novel in one month), to explore the characters. By the time I got to 46,000 something I was like, “I hate this, but I really like this…This is a whole different show!” Thus, JUST US GUYS was born,” Lilly says.

JUST US GUYS emphasizes not only a unique, relationship between father and son and the hilarious moments they share, but also the changing face of today’s society and its impact. Along with that emphasis, Lilly took a distinctive approach to the series’ episodic structure. “I took the time to write this story as a one hour format first. I think it really helped in creating this world. Just Us Guys is a web series, but I’m also giving it a one-hour feel. Also, Scott, the gay dad, is being written as a father first, before his sexuality. The series will also be taking some stereotypes and flipping them upside down,” he says.

Every phase of the production process for JUST US GUYS proved to be memorable in their own ways. “Like every production, we posted a casting notice. Actors submitted, they read and we kept calling the ones we liked back until we found what were were looking for. I also get very inspired as a writer when I’m casting. Sometimes when an actor comes in, I love them, but I see them a completely different character. When I see talent, I want to use it. Casting is a fun process for me,” he says. So too was the filming of the prequel episode, and even though it was hard work Lilly and his cast and crew grew closer than ever. “We had a lot of fun doing it. The crew even had a pajama day while we were shooting. We became family for those 4 days. With those episodes we were able to get into San Diego Comic-Con, Salt Lake City Comic-Con and Bent-Con,” he recalls.

JUST US GUYS is a story about family, and it’s one that also has personal meaning for its creator. “This is a story that needs to be told, and this is the perfect time to do it. This story is about a father and son at it’s core and in a strange way, it keeps me close to my dad, who died in 2007. No, the character of Scott is not modeled after my dad. My dad was straight and happily married when he died,” Lilly says. A comedy series that will not only appeal to fans of GILMORE GIRLS, but also people from all walks of life, JUST US GUYS proves that no matter how tough life can be it’s easier when you’ve got a friend to share it with – even if he/she happens to be family. Says Lilly: “JUST US GUYS is a family show at heart and we hope viewers see it as such. At its core, it’s about a broken family, trying to put the pieces back together. Every family is different.”