The trailer for Tampa Baes is finally here and looks to be every bit as dramatic, heartwarming, and queer as we could have hoped.
The eight-episode docuseries, which is set to premiere on Prime Video on Friday, November 5, follows the lives, loves, and drama of a group of young lesbians living in the gay hot spot of Tampa, Florida. Executive producer and showrunner, Melissa Bidwell, and her co-executive producer, Paul O’Malley, both of whom identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community and are always on the lookout for unique groups of people willing to share their stories. As soon as they met the Baes cast, they knew they had a great show on their hands. “When we heard about this group of friends in Tampa Bay, a true hidden gem for the LGBTQ+ community, we were blown away by how interesting each of the baes are,” Bidwell said in announcing the series.
What makes the show work, she says, is that the cast all already knew one another organically. “The show was not individually cast; everyone we follow is part of a pre-existing friend group [or] part of their larger social circle,” explains Bidwell. “I was blown away with how candid the women were about what it means to be a lesbian in 2021 and what it’s like being a Biracial, Hispanic, or Middle Eastern lesbian, etc. We love that each woman expresses themselves in a different way and does what feels genuine to them.”
As it is in life, the relationships between the cast members are very... complicated. At the center of the series is Cuppie, a Tampa Bay native who’s recently moved back to town and bridges the tense (and competitive) gap between the two “it couples” of Haley and Brianna and Marissa and Summer. From there, the series branches out into an interconnected web of friendships, rivalries, conflicted loyalties, and plenty of exes. In other words, it’s the perfect dynamic to build a docuseries around, because there’s never a dull moment.
“Some of the first shows I worked on were shows like The Real World and Road Rules where we’d roll for hours hoping to get something interesting,” recalls Bidwell. “This was not the case with Tampa Baes. On our first day of filming, we quickly realized this was not an ordinary group of friends — like every group, some are closer than others and some have major drama. They have real history including fallouts, past romantic relationships, and entanglements.”
The result, Bidwell says, makes for a fascinating watch. “Tampa Baes is wild, heartfelt, dramatic, and funny all in one episode,” she promises. It’s also poised to be a great view into the lives of queer women who are out, proud, and truly living their best LGBTQ+ lives. “I, personally, was so impressed by this younger generation of lesbians and found them to be empowering. I didn’t come out until I was in my mid-20s, and even then I was not as openly gay as these women are. They are proud of who they are, no matter what people may think,” says Bidwell.
However, it’s not just a queer audience who can connect with the show, as she adds. “With Tampa Baes, we believe viewers at home will be able to relate to at least one of our women,” Bidwell hopes. “Whether it’s a coming out story from one of our ladies that will resonate with a closeted teen in Middle America, a cast member bravely and openly dealing with mental health issues, or a lesbian couple navigating being young and in love, all ages and demos will be able to watch this and relate. Well, maybe teens and up... we do have some racy stuff!”
“It’s a jam-packed season,” Bidwell assures. “I’m excited for the audience to see pretty much everything! It’s definitely a wild ride.”
Tampa Baes will premiere on Friday, November 5 on Prime Video. Watch the trailer below.