In the bustling cityscape of New York, a struggling Indian-American writer embarks on a journey of self-discovery, intimacy, and cultural exploration in the web series — Insomnia. Nikhil Sharma, portrayed by multihyphenate Vishaal Reddy, grapples with the complexities of his identity as a bisexual man while trying to find his footing in life. Unable to make ends meet and support his aunt who battles multiple sclerosis, Nikhil ventures into a clandestine world as a male escort, leading him to face racism, loneliness, and the far-reaching effects of insomnia.
At the heart of Insomnia lies the real-life experiences of Vishaal Reddy himself, who was once propositioned to consider becoming a male escort in NYC. Frustrated with the lack of authentic Indian American representation in media, Reddy took matters into his own hands, becoming the driving force behind the creation and production of the series. As a bisexual artist, he recognized the significance of inclusion and accurate representation, which he thoughtfully weaves into the fabric of the series.
Drawing inspiration from the witty and intimate storytelling techniques of series like Master of None, Louie, Fleabag, and High Maintenance, Insomnia captures Nikhil's late-night escapades with a darkly absurd touch. Through his encounters as an escort, Nikhil becomes a witness to the many layers of racism and prejudice that exist in American society. With each nocturnal tryst, the series deftly sheds light on the complexities and struggles faced by marginalized communities, crafting a narrative that challenges stereotypes and prompts introspection.
As an emblem of authentic storytelling, Insomnia introduces a new era in the realm of South Asian representation in the entertainment industry. Vishaal Reddy's earnest portrayal of a complex and multifaceted character serves as a groundbreaking effort to amplify real, diverse voices and narratives that have long been overlooked.
You can watch the trailer for Insomnia below and stream it here.
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