That’s My DJ: Season 2 is a visually stunning glimpse into the underground electronic music scene in Toronto. I absolutely love this series as it balances fun with heartfelt; it’s colourful, fast-paced and centres around an affair between two queer women of colour.
Onscreen depictions of electronic music scenes tend to be more than a little, uh, homogenous. From It’s All Gone Pete Tong to Pauly D and the David Guetta-worshipping meatballs of Jersey Shore, many of these films/TV shows have focused on a perspective that’s decidedly straight, white and male, with nary a mention of the queer communities of colour that have formed the history and bedrock of modern dance music.
DJ and promoter D.W. Waterson was keenly aware of this discrepancy. In 2014, they created a web series That’s My DJ that completed its third season in 2018. Funded primarily through IndieGoGo, with production support from a host of Waterson’s talented friends in the Toronto arts scene, each season follows a single character through eight bite-sized episodes (generally ten minutes or less) as they work, party and move within enclaves of Toronto’s dance music scene. Eagle-eyed viewers will catch the city’s rave landmarks, like Cherry Beach and the Shop at Parts and Labour.
While all the seasons are fantastic, the critically-acclaimed season 2 of That’s My DJ is a particular standout. It follows promoter Meaghan (Emily Piggford) as she works to make a name for herself in Toronto’s dance scene by planning her own party, Home Brew, with her best pal Sam (Jade Hassouné). Things get complicated when Meaghan meets and falls for the gorgeous DJ Hannah (Dayle McCormack) and ends up hiring her to play Home Brew. The catch? Hannah has a boyfriend.
Written and directed by Waterson, each episode of season 2 is stunningly well-shot and has a heady, electrifying energy that feels completely unforced. This is helped by its terrific actors, especially Piggford, who quietly emotes the beating pulse and heartache beneath Meaghan’s polished cool-girl exterior. Her white-hot chemistry with McCormack doesn’t hurt either, and as much as we know their romance may be doomed, Waterson depicts their connection with an exquisite and intoxicating tenderness. Equally euphoric are the show’s many club scenes –That’s My DJ captures the all-consuming joy of losing oneself to music in a way few other things do. And of course, the music is spectacular. Keep your eye out for Waterson’s work in the future: this kind of talent can’t stay underground for long.
Review by Alison Lang
Dayle McCormack, Emily Piggford, Jacob Neayem, Jade Hassouné