‘EastSiders’ swiftly pushes the gay-agenda in a heteronormative world. There are many reasons to watch the show and we will give you the best of them.
Infidelity, non-monogamy, and raw are the three words that best describe the complex relationship of Cal (Kit Williamson) and Thom (Van Hansis), lead characters in the dark web comedy series. The award-winning series features turbulent queer relationships, self-discovery journeys, and intricate series of apologies and scuffles. Here are 7 reasons that will compel you to watch this unapologetically queer show.
- Started as a self-financed project by Kit in 2012
- Cal and Thom are flawed and relatable
- Most raw and realistic representation of queer love
1) Huge gay cast
It is so cool to see filmmakers and directors employ a cast that is highly diverse. It is about time that moviemakers move away from an all-white or bland-heterosexual cast and become more inclusive.
‘EastSiders’ is a breeze of fresh air when it comes to the cast.
The American dark comedy web series showcases multiple actors portraying gay, bisexual, and transgender characters who happen to identify as queer in real life as well.
2) Alcoholism and substance abuse
The show hardly includes an episode when someone isn’t holding a big glass of wine and finishing it before you know. Cal, one half of the lead couple, is an alcoholic; passed over to him by his divorced mother Valerie (played by Traci Lords) who is hilarious whenever she appears on the screen.
Alcohol did a fantastic job of fuelling ugly fights in season 2 and 3 respectively. Cal, Thom, Kathy, Ian, and several other characters were able to portray how excessive drinking and substance abuse can cloud your judgement and make you do terrible things in a drunk state.
3) Open relationship and its ramifications
Season 1 of ‘EastSiders’ talks about the complex relationship of a messed-up gay couple (Cal and Thom) living in Silver Lake, Los Angeles. While the first season ends with the couple doused in the aftermath of infidelity, season 2 takes viewers on a new journey with Cal and Thom exploring the adventures of an open-relationship.
Their super flawed and idiosyncratic relationship is something that the netizens can relate to. The protagonist (Cal) constantly wags between days when he’s cheerful and times when he’s insufferable. The story unveils the taboo that surrounds the volatile subject of open and non-monogamous relationships.
4) Journey from YouTube to Netflix
The seminal web series, which started as a $2000 self-financed project (in 2012) gave viewers four memorable seasons and a multitude of unforgettable subplots. Kit Williamson, who plays Cal on the show, created this low-budget LGBT series that was crowdfunded before it was made available on the largest streaming platform.
“As far as representation goes, there’s a real danger in saying that because we have a seat at the table in mainstream storytelling that we have solved the problem of representation. Just because there are LGBTQ people on TV, that doesn’t mean that sort of representation is the be-all, end-all”
Said Kit in an interview with “Towleroad”.
5) Talks about HIV/AIDS
Season 2 and 3 of the sex-positive show draws fans’ attention by talking frankly about serious issues like HIV and AIDS. In Season 3, the Silver-lake based couple meets an old gay duo who claim to be monogamous for 10 years due to AIDS.
The protagonists are seen visiting a sex clinic sporadically where they talk about sexual health and PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis). Still, writers could have talked more about safe sex practices and the hysteria that surrounds the topic of STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), and above all the socio-political struggles of the LGBTQIA community.
6) More DRAG Queens
If you love ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’, you’ll be elated to see multiple Drag Race alum share screen alongside Cal and Thom.
While fans were thrilled to see Katya, Biqtch Puddin, Martha BeatChu, and Manila Luzon strut in their fabulous drag, it was Willam Belli’s portrayal of Douglas/Gomorrah Ray- an aspiring drag queen who is raw, unfiltered and cracks the audience up with her witty burns.
Douglas plays the love interest of Quincy – an adorable gay party promoter. Willam is an Emmy nominated actor who has worked with Lady Gaga in ‘A Star is Born’.
7) Doing the next right thing
Throughout the four seasons, Cal and Thom give us several moments where they are hanging by a thread and don’t know what to do next. Whether to stay exclusive or pursue different directions; the couple makes mistakes, cries about it, throws tantrums, but still remains inescapable.
What separates the show from other prime comedies is its unfiltered relationships which fans find so relatable.
Even though Kit Williamson has done lazy work on the portrayal of lesbian couples and female intimacy, this show has everything you need to make a hit LGBT web series. That includes good looking men, lots of booze, scuffles, and memorable characters.
All four seasons are available on Netflix.