If you’re wondering why Logo is airing Bewitched reruns instead of the cutting-edge gay programming they claim to offer, wonder no more. Just head on over to YouTube, where you can find scores of delightfully offbeat shows that speak directly to the discriminating gay viewer. Here are a few samples of what you’ll find on the web (plus check out the sidebar on Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black):
Anyone but Me
This impressive serial comes with a pedigree: writers/creators Susan Miller and Tina Cesa Ward had a hand in bringing Showtime’s The L Word to the screen. Anyone but Me’s technical polish is as good as anything a major network like Showtime might produce. Sweet, well-acted, and low-key, the show tells the story of Aster and Vivian, two young women in love who struggle to find their own paths in the evolving world we now live in. As they struggle to make a long-distance relationship work, they interact with an ethnically and sexually diverse group of friends. Visit anyonebutmeseries.com for a look.
A very dark, yet slyly humorous gay soap co-starring Van Hansis, who broke ground (and hearts) as openly gay Luke Snyder on the cancelled CBS soap As the World Turns. In Eastsiders, Hansis and writer/director Kit Williamson play a gay couple struggling to stay together as they suffer through episodes of infidelity and drunken outbursts. The guys are easy on the eyes, too! Check it out at eastsiderstheseries.com.
Old Dogs New Tricks
Don’t miss Leon Acord’s hilarious, sweet, and sometimes naughty sitcom about middle-aged gay men navigating the dating pool in West Hollywood, California, where thirty is considered the retirement age. The fiftyish cast is delightfully sexy. The impressive guest star list includes Olympic gold-medalist Greg Louganis and soap heartthrob Thom Bierdz (who gets to do all kinds of things he couldn’t do on The Young and the Restless!). See it at olddogsnewtrickstheseries.com.
The Sweet Adventures of Nat and Meg
Travel around with the congenial and upbeat Nat and Meg as they shine a positive light on the LGBT community in a variety of locations. The girls are clearly having a great time, as in when they chat with a women’s chorus in New Mexico. But they also have their serious moments. At the National Equality March in Washington, they turn their camera on an antigay hater who screams at the marchers. Sweet and adorably young, Meg and Nat also talk about LGBT history in this charmer of a series produced by the lesbian pop culture site After Ellen. Watch it at afterellen.com.
Brooklyn Is for Lovers
Decidedly R-rated romping with a group of gay, lesbian, straight, and bisexual hipsters in Brooklyn, New York. Everyone is open to everything in this daring peek inside our evolving world, where sexuality is ever-changing and fluid. Check it out at Bi4l.tv.
Ask the Sexpert with Conner Habib
Porn hottie Conner Habib, who’s also a published author and a former college professor, picks up where Dr. Ruth left off. Habib, who’s sexy even with his clothes on, is also funny, wise, and quite articulate. In this web series, ironically produced by Logo, Habib answers viewers’ questions about sex and sexuality. Topics have included straight crushes, sexual racism, “Should I have sex with my ex?”, and foot fetishism. (The good-natured Habib tried to set an embarrassed viewer at ease regarding the latter.) Got a question for the sexpert? E-mail Habib at [email protected]. Wanna watch? Log onto nnnext.com.
Where the Bears Are
Like big, hairy guys? You’ll find them in abundance in this cross between The Golden Girls, Murder She Wrote, and the Sunday beer bust at your favorite leather bar. As they search for Mr. Right, our delightful bears manage to crack a murder mystery! Filmed on location in Silverlake, Los Angeles’s “other” gay neighborhood. See it at wherethebearsare.tv.
David-Elijah Nahmod lives in San Francisco. His eclectic writing career includes LGBT publications, monster magazines, and the Times of Israel.
Color Me ‘Orange’
Gaiety abounds in Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black.
“You’ve Got Time” is the new made-for-Netflix track by the indie-folk singer Regina Spektor. It’s also the theme song for the new, critically acclaimed show Orange Is the New Black. And if you’ve got time this summer, you should watch this new Netflix original series. Released on July 11, and already renewed for a second season, it’s worth the watch. A series about women in prison, the show offers a diverse cast and many intriguing story lines to follow.
You meet characters like Piper (Taylor Schilling), who is an “ex-lesbian” and goes to jail because of her involvement with an international drug cartel; Nicky (Natasha Lyonne, from an old gay favorite But I’m a Cheerleader), a lesbian ex-addict; Sophia (Laverne Cox), a trans woman who used to be a firefighter and struggles with her wife and son; and Daya (Dascha Polanco), who deals with a forbidden interest in a prison guard (Matt McGorry), as well as serving her prison time in the same institution as her mother. And those are just a handful of the characters—there are more characters to fall in love with, more stories to piece together.
Though each story draws viewers in and creates sympathy for each inmate’s predicament, it’s not just full of warm, fuzzy feelings—this series also tackles issues such as relationships, drugs, abuse of authority, and even racism.
Orange chronicles the interwoven lives of the inmates in a humanizing and touching manner. It’s a show you are sure to get hooked on. —Aisha Bouderdaben