EastSiders

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EastSiders
The word EastSiders in all capital letters, east in blue and siders in white, against a black background.
Genre Dark comedy[1][2]
Created by Kit Williamson
Written by Kit Williamson
Directed by Kit Williamson
Starring
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 15
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Kit Williamson
  • John Halbach
Producer(s)
  • Christina J Dodson
  • Kristyne Elizabeth Fetsic
  • Jonathan Stahl
Production location(s) Silver Lake, Los Angeles
Running time 10-14 minutes
Release
Original release December 14, 2012 (2012-12-14) – present
External links
Official website

EastSiders is an American dark comedy web series created by Kit Williamson. It premiered on December 14, 2012 and began streaming through Logo TV's website on April 23, 2013. Set in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, the series follows gay couple Cal (Williamson) and Thom (Van Hansis) as they struggle with infidelity and substance abuse. It also explores the relationship between Kathy (Constance Wu), Cal's best friend, and her boyfriend Ian (John Halbach) as they reach their six-month anniversary, marking it Kathy's longest relationship.

After the first two episodes were released on December 14 and December 21, 2012, the series received considerable attention for its portrayal of gay characters whose sexual orientation does not serve as a plot point. The remaining seven episodes were funded by a Kickstarter campaign. On April 2, 2013, it was announced that the series was picked up for distribution through Logo TV's website, and the remainder of the season premiered on April 23, 2013. The second season premiered on September 15, 2015 through Vimeo's on demand service.

Series overview

In Silver Lake, Los Angeles, Cal (Kit Williamson) learns that Thom (Van Hansis), his boyfriend of four years, has been cheating on him with Jeremy (Matthew McKellington). Though upset, Cal decides that he does not want to end the relationship. However, Cal also cheats with Jeremy. Though he intends to tell Thom about the affair, he does not. At the same time, Cal's best friend Kathy (Constance Wu) and her boyfriend Ian (John Halbach) reach their six-month anniversary, marking the relationship as Kathy's longest but Ian's shortest.

Cast

Main characters

  • Van Hansis as Thom—an aspiring writer and Cal's boyfriend of four years. He cheats on Cal with Jeremy, but he comes to regret it and ends the affair in episode one.
  • Kit Williamson as Cal—an aspiring photographer and Thom's boyfriend of four years. He works at an art gallery, which is usually empty. After learning about Thom's affair, he decides not to end the relationship. Though he admits he might never trust Thom again, he accepts it.
  • John Halbach as Ian—a landscape architect and Kathy's boyfriend of six months. She describes him as a "hipster" and is the genuine nice guy of the neighborhood.
  • Constance Wu as Kathy—Cal's best friend who lives next door to Cal and Thom. She and Cal went to college together. She has been long distrustful of Thom. Her relationships are short-lived, and her six-month relationship with Ian is the longest-lasting one she has had.
  • Matthew McKelligon as Jeremy—with whom Thom and Cal cheat on each other. Though he is not sure what he wants out of his relationships with both men, Jeremy becomes upset that neither Thom nor Cal wish to continue seeing or talking to him. Eventually, he comes to regret his actions and apologizes to both of them. After Thom and Cal's relationship falls apart, he begins a relationship with Thom, only to realize that it is not what he wanted.
  • Stephen Guarino as Quincy—a gay party promoter who is friends with the group.

Guest cast

  • Sean Maher as Paul—owner of the art gallery and Cal's boss who takes a sexual interest in Cal despite being married for ten years. He was formerly an artist himself, the art gallery is his former workspace, and he tells Cal to consider his hiring as "artistic patronage." Maher stated he was originally meant to appear in only one episode, but the role was later expanded after he began filming.[3]
  • Traci Lords as Valerie—Cal's divorced mother who lives in Phoenix. She spends most of her lunch date with Cal and Thom drinking and ordering gins and is said to be "raiding the mini-bar" in the apartment shortly after. She says she would be crushed if Cal and Thom ended their relationship and even suggests they marry.
  • Brea Grant as Bri—Jeremy's lesbian sister, who has been with her partner Vi for eight years and is raising children . Grant said of Bri, she "has a good head on her shoulders and has made good decisions (unlike some of the other characters on the show)."[4]

Episodes

The first two episodes were released through YouTube on December 14, 2012[5][6] and December 21, 2012.[7][8] On April 2, 2013, Logo TV announced that it secured the rights to stream the series.[1] The first two episodes were posted to the network's website on April 19, 2013,[9] and the remaining episodes began a weekly release schedule starting April 22, 2013.[1] Wolfe Video acquired worldwide digital and DVD rights to the feature film cut of the first season on January 15, 2014.[10] It was released on DVD and digital download on August 12, 2014.[11] It also became available through iTunes.[2]

The second series premiered on September 15, 2015 with the simultaneous release of its first three episodes on Vimeo's on demand service.[12] The series will release exclusively through Vimeo until October 3, 2015, on which release on other digital platforms and on DVD.[13]

Season 1 (2012-2013)

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1 "Episode 1" Kit Williamson Kit Williamson December 14, 2012 (2012-12-14)
December 22, 2012. Cal (Kit Williamson) wakes up to find Thom (Van Hansis) sleeping on the floor. When asked about last night, Cal remembers he said he hated Thom but not much else. They discuss whether or not they wish to end their four-year relationship, and Cal decides he does not. After Thom leaves, Cal invites Kathy (Constance Wu) over. She rants that though she accepted her boyfriend's marriage proposal at a party last night, she only did so because everyone was watching. Thom visits Jeremy and has sex with him. Cal tells Kathy about his relationship troubles. Though Kathy points out that Cal might not be able to trust Thom again, Cal muses that he will just have to accept it. She decides to marry her boyfriend. Thom ends his affair with Jeremy and tells Cal he loves him.
2 "Episode 2" Kit Williamson Kit Williamson December 21, 2012 (2012-12-21)
December 21, 2012. The group attends an End of the World party. Cal is upset that the narrator in Thom's story "meditates on cheating on his frigid shrew of a boyfriend for fifteen pages." Thom insists that it is entirely fictional and has nothing to do with their relationship. Kathy is upset that her boyfriend Ian (John Halbach) did not get her a gift for their six month anniversary. He buys a ring from a girl at the party. When he tries to give it to her, he drops it, making it seem like he is proposing. To his horror, she enthusiastically accepts. Cal gets drunk and becomes upset with Thom. Jeremy shows up at the party, causing Cal to tell Thom he hates him and run away.
3 "Episode 3" Kit Williamson Kit Williamson April 22, 2013 (2013-04-22)[9]
January 5, 2013. Much of the tension in Cal and Thom's relationship is gone. However, Cal uses Thom's phone to get Jeremy's address. He confronts Jeremy. Jeremy learns that Thom is not cheating on him with Cal but rather Thom is cheating on Cal with Jeremy. Jeremy offers Cal drinks. Cal becomes drunk and has an affair with Jeremy. Kathy is relieved to learn that Ian did not intend to propose to her and does not want to marry her. Cal intends to tell Thom about the affair, but he does not.
4 "Episode 4" Kit Williamson Kit Williamson April 30, 2013 (2013-04-30)[9]
April 30, 2013. Cal and Thom's relationship has returned to its loving normal, however, Jeremy continues to text Thom. Kathy has morning sickness. Cal and Thom have lunch will Cal's mom, who states she will be crushed if the pair break up. Cal runs into Jeremy at the art gallery where Cal works. Jeremy offers to be Cal's friend, but Cal rebuffs him. Seeing this, Cal's boss Paul (Sean Maher) reassures him in an overly friendly manner.
5 "Episode 5" Kit Williamson Kit Williamson May 7, 2013 (2013-05-07)[9]
May 7, 2013. Thom tells Jeremy to stop calling. Jeremy tells his sister (Brea Grant) that he is unsure what he wants from Cal and Thom, but he is upset neither want to talk to him. Paul asks Cal out to lunch but is interrupted by call from Kathy. Paul allows Cal to leave work early to visit her. To Kathy's dismay, she is pregnant. Cal agrees to pick her up from the abortion clinic. She advises him to leave Thom. Quincy (Stephen Guarino) arranges to have drinks with Ian while Kathy is at the clinic. Cal asks Thom if he loved Jeremy. Though Thom did not, he liked being with Jeremy because it made him feel like a different person. Cal knows what he means. Thom admits Jeremy has been calling him and that he had sex with Jeremy after Cal learned of the affair. He asks if Cal can forgive him, and Cal says that he will try.
6 "Episode 6" Kit Williamson Kit Williamson May 14, 2013 (2013-05-14)[9]
May 14, 2013. Paul and Cal celebrate selling prints of Cal's photo of Thom. Quincy drops Kathy off at the clinic. Jeremy visits Thom at the bar where Thom works and gives Thom two hand-written apologies: one for Thom, one for Cal. Paul and Cal get progressively more drunk, and they kiss. Quincy accidentally tells Ian that Kathy is getting an abortion. Cal does not come to pick up Kathy, and she asks Thom to come instead. Paul and Cal have sex. Cal is shocked to learn that Paul has been married for ten years. Kathy calls Cal, and Thom overhears that Cal had sex with Paul. Ian decides that he feels too young to be father and is glad that Kathy got an abortion. Kathy, disoriented, tells Thom she is afraid and wonders if she is a good person. Ian gets home before Kathy and asks to talk to her. Cal stumbles home, drunk.
7 "Episode 7" Kit Williamson Kit Williamson May 21, 2013 (2013-05-21)[9]
May 31, 2013. Cal and Thom are moving out and will no longer live together. Ian tells Kathy that he does not care about her and laughs when she asks if he wants to date her. Jeremy asks Thom to move in with him. Kathy, in tears, visits Cal. Cal tells her that Thom has been seeing Jeremy to be vengeful. Angry that Cal rejects her reassurances and refuses to talk about Ian, she yells at him for never apologizing for leaving her at the clinic and for complaining about how unfair Thom is when Thom is only retaliating to Cal's infidelity. She accuses Cal of being too cowardly to end the relationship and so, by cheating on Thom, forced Thom to end it.
8 "Episode 8" Kit Williamson Kit Williamson May 28, 2013 (2013-05-28)[9]
June 1, 2012. Cal and Thom have moved in together. Kathy visits and tells them that her date last night went well. She likes him, and she has high hopes for their future relationship. She invites her date over to help with the unpacking, and it is Ian. She invites Ian to spend the night with her. Though thinking Ian is a "nice guy," Thom does not believe Ian and Kathy's relationship will work out. Cal has Thom promise that their relationship will be successful. Thom promises.
9 "Episode 9" Kit Williamson Kit Williamson June 24, 2013 (2013-06-24)[9]
June 2, 2013. Thom learns that Jeremy bought prints of Cal's photos of Thom. Kathy forgives Cal for treating her terribly the previous night. Thom is upset about the prints. Jeremy decides that this is not what he wants and ends the relationship. Kathy tells Ian that she likes him and apologizes for being self-absorbed. Because she feels so much, she tends to forget that other people feel things too and wants to know what Ian feels. He admits that he misses her and that he still feels angry when he sees her. They agree that, even though he agreed with her decision, she should have told him before getting the abortion. They also agree to be more open. Cal and Thom apologize to one another. They both admit that they still love another and that they are scared for their future.

Season 2 (2015)

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1 "Weirder Than Normal" Kit Williamson Kit Williamson September 15, 2015 (2015-09-15)
2 "Sodom (And Gommorah)" Kit Williamson Kit Williamson September 15, 2015 (2015-09-15)
3 "Sex Therapy" Kit Williamson Kit Williamson September 15, 2015 (2015-09-15)
4 "Thick Like A Lotion" Kit Williamson Kit Williamson October 5, 2015
5 "Open Bar" Kit Williamson Kit Williamson October 5, 2015
6 "Evolving" Kit Williamson Kit Williamson October 5, 2015

Production

After the initial two episodes aired, the remaining seven were funded through crowdfunding via Kickstarter. The campaign began on January 7, 2013 and met its goal $15,000 four days later on January 11, 2013.[14][15] The campaign closed on February 6, 2013 with $25,785 raised.[14] The series launched a second Kickstarter campaign to fund the second season on April 14, 2014 with a goal of $125,000; the campaign closed on May 19, 2014 with $153,170 raised.[16][17]

The series is filmed on location in Silver Lake, Los Angeles.[18][19]

Reception

After the release of the first two episodes, the Daily Dot described the series as "charming, sharply written, and well-acted," specifically praising Guarino and Wu, and felt that the future of the series was "promising."[20] Next Magazine also felt that the first two episodes were "top-notch", especially as it noted "the demographic [depicting the lives of young gay men] is still pretty unrepresented when it comes to well-produced series," and included the first season Kickstarter among those it recommended for backing.[21] IndieWire recommended the series, because it was "giving Logo the kind of soap opera they should have on-air."[22] NewMediaRockstars felt that the first season was met positively because fans "were eager for a quality series that portrayed realistic LGBT relationships without making sexual orientation the characters’ defining feature."[23]

Awards and nominations

The first season was nominated for a 2013 Satellite Award for Original Short-Form Program.[24] LA Weekly awarded the series 2013 Web Award for Best Web Series – Drama.[25] It won the 2013 Indie Series Award for Best Ensemble and was nominated for five others.[26][27] In 2016, EastSiders received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Digital Daytime Drama Series, and Hansis was nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Digital Daytime Drama Series for portraying Thom.[28][29] The series also received ten Indie Series Award nominations in 2016, including Best Web Series – Drama,[30] and won for Best Ensemble – Drama.[31]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2014 5th Indie Series Awards Best Directing – Drama Kit Williamson Nominated [32][33]
Best Lead Actor – Drama Van Hansis as Thom Nominated [32][33]
Best Supporting Actor – Drama Matthew McKelligon as Jeremy Nominated [32][33]
Best Supporting Actress – Drama Constance Wu as Kathy Nominated [32][33]
Best Ensemble – Drama Won [26][34]
Best Guest Star – Drama Traci Lords as Val Nominated [32][33]
2016 43rd Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Digital Daytime Drama Series Kit Williamson, John Halbach, Chrissy Dodson, Laura Roeder, Inuka Bacote, Neal Baer, Kalvin Brewer-Yu, Jim Klever-Weis, Jake Weinraub, Beth Wheatley Nominated [28][29]
Outstanding Actor in a Digital Daytime Drama Series Van Hansis as Thom Nominated [28][29]
7th Indie Series Awards Best Web Series — Drama Nominated [30]
Best Writing — Drama Kit Williamson Nominated [30]
Best Lead Actor — Drama Van Hansis as Thom Nominated [30]
Best Lead Actor — Drama Kit Williamson as Cal Nominated [30]
Best Lead Actress — Drama Brianna Brown as Hillary Nominated [30]
Best Supporting Actor — Drama Stephen Guarino as Quincy Nominated [30]
Best Guest Actor — Drama Willam Belli as Douglas/Gomorrah Ray Nominated [30]
Best Guest Actress — Drama Constance Wu as Kathy Nominated [30]
Best Ensemble — Drama Won [31]
Best Editing Larissa Brantner James and Kris Fitzgerald Nominated [30]

References

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External links