“EastSiders,” the comedy/drama series about a gay couple dealing with issues of infidelity and substance abuse, is back for a third season.
The show, created and written by Kit Williamson, who also stars in the series as Cal, was crowd-funded for the first two seasons with episodes available to view through Vimeo and Logo TV’s website. The latest season finds the show available on Netflix.
Williamson said the show’s jump to Netflix has allowed him to film episodes that are more traditional in length.
“It definitely has confirmed that people want longer episodes and having a half-hour is the preferred format for the show,” he said. “With season one, the episodes were 10-20 minutes long. With season two, I wrote them so that they could be either 10-20 minutes or a half-hour. We ended up making the decision to stitch them together because that was what Vimeo and Netflix were interested in. That’s true of the viewers as well. People are more into the show feeling like a cable show.”
Williamson added that the show’s audience has grown globally since the first season’s debut.
“There’s a huge following for the show in Spanish-language-speaking countries,” he said. “We just came to Brazil. We were subtitled in Portuguese for the first time. That’s been one of the coolest things about it, knowing that the show is subtitled in more than two-dozen languages. It’s been reaffirming and exciting to see it resonate with people around the globe.”
The new season of “EastSiders” finds boyfriends Cal and Thom taking a road trip through Pennsylvania and back west to Los Angeles after a challenging period in New York City. Williamson said the change in scenery for the new season was inspired by his own cross-country road trips.
“My husband and I had driven across the country twice before, getting our cars from our hometowns in Mississippi and Minnesota to Los Angeles,” he said. “And taking a road trip is such a formative [experience] for a person and for a couple. You learn so much more about another person when you are trapped in a car with them for seven days. I really wanted to capture that intense intimacy. When you’ve been together for as long as Cal and Thom have been, it’s hard to imagine that you don’t know everything about each other. But of course, there is always more to know.”
Williamson also said he wanted to show gay characters living their lives amid the backdrops of red states.
“I want to reclaim the tradition of the great American road-trip movie for an LGBT audience,” he said. “I want to stick a rainbow flag in it. We were joking the whole road trip that we wanted to do our part to make America gay again. And I really do feel like it’s important to take ownership of this country and that means all of it, not just large cities where there happen to be a lot of gay people. We have every right to experience and enjoy this country.”