Last Wednesday an online poll to rank viewers' favorite web series of all orientations put the gay L.A. series Husbands (The New Normal minus the baby) at #3 with 2,249 votes and the gay Brooklyn series The Outs (Girls minus the females) around #40 with 52 votes. Back when it started, NPR's Ira Glass called Husbands "the future -- of tv, of America." It has the better pedigree, particularly in the form of co-created Jane Epenson, a veteran writer of Buffy, Firefly, Gilmore Girls, the O.C., Game of Thrones, and Warehouse 13, which she created. Also, that funny cameo from Joss Whedon. And a visit from Jon Cryer. It was not so far-fetched for Husbands to boast it was "the most critically successful show ever to emerge in new media," with strong reviews from mainstream critics like Time ("more complex and interesting...than The New Normal") and The New Yorker ("totes adorbs").
This Wednesday, the Atlantic profiled The Outs, citing cooler mags like Interview calling it "the most accurate and essentially human portrayal of young gay men today" and Paper insisting it's "the best web series ever." The article has gotten some attention for quotes from the show's creator and star, Adam Goldman:
"I'm not necessarily knocking what's on television," Goldman says. "I just think there is always room for more well-rounded stories."
"The democratization of media is really exciting," Goldman says. "Particularly for minorities or underrepresented people. You don't have to wait for a studio to say now we are going to make your show. You can look to everyone and say, don't we need this? And if they say yes we do, then you get to make it."
"...But Goldman bristles at being lumped in with a wave of 'gay shows.'
"What's a gay show?" he says, seeming annoyed. "It just doesn't mean anything. There aren't definitions of these things. I don't think of every other show as a straight show. Is it gay because I suck dick? Or is it gay because it's about two gay men? It just doesn't mean anything.
"As soon as people give the label that you are speaking for a whole group, there's just too much pressure. There are black gay people, Asian gay people, trans people...There's no such thing as the voice of a generation for the gay community."
What's a gay show? If you really don't know, try Hunting Season, based on the unshy blog-to-novel, The Great Cock Hunt. The series is co-written by the excellent Adam Baran who curates Queer/ Art/ Film with Ira Sachs.
Or find Where the Bears Are, an amusing romp as familiar types juggle jokes, tricks, and a mystery. They describe the show as The Golden Girls meets Murder, She Wrote. Season two starts next month.