Sometimes you can go home again.
Web series are a dime a dozen, and even gay-themed web series have become old hat, but when EastSiders debuted almost three years ago, it changed the landscape, bringing a new professionalism that upped the ante for what could be done with a limited budget but unlimited talent and insight.
Created, written and directed by Kit Williamson, Season One appeared on Youtube and LogoTV, but after a successful Kickstarter campaign, Kit decided Season Two would be better suited for Vimeo, explaining “I was inspired by the enormous success Vimeo has had with shows like High Maintenance. As an independent filmmaker, I appreciate the autonomy streaming services afford content creators.”
I had the chance to view the first three episodes of Season Two (which premiere today exclusively on Vimeo On Demand), and I’m happy to say that the series has lost none of its edge and heart.
Season Two picks up two years after the Season One finale, which left the relationship of Cal (Kit Williamson) and Thom (three-time Emmy nominee Van Hansis, of course best known for playing the greatest gay character in daytime history) very much in limbo.
Without going into spoilers (one of the pleasures is watching some rather surprising events unfold), Cal and Thom are living apart but dating again, and have decided to open up their relationship in a way that fundamentally changes who they are as a couple, and that change may lead to repercussions down the line.
This ain’t Luke and Noah
But Cal is still the warm-hearted, sensitive soul of the show (albeit now nearly sober, and with an alarmingly questionable new haircut), and Thom, well, we knew Thom was a bit of a cad from the get-go (case in point: he insists on placing an “h” in “Tom”), but the two are trying to take tentative steps back to each other.
Some old favorites return, including Sean Maher as ebullient gallery owner Paul.
Stephen Guarino, this time with Drag Race alum Willam.
Ian (John Halbach) is back, but girlfriend Kathy (Constance Wu, whose star has exploded since Season One with her role on Fresh Off The Boat) leaves on the “non-equity tour of Cats” and is only seen briefly.
Meanwhile, Jeremy (Matthew McKelligon), who both Cal and Thom cheated with in Season One, is now unemployed and living with his lesbian sister, whose wife is, well let’s just say that this is a small tight knit community, and coincidences are going to happen. Can the adrift Jeremy find his moorings with help from hot doctor hookup Derrick (Leith Burke)?
There are many more surprises and guest stars, but it all comes together seamlessly, with the precarious relationship of Cal and Thom at the center. Will this new wrinkle bring them closer together, or will it be what finally drives them apart for good?
More importantly, will Cal’s wardrobe continue to be as entertaining?
Here’s a preview clip, which contains spoilers about the direction Cal and Thom’s relationship is taking this season.
The first three episodes of EastSiders Season Two are available now on Vimeo On Demand, with the last three on Oct. 15. The series will be on other digital platforms and DVD starting November 3.