Web series offer a diverse range of LGBTQ+ . Technically, Netflix, Prime and original programming on streaming services alike are classified as web series but I am referring to productions that are usually crowd funded or have a limited number of backers. The production teams are smaller and episodes can range from 5 minutes to 20 minutes depending on budget and story line. These tend to be hosted on YouTube or Vimeo. Don't let that put you off though, often the writing is superb, the characters are fully developed and the storylines are great.
LGBTQ+ apps like Dekkoo, HereTV, Out TV and Froot tend to carry many web series in both English and other languages. It is on these platforms that my real love for this format has really grown. I'll be touching on a few more of these in the future but for this post, I want to introduce you to one of my favourite finds of the last year.
“Where the Bears Are” is a comedy series that describes itself as The Golden Girls meets Murder She Wrote. This description could not be more apt and if those comparisons peak your interest, go and find the series ASAP, you will not be disappointed.
The series was created, directed by and stars Joe Dietl (Wood, a former porn actor), Ben Zook (Nelson, a current struggling actor)and Rick Copp (Reggie, an opportunist writer/ TV show host) as three friends who share a house together in Silverlake, Los Angeles. The first series is set around a murder that happens at Nelson's birthday in which we also meet the soon to be 4th addition to their household, Ian Parks (Todd, who becomes Nelsons' boyfriend). Their "mismatch" in attractiveness becomes a running gag throughout the series.
The series ran from 2012-2018 in episodes 7-10 minutes long. In 2012, Where the Bears Are was named best comedy web series by both Qweerty and AfterElton.com. Each season begins with a murder of some sort that always involves The Bears and sees them racing against series regulars, Detectives Winters (Chad Saunders) and Detective Martinez (George Unda), a dysfunctional husband/ husband team who always seem to be a half step behind due to some personal marital problem usually involving sex. In addition to an eclectic cast which include a closeted homophobic police captain, a psychopathic killer and Nelson's parents, the series has also included guest appearances by Chaz Bono, Margaret Cho, and other notable LGBTQ+ performers. You can watch the uninterrupted series though in one running film online on Amazon and other streaming services and believe me they are worth it.
Right now, the world feels incredibly dark and it is far too easy to fall down the social media/ news rabbit hole. Our brains need a rest. Treat yourself to some time off with "Where The Bears Are," your mental health will thank you for it.
John Lugo-Trebble considers this more of a space to engage personal reflections and memories with connections to music and film.