Today’s the day! After two seasons of friendships and relationships built and lost — and episodes that have tackled such meaningful topics as abortion and open relationships — the third season of the hit gay webseries EastSiders is now on Netflix!
What began as an attempt to tell gay stories devoid of mainstream cliché has gone on to become one of the most beloved series by and for LGBT people, even picking up two Daytime Emmy nominations along the way.
And that’s expected when you take a look at the series’ stellar cast, which includes several actors — queer folk and allies alike — who have found huge success since the show’s humble beginnings. People like Kit Williamson, the show’s star and creator, who has also appeared on Mad Men; Stephen Guarino, formerly of That Big Gay Sketch Show and since the show’s premiere, Showtime’s brilliant I’m Dying Up Here; Constance Wu, who has since made a name for herself as the family matriarch on Fresh Off the Boat; and drag superstar Willam Belli, whose character on EastSiders is a struggling queen.
Some have compared the storylines of EastSiders to another hit show among young-professional types: Girls. Much like that six-season HBO series, EastSiders is a warts-and-all approach to living and loving on Los Angeles’ East Side. Its characters are as funny, self-destructive, unhappy — and, yes, charming — as people are in real life, which is a testament to Williamson’s skilled writing.
When we left Cal and Thom (played by Van Hansis) at the end of Season 2, they were determined to make their relationship work despite it’s “monogamish” status. So as Season 3 begins, we watch as they pack up their things following a year in New York and head back west to Los Angeles.
Naturally, they encounter a few twists and turns along the way. Their relationship continues to be tested by depleting funds, arguments and an on-the-road encounter with a handsome drifter (played by a certain controversial porn star you’re well familiar with).
We sat down with Williamson in advance of the EastSiders Season 3 premiere, and he shared with us some of his favorite moments from the show’s first two seasons. If you’re currently unacquainted with EastSiders, catch it on Netflix now or watch the first two episodes for free on iTunes.
Here are EastSiders creator Kit Williamson’s 5 favorite episodes:
1. Season 1, Episode 1: “I Love You, Asshole”
“This episode started it all!” says Williamson. “It’s the morning after Cal finds out that his boyfriend Thom has been cheating on him, and they have to figure out what to do now. Cal sends Thom away to break things off with Jeremy, but things don’t go exactly to plan. My favorite scene is between Cal and his best friend, Kathy (played by Fresh Off the Boat’s Constance Wu), who comes over with a bottle of whiskey and drama of her own.”
2. Season 1, Episode 2: “The End of the World”
About this ep, Williamson says, “The night before, we see that things didn’t go down exactly how Cal remembers them … and that it’s a miracle that Cal remembers anything at all. Furious over an autobiographical piece Thom wrote about their relationship, Cal downs drink after drink until the truth comes out in more ways than one. We also get to meet the gang’s party promoter friend Quincy, played by scene-stealer Stephen Guarino (above) from Showtime’s I’m Dying Up Here and LGBT favorites Bear City, The Big Gay Sketch Show and Happy Endings.
3. Season 1, Episode 6: “Kathy’s Getting an Abobo”
“This episode is nearly twice as long as the rest of the episodes in Season 1 and really sets the standard for episodes in Season 2, which are all standard half-hour broadcast length,” says Williamson. “It’s pretty unusual for a gay series to tackle a subject like abortion, and the show addresses it in an appropriately unusual way. The important story event is less the abortion itself, and more how the characters treat each other when they need to rely on one another.”
4. Season 2, Episode 3: “Sex Therapy”
Williamson says of this episode, the first of the series to not take place over the course of a single day, “Cal and Thom dive headfirst into exploring their new sexual boundaries with a montage of threesomes, where the third partner is traded out seamlessly from shot to shot as the story progresses. We also get to see Willam Belli’s character Douglas out of drag for the first time, and establish his new relationship with Quincy.”
5. Season 2, Episode 4: “Thick Like a Lotion”
“Even though the show is incredibly sex-positive, it’s still important to show that there can be consequences for having a little too much fun, even if you play safe,” says Williamson. “In this episode, Cal gets rectal gonorrhea and the guys have to pay a visit to the STD clinic. It features standout guest star performances from the main cast of the movie Gayby: Jonathan Lisecki, Jenn Harris and Matthew Wilkas. This is hands-down the funniest episode of the series, and it deserves a workplace comedy spinoff.”
Check out the trailer for Season 3 of EastSiders below: