Web Series Roundup: No Shade, The OUT Crowd & Freefall
New web series episodes dropped this week, folks. We have a couple returning champions as well as a new contestant to the arena. I’ve actually lost count on how many active gay web series that are currently in rotation. I guess that’s a good thing.
NO SHADE – EPISODE 09: The Shade of it All
Now that Showrunner Sean Anthony has gotten his tribute to Sliding Doors out of his system with the last episode, we get back to the elements that have made No Shade one of the best black gay web series on the web. Episode 09 “The Shade of it All” managed to erase all doubts about the show’s charm, wit and knack for spoofing and parody.
This episode also followed my “Seinfeld” theory: The show just works better when all four main cast members have their own time to shine in well written storylines, even better when they all have scenes together. If they can keep this balance up, the series can only get better from here.
Having said that, not much plot actually progresses in this episode. The characters situations are literally no different at the end than they were at the beginning. Oddly enough, none of that mattered given that so many silly, laugh-out-loud moments are featured in the episode. From Eric’s side money-making hustle, Kori’s scuffle with his real estate agent and a lesbian couple, Danielle and Noel’s adventures shopping in Brooklyn, all the way down to the entire group engaging in an unexpected parody of “in the woods” horror movies at the end…I was entertained throughout.
It’s pretty cool that Sean Anthony makes full use of the iconic city he films in by actually showing the city itself (even if it means he has to record ADR for whole scenes to clean up the audio). The characters thankfully don’t just sit around in apartments, cars or offices scene after scene…and when they do Anthony still shoots exterior establishing shots to avoid the claustrophobia.
Lastly, not only did actor David Brandyn co-write this episode, he also treated us to 20 minutes of tight man-cleavage. Yes David…you’ve been in the gym…we’ve noticed.
THE OUT CROWD – EPISODE 01: The First Time
Director Ashton Pina sent us the pilot episode of his Web Series “The OUT Crowd” recently…although it’d been out for awhile, we only just had a chance to get around to checking it out and were quite surprised. The directing, editing and writing are pretty clever, especially for a black gay web series.
Even more refreshing was the fact that the show doesn’t feature the typical “gay model” in the lead role. Don’t get me wrong, Liki Wright who plays Marshall is a very handsome guy but he definitely seems more “average and everyday” than a lot of web series leads, which is by design since the character feels that way as well.
In the opening minutes the character tells us through voice-over that he feels out of place in the Gay community, hopefully this aspect will be explored more because most of the other gay web series revel in gay stereotypes in the community.
It will be interesting to see what changes Pina makes in future episodes to adjust from feedback he’s received from the pilot. I’d love to see the show ditch the voice-overs altogether and tell the story more through characters and action. Drama Queenz and Awkward Black Girl have kind of beat the web series voice-over into the ground, in my opinion.
Also it would be great to see Marshall have more than just relationship woes as a young black gay man. I understand that’s primarily what gay audiences want to see, love & sex, but there is more to life as a young gay black man than finding and/or keeping a boyfriend.
Also, some of the jokes here seemed like they worked better on paper than on the screen. Not sure if it was the actors delivery, the directing or the jokes themselves. Overall, I’d say this was a very good start and I’d give this one another episode based on what I saw here. There’s definitely potential.
FREEFALL – EPISODE 11: Stay
Another Episode of Freefall dropped. Haven’t seen it yet. Probably won’t.
But I skimmed through the episode and saw that the annoying “green tint” was dramatically reduced, if not gone altogether! Here’s to small victories! *Starts Pop-Locking like Turbo*
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