There has been a lot of gay web series popping out of the woodwork. And while it's a good thing to see LGBT stories and actors at work, it's almost painful to watch these mini-episodes about nothing exciting or entertaining.
In fact, these series all seem to fall into the same tired old boxes:
- Somebody wants to be the Slutty Sandy Dee.
- They all live in L.A. or in New York City.
- Uses physical appearance, not substance, to push the story.
- They have friends that don't convince the audience that they are friends.
- Lack of Diversity or Diversity for the sake of Diversity.
Case in point, a friend sent me link to a new web series. The logline was this:
a queer show about sex, love, booze, drugs, friendship, family, and amazing acts of stupidity. But mostly sex.
Okay, but that's almost every gay web series. When did this format become the only one to use? And why do gay writers seem to be stuck in the same style of storytelling?
It's very interesting to see these series follow the same lazy outlines. It comes off like we don't have any other stories to tell or we just want to go for shock value. Seriously, writers if this is all you have to offer, then please spare us the torture.
As gay writers and creators, we are creative and innovative people. Our experiences and stories can easily fill hundreds of networks. We are capable of telling better stories than gay hipsters living in big cities.
We as a community are much more than that.
Hell, if Black writers stayed in this lazy story telling format, we would only see TV/web series about a family in the Ghetto just trying to survive.
My challenge for these writers is to focus on characters with depth and substance. Look at the older generation and our communities or color. Try to think about what stories the public should know about the LGBT community. Don't overuse pretty faces or hot bodies as the only means to sell the story. Look outside of your comfort zones and give us something to believe in.
In other words, do better, make better! Our community is counting on you.
(image source: "Film and Movie News" by Flickr user RambergMediaImages)