Thursday, June 13, 2013

Web-based TV Shows - All the Colors of the Rainbow

MFRW Colors of the Rainbow Bloghop



The Times They Are A Changing

A few years ago who would have thought they'd see the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell? Or Jason Collins, the first active professional athlete to come out, marching in a gay pride parade? 

Still, positive change can be slow and when it comes to entertainment such as movies and television, LGBT characters are about as common as hens' teeth. 

GLAAD (previously known as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), which monitors and promotes the image of LGBT people in the media, reports that the number of LGBT characters in the 2012-2013 television season (that's primetime broadcast programming) is a whopping 4.4%. Up from 2.9% last year. (See the full report here.)

However, while TV networks are slow to change, gay-themed web-based internet shows are popping up more and more often. (In the title for this post I called them TV shows, but technically that's not correct.)

I fell in love with The Outs, a 7 episode show about two men coping with life after their relationship ends. It's funny and poignant and realistic. Adam Goldman, who co-wrote the show with Sasha Winters says, "The internet provides a really incredible opportunity for representational content about minorities." 

Husbands is a comedy show about an athlete and his campy boyfriend. The couple marry during a drunken Las Vegas Weekend. The first season's episodes are short (less than 2 minutes each), snappy and fun. Josh Whedon, who guest stars in the second season, said, "Husbands is full of the kind of whip-smart remarks you wish you'd written yourself." 

I've watched and enjoyed both of these shows. In fact I've watched The Outs more than once. I did some online research and found several other shows though I haven't had time to view the following: 

Where the Bears Are, a show about three hairy roommates in LA, trying to solve their friend's death.
Hunting Season is based on the book The Great Cock Hunt and follows Alex, a twenty-something single blogger living in Manhattan. 
Eastsiders is a dark comedy set in the Silverlake area of LA (the same area as Where the Bears Are is filmed). The story examines infidelity and its affect on a gay couple.    

Several of these shows (like The Outs and Husbands) used the Kickstarter funding program to solicit money to make additional episodes. That these shows exist and are popular within the gay community makes me optimistic that they might just pave the way for more realistic representations of LGBT characters. Maybe even in mainstream TV shows.

So consider checking a few episodes out and let the creators know that you like their work.

And if the summer weather's so nice you can't bring yourself to stay indoors to watch TV (or web-based shows in this case) here's your chance to win an ebook copy of my most recent release, Stage Fright (perfect for reading at the beach). 

All you have to do is leave a comment between June 14 and midnight June 16th EST to be entered for a chance to win. Tell me who your favorite LGBT movie, TV (or web-based show) character is. Don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.




Stage Fright Blurb:


After six months dancing in a Las Vegas all-male revue, Jesse Snowe is used to being groped by enthusiastic females, but he's more interested in Val, the sexy new bartender. Jesse's tired of the closet, but when he thinks of coming out he gets stage fright. The thought of telling his fellow dancers he's gay makes his palms sweat and his heart race and not in a good way. Dating Val under the watchful eyes of the dance captain could reveal Jesse's secret and might be more of a gamble than Jesse's willing to take. For Val Tremain the glamor of Vegas is wearing thin. He's even less enamored with his new job, but knowing he'll see Jesse's beautiful body makes it easier to go to work. When Jesse hints he's interested Val can't believe his luck. But Jesse's latest dance routine encourages a little too much audience participation and Val struggles with jealousy.

 Jesse knows his job's hard on their relationship and being closeted doesn't help. Strangers slap his butt every night, yet he's afraid to touch his lover in public. If he wants this relationship to work Jesse may have to reveal more than just his body.


Excerpt:


Jesse watched Chaz, their dance captain, work his magic. Chaz was an old hand at stripping and made it look so easy. He had a woman from a bachelorette party up onstage. She reached around and gripped his ass hard, her fingers digging into tanned flesh. Chaz pulled her to her feet. Jesse could see his muscular ass bunch and flex as Chaz mimed grinding against her.
Jesse looked over at the bar and sighed. The new bartender was wiping the counter. He wasn’t even watching the show. Maybe the new guy wasn’t gay after all. The guy behind the bar seemed more interested in dirt than dancers.
Jesse scrambled into his next costume, then nodded to Eric, their MC, from the side of the stage. “And now, ladies. Here’s the newest member of our revue and the baby of the group, Firefighter Jesse.”
Jesse bounced onstage to shouts and catcalls. He did a couple of backflips, then slapped on his helmet. His routine went off without a hitch, but as usual he needed to mentally gear himself up for the finale. He grabbed the crotch of his tear-away turnouts and yanked them off, leaving him in nothing but his T-bar. After six months of working as a dancer, he still felt kind of stupid wearing the minuscule thong, but he was grateful for the no-nudity policy. It helped him maintain the illusion that he still had some dignity. He spied a table that didn’t have too many drinks on it and jumped into the crowd.
The audience loved it. Jesse danced the length of the table, shaking his ass for the screaming women—and saw the bartender watching. He faltered, then recovered, leaping lightly off the table, squeezing through the press of bodies. He smiled and high-fived outstretched palms on his way as other hands reached for his chest, his butt, even trying for his package. His ass was slapped at least three times before he managed to return to the stage.
“Let’s hear it for Jesse. Who wants Jesse to put out their fire?” Eric asked the enthusiastic audience.
Backstage Mike threw Jesse a towel. “Holy shit, they’re wild tonight. I wasn’t sure you were going to make it back in one piece.”
Jesse wiped the sweat from his face and chest. “Me neither.” He shook his head, smiling. “Gives a whole new meaning to audience participation.”

Buy link: Stage Fright




HERE'S ANOTHER GIVEAWAY
Free to everyone -- No entry needed.
Download your favorite version of the exclusive Marketing for Romance Writers (MFRW) Rainbow Excerpts Book, with 60 pages of excerpts and samples from our authors. This version features gay romance. 

Download for Adobe PDF

ETA

The bloghop may be over, but the MFRW Excerpts Book is still available. Just click on one of the links above and download.

The winner of the copy of Stage Fright is…Urbanista. Congratulations, I'll contact you offline.


Thanks for visiting everyone and thanks to all those who left a comment.

MFRW Colors of the Rainbow Bloghop