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Where do we go from here? That’s not just the title of an Olivia song, but a question many LGBT viewers are asking when it comes to the web series they have come to love and know. You can say the phenomenon of these web series began with the adoration and success of Freefall and then later fully catapulted to an entire genre after the runaway success of the first season of Signal 23 TV’s About Him. 

Since then LGBT web series number in the dozens, each with their own stories love, tragedy, mayhem, lust, desire, and personal joy. However, in the last couple of years a few fans have become disgruntled with LGBT web series, relegating them to drawn porno scenes. In fact one infamous blogger, Jamari Fox, has likened them to being “just porn with a plot!”

via Inside Jamari Fox

mustang nude porn star

a typical signal23 production?
i love a good web series.

you know i love good tv.
with the right plot and characters,
it can really pull you in.
that being said,
i have noticed something with 98% of gay web series:

“PORN WITH A PLOT”

i mean,
am i lying?
i got a dm from foxholer malcolm about this today.
this is what he had to font

it’s hard to watch a gay web series because you’re so busy jackin off to it.
i’m seeing an abundance of porn stars in them too.
can i be honest?
no pun intended.

even tho this is a “tyson plus” production,
and i love everything he does,
i don’t even know what “honest men” is really about.
tried to get into it,
but all i saw was tripp ali:

it’s hard to watch a gay web series because you’re so busy jackin off to it.
i’m seeing an abundance of porn stars in them too.
can i be honest?
no pun intended.

even tho this is a “tyson plus” production,
and i love everything he does,
i don’t even know what “honest men” is really about.
tried to get into it,
but all i saw was tripp ali:

cont’d next page

We recently came across Jamari’s article after we were informed that it was seemingly bashing our good friend, actor, and Web Star, Tripp Ali; and we have to say Jamari’s assessment of him is rash and harsh. Yes, Tripp has participated in simulated love scenes in his web series, but that should not subtract from the time, love, and effort he puts into his craft of learning his characters–literally breathing life into them! Additionally, adding Tyson Anthony’s Honest Men to the lists of web series that may be sex dominated is wrong. If you ever actually watch the series it actually explores the little known or discussed relationships between gay men and their sons. We all know gay men with biological children, many who have struggled with how to be good fathers and men when society has demonized them simply because of who they love and what they are attracted to.

We definitely believe in presenting both sides of any story and feel that writing off the majority of web series as “porn with a plot” is irresponsible. We know and have worked with a number of gay content creators who have created and are creating some amazing and quality content. Ultimately, however, the audience dictates what is popular, and if the community would like better then they have to support better, or simply not watch at all. Signal 23 TV’s CEO, Henderson Maddox, recently said in an interview on WTTRadio’s Currently Mikey w/ Rocc, that this was all business and he was simply giving the people what they asked for. The choice is yours.

The Web World–Web Stars, actors, directors, and content creators–have their own response to Jamari’s article, that you can catch below:

*** Jamari we definitely welcome you to talk with us and debate this more.***

alex jante

Alex Jante

What i read i agree with, which is why I,as a creator, decided to drive my own narrative and storylines to disconnect from that and bring stories I’d like to see on those platforms and hope people enjoy it as well without baiting with porn or no substance. I can drive a disease that even makes the main character sexy driven and never expose the audience to anything uncomfortable. I drive for storyline and content , not just scene by scene for the next sexual encounter Which is why i created The Unanointed . Check out all 6 episodes on YouTube now

tre floyd

Tre Floyd, director and creator of “Love, Sex, & Marriage” Web Series and Stage Play

Some shows are overly sexualized but there are still quality gay shows out there that are entertaining without too much nudity. If u take away the sex scenes and the show is no longer entertaining, you may be watchin porn with a plot but hey sex sells.

henderson maddox

Henderson Maddox, CEO/owner of Signal 23 TV

“I love to create films, but as a business man I’ve learned to create what the fans want so I can continue to live this dream.. However I have a lot of content that is true art (Deficiency Notice) available on signal23tv.com “

anthony bawn

Anthony Bawn, CEO/Owner of Bawn TV

Well I can see their point of view if they have selected the series mentioned within this article however I tend to make sure all sex scene have a purpose to move the story along and done tastefully So everyone has their own methods either you watch or you don’t watch! 💁🏾

Tyson Anthony, Owner of TysonPlus

cont’d next page…

It depends on what you choose to focus on – I’m aware the sexual aspect brings attention but the art of storytelling matters most. Jamari is my homie and thanks you also Mikey for every review you have ever typed.

david king

King David; actor, Web Star

Point received and point acknowledged from the general scope of what we see often in lgbt web series. However, I must correct the assertion directed toward Tripp Ali. His character (JT) has one of the most fluid storylines of the bunch in relation to his sexuality and how it relates to his scenes. Knowing him personally, I can tell you this is someone who studies their character and becomes them. What I will add from the perspective on an web series actor myself, one who takes my craft as serious as my livelihood, is that we strive to be recognized and appreciated for our Talent. We want to create memorable moments for our viewers to hold onto for years to come. In a new “World of Web Series”, we serve as pioneers. It’s our job to make this industry what we want it to be and that is what people like Tripp Ali, Donta Hensley, Gary Lavard, myself and many others are making it our duty to change, develop and mold. 
In closing, are gay web series just porn with a plot? No, gay web series are a true and unique entertainment outlet, one that has been pivotal in the visibility of the straight, gay, bi, and trans black male.
In any film market there will always be those who see profit in saturating and overcompensating with sex and they will sell that… they’re invested in payout, not art. There’s nothing we can do about that.
However, Don’t be so fast to question whether quality art exists in lgbt web. Great art is and will always be harder to find. 
Be sure to check out Honest Men starring myself “Kvng David”, Tripp Ali, Donta Hensley & Gary Lavard on www.tysonplus.com Not only is it art but It may even be ahead of its time!
Freshie director of breathe web series

Freshie, director of “BREATHE” web series

It’s crazy that this article came out… because I was just watching a YouTube video on how some HOLLYWOOD producers have switched their leading roles with pornstars to make a more realistic sex scenes in HETEROSEXUAL movies. And that was THEIR decision for THEIR movie(s). Thus proving sexual preference or being of LGBT content has nothing to do with it.
If you don’t like the director and their projects or their style… don’t watch THEM. But don’t classify all “gay webseries” under the same umbrella because not all of them are like that. Period.
brandon karson

Brandon Karson; Web Star, actor

“When I was on the first season of ‘About Him’, I felt like the story line called for a good, passionate sex scene here and there because of the build up of characters. The story followed a young guy in discovery of his sexuality. Naturally, when that happens in anyone’s life, there’s a sexual exploratory journey that happens. Due to the success of the show, every show afterwards followed that same path, hoping for that same amount of success. The problem comes about when the sex overshadows the storytelling, but it’s all because it sells. All in all, it’s up to the community to demand more substance & storytelling in the content that is supposed to tell our narrative in the most authentic way possible.” 
rahim brazil

Rahim Brazil; actor, director, Web Star, CEO of Big Dreams Productions

My professional advice would be for people to look for quality entertainment that not only has impactful storylines but acting that is just as inspirational as the narrative. In a world full of sex People don’t need more of it! We need stories that are relatable, interesting, and carefully written so that way the viewer can understand the story in its totality! Some of these series do not provide that within their productions. We at Dream House respect art in all of its forms and creativity, however, when it comes to the representation of the LGBT community particularly, there is a stigma that is being created within the community from creators who do not respect the community and all of what it has to offer, we are not just sex!! 

chris june

Chris June; actor, Web Star

Theres a problem in the creativity department when the narrative of the LGBT experience takes a symptomatic, reactionary approach to deeper causes of sexual promiscuity in the community. The guarantee of monetization has come at a cost that has muddled an opportunity for a broader discussion of the queer experience. Long drawn out sex scenes have capitalized on burgeoning actors and vulnerable populations who could benefit from investment in acting classes between seasons instead of pay bumps for nudity. There’s a clear eager population of LGBT creatives who want to tell their stories but are beholden to quickly written scripts with hot pocket sex scenes. Furthermore, those of whom are shuffled out for fresh faces at the cost of developed story line and talent. My hopes are that the writers and directors will soon put purpose before click bate in a greater effort to legitimize the stories they hope to bring to life. Sadly many are not reflective of the parameters that shape queer lives, but an exploitation of the coping strategies that de-legitimize and off-put a larger conversation. There are great web-series rising up through the ranks though so I’m hopeful they’ll inspire more contemplation and less masturbation.

robert rocc sherrill

Rocc

If we want quality content we have to put out a quality product. That means casting real talent and giving an awesome story. What I and many of my colleagues do is not porn, it’s acting. We know what we want to do and we are trying to live our dreams. There are some web series that denote that, but it is reckless and wrong to generalize LGBT web series. Take some responsibility on what you as a consumer choose to watch and support. Honest Men definitely should not be added to the list of web series that are just sex. There is a deep and moving story there as well as some amazing talent. 

web series

[REVIEW] Nostalgically LIT! “Noah’s ARC: The ‘Rona Chronicles” We NEEDED You!

It is hard to believe it has been fifteen years since Patrik-Ian Polk’s “Noah’s ARC” first debuted on LOGO TV Network.

Since then Noah’s ARC has spawned two iconic seasons, an independent film, and now a reunion centered on the affects of the coronavirus pandemic on Noah, Wade, Alex, Ricky, and Chance–“Noah’s ARC: The “Rona Chronicles!”

Needless to say this reunion was right on time and just what we needed during these trying times. A true breath of fresh air! The show was preceded by a pre-show and collection of well wishes with notable Black LGBT stars and fans of the original Noah’s ARC since its early 2000’s inception. The show paved the way for a number of Black LGBT productions like Pose, About Him, Twenties, and so many others.

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noah's arc the rona chronicles

It is hard to believe it has been fifteen years since Patrik-Ian Polk’s “Noah’s ARC” first debuted on LOGO TV Network.

Since then Noah’s ARC has spawned two iconic seasons, an independent film, and now a reunion centered on the affects of the coronavirus pandemic on Noah, Wade, Alex, Ricky, and Chance–“Noah’s ARC: The “Rona Chronicles!”

Needless to say this reunion was right on time and just what we needed during these trying times. A true breath of fresh air! The show was preceded by a pre-show and collection of well wishes with notable Black LGBT stars and fans of the original Noah’s ARC since its early 2000’s inception. The show paved the way for a number of Black LGBT productions like Pose, About Him, Twenties, and so many others.

noah's arc the rona chronicles

The show centers on our motley cast dealing with the overcast of the coronavirus pandemic. Noah tells Alex he and Wade are at odds over a “situation” between him and three friends, meanwhile he has life altering news he needs to share with his crew. Alex’s son OJ is now identifying as non-binary, while his husband Trey struggles to deal with being a medic witnessing the onslaught of the pandemic. Chance now lives in Mississippi with a new position at a new college, while his husband and stepdaughter, Eddie and Kenya (all grown up and beautiful), are in Florida caring for the other’s aging mother. Finally, Ricky is STILL Ricky, trying to find safe ways to hook up with guys during the pandemic, while possibly reconnecting with his former love, Junito.

noah's arc the rona chronicles

The show’s format was based on Zoom calls, allowing them to safely film the series while being true and entertaining to the source content of the series. The guys have all aged well and you can tell they were happy to be back in the swing of things. The timing of this reunion is everything AND creative. Mainstream television had the right idea with rebooting its older series and Patrik has the right idea with bringing back this amazing cast of actors.

There is a real lack of positive and quality Black LGBT content in media nowadays and The ‘Rona Chronicles may be what we need to satiate and fill this empty space. Welcome back guys you were all missed–dearly!

patrik-ian polk

Patrik-Ian Polk, write and creator of “Noah’s ARC”

What We Liked 

-Seeing the entire main cast back together, including Brandy (Jennia Fredrique) and Junito (Wilson Cruz), making this project happen.

-Wade and Noah are still together and HAPPY.

-The dynamic of Noah and his ARC are still there. The chemistry, the way they play off each other, and their sense of family and community are as strong as ever.

-The show addressed the dangers and effects of the coronavirus pandemic. It really lets audiences know we are all in this together!

What We Loved

-Wade and Noah are going to be daddies!!! It’s the natural evolution of their relationship and family. This kid is going to be an amazing mix of both his/her fathers and we cannot wait!

-Alex is truly MAMA! Everything he does is a hoot, but we love him nonetheless.

-Meeting Wade’s father and Alex’s brother! It was good to see more family in the mix. Wade’s father definitely set him straight–in a parenting sense, and the duet with Alex and his brother of “Don’t Lose This Feeling That We Have” from “The Wiz” was EVERYTHING!

-The inclusion of Black Lives Matter issues and police brutality. RIP Rayshard Brooks!

-Brandon Karson, formerly of “About Him,” making an appearance on the show! It was a shocker, but well received! Check out his involvement with the series in a brief interview below:

What We Hated

-We didn’t get to see Alex’s child, OJ!

-What happened to Brandon (Gary LeRoi Gray) from “Noah’s ARC: Jumping The Broom?” We need an update!

 

 

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web series

“Get Your Life” w/ “My Life!” Gary Lavard is WINNING w/ New Series

The sun always seems to shine on Gary Lavard. Whether he is acting, modeling, or producing the man may very well be a living example of “Never Not Working!” In Gary’s latest venture, his production company, GLO Media, has partnered with Victory Productions Network, owned and created by Augusta filmmaker and director, Karlton T. Clay to produce a new web series, “My Life!”

The series centers on Kevin (Gary Lavard) a 35 year old married man with kids struggling with his sexuality. He manages to keep his secret lives apart until Troy (Marquis Woolford), the man he had an affair with unwittingly shows up at his birthday party. Kevin’s life begins to unravel as he struggles to maintain his life as is while dealing with his growing desire for other men.

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my life web series gary lavard

The sun always seems to shine on Gary Lavard. Whether he is acting, modeling, or producing; the man may very well be a living example of “Never Not Working!” In Gary’s latest venture, his production company, GLO Media, has partnered with Victory Productions Network, owned and created by Augusta filmmaker and director, Karlton T. Clay, to produce a new web series, “My Life!”

The series centers on Kevin (Gary Lavard) a 35 year old man with a wife (Kiara Bennett) and kids struggling with his sexuality. He manages to keep his secret lives apart until Troy (Marquis Woolford), the man he had an affair with unwittingly shows up at his birthday party. Kevin’s life begins to unravel as he struggles to maintain his life as is while dealing with his growing desire for other men.

The series will be released biweekly on GLO Media and Victory Production Network’s YouTube channel, but if you can’t wait (like we can’t) you can purchase the entire series by clicking here.

Grade: A-

The first episode episode, “If You Look At My Life, See What I See” can be viewed below:

review cont’d on the next page…

(more…)

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web series

#QuarantineAndCackle w/ HD Productions Network’s New Limited Series, “COVID!”

While the world has been set on pause, thanks to coronavirus, Corey Knott and the boys at HD Productions Network have seemingly been working away. The indie network’s latest projects is a comedic new limited series entitled, “COVID!” The series features characters from HD’s Daytime Emmy pre-nominated series (for Outstanding Digital Drama Series), “Living 4 The Weekend,” now in its fifth season! 

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covid hd productions network

While the world has been set on pause, thanks to coronavirus, Corey Knott and the boys at HD Productions Network have seemingly been working away. The indie network’s latest projects is a comedic new limited series entitled, “COVID!” The series features characters from HD’s Daytime Emmy pre-nominated series (for Outstanding Digital Drama Series), “Living 4 The Weekend,” now in its fourth season!

“COVID” really spoofs the isolation and fear we are feeling globally. In its own way, it lets us all know we are all truly in this together, dealing with a common problem. We spoke with Cory briefly for a quick Q&A on the series. Check it out below:

covid hd productions network

1. Why’d you decide to a limited series and entitle it episode entitled “COVID” and make it a comedy?

In the wake of the pandemic and social distancing precautions. I felt that it would serve purpose to loyal fans who are experiencing the same thing we all are worldwide. The series was created to make us laugh at the things we really want to scream about. Let’s face it. We all want to go back OUTSIDE! 

2. How has your production company adapted to the new restrictions since the outbreak?

Luckily for HD Productions Network, we had just wrapped filming Fallacies The Final Season and Living 4 The Weekend Season 4 the week before the shutdown. The COVID Series was created as a “stall” tactic to ensure that we wouldn’t run out of NEW episodes until the studios reopened to begin filming other series. I didn’t want to have a gap in time until the next group of series dropped on our network which realistically  would be early Fall.

3. Have you seen a positive or negative jump or slump in views on your series since the outbreak?

Well of course. Sales have doubled this month. Everyone is home. People are bored and want to watch something relatable. Living 4 The Weekend is breaking barriers while COVID is breaking the internet with views out the world. For example. I posted episode 2 of COVID at midnight. I woke up at 8am to 10k views! I say its pretty impressive.

4. What other shows can we expect?

Normally I would say expect the unexpected but lucky for you readers I have nothing but time. No pun intended. Throughout this pandemic, my team and I put in some work. HD Productions Network celebrated 6 years on 4/15/20. As part of the HD6 Upfronts, I present to you… House Boys S1 The Pier (Feature Film) Pieces S2 Ex-Hell (Limited Series) Ronnie and Klyde (Limited Series) and Living 4 The Weekend S5

covid hd productions network

COVID is seriously funny and there are now two episodes to view. The second episode has already garnered over 25K views! You’ll even catch an appearance from our very own, Michael “Hey Mikey” Fanning. We have to say we are impressed with HD’s progress and the series they are churning out. You can catch “COVID” by subscribing at www.hdproductionsnetwork.tv/!

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