Spoilers, blah blah blah - EastSiders is also ongoing, but I have seen the first 6 episodes (everything that's been released so far) -- All episodes on LogoTV - sorry but I think it's location locked.
EastSiders is about morality,
emotions, relationships and is a fantastic drama. I'd call it a soap opera, but
it's big, expansive and over played, it's small and about emotional hurt and
pain. Gay couple Cal and Thom start having trouble after Cal learns that Thom
has been cheating on him. Cal's best female friend Kathy is in a relationship
with Ian and they’re having rocky times because Cathy seems to be reticent to
depend on Ian, but Ian seems to be the type to lasso the moon for her.
The show starts the
morning after an End of the World party that friends of Cal and Thom were
throwing December 2012. Cal has learned
that Thom had been cheating and confronted him about it. As an audience we're
dropped right into drama as Cal and Thom decide to stay together after Thom's
deception has been found out and he breaks it off with Jeremy, his piece on the
At first, you're
rooting for Cal who is the one who was wronged in this relationship, but it becomes
more than that as the show progresses and these characters become more than
Cheater/Cheated-on/Cheated-With. Little is known as of episode 6 of Jeremy
other than he can't give up either Cal or Thom.
But wait, Cal was
cheated on by Thom with Jeremy but they now know one another. When deciding to
meet the man he hates, Cal ends up drinking with Jeremy as they discuss Thom
and while inebriated they fool around together. This makes things more complex
then Cal being the wronged party, he has not wronged Thom and admits to hating
himself and Jeremy.
Cal is conflicted, he’s now
not a victim of cheating, but now a cheater with the same man he was his lover
cheated on him with. Cal wants to see himself as being the morally correct
party and holds himself to that standard of the hurt party in the relationship.
Cal wants to stay with Thom out of spite, they’ve both been wrong and wronged
so he feels justified that he and Thom ought to stay together with their
personal injuries. Not too long later, while at work in an art space, while
having a celebratory drink with his boss, Cal kisses him which leads to them
sleeping together. This is after Cal has expressed immense joy over someone
buying one of his prints and exclaiming “Someone on the Internet likes me.”
This shows how little Cal likes himself as he seeks out men other than his
boyfriend for validation. He’s conflicted and he falls from being a ‘good
person’ to being a more complex and wrong person as the series progresses. He
seems to sleep with people then push them out of his mind, as if thinking that
if they don’t acknowledge what happened then it didn’t happen and there’s
nothing to be responsible for. After
sleeping with Jeremy instead of addressing the ramifications of his actions,
Cal runs away. After sleeping with his boss, who Cal only just learns is
married, Cal runs away instead of facing the reality that he cheated on Thom
again. Cal seems to have issues with engaging and actively fixing problems that
are his fault. When Thom is the one who is wrong Cal is very gung-ho about
making Thom feel bad about cheating on him, and feeling bad about his place in
life. When Cal is the one who wrongs Thom he does what he can to avoid
addressing the problems either by drinking or helping Kathy with her problems. Cal
seems to be open to cheating on Thom when drinking, but also seems embarrassed
and likes to pretend he's done nothing wrong. He's already expressed a dislike
of himself, so maybe he's just trying to feel like someone wants, or needs him.
As Cal explores and questions Thom’s commitment to their relationship, Kathy, Cal's
best friend plays out long dramas in her head, reaching conclusions without all
the facts and doesn't take her boyfriend's feelings to heart as much as she
The night of the End of the
World party is near Kathy and Ian’s anniversary, he tries to be a good
boyfriend by giving her a gift, which happens to be a ring. In Cathy’s inebriation
she believes he’s proposing to her and spends the next day (or so) thinking she’s
engaged to be married. She plays out the drama, the risks and rewards of being
married in her head and to Cal instead of talking to Ian and getting a straight
answer. This is cleared up and not long later Kathy realizes she’s pregnant
and does the same thing of going to Cal instead of Ian to discuss her future
plans. Ian as far as he’s be characterized, is a good guy. He seems to be kind,
compassionate, a good friend, he tries to be a good boyfriend, so it’s
difficult to see why Cathy is to reticent to go to him when she has a problem.
I’m thinking Kathy is
afraid of a lot more than they ever lets on to, at least to Ian if not all of
her friends. She expresses fear about she can’t be getting married and why she
shouldn’t be having a baby, but she never seems to discuss this with Ian. I
think she’s afraid of losing him so she wants to keep him at a steady distance,
either to keep from getting to attached so she can cut and run, or she’s afraid
he’s going to break it off and she’ll be subjected to more pain. What she does
makes me feel really bad for Ian, he hasn’t been shown to be anything other
than devoted and honest, so her dishonesty and how she jumps to conclusions in
her fear is really unfair. Kathy decides to abort the baby she would have had
with Ian and never tells him, he finds out in the worst way they he could have
been a father, but the joy he expressed for a hot minute at this thought seems
to crash that much harder after he learns that there was never a discussion
with him. She might have still come to the same conclusion, but at least he
could have known.
I think her choice to get an abortion is
handled in a respectful manner. She's reticent before the procedure and unlike
her cavalier to introspective emotional arc when she's drinking and making the
decision with Cal, then she's despondent after the procedure. Seeing
another woman say she's keeping her baby, Kathy seems like she regrets the
decision, and this is something I like about the show. I like how the show
plays out how the decision weighs on Kathy and her uncertainty after it's all
over. It's not an easy decision and I'm sure many women think long and hard
about it, either way after getting one and if they decide not to get one. It's
not played as if after the procedure that Kathy feels at peace with everything
and confident, she's still uncertain and afraid of the adult world facing her.
She's afraid of seeing Ian and then telling him what she decided to so.
She acts like she's always confident and competent, but she's afraid.
This by no means makes her a weak character, but it shows how conflicted she is
and how difficult life is. She dives head first into her mistakes then
fearfully addressing the problems of her actions while recovering after
(literally in this instance).
With Cal having started kind
of morally as a protagonist in the show not much is currently known about Thom.
He's a bartender, he cheated on Cal but regrets it. He's called a bad guy
and characterized in the series by mutual acquaintances as
a 'bad guy' but so far he's tried to be upstanding. After breaking things off
with Jeremy he avoids his calls and texts, spending more time at work or with
Cal to prove that he's a changed man. Jeremy is still acting very much the
interloper, by going to both Cal and Jeremy's workplaces to try to maintain
contact with two people who have decided they want nothing to do with him.
Jeremy seems to be obsessed with this, maybe because they were his most recent
partners, or their life drama is that alluring that Jeremy can't quit them, he
keeps trying to make a place in their story. I'm not sure what Jeremy's MO is,
he has expressed enjoyment of both Cal and Thom, when talking with a friend
about it Jeremy doesn't know what he wants or what he expects by attempting to
continue any sort of relationship with either.
I look forward to the new
episodes every Tuesday, posted at 3pm EST. I like that I can't really
predict how the characters are going to act, I can kind of guess what's going
to happen but it doesn't feel like I can
see the dots ahead while connecting them to get to the conclusion. I have a few
possible conclusions, but nothing feels set in stone, I look forward to seeing
how everything either comes together or falls apart. The entire show is about
shifting morality and how characters actions change who they are and what their
worth is. I don't know what I want to have happen, I don't know who I want to
end up happy in the end and who deserves to get their comeuppance.
I like how realistic things are being handled,
that these stories are plausible, have probably happened (maybe not all at once
in the same friend circle), but I like how the connections and how people
interact is the important thing. How and why people hurt each other, it's
greater than sexuality. This is a story about people and failure, and possibly
redemption, it depends on how open ended it is.
Correction: I spelled 'Kathy' incorrectly and have fixed it