Everyone has a best friend, someone they can let their guard down with. There is a closeness created between best friends that can’t be replicated, and it’s only with them that we can truly be at peace with ourselves. The only downside to bestie relationships is the intimacy you find with romantic relationships. What if there was a way to have the intimacy and the eradication of vulnerability all while sharing a non-sexual bond? What about a gay best friend?
In the new web-series by Alicia J. Rose, The Benefits of Gusbandry explores what it truly means for a woman to have a gay best friend. The show is witty and true to life, exposing what it’s like to be a part of this exclusive club. Being a woman in my 30s with gay best friends, it was always hard to fully explain how this relationship is the best of both worlds. This series does this with ease and humor.
If you’ve experienced moments with a gay best friend, you understand that things can go from loving to ridiculous in not time at all, so the short-form format of a web-series, less than 10 minutes, is perfect for a show with this concept at its core. Season 1 is only 6 episodes, enough to explore the wonders of this world while still wanting the audience to want more.
Each episode lays out a specific situation that best friends may find themselves in, like seeing how the other one dates or meeting the parents. They are explored in detail, yet allows the audience to play along. We might not be able to relate on a personal level to all the circumstances, but we can picture ourselves in them with our significant gay.
Showcasing a gay relationship, in whatever format it is being represented, is not new to sitcoms. Television audiences have been welcoming them into our homes for several years now, but what sets this series apart is the accessibility through the web configuration. Not having to answer to a major network, Rose was able to be honest with the adult situations allowing for reality to ooze forth.
Yes, this is a series about a gay man and his straight female best friend, but never once was a stereotype or cliche thrown at the audience. There was never a feeling of “filling a quota,” but instead a desire to have truthful storytelling. You leave with a feeling of gratitude for your gay, and you fall in love all over again. If you don’t have one, you understand how fulfilling it is to have someone that close in your life, and you zone in on who yours is.
Sure I can explore further how I believe this series illuminates how when you take the pressures of society and culture (marriage and kids) out of the equation of a male-female relationship, you are only left with the freedom to be yourself no matter the differences. There are plenty of deep emotional avenues we can take talking about the honesty showed through the characters, but that’s for you to explore on your own.
The important thing here is that this show is fun to watch. The storylines are cleaver and heartfelt, acted with precision by two actors who allow their own insecurities to disappear in order to portray an authentic bond, and with a short 6-episode season, it’s not hard to binge watch (our preferred method of television ingestion).
The Benefits of Gusbandry have several showings at the Austin Film Festival 2016 as well as being selected as a finalist in the Digital Series Competition.
Sunday October 16, 5pm at Galaxy Highland
Wednesday October 19, 4:30pm at the Hideout Theater
Written by Lisa Mejia
Images provided by Shark Party Media