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Van Hansis and Kit Williamson Chat EastSiders Season Two: What Happens When Thom & Cal Venture Into An Open Relationship?

Courtesy/EastSiders

Courtesy/EastSiders

On Tuesday, the highly-anticipated second season of the critically-acclaimed EastSiders made its debut on Vimeo on Demand.  The first three episodes were released, and the series continues to chronicle the very human, messed-up, and complex story of Silverlake-living Thom (Van Hansis) and Cal (Kit Williamson), as they struggle to define just what their relationship truly is, and where it is headed.

During season one where we met Thom and Cal, and their friends, viewers watched the implosion of their relationship in the aftermath of infidelity. Now in season two it looks like that these two young men have found a new way to experience one another and to be together – by adventuring upon an open relationship.

Raw, touching, and oh-so-funny, creator Kit Williamson infuses season two with witty dialog, and a no-judgment-look at couples exploring the boundaries of sex and love within the framework of the LGBT community.  Through twist and turns and shared experiences, can Cal and Thom actually find harmony with one another?  Or, will their new shared outlook eventually tear them apart yet again?

On-Air On-Soaps chatted with series stars: Van Hansis (beloved by soap fans for his performance as Luke Snyder on As the World Turns) and Kit Williamson, who continue to make EastSiders a must-see viewing.  During our conversation they discussed: the decision to make an open relationship a major theme throughout the season, and what they thinks this means for their character’s journey as they navigate through some very steamy, yet humorous sexual encounters.  The guys also share what went on during the filming of some of the standout scenes in the first half of the second season, and they deliver a preview of what is to come when the second half of the season arrives on October 1st.  Here’s our chat with Van and Kit!

When creating season two of EastSiders, what went into the decision to have it be about these two guys evolution in their relationship, which was having an open one?

Courtesy/EastSiders

KIT:  I thought a lot about what I wanted season two to be. I know a lot of people were very invested in the love triangle from season one.  But, I don’t think you can retread the same storyline, especially when you take a break between the seasons.  You have to let the characters evolve and change.  It just seemed like the natural place to go when you have had your relationship completely redefined.  You have to build it back up from scratch.  After Cal moved out of his apartment with Thom and they start seeing each other again, they are tasked with redefining what that relationship is to one another.

Van, when read the scripts and found out that the next turn in Cal and Thom’s complex relationship would be that they would be having sex together … with other men … what was your initial reaction?

Courtesy/EastSiders

VAN:  I thought the scripts were awesome.  I went to L.A. in April of last year and we had a big sit-down with all the cast members and read through the scripts.  Kit has mentioned that may be the direction the characters would be going in, and I really liked it.  One thing that I liked about the first season was it was telling an old story in a new way – in telling a story of infidelity.  I feel like this now is a logical expansion of that story.  You see the stories that are cautionary tales such as, “Don’t do this, or it will ruin your relationships, etc.”  That’s not the case with EastSiders.  I think a lot of people can throw side-eyes at these characters for this, but they are having a good time for the most part. There are challenges within it, but I think the show does a really good job of exploring those challenges.  Also, not being judgmental about where these characters are taking their lives.

In the third episode when Thom and Cal are having many a ménage à trios with guy, after guy, after guy, it was some of the funniest material I have seen!  These men they hook up with all have twisted back-stories, or weird sexual appetites, and so on, and so forth.  Did you have fun filming those moments?

Courtesy/EastSiders

VAN:  Oh, my God!  Those scenes were so funny!  But the scenes with all of those guys we basically did that all in one day!  First off, it was 9,000 degrees in the bedroom.   It was filming in a sauna, basically.  We were in states of undress, and I felt really badly for the crew who was dripping with sweat.  But the stuff that those guys were doing was so funny.  Numerous takes were just ruined, because people couldn’t stop laughing.

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KIT:  Yes!  We shot in the summer and you have to turn the air conditioning off when you’re filming because of noise, and we were shooting all day.

And so after all of their trysts, they didn’t have a moment thinking, “Wow, this is truly creepy!”  Or, perhaps were they thinking instead, “Wow, this so works!”

Courtesy/EastSiders

KIT:  What I hope you see in that episode is that no matter how creepy the people that enter their lives and their bedroom are, and whether it’s a good experience or not, it’s actually bringing Cal and Thom closer together as they explore a side of themselves that they never have.  I don’t think either of them got the opportunity to date very much before they found each other.  I think this is part of why Cal lashes out so much in season one, and becomes such a sex monster. (Laughs)  It’s because he was a virgin up until the point he started dating Thom, and put so much stock in fidelity, and in their monogamy. So when that was shattered, he had no idea who he was.

Originally, Thom was the dog in the relationship!  Wouldn’t you agree?

KIT:  Thom started out as a dog in season one, for sure.  He was the one that sort of broke the trust and set everything rolling, but then he spends the rest of the season making up for it, and being faithful.  Meanwhile, Cal is sleeping with Jeremy and his boss, and just generally being as self-destructive as a person could be.

Van, do you believe Thom is then truly happy with what is going on in his relationship with Cal at this point?

Courtesy/EastSiders

VAN:  I think there is a lot of confusion of what is going on, but I think he is happy he is back with Cal, and that they are trying to find a new way of working things out.  However, like most of the times on this show no one is ever just happy.  No one is just upset.  There are shades and variations of what is going on, so I think there is definitely some of that happening.  They have never been in an open relationship before.  I think, as Kit had mentioned, what is important to them is that this is their experience together.  So there is always the thing of, “Are you enjoying this as much as I am?  Is this making us happy?”  It’s now about the “we” instead of … is this making “me” happy?

Is the sex-therapist/waiter, who they are sleeping with, truly, advising them in a therapist capacity? (Laughs)

KIT:  This may be the last advice he gives, but he continues to play an important part in the show. (Laughs)

Courtesy/EastSiders

What about the character of Jeremy (Matthew McKelligon) at this point?  He seems so lost now!  Who did he truly want to be with?  He slept with both Cal and Thom, individually, last season.

KIT:  Yes.  He’s a total mess.  He is totally turned upside down by what happened in season one and getting his heart broken, and has kind of let his life implode.  He’s lost all of his clients, and has had to move in with his sister and her wife.  Jeremy is kind of freeloading right now in their guest room smoking pot, and babysitting their kids.  I also felt he was most interested in Thom.  I think he became interested in Cal as an extension of Thom, and to be closer to Thom. You will definitely be seeing more of Jeremy in the next three episodes.

What can you preview for viewers to look forward to come October when the final three episodes of the season are released?

Courtesy/EastSiders

KIT:  I would say that things are not as peaceful as they seem, and that Cal and Thom have a lot more to work out then their sex lives.

There was one thing that remained a staple this season … the booze intake!  There has been lots of drinking going on in season two!

VAN: Yes!  They have an open relationship with alcohol. (Laughs)

KIT:  I think the Cal is self-aware that he actually drinks too much, but I don’t think he believes he is an alcoholic.  Like any other form of excess in his life, Cal is constantly trying to rein things in and finding it difficult.

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In season two, Brianna Brown (Ex-General Hospital, Devious Maids) appears on the scene as Cal’s sister, and she drinks quite heavily in EastSiders too!  (Laughs)

Courtesy/EastSiders

KIT:  Yeah, she also plays a big lush!  You can look forward to Traci Lords coming in and drinking a lot as well! (Laughs)

What do you make of Thom’s journey in all of this?  Has he come to realize that he made any mistakes along the way in his relationship with Cal?

VAN:  I think with Thom there is a sense of him trying to play by the rules, but the rules keep changing.  I think he’s trying to adapt, but I think he has a lot of selfish proclivities, and he’s trying to work on those with Cal.  I think now that they are seeing each other, but living apart, Thom knows what he lost.  He wants that back, but the world that they have set up together now is so different than the world that they were in when they were a couple.  He is just trying to navigate those waters, and figure out who they are to each other with their world being very different.

Do you think the end goal for this duo is … that there would not be three-ways and multiple partners, but they can just be sexually with each other and be content with that?

Courtesy/EastSiders

KIT:  I honestly don’t know.  I haven’t thought that far into the character’s future.  If we do a third season that would definitely be a question.  For me, it’s an interesting thing and as much as it’s the subject of this season and what actually happens, I think sex has become much less significant in their relationship by the fact they are having all of this sex with other people.  The really core important part of trust and communication happens outside of the bedroom.  That’s what I think they need to work on more than anything.

Overall, what do you think is the takeaway for season two?  It certainly may be very eye-opening to some in the viewing audience.

VAN:  I think this season is a bit more thought-provoking, because of its theme of open relationships and because it’s a story that is not told that much, nor is it a story told without judgment that much.  I think when people hear about that, they can get a bit closed off, because maybe they don’t know about it, or they don’t know what that world is.  We live in a society that it is looked down upon for people who choose to live like that.  I think it will be interesting to see how people respond to a love story, especially in regards to what happens when two people are in love, but they are not exclusive with each other.

Do you think that Thom or Cal have any concerns that one of them could potentially fall for one of the guys they are having a threesome with?

Courtesy/EastSiders

KIT:  I think they aren’t even thinking about that.  And at this point in the season, there isn’t anybody who’s emerged as a danger. (Laughs)  Mostly, they have been having sex with a lot of weird guys. (Laughs)  For them, sex and friendship are kind of occupying a similar space, which is an angle on open relationships which I haven’t seen explored as often as the love triangle.  They may not be entirely done with jealously, but this season is not about a love triangle.

Van, if there is a third season for EastSiders, would you love to continue telling the story of this screwed-up yet, very human and compelling couple?

Courtesy/EastSiders

VAN:  I would do season three in a heartbeat!  I love this show.  Kit is an incredible writer, and one thing that I love about this season is that it is really, really funny.  If we take this show further and after what Kit has told me, I am really excited about it.  I, for one, want to see what Cal and Thom are doing when they are in a retirement home in their 80’s, and how much trouble they could be getting in there! (Laughs)

What do you think about the series taking a look at the ramifications on an open relationship between a couple trying to find their way back to each other?  What did you think about Van and Kit’s comments on the second season of the acclaimed series?  Have you checked out the new season yet?  If so, what has been your favorite scene?  Make sure to watch a trailer for season two below.  Then, let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

 

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davlestev1
davlestev1

For some SERIOUSLY odd reason SilverLake/WestHollyWood/Downtown LosAngeles gays are supposedly all the rage..well if you think it and make it so in your own head then you are…IT’S JUST A LIVING SPACE…NOT ALL THE RAGE…I wanna cuss but I won’t…

Faye
Faye

Kit Williamson is a genius beyond compare and Van Hansis is brilliant as always. The entire cast and crew have brought us something magical. I didn’t think it was possible to improve on season 1, but with season 2, the impossible has happened. You don’t want to miss a single minute of this webseries masterpiece!

richard
richard

Yes, let’s continue to portray gays as over-the-top promiscuous bc they don’t get that rep bad enough. Not to mention all the STDs out there among ALL people, we’ll just gloss over that and act like there couldn’t be consequences for such prromiscuity.

Ron
Ron

Even more fun than Season 1, and that’s a pretty high bar. Kit weaves such a multi-layered story, the new characters really add to the fun and intrigue, and Van demonstrates yet again what a truly fine actor he is. An absolute must see….and please let there be a Season 3!

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Emmy Winner and Noted Soap Opera Head Writer; Hogan Sheffer Passes Away At 61

Over the last several hours, reports have broke that one of daytime’s most notable scribes has died.  Hogan Sheffer, who was head writer at As the World Turns, Days of our Lives and The Young and the Restless has passed away at the age of 61.

Soap Hub, first reported the news via multiple sources, however, many writers who worked with Hogan during his tenure on the soaps have taken to social media to share their condolences and their grief and remembrances.

Sheffer’s appearance on the soap scene was unexpected, especially in a genre where it is often rare for new blood to take the reins at the head writer position.  Proctor & Gamble had decided to bring in Hogan after his work as the Director of Screenplay Development for DreamWorks, not because of his writing credits for a previous network soap.  He was given trial deal as a breakdown writer for the CBS soap and 10-weeks in became the beloved town of Oakdale’s new head writer.

Hogan and his then writing team were able to turn the classic, As the World Turns around.  The show went up in the ratings and during his time with the series ‘World Turn’s’ won two Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series, and he and the writing team picked up four Emmy victories all through 2000-2004.

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Next, Sheffer landed in Salem as head writer of Days of our Lives along with Meg Kelly from 2006 through to the beginning of 2008.   He would later join The Young and the Restless and team up with then head writers: Maria Arena Bell and Scott Hamner, and eventually stay with the show till 2012.  During Sheffer’s time in Genoa City, Y&R also won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Writing in 2011.

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On Sunday, former WWE and daytime writer Tom Casiello, who was extremely close with Sheffer…  and who shared how Hogan gave him his start at writing in daytime, took to his Facebook page to pay tribute to a man who had such an impact on his life and many others.  It is worth the read here. 

Y&R writer, Sara Bibel tweeted: “Hogan Sheffer was a gamechanger for ATWT and daytime. Everyone I know who worked with him adored him. RIP”

And, iconic ATWT star, Martha Byrne (Ex-Lily) tweeted on Sheffer’s passing: “To say he was one of a kind would be a tremendous understatement. Our years at ATWT with Hogan at the helm were a rebirth for our beautiful show. Loved his writers, actors,crew. Blessed to have him on the first floor in Brooklyn ready to listen. Talented. Funny. Generous. RIP”

Colleen Zenk (Ex-Barbara, ATWT) also took to Twitter upon learning of the passing of Sheffer sharing: “I loved him, loved him, loved him… he was so good to me. Thank you for everything, Hogan. You were so loved. Especially, by me… Rest in peace…”

Michael Fairman TV will continue to bring you updates as the soap world mourns the loss of a creative force in our genre.  Share your condolences and thoughts on the death of Hogan Sheffer via the comment section below.

 

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Two of the most revered performances ever in the world of daytime drama will be seen tomorrow night on an all-new episode of NBC’s drama series, The Blacklist. (10/9c).

In “The Pawnbrokers”, Daytime Emmy winners, Larry Bryggman (Ex-John Dixon, As the World Turns) and Dorothy Lyman (Ex-Opal Gardner, All My Children) will be seen as a criminal duo!

Bryggman and Lyman play a couple that fronts cash to criminals on the black market. In story, series star, James Spader’s Red acclimates himself to his new digs in federal prison, where he is challenged by an old rival.  Samar (Mozhan Marnò) goes undercover to stop a black market organization that fronts cash to criminals. (Enter Larry and Dorothy!)  And, Liz (Megan Boone) and Jennifer (guest star Fiona Dourif) continue their investigation into Red’s past.

Check out the promo for tomorrow night’s episode below.   Then let us know if you will be checking out Larry and Dorothy and if all of this brings back memories of their amazing performances in Oakdale and in Pine Valley in the comment section below.

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Tainted Dreams is back with a second season offering from Daytime Emmy-winning director and series creator, Sonia Blangiardo!

Beginning December 21st, the next chapter of Blangiardo’s the soap behind a soap, will be available for streaming on Amazon and Amazon Prime. (season one is also currently available on Amazon)

This series, which was nominated for five 2017 Daytime Emmys, follows the behind-the-scenes drama of a fictitious soap opera titled Painted Dreams.  Many soap opera notables have roles in the online series including: Alicia Minshew, Michael Lowry , Austin Peck. Terri Ivens,  Walt Willey, Kelley Menighan, Grant Aleksander, Bobbie Eakes, Natalia Livingston, Marnie Schulenburg, Nathan Purdee, Colleen Zenk, James DePaiva, Tonja Walker, Ilene Kristen, and the late Larkin Malloy . In addition, Jessie Godderz of Impact Wrestling and Big Brother fame, and Dina Manzo of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, also appear.

In a statement, Sonia Blangiardo said that she is “excited to take everyone along these characters’ journeys in Season 2, as they evolve and deal with ever increasing professional and personal turmoil.”

Fore more on Tainted Dreams visit their official website here.  (more…)

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