Who said America has the last word when it comes to gay web series? Not only does Australia have one of the most watched gay web series in the world, it has the one of the most watched web series, period.
From writer/director Boaz Stark comes The Horizon, an Australian gay web series now in its 4th season. The series has amassed over 18 million views on YouTube, with its Season 3 finale garnering close to 1.2 million views alone. With those numbers, it’s no question that The Horizon has international prestige as a gay web series. And if winning three LA WebFest awards is any indication, it’s starting to gain a following here in the States as well. Now it’s time to find out why.
Let’s start from the beginning.
Set in Sydney, Australia, the storyline of The Horizon starts off simple in Season 1. We’re introduced to Jake, a country-boy from Bega (equivalent to a small town in the Midwest to us Americans), who’s moved to Sydney to be with the potential love of his life, AJ.
On his arrival, Jake meets the person who will become the catalyst for the rest of the series: Wilma, Wilma Bumhurts (Patrick James). A drag queen with spunk, one-liners and gorgeous eyeshadow, Wilma befriends Jake and the two become thick as thieves. Unfortunately for Jake, AJ turns out to be the resident manwhore of Oxford St. (Sydney’s gay strip and “boystown”), and Season 1 follows his realization and first-love heartbreak.
On to Season 2: A whole new cast, save for resident drag queen, Wilma Bumhurts, played by Patrick James. Jake (Alistair Cooke) is still in love with AJ (Indigo Felton) and trying desperately to get over him. But things have changed for Wilma–and in a frighteningly dramatic way. Having never spoken to her parents for over 12 years, Wilma receives a phone call from her dad who wants to reconnect, which ultimately leads to affronting conversations with her mother and a heartbreaking season finale.
There’s also three new faces: Millie (Rebecca Sunshine), Jake’s best friend from home; Micky (Sam David Harris), her boyfriend; and Saxon (Adam George), AJ’s “partner” since Jake left him in Season 1. Millie and Micky come to visit Jake and end up staying with him and Wilma. Things get interesting when we learn that Micky used to fool around with Jake in high school, and even more so when he comes into contact with AJ. We’ll let you find out the rest, but let’s just say, infidelity is a common problem in this series.
And finally, we reach Season 3. Jake and Millie are recast once again, but Wilma, AJ and Saxon continue to be played by Patrick James, Indigo Felton and Adam George, respectively. Micky (now played by the handsome Matthew Clarke) hasn’t been seen for 3 months, and Millie (Sarah Lovella) and Jake (Paul Layton) are starting to get worried. Wilma, just off the dramatic finale of season 2, is doing rather well. But she’ll soon find she has other problems to worry about. Things get juicy when Micky returns and expresses interest in Jake, and get doubly interesting in the season finale when Micky learns some life-changing information.
Starting off slow, The Horizon evolves both its characters and storyline across three seasons to create a dynamic web series with realistic characters.
Wilma gives the show its wit and charm (along with some of its most dramatic moments), while the different actors who play Jake and Millie give the series a sweetness and honesty. AJ serves as both a do and don’t of gay life, and rounds off the show with an alternative to cookie-cutter gay relationships. And it’s evident Micky will become a pivotal and educational figure in the coming seasons.
With close to 20 million views and 3 LA WebFest awards, including “Outstanding Drama,” “Outstanding Writer of a Drama” and “Outstanding Actor in a Drama,” The Horizon is a must-see.
You can view the first 2 episodes of each season below, and once you’re hooked, watch the rest over on their website. Also, be sure to follow the series on Facebook and Twitter, and let us know what you think in the comments below!