What started as a one-minute teaser uploaded to the web in 2001 has evolved into a slice of gay heaven. Way Out West TV showcases gay programming in the Vancouver area by way of its groundbreaking original series, films, and documentaries. After just one week on the air, hundreds of international viewers had begun to tune in; since then, over 130 countries have been exposed to Way Out West TV’s content and its popularity has only grown. In 2002, their first series aired in seven full episodes on Pride Vision TV, but the rest of the shows remain available only on the website. Founded by Robert-John Farrow and marinated by a handful of contributing artists, the site boasts a number of episodes from over a dozen different series.
The scope of the content is overwhelming. There are series, shorts, and documentaries/events, both comedic and dramatic. There are live-action improvised shows, vlogs, stop-motion animated shorts, and films covering big moments for the queer culture of Vancouver. West of Dunman is the serious toned episodic series that got them noticed back in the day, contrasting with the channel’s other popular show, the camped-up silliness of the spy film spoof “Pimp & Ho,” a show which takes full advantage of the beautiful Vancouver backdrop. Fashion aficionados will appreciate the annual coverage of House of Envy’s Wiggle, the (mostly) drag fashion show that features wigs and headdresses. (Check out Wonderwoman from Wiggle 12!) Some shows are intentionally campy; others are known for having gay characters in realistic situations. Episodes last anywhere from one to eight minutes and new episodes are always being added. Each episode also has still photos from the shoot or the run, as well as a description of the artist’s intent and the history of the show.
There is a lot of material available, but if I had to pick favorites, I’d give Best Series to Morgan Brayton’s Girls Like Me. Her Agoraphobic News sequence chronicles her daily events as she never leaves her house, and her “striptease” as the cheeky, but nervous Cherry Lipsmacker is as awkward as it is hilarious. But if you only have a few minutes to surf the site, you should watch “blue tuesday,” Lisa G.’s racy and poignant stop-motion short about heartbreak between Barbie and a Pocahontas doll.