“Where the Bears Are,” the gay video series that debuted in 2012, is back with a sixth season (and an aggregate 40 million online views, 63,000 YouTube subscribers and 100,000 Facebook followers.)
The comedy murder web series, described as “’The Golden Girls’ meets ‘Murder, She Wrote’ but with big, hairy, gay men,” is set in Silver Lake. Which, of course, is where the bears are in Los Angeles. This latest season follows the exploits of the four gay bear roommates as one of them, Nelson (Ben Zook), goes on trial for the shooting death of his famous co-star, Toby Marsden (Lou DiMaggio).
The roommates of Zook (“Jack and Jill”) since Season 1 are back at it in Season 6. There’s Rick Copp, aka Reggie (“The Brady Bunch Movie”); Joe Dietl, aka Wood (“The Thin Pink Line”) and Ian Parks aka Todd (“The Devil’s in the Details.”)
This season also features guest appearances by Jennifer Elise Cox (“The Brady Bunch Movie”), Pete Hulne (“Elf”) and Sally Ann Brooks (“Baskets”), which an announcement of the season’s debut says makes it appeal “to both gay and straight audiences alike!” There are, however, slightly scrambled images of Wood’s “wood” that are likely to appeal especially to a gay audience.
As was explained in a story on WEHOville in 2013, “Where the Bears Are” was born in a hot tub in Palm Springs where Copp was sitting with Dietl and Zook. The trio set off for a night at SpurLine, the gay video bar. “As we walked in, they were playing the video to ‘Where the Boys Are’,” Copp recalled. “Where the Bears Are” was born.
For other performers and extras for the initial series they turned to friends and put a shout out on Growlr, the gay mobile app for bears. They had no idea how or if they were going to make money, and their friends and acquaintances performed for free. Locations such as the Eagle, Faultline and Sunset Junction Coffee Shop were offered up for free by sympathetic owners. The theme song was written by David Zukofski, a friend of friends who lives in New York City.
Dietl says the production process evolved. “When we started out we had no idea what we were doing. Originally we thought that one of the actors also would do the camerawork and another would do the sound.”
The production process was long and hard. with each episode shot over two long days, generally on a weekend. But the show’s popular appeal has led it to raise $650,000 on Kickstarter https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wherethebearsare/where-the-bears-are-season-6-the-gay-comedy-myster?ref=nav_searchover four seasons.