It's time for the Second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest! Details here
Web Video: Where The Bears Are
Described by the creators as "The Golden Girls
meets Murder, She Wrote
but featuring big, hairy gay men," Where The Bears Are
is a gay themed comedic murder mystery. Nelson Dorkoff (Ben Zook), Reggie Hatch (Rick Copp), and Wood Burns (Joe Dietl) are cleaning up the morning after a drunken party when they discover that Nelson now has a smoking hot new boyfriend named Todd (Ian Parks), and that there is another hot bear passed out in their bathtub... who turns out to be dead. The bears seek to uncover the killer, find out if Todd is really all that he seems, and most importantly, clear their names so that people will be willing to come over to their house for sex.
The series is found at http://wherethebearsare.tv
The first three installments of Season One and Season Two are on their YouTube
page. The YouTube
versions are censored, and their DVDs are uncensored.
- Abhorrent Admirer: Oscar Butterfield for Wood.
- Alone with the Psycho: This situation comes up in each season so far. In the first season, Nelson thinks that Todd is the killer and subdues him, only to be marched off by Cyril, the real killer. In the second season, Nelson is menaced by one of Todd's exes, and Reggie is ambushed by Cyril but rescued by his new boyfriend Jeremy... who turns out to be that season's real killer. In the third season, the Bears interview Cyril for an insight into the mind of a serial killer. Nelson is left alone with Cyril after the others leave, and is menaced by him before he is able to get out of the room. Subverted in that Cyril was only fucking with him that time. More seriously, Todd distracts Alfie so that the others can investigate Alfie's sister. The sister was not involved... but Alfie was.
- All Gays Are Promiscuous: Averted with Nelson and Todd, played straight (ahem) with almost everyone else.
- Anyone Can Die: Proven in Season Three when Buzz is brutally killed.
- Asian Store-Owner: The clerk at the Stockroom seems to be this... at first. It turns out that she is a Dominatrix who manhandles the bears and chides Nelson for falling for the Asian stereotype act.
- Ass Shove: Wood is on the receiving end when Mistress Lena allows the bears to look at her records if one of them stays behind to get a mechanized dildo shoved up his ass, and Reggie and Nelson volunteer his services.
- Bad Boss: Suzie Collins is horrible to her subordinate, Hairy Potter.
- Captain Conley is homophobic and is very free with gay slurs.
- Badass Gay: Todd.
- The Bear: The show is about the bear subculture, especially the first and third seasons.
- Big Beautiful Man: It is about bears, after all.
- Big Damn Heroes: In Season One, the bears rescue Nelson when the real killer is about to kill him too. In Season Two, Nelson and Reggie get into trouble trying to investigate a person of interest. Todd swoops to their rescue, beating up two much bigger men. Happens again when Todd's ex Ivan breaks into the house, and attacks Nelson, who ends up saving Todd when Ivan gets the upper hand on him. Happens a few times in Season Three.
- Black Comedy Rape: Happens twice to Wood in Season Two. The first time, he is forced to take a mechanized dildo up the ass while his friends examine a store's records. The second time, he is drugged and raped by a lecherous fan who films the encounter. Both are played for comedy, and while we see no comeuppance for the first perpetrator, Season Three reveals that the second has lost his medical license over his actions.
- Narrowly Averted in Season Three. The same character is drugged, but Reggie and George Ridgemont come to his rescue before the rape. This is also Played for Laughs.
- Played straight later on. Todd is separated from the other bears and is knocked unconscious and fondled.
- The Cameo: Jackie Beat as himself in Season One. Margaret Cho plays a clerk at a fetish store in Season Two. She turns out to be a lot more than she seems...
- Carpet of Virility: Todd and Detective Winters have hairy chests. Wood's chest is less dense, but he has much more body hair to make up for it.
- Cast Full of Gay: Lampshaded in Season Two.
Mary Ashley Pendleton: "I know we're in Los Angeles but for God's sake, is everyone gay now?"
- Clear My Name: The bears aren't formally charged in Season One, but they want to do this to clear up any suspicions. Subverted in Season Two, when it looks like Reggie will be charged with murder but is swiftly released.
- Combat Stilettos: Subverted in Season Three. The killer wears them as part of his Buzz-Killing costume, but they slow him down when he has to chase after Nelson afterward, and that plus some quick thinking on his part allows Nelson to last long enough for help to arrive.
- Comic Sutra: The Octomountain Tango.
- Contrived Coincidence: Averted and played straight. In Season Two, the bears track a suspect to a leather bar and discover his contact. However, they run into much of the supporting cast while they are there. Both of Reggie's stalkers were after him, and Ivan was almost certainly stalking Todd at that point. The detectives are more of a stretch, but Martinez was close enough to the victim to be invited to a pool party/fundraiser at his home, so they ran in the same circles.
- Also, Wood's old friend Suzie is the assistant coach of the gay rugby team.
- Cool Old Lady: The elderly passenger in Season Three. She knows all about Bears because her son is one, and she's down with it.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Nelson is incredibly jealous of Todd in Season Two, and imagines him in bed with every man who even talks to him.
- This is reversed in Season 3, with Todd becoming jealous of Nelson.
- Subverted in that case as Buzz actually was hitting on Nelson, so Todd's jealousy was well founded.
- Da Chief: Captain Conley.
- Daydream Surprise: Happens once per series/movie to Reggie when he makes a pass at a hot guy who proceeds to strip. Everything after the pass is a daydream.
- Subverted in Season Three, when it finally happens for real.
- Depraved Homosexual: George Ridgemont. One of Wood's admirers, George has cash flow problems because he molested 26 of his male patients while they were under anesthesia, and they are now suing him. And then he does it to Wood after bailing him out of jail.
- Deadpan Snarker: Most commonly Nelson and Reggie, but Todd starts to get in on the act as well. Not Wood, though.
- Disney Villain Death: The fate of Jeremy in Season Two.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The killer in Season Two really was unfairly screwed over by Reggie, Elliott, and the other leaders of their frat, but going on a murder spree decades later is a bit much.
- Distaff Counterpart: The three main bears are very clearly patterned off of Dorothy, Blanche, and Rose from The Golden Girls. Nelson is generally level-headed but has his neurotic moments, especially where Todd is concerned (Dorothy). Reggie is a well-connected writer and is the horniest of the bunch (Blanche). Wood's sweetness is only outdone by his stupidity (Rose).
- Distracted by the Sexy: Invoked in Season Three, when Wood and Todd act as distractions while Reggie investigates.
- Reggie was in turn distracted by Mickey's sexy, though that was not Mickey's intent.
- The Ditz: Wood. Burns.
- Double Entendre: On occasion.
George Ridgemont: "Where is Wood? I need Wood, and I need Wood now!"
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Todd when he's in personal trainer mode.
- Fag Hag: Played with. Suzie Collins hangs out with many gay men. They aren't into her, but that doesn't stop her from sexually harassing them anyway.
- Fake Boobs: Susie Collins again. She paid for them with part of the settlement money from her lawsuit.
- A more literal set of fake breasts are used as part of Oscar's disguise.
- Fair Cop: Detective Winters in Season One. Joined by Detective Martinez in Season Two.
- Fan Disservice / Fetish Fuel: Nelson's drunken pole dance in Season Two. It falls into one category or the other depending on one's tastes.
- Flanderization: Wood was never the brightest bulb in the bunch, but he has gotten progressively more dimwitted over the series.
- Fourth Ranger: Todd moves in with Nelson in Season Two, and quickly bonds with Reggie and Wood. Maybe a little too well, as they set off Nelson's jealousy.
- Friend on the Force: Detectives Winters and Martinez are this for the Bears. Until Season Three.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: Wood slaps Reggie with the corpse Nelson was using to research his possible role as a sheriff. It Makes Sense in Context.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Reggie.
- Hidden Wire: Used to catch a money laundering kidnapper in Season One.
- I Call It "Vera": Suzie's has named her breasts Thelma & Louise.
- Imagine Spot: In Season Two, Nelson starts to imagine Todd in bed with everyone, even his own roommates.
- Instant Sedation: In Season Three, Todd is knocked out with chloroform, which works rather quickly.
- It's All About Me: Reggie, Reggie, Reggie...
Reggie: Murder? Models? Mayhem? This is a great story for my pilot presentation!
- Jerkass: Dickie Calloway is a prime example, deliberately sabotaging Nelson out of spite even though he's the one with the much bigger career... which he flaunts in Nelson's face.
- Leatherman: The bears dress up in leather at one point in Season Two.
- Malaproper: Wood has a photogenic memory, knows what evidence tamponing is, and will have you know that Dumbo is a delicious dish made from sausage, rice, and shrimp.
- Male Frontal Nudity: Averted. The DVD releases are uncensored, but the most you see is ass.
- Method Acting: Nelson has no interest in helping Season Three's investigation, but he was just cast as a sheriff in a movie, so he tags along to help him get in character.
- Mr. Fanservice: Todd, Detectives Winters and Martinez.
- Motive Rant: Each killer launches into one upon revelation of his crimes, but this is taken to extremes by Alfie, one of Season Three's killers. He felt he couldn't compete with other twinks, decided to become a bear, but couldn't gain weight due to a hyperactive thyroid, and gives an especially crazed rant to a captive Todd.
- Mystery Writer Detective: Reggie becomes this due to the number of murders he helps solve.
- N-Word Privileges: Homophobic slurs get dropped from time to time, but only from the gay cast members until Season Three.
- New Media Are Evil: Averted. The bears use an iPhone app to track Nelson when the first season's killer had kidnapped him.
- Never My Fault: Wood accidentally burned down Nelson's house between the second and third seasons, and Nelson didn't pay the insurance premiums because Wood kept putting Nelson's mail in his mail drawer without telling Nelson that he had made him that drawer. Wood doesn't understand why Nelson is still angry.
- Police Are Useless: As expected in a show about amateur sleuths. Detectives Winters and Martinez do provide some help, but this is mostly in the form of information. It drives a wedge between them and the Bears in Season Three, because their Captain has threatened to fire them if they don't solve the murder before the bears.
- Porn Names: "Wood Burns" is a pseudonym. Wood is his real first name, short for Woodrow, but he adopted Burns for his porn persona.
- Power Trio: Nelson, Reggie, and Wood. Eventually joined by Todd.
- Private Detective: Mickey Swift in Season Three.
- Redemption Equals Death: In a meta sense. The redemption is only tangentially related to the death because of the timing, but Buzz kisses Nelson, is gently shot down, apologizes, and bows out gracefully. His last words were that Todd is a lucky guy. And then the killer caught up with him.
- Sacrificial Lion: Buzz in Season Three.
- Sequel Escalation: The first season featured one victim, the second season's victim was the latest in a string of killings, though that was unknown until the climax, and the third has featured five victims as of Part 21, though two were accidental.
- In a meta sense, Season Three is bigger than previous seasons in that it has a bigger budget, a rented airplane, and a cast trip to Australia.
- Serial Killer: All of the killers. Cyril is psychotic and constantly changes identities, Jeremy is out for revenge, Alfie is avenging his body issues and Oscar just wants to be a good boyfriend.
- Sexual Extortion: Suzie does this to Hairy Potter, though it's less "sexual" and more "act like a stripper so I can blow this gay guy." It briefly got her fired from her job as County Coroner, but she sued. She was rehired, her old assistant/victim was fired, and she now makes her new assistant remove an article of clothing whenever he doesn't get one of her pop quiz questions completely correct.
- Shout-Out: To The Golden Girls, as a series. Nelson has a dance sequence where he delights onlookers and shocks Reggie and Todd, much like how Rose shocked Dorothy and Blanche. Both dance sequences were performed by obvious stunt doubles. Other shoutouts include Airplane and Murder, She Wrote.
- Sitcom Archnemesis: Nelson and his former performing partner, Dickie Calloway.
- Slasher Smile: Season Three's killer sports one when he realizes that he can finish what he started with Nelson. Made extra creepy due to the mask worn. You can just see the pearly whites flash underneath.
- Stalker with a Crush: Yes. The killer in Season One fits this trope, and the killer in Season Two is a stalker who develops a crush.
- Stalker Without a Crush: The killer in Season Two starts out this way. Then he starts to genuinely fall for Reggie.
- Stylistic Suck: There is a notable difference between Reggie when he's speaking normally and Reggie when he's on camera.
- Take That: In Season One:
Reggie: Are you insane? If word gets out that we have a dead guy in this house, no one's ever gonna come over here and have sex with us ever again! Not from Scruff or Growlr or Craigslist—
Wood: Craigslist, really? You still use that?
- Becomes Hypocritical Humor when you learn that the casting calls for the show were posted on Craigslist.
- Tap on the Head: Averted. Todd is knocked unconscious during a dramatic moment near the end of Season One. In Season Two he mentions that the doctors think he might have short-term memory loss problems because of it.
- Theme Naming: There are a pair of bouncers named Hulk and Thor in Season One. Season Two has a pair of goons named Bert and Ernie. Season Three reveals that Suzie has named her breasts Thelma & Louise.
- Theme Song: Where The Bears Are.
- They're Called Personal Issues For A Reason: Todd's reason for not wanting to talk to the police in Season One. In Season Two, we find out that his uncles were in the Mafia back in Philadelphia, he was in a gang, he has a record, and he came to Los Angeles to get away from all that. He comes clean to Nelson, but reluctantly.
- Three-Way Sex: Happens in Season Two with Wood and Detectives Winters and Martinez, who are partners in both senses of the term. They briefly break up with him to save their marriage, but neither can stay away.
- Two-Timer Date: Wood and the Detectives. Subverted in Season Three after their breakup; they pay him a visit so that one can distract him while the other searches the house.
- Trailers Always Spoil: The Season Three trailer spoils the return of Cyril and Dickie.
- Subverted with Suzie's return. She is played by the same actress (Loretta Fox) and we even hear her speak, but her hair is much longer and there are other differences, so the viewer might conclude that Fox is playing a different character.
- Unfortunate Name: Nelson Dorkoff.
- Villainous Breakdown: The killer in Season Two has one when Reggie takes the call from the police and discovers that his alibi has been faked.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: The bears generally come off as this, because while they are sometimes very affectionate with each other, the rest of the time is marked by Reggie and Nelson sniping at each other and both belittling Wood. It verges on With Friends Like These... at times.
- Waiting for a Break: Nelson! Reggie used to, but after his two books he has a shot at the big time... if Ronnie Brown doesn't get there first.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Detective Martinez whenever he's off duty.
- We Used to Be Friends: Nelson and Dickie.
- Wham Episode: There are a few of these in Season Three. In Episode 13, Buzz is brutally killed, and the killer is apparently a woman. Topped in Episode 16. One of the killers is a woman. The other is her brother, who has kidnapped Todd. Then, in Episode 20, the "other killer" has an airtight alibi, so the Bears are on a plane with two other killers. And in Episode 21, the "woman" was a man dressed as a woman, who has tried to poison the Bears for revenge, but a mix-up has resulted in the pilots being killed, leaving the plane without anyone to fly it.
- With Friends Like These...: The bears are good friends, but they are frequently horrible to each other. Examples include Reggie having jailhouse sex with the serial killer who tried to murder Nelson, and Wood neglecting to tell Nelson that said serial killer had escaped from prison months ago.
- Topped in Season Three when Reggie and Wood spy on Nelson and Todd having sex, and they laugh about it when confronted.
- Your Cheating Heart: Wood, Wood, Wood. He has a sexual relationship with Detective Winters, and then gets into one with Detective Martinez, and tries to keep each cop from finding out about the other. It turns out that the detectives are married, and in fact neither knows that the other is banging Wood.