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Friends and Buddies is billed by its creators as a "gay porn sitcom," though a soap opera would be a more accurate description. The structure of the series uses the traditional soap opera formula of a cast of recurring characters, a story line that develops over the course of a "season" with the introduction of conflicts between two of the main characters with other minor conflicts between the other characters as mini-plots with the main plot being resolved at some point during the course of the first season. The issues that were introduced toward the end of one season being continued and resolved in the next. Of course, no soap opera would be complete without a bit of humor, but most important of all love and romance comprising most of the conflicts, and having a lot of hot gay sex thrown in for good measure to heat things up. The sex scenes are a mix of solos (with or without toys), couples and group sex scenes.
The site was created by Frenchman Antoine Lebel with USA production in South Florida by Victor Cody. The scripted serial, in weekly installments, follows the escapades of two brothers, Rick and Zack and their group of friends through a series of adventures which always seem to end with some form of explicit activity and at least one cumshot. The cast is comprised mainly of smooth, horny boys between the ages of 18 and 28, and includes a mix of guys who have never done any porn with a few established porn stars: Orlando Dawson (Falcon) and Elijah White (Helix), to name a couple of them; the site promises more in coming episodes.
Friends & Buddies video episodes are uploaded to the site during a season run, and they have 18 available currently, possibly comprising the first season of the series. There are no dates shown, and it appears the site does not update, as it's been 8 months since our original review, and there are no more videos than there were on our first visit.
The videos are offered in MP4 format, and there are 3 sizes available. The largest is offered in full HD 1080 (1920 x 1080 pixels encoded at 4kbps, 613 MB), plus there's a smaller HD version and a smaller standard size for use on either PC or Mac computers or mobile devices. All videos are downloadable from the member area without DRM, and all are presented in widescreen. Sound quality is very good, and during the instances where there is dialogue it was clear and easy to understand throughout.
Both cast member photos and video screenshots are available in a long single gallery, and are sized at 853x1280 or vise versa. The gallery section is apparently updated daily with one image per update, and is spread out over numerous pages of thumbnails, which can be clicked to enlarge in a new browser and can be individually downloaded. There are no downloadable zip archive files available for the galleries.
The website's FAQ page mentions the availability of bonus material, but nowhere on the site was there a menu for bonus content nor any indication where it could be found. Behind the scenes material, interviews and bloopers could be something they plan to add to the site in the future, but with 18 episodes already released, I would have expected some of the promised extras.
There is an indeterminate time frame for one to expect release of new video material. If one is talking about a season "run" of a regular TV show, episodes are shown weekly until the current season finishes out and a viewer has to wait for the next season to begin for new episodes. There is no mention of how many episodes comprise each season, whether there will be a break between seasons or any other info. Also the site says it updates weekly for each season, but there have been no episodes added for over half a year.
The photo gallery section appears to be a single collage-style running gallery spread out over numerous pages with thumbnails of the offered photos. The gallery pages are unorganized as they mix cast images and episode screen caps together. If the intent was to create a kind of scrapbook with numerous pages and you added a new image at the place where you added the last one, this could possibly work. But these are presented in a small gallery window that looks swallowed up by the rest of the website page. I'd prefer a set of screencaps listed for each episode, and a model index with info about each performer and a small set of pics for each guy.
For those who enjoy plots with their porn, Friends & Buddies could be of interest. With a serialized story line and a recurring cast of horny twinks and jocks, the site provides something a little different from more typical gay porn site. It's on the small side and missing some features, and the site has not updated since mid-2013. Still, the concept of an online gay porn soap opera is truly an original and welcome one. Without any updates, we're left with what is there now - 18 episodes. Friends & Buddies could have used the last several months to grow, but without adding new content it's doubtful that they'll win a following.