‘The Disappointments’ Hits The Gay Mid-Life Reset Button

Title treatment for the new web series The Disappointments

The Disappointments, from creator Rich Burns, is a new web series about three middle-aged gay best friends trying to figure out how to live their best lives.


The series explores a pivotal issue people face as they navigate their 50s: What do you do when you realize that time is running short, the road behind you is longer than the road ahead, and your job, your marriage, your relationship with your kids, your life has not turned out at all the way you had hoped and planned when you were young?

Instinct first covered the web series when it was announced in 2018.

The Disappointments was inspired, in part, by actual events.


“A few of us were at dinner, reminiscing about a friend, a gay producer who, depressed and struggling with money and career setbacks, had recently and tragically taken his own life,” says writer/director/series star Rich Burns.

“We had other acquaintances who had done the same thing, all within the past few years. These were people in their late 40s and early 50s, all of them feeling hopeless about how their lives had turned out.”

Gedde Watanabe, James Campbell, Rich Burns in The Disappointments
L-R Gedde Watanabe, James Campbell, Rich Burns in The Disappointments (promo photo)

“At the same time, we had friends at whom we marveled,” added Burns. “These were people who recognized that the paths they had chosen for themselves when they were just kids out of school were not going to pan out.”


“They needed new dreams, new careers, new lives. And so, well into their 40s, they bravely shook things up and reinvented themselves, finding happiness and success as a result of the changes they made.”

“Both of these are very different approaches to the same dilemma,” Burns acknowledges. “And out of this The Disappointments was born.”

Rich Burns, writer/director/star of the web series The Disappointments
Rich Burns in The Disappointments (screen capture)

In addition to Burns, the series features Gedde Watanabe, James Campbell and Trevor LaPaglia. Steve Cubine and Burns share directing duties.


The darkly comic series features gay people in their 50s, who suddenly find themselves standing in a room, looking at their their belongings, their careers, their unhappy personal lives, their reflection in the mirror and asking, ‘How did this get to be my life?’

As Burns says, “Disillusioned. Disappointed. And the clock is ticking…”

Gedde Watanabe and James Campbell in 'The Disappointments'
Gedde Watanabe and James Campbell in The Disappointments

In The Disappointments, the characters take action. Most of it ill-advised. Some of it straight-up disastrous. All in the hopes of turning their disappointing lives around as they cope with faltering careers and empty bank accounts.


Related: Amazon Series ‘After Forever’ Honored With 5 Daytime Emmy Awards

The first three episodes of The Disappointments will be available to stream on YouTube Monday, November 8. Additional episodes will be released each following Monday.

Rich Burns and Trevor LaPaglia in 'The Disappointments'
Rich Burns and Trevor LaPaglia in The Disappointments

11 thoughts on “‘The Disappointments’ Hits The Gay Mid-Life Reset Button”

  1. I am glad we start a conversation about this very common issue on gay people from the ’70s, like me. I am not surprised a lot of us end up on a similar path of this web series, gay life wasn’t all flowers like is today, it was more like, me the problematic gay guy vs the world, a world full of rejection, out of any protection, lonely…. and yes a lot of us figure out a better way to get here w just fewer issues but also a lot of us didn’t figure it out on time, or worst just quit when things got harder. Thank you and yes is a good beginning.

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  3. I hope they also focus on those of us who never found love or engaged in a lot of dating, as every single gay show likes to show men having sex left and right. Many of us never found love or a LTR. I hope they address the reality of this situation.

  4. I hope they follow this with a series about Senior Gays. I’m almost 70 and even though I’ve had to slow down, I have no intention of giving up. It would be nice to see a series about gay men my own age. This one looks terrific and I’ll be watching it on Monday!

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  6. Life never turns out like you plan it when you’re young. You have to evolve through time. As gay men, we should all understand this. When I was 20, I wanted to be a teacher, get married and have 2-3 kids. 3 years later, I no longer wanted to be a teacher. Then I came out (thinking I would never marry or have kids). In my late 30s I became a makeup artist and met my future husband, In my late 40s we were able to legally marry. In my mid 50s I was asked to be a grandfather despite never having raise children.

    Life always changes.

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