With the increasing availability of broadband and improvements in video streaming technology, webisodic television is ready for its close up. And gay characters are flourishing in the new entertainment frontier.

Julie Ann Emery is the woman behind Then We Got HELP!, a web series about a couples therapy group that includes a gay couple.

“The Internet now means that you can create something and get it out there into the world,” Emery said in a recent interview. “That's liberating as an artist.”

Emery and her executive producer husband Kevin Earley have one season of the show in the cloud, eight webisodes, and are planning for a second season.

HELP! follows four couples as they hash out their relationships without the help of a professional therapist. While Emery abides by a limited budget – the entire show is shot in her New York apartment – the show includes professional actors, including six Broadway veterans, one with a Tony nomination.

Gay couple Dan (played by Nicholas Rodriguez, One Life to Live) and Eric (Blake Hammond, Billy Elliot) are three years into a relationship that began on the dance floor of a club. Their coupling appears solid, but Eric persists in believing that younger Dan will ultimately walk away.

The men ruffle some feathers in the group. Thom (Tony nominated Alan Campbell) says in an aside: “I heard that gay guys like to go to couples counseling 'cause it makes them feel like a normal couple. I'm not being prejudiced. My buddy Brad told me.”

But not including a gay couple was never an option, says Emery.

“Why would I not? I think it's partly generational and partly geographical. But if you are in your 30s and live in a city like New York, chances are you are friends with at least one gay couple.”

Another web series quickly gaining attention is obsessed with gay culture.

In The Loop is the reality series that follows the lives of three young gay men as they attempt to conquer Houston's gay social scene. It is the gay version of cable network Bravo's The Real Housewives series, only snarkier.

Ryan James Yezak is behind the project, playing both director and editor.

I wanted “to create a reality show that accurately depicted the lives of these young gay men, stereotypical or not,” Yezak said. “We realized that there hadn't been a gay reality show and so we wanted to make one. And it didn't hurt that the chemistry between the guys is so natural and entertaining to watch.”

The show stars George Morales, Albert Hunt and Alex Kovacs, also known as The Loop Girls. The trio divide their time between throwing parties, going to parties and cat fighting.

You can get a sense of where the show is going from watching its pilot. In that webisode, George says, “I wouldn't consider myself a socialite. I would say I'm extremely popular and everybody likes me,” as he stands in front of a closet full of shirts organized by color. And Alex admits, “I was actually forewarned by someone that I met to never, ever speak to George Morales. Ever. I was warned not to go to his parties on Fridays because everyone has HIV and everyone does drugs. So, of course, I really wanted to go and find out what this is all about.”

“We're not sure if gay America is ready for our non-traditional gay role models, but ready or not, here we come,” Yezak said.

Producers of both shows say the new web series medium, which got its own awards show last year, the Streamys, allows them the creative freedom they've long desired.

With the Internet “we didn't have to wait to sell the pilot, cross our fingers that it gets green lit, hope it gets picked up and then pray for a good time slot,” Emery said.

The Internet is “artistic freedom,” she added.

On the Net: Then We Got HELP! is at www.thenwegothelp.com and YouTube. In The Loop is available on YouTube.