How's the holiday season going for everyone? Had enough of the family yet? Ready to return full throttle to your gay lifestyle? My Christmas was spent with my "adopted gay family" - it was kinda like Auntie Mame meets After Hours. Basically, a lot of expensive champagne and more hysterical one liners than all the Neil Simon plays of the '60's put together.
So, today is the first in my YEAR END WRAP UPS. I'm doing this in installments. Today's episode is:
(um, to the best of knowledge)
First, let's all reflect on the way things USED to be way back when in the 1980's when I was a child. There were NO depictions of gays on television other than Jody on SOAP and maybe Buddy on FAMILY. Now, you can't turn on your television without seeing a gay character or storyline.
To follow are my favorites - the terms were based on gay storylines and more importantly the overall quality of the show.
1. MAD MEN
The Production Design, the Costumes! Then add in the pathos and the thinly veiled repressed passions of 1950's America on the brink of revolution and change... what a recipe. Dear god, this show was so gay. And what a total find on the otherwise obscure AMC network.
Seriously, if I still smoked pot, I would get stoned to Jesus and sit five inches from a 65 inch HD screen and melt into this show, the visuals are just so stunning. Well, aside from the furniture, sets and wardrobe, this included:
Meow, nice kitty.
The gay factor: One, I swear Joan (above) is a lesbian. Although that is yet to be seen, her room mate sure is as seen here in one of the shockers:
The other gay factor: Out actor Bryan Batt plays closeted art director Salvatore Romano.
Salvatore nervously denied one man's invitation this season to dance with the devil under the pale moon's light, but let's see what unfolds in Season Two.
For those of you with keen eyes and a love of gay film, you'll recognize Batt from JEFFREY.
And for those of you actors in the closet, this is what OUT OF THE CLOSET looks like. This photo was taken for an interview Batt did with the New York Times.
During Season One, like a call to arms, homos in LA started having viewing parties. For a good time, organize the gays into your living room to catch season 2 - make sure to serve plenty of martinis!
2. BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: RAZOR
Well, well, well, finally a gay character on my favorite show. Of course, it turns out to be the biggest, stone cold bitch of the lot!
For some reason unknown to man, this show which TV Guide called "the best show on tv" took a one year hiatus. Maybe it was so the co-creators could go off and bomb with Bionic Woman, who knows. Either way, they lost some of their wonderful writers and meanwhile released a stand-alone movie, RAZOR, which follows the untold story of the other surviving Battlestar, Pegasus, on their rather doomed journey.
Above, the lesbian admiral played by Michelle Forbes and her lover, a familiar face to Battlestar viewers.
I'm not sure whether the RAZOR in the title refers to Occam's Razor, but either way this movie plays out like one of those dire Russian plays. The folks on this ship do something bad. Very bad. Then their souls start slowly dying with guilt. The tale unfolds in flashbacks as the crew of the ship try to move forward, yet are intrinsically tied to the deeds of the past (a sci fi Crimes & Misdemeanors if you will) Is the admiral a hero or a beast? Is all really fair in love and war?
The show itself deals with war, humanity, guilt, survival and god and generally beautifully written. Most of the writers I know love this show, and for good reason. It packs a morality tale in a scifi serial with strong allusions to the current state of politics and war in America.
To me, Razor failed - something wasn't quite right. But Battlestar is still my favorite show, so this ranks at number 2.
3. SOUTH OF NOWHERE
You've heard me say it, and I'm saying it again, this is the best gay show on television. It's not on here! or LOGO, it's on another very small network THE N.
This is a very nice little 30 minute teen Degrassi/Dawson's/OC kinda show, but the depiction of the main character coming to terms with her lesbianism is just beautifully done, even without a flashy budget or big name stars.
It was Dangerous Liaisons meets LA Law in this season's break out hit, DAMAGES.The gay factor: what gay doesn't love a kick-ass, powerful yet dangerous woman eating up the scenery?
The key gay element involved defense attorney Frisk (pictured above), a deeply closeted married man whose affair with one of the key witnesses all but brings down the entire case.
Out actress Portia De Rossi - you know, Ellen's girlfriend - joined the cast this year as Julia's new lover. So, if you enjoy girl on girl action which includes the spawn of Vanessa Redgrave (who's JULIA I saw maybe 15 times when I was just 12 years old...lesbian much?), you'll enjoy the following scenes from this season.
The most common thing I hear from my gay boyfriends about this show is, "Why do they always show Julian's ass? I think the other one is much cuter."
This season, the show that likes to push boundaries, seemed to go even further. So much more than just a few bare asses. I wonder if this move to Los Angeles and the vivisecting of our fair, shallow town was due to creator Ryan Murphy's recent failure with RUNNING WITH SCISSORS. He left Nip/Tuck to go direct what was looking to be a big Oscar film starring Annette Bening and Alec Baldwin. Then bam, fizzle, fizzle some more. Bomb. Now he's back on the show and it's a pig roast of Hollywood, with jabs on everything from vanity, ego, body dysmorphia to closet homos. And it's brutal.
Most of my friends like the new season, but for my taste it's a little too nasty. There's just so much of the underbelly of humanity than I like to look at. Click, switch, Animal Planet: Meerkat Manor. Murphy, however, will always be a hero in my book for creating what has to be one of the best and GAYEST shows (in the true, good sense of the phrase, "That's so gay!"), POPULAR.
6. UGLY BETTY
Great writing, a gay pre-teen, a gay romance between the I-guess-he's-not-out-but-whatever Michael Urie and David Blue, and more fashion, fun and even patron saint of the homos Judith Light to boot. By the way, where was that gay kid when I was growing up in Miami? I coulda used his help with all those shows I put on in my garage. Can you imagine?
Now the one other show I know is getting a lot of buzz, but I haven't seen yet is TORCHWOOD
Not only is the main character bi, but he's played by openly gay (very gay since he's done BROADWAY!) star John Barrowman.