I’ve been wanting to write a new post on gay TV, but, frankly, I’m becoming less and less of a television watcher. I think some of it has to do with the new digital broadcasting. As a long-time remote-control flipper, I have no patience for that several-second period of dead air between one channel and the next. Because of that and also the fact that our cable provider, TVMax, didn’t provide any instructions with the remote that came with the box, I haven’t been able to delete all of those religious, Fox Noise, and other channels that just get in the way. Also they said this digital was going to be so great, but what’s up with all that pixelation or the video stopping and the audio continuing? The only channels that I know the numbers for are the local channels (because they’re the lower numbers), ESPN, HGTV, and Logo. I think I can remember National Geographic too because on Friday nights, I really try hard to watch The Dog Whisperer.
I’ve been watching a lot of NCAA basketball on my various ESPNs. You see, once I can find the one, I know the other ESPN channels are close by. I don’t have any favorite teams this year, but some of the teams are really fun to watch. I don’t care for the ACC much, but last night there was a good game between Wake Forest and Duke. I’m just waiting for one of these college basketball players to come out of the closet. As a side note, if you’re interested in a good gay sports site, this is a good one.
I’m glad I’ve got Logo, the gay channel, on my lineup. They’ve got some good shows on it, but they re-run them to death. One new thing (at least for me) is they are also showing MTV’s Real World Brooklyn, so I’ve been able to catch a show or two that I’ve missed on MTV itself. This time Real World has eight cast members including one gay guy, JD, and one transgender female (post-op), Katelynn. So far, the show has been mostly major friction free despite having, Chet, a full-of-himself Mormon boy, and Ryan, a former U.S. soldier who served in Iraq. Last night, MTV showed the fourth episode of this year’s version of Real World; it seems like they are trying to make Ryan into the next “American Idol” as they are featuring his singing a lot. Actually, he has a pretty good voice and isn’t hard on the eyes either. I’m sure both MTV and Logo will be replaying this episode this week. You can also see them here on the web with almost no commercial interruption.
Ryan Kelley and Sigourney Weaver in Prayers for Bobby
The most touted gay-themed show this past week was Prayers for Bobby, a made-for-TV movie based on a real-life story, which was also published as a book. Presented on Lifetime, in Prayers for Bobby, Sigourney Weaver is cast as the overly Christian (yes, not a misspelling, I mean “overly” not “devoutly” or “overtly”) mother of a son who she basically pushes out of her life because she cannot accept that he’s gay.
Although this show has it’s moments when the Kleenex need to be brought out, both the story and the characters seemed predictable. Bobby’s family, and most of all his mother, because of her religious beliefs, cannot accept his being gay. Already out of high school, Bobby goes to live with a more liberal cousin in a somewhat distant city, where he meets a guy (perhaps not “the” guy) of his dreams, although he still cannot reconcile his own religious upbringing and being gay. Still suffering from these inner conflicts, he sees his boyfriend leaving a bar with another guy and goes and jumps off an overpass onto the highway below. The story then continues focusing on his mother dealing with her own responsibilities in his committing suicide.
This show reminded me of another made-for-TV film, Doing Time on Maple Drive, which came out in the early 90s. It has a similar story line, but worked much better as an all-around film because each of the characters were developed and had their own lives and problems, not just the son dealing with being gay and a mother who wouldn’t deal with it. The message of Prayers for Bobby is a good one but could have been a bit less didactic. However, if even just a few Bible-thumping parents listen to the story’s refutation of these evangical preachers’ ranting “Leviticus says this” and “Romans says that” and them make changes in how they treat their own gay son or daughter or gay people in general, Prayers for Bobby will be a success.
Speaking of success, I have seen Robert Gant, who plays in Queer as Folk (originally on Showtime, now re-runs on Logo) doing a couple of commercials, first showing off some skin on a shaving ad and just recently, playing straight, seemingly, in one of the many new ads that Volkswagen has been running. Gant is an out actor and makes a lot of appearances on behalf of the community all over. Just a couple years back he was he in Houston, riding in the Gay Pride Parade.
On the other side of the coin, Focus on the Family (and head homophobe, James Dobson), whose prime reason for being is its anti-gay agenda is trying to put forth another boycott; this time against Pepsi for a commercial that it has playing in Great Britain. Here’s the spot that’s getting all the contempt from the haters. Who knows who they’ll try to boycott next? There are quite a few gay-themed ads out there.
You can see several other gay-themed commercials on my Vod Box on the right sidebar.
You can see “I Want My Gay TV” (Part I) here and (Part II) here.
Filed under: Politics and Gay Topics | Tagged: anti-gay, boycott, christian, christianity, digital TV, Dog Whisperer, Doing Time on Maple Drive, ESPN, evangelical, Focus on the Family, Fox Noise, gay, Gay Pride Parade, GLBT, Great Britain, HGTV, Houston, Iraq, James Dobson, leviticus, Lifetime, Logo, mormon, MTV, National Geographic, NCAA Basketball, Outsports, Pepsi, Prayers for Bobby, Queer as Folk, Real World Brooklyn, Robert Gant, Ryan Kelley, Showtime, Sigourney Weaver, Television, TV, TVMax, Volkswagen, VW | Leave a Comment »