Mark's Media Spotlight

Mark's views on what's happening in the media.

Backlash Of The Gay Stereotypes

Gay People Come in All Shapes and Sizes – One Representation Does Not Fit All

Well based on the response from my “Open Letter To LOGO” post, one thing 99.2% of the responders agreed on ….. LOGO is on the road to bankruptcy.  But it seemed that a few took exception to my views and at the same time, gave me insight into all of the self-loathing gay stereotypes out there that must have had some horrific experiences reading through the gay want-ads that said “NO FATS, NO FEMMS”.  One guy actually asked me if I wanted him to commit suicide.  Based on what?  My yearning for some non-stereotypical gay programming for the LOGO Channel?  Aren’t we being a bit of a drama queen?

And thanks to Michael Musto’s Village Voice posting, I viewed other responses from “Ick” (how appropriate) – “Some of the guy’s statements are illiterate and some of his suggestions for shows would get no ratings. does he not realize Logo is a business, not a charity operation?”  And Jessica answered brilliantly “Only someone with a narrow and illiterate mind would think the only way to attract an audience would be to find flashy flamboyant drag queens.”  But in actuality, I would have to take more exception with someone posting I have illiterate thoughts without an explanation.  Are you too illiterate to ellaborate?

Tabitha Coffey Takes Over Ripples Gay Bar in Long Beach

As for the shows I suggested that would get no ratings, well, I can tell you that the Bar Takeover idea did quite well as a stand alone episode on Bravo on a little show called “Tabitha Takes Over”.  While Tabitha typically takes over hair salons, here, she stepped out of her comfort zone to take over a gay bar in Long Beach, CA., renovate it and put it back on the map.  And the show attracted over a million viewers, which is quite good for Bravo and I’m sure 10 times what LOGO’s kiddie pageant series “Eden’s World” drew.

My favorite comment was from Slimjim, who said “What next–BET will show white shows because they’ll say we found out that’s what black people want???”  Exactly Slimjim (except for the grammar issue I had).  BET actually is quite popular with their niche audience and a show that failed on the CW called The Game drew over 5 million viewers on BET because they know their audience.  Some of you out there would have suggested the LOGO-TV type approach of putting on reruns of Spin City on the channel because there was a black character on there.  (Shhh, I forgot, the character was gay too, don’t give LOGO any ideas.)

BET’s The Game has drawn over 5 million viewers per episode.

This also answers JDolphy’s question posed earlier “How does one cater to a community that has no identity?”

Great discussions out there people, but what I found frightful was JDolphy’s later comment that said:

“No one was watching and this forced Logo to rethink how they would reach out to our community.  You know what they found out?  Gay men, in particular, care more about straight artists with a strong and independent persona than they do about gay ones.  So if Logo wants to make a 24-hour Madonna/GaGa/Kathy Griffin/Campy movies/Circuit Party Music-type channel, I would have to agree that it might actually get more people to care.  Look at Drag Race.  It’s about the only thing on the channel that actually gets good viewership.” 

This sounds like someone working inside the LOGO network.  Yikes!

JDolphy’s Vision of What Gay Men Want To See on LOGO

So in response.. First of all, I disagree – get new researchers.  The A List also had good viewership, but LOGO wanted to “go in a different direction” as per one of the stars of the show, Reichen Lehmkul’s tweet.

Derek Hartley – Denounced LOGO’s “A-List” series as heinous

Others however, such as Sirius Out Q’s Derek Hartley, publicly denounced the A- List show as heinous in its poor portrayal of the gay community.  At the same time, this doesn’t mean we don’t have an interest in watching men being men.

Gale Harold didn’t have to camp-it-up to play gay on Queer As Folk.

I remember there was also outcry over one of my favorite shows Queer As Folk (the US version).  Say what you want about the sexual storylines, but they hit home with the gay world I witnessed and the variety of gay people that touched most aspects of the gay community during its run.  And yet please take note JDolphy,  people watched!  Go figure.  And without everyone dressing up in their best boa and shouting for Kathy Griffin.

I think Michael Musto’s Village Voice synopsis showed he was the most spot-on when it came to understanding the message I conveyed.  And despite his discomfort with my remarks about LOGO-TV just catering to the Drag side of the gay community, I was pretty clear in stating that I enjoyed the Drag Race series and have no issues with TV shows that highlight the flamboyant side of our community, however, isn’t it about time we showed that we can be funny without being flamboyant?

Eric Stonestreet – Straight Actor Camping it up To Play Gay

OK, maybe because I’m partnered with a very funny gay cop who doesn’t exude any of the stereotypical traits found in Modern Family’s Cameron character, I’m a bit biased, but again, speak from experience.  I’m also not like some of my militant gay com-padre’s who won’t watch anything gay that has a hint of effeminate mannerisms.  I don’t care, I want to be entertained and there are a lot of “Cameron’s” out there who possess them in real life so yeah, I watch and laugh with the rest of America.  BUT, I’d like someone to convey the side of gay life seldom scene.  Interesting gay people doing interesting things without camping it up. LOGO-TV has the power to do something about this and create quite a niche for themselves, but they choose not to.

June 30, 2012 Posted by | LGBT, LOGO, TV | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Reality TV: The Aftermath We Seldom See

Biggest Loser

It’s all smiles while your still in the Spotlight

We currently remain inundated with multiple reality show concepts on both network and cable.    On the shows that take off, these contestants have their 3 or 4 months in the spotlight and then are never heard from again.  On talent shows like American Idol or The Voice, many have the easiest option for extending their brief flirt with nationwide popularity because they have a discernible talent, but for shows like The Biggest Loser or Big Brother, it is much more challenging.  For those not looking for an acting career, it may not be such a big deal, but if you ever looked at the roster of Big Brother contestants each year, the vast majority appears to be actor wannabees.  No matter how many claim to be “cocktail waitresses”, “bartenders” or “advertising executives”, it’s quite evident, they are looking for a quick, but delusional path to stardom.   Let’s face it, the majority of these people we don’t remember a month after the season has concluded let alone a year or two.

Reality show producers are missing out on a golden opportunity to feature a show that focuses on contestants years after their season’s have ended.  Just like Biggest Loser contestants, some cope well and others don’t and while fading back into obscurity, return to being the people they were before they were thrust into the spotlight.  On Big Brother, in many cases it was even worse.

tonya paoni

Tonya Paoni – Arrested for Reckless Homicide

If you do a quick search on some of the media stories involving former contestants, you’d find out that Season 3’s Tonya Paoni was arrested for reckless homicide from a drunk driving incident and Season 9’s Adam Jasinski and Matty McDonald both were arrested and are currently serving sentences for distributing Oxycontin.  As readers and former viewers of these individuals, we read this kind of thing, dismiss as a bunch of idiots and move on with our lives.  But the real story (or “the pitch” as I call it) would be to delve into why these things ever happened to these people.

Matty McDonald

Matty McDonald
From Big Brother “Celebrity” to
Jailhouse “Nobody”

In the case of Matty McDonald, a former construction worker from Boston, I got not only a glimpse of why, but an amazing recount as to the events that led up to his current incarceration.  I must say, for someone with marginal talent on the show, he sure showed a penchant for telling a story through his monthly (when possible) blog posts.  Like many new series, Matty wasn’t exactly sure where he was going with this whole blogging thing.  It started off a bit sketchy with his jailhouse surroundings and how bad they were – boo hoo boo hoo.  But things started to really perk up as he recounted the events that turned him from Big Brother “Celebrity” to Jailhouse “Nobody”.  Like a good book he slowly recounted how he always thought he had control of his surroundings and he had difficulty letting go of his 3 months of fame, leading to the details as to the first moment he realized that he no longer was able to have control of his drug usage, to his double life as a drug courier/construction worker, non-celebrity rehab and eventual prison.  As a fan of the fictional show, The Cleaner, a short-lived Benjamin Bratt series about people trying to kick a drug habit, this story ranks up there with the best of those scripts.  I highly recommend you check out http://mattymcdonald.wordpress.com/ and be sure to hit the archive back to the first post.  You don’t have to be a Big Brother or even a Reality Show fan to appreciate this. Note, that like a good novel, each chapter ends on a cliff hanger and it also makes you reflect on yourself.  Most of us have a dark side we dare not share, but not all of us choose to act on it.  And his story isn’t over yet folks.

I have to imagine there are other great stories out there. Probably for every well-adjusted returnee to the real world, there are 3 or 4 not so well adjusted.  So what do you say Reality Show producers, get moving on this idea!

June 23, 2012 Posted by | Reality TV, TV | , , , , | Leave a comment

LOGO TV’s New Direction

It was recently announced that LOGO TV was going to ditch it’s popular A-List series and according to a Facebook post from Reichen Lehmkuhl, one of the A-List NY stars, the network is seeking out a new direction which the A-List doesn’t fit into.

But what direction would that be?  I got together with LOGO’s hot new programming team to speculate based on LOGO’s short list of exciting new series they are looking into blessing their presence onto the airwaves.  Check them out below and let LOGO TV know which ones you’d like to see!

LOGO Programming Team

LOGO TV’s New Programming Team! “We hope you like our new direction!”

  • The D List– This fresh new series would use the popular A-List format, except with Drag Queens.

    5 Drag Queens and a Monkey

  • 5 Drags Queens and a Monkey – 5 drag queens discuss trendy topics with a monkey in drag.
  • RuPaul’s World – Little kids in drag compete for $ 500 in Cosmetics..and a chance to have their picture appear on RuPaul’s next CD.  RuPaul stars!
  • Senior Moment– Old Drag Queens take to the streets as they play tricks on unsuspecting people.  Wettie White

    Wettie White can’t wait to be back in the spotlight on LOGO

    provides commentary.

  • Big Sex– Latrice Royale and other popular plus sized drag queens talk about their favorite sexcapades with sex specialist, Chris Donaghue.

They’ve also picked up repeats of Toddlers and Tiarra’s.

So I think it’s now clear on what direction the LOGO TV network is looking to go…

Now just sit back and enjoy the ride folks!

June 21, 2012 Posted by | LGBT, LOGO, TV | , , | Leave a comment