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

Past Life – A First Look

PAST LIFE

The premise of Past Life is around the idea that the memories of a previous life are interfering with the present.  This new drama series investigates the world of the unexplained through the eyes of a doctor and a former detective who must work together to solve decades-old mysteries.  Sound familiar?  I’m hard pressed to find a lot of differences between CBS’s most likely to conclude series Cold Case and this one.  Even the lead blonde looks semi-familiar.

Cold Case or Past Life?

I’m enjoying the show, but it really seems like another CBS clone as was Lie To Me.  The first episode revolves around a teenage boy who suddenly remembers flashes of his past life where he was murdered.  Of course only flashes are there or this all would be too easy to resolve.  Now the idea is to bring the boy and find the scene of the crime so that he can properly remember things and have all of the images stop.

Case #2 revolves around a young woman who is having images of a dead woman and it’s causing her to overdose on drugs of choice.  While the cast is decent and the stories well done, you still have the feeling that you’ve seen this done again and again on CBS.   The second story even more than the first one was so reminiscent of Cold Case with the ending song and flashes to all of the people involved.  (All that was missing was the flashes of images of the characters from then to now.)

This might be a show worth checking out on occasion, especially when Cold Case concludes (although the coveted advertising demo for that show skewed older than anyone at FOX would be interested in), so one has to think that Past Life will not have much of a future, especially considering it’s up against CSI, The Office and Grey’s Anatomy.

SERIES PREVIEW: Tuesday, Feb. 9 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT)
SERIES PREMIERE: Thursday, Feb. 11 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT)
STARRING: Kelli Giddish (Dr. Kate McGinn)

Nicholas Bishop (Price Whatley)

Richard Schiff (Dr. Malachi Talmadge)

Ravi Patel (Dr. Rishi Karna)

February 2, 2010 Posted by | Past Life | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Town – Has ABC Lost Faith In It?

Happy Town

Happy Town

I came across this show after screening the much self-hyped premiere of ABC’s dismal and soon-to-be-forgotten series The Deep End.   First of all, let me say that this is one heck of a show!   Given the track record of exec producers Josh Appelbaum and Scott Rosenberg with critical and ratings bomb October Road and the ratings challenged Life On Mars, it is understandable that ABC would be squeamish about going forward with this series that was filmed last March, yet still sits in the ABC vault.   Still, having seen this show and before even knowing who the exec producers were,  I kept on comparing October Road to Happy Town.  Perhaps because its lead, Geoff Stults, as well as Jay Paulson were both supporting players on October Road.  At first, the idea of a comparison was crazy, except that they both take place in small towns, this one being Haplin, MN.  But then it became more apparent that if you took October Road, and made a lot of crazy awful stuff happen there, you have your new and improved series.

It’s not black and white in the first couple of episodes as to whether each of the characters are good or evil and there is a lot of mystery surrounding most of them.  Sam Neill’s shopkeeper character in particular, is one of the most intriguing personas in that he seems to know a lot about what’s going on but knows how to keep himself out of trouble.  It’s also great to see Six Feet Under’s Francis Conroy back on the air as mysterious matriach Peggy Haplin.   Nevertheless, character development is everything here and this show knows how to put together a complex cast of characters.  And although there might be a serial killer involved here, don’t even try to compare this to the blood bath of CBS’s Harper’s Island, which featured one dimensional caricatures  straight out of the Friday The 13th movies.  The first big mystery surrounds the identity of The Magic Man, who abducts people and leaves no trace of them.  It’s hinted that it’s someone we already know.

There are also some comparisons to Twin Peaks.  I suppose that makes sense, but personally never got that show and this one is at least more firmly rooted and related to our world as opposed to the “bizarro” world that Twin Peaks took place in.  I’ll stick with the “October Road except for now stuff happens” comparison.

This show is akin to a great mystery book.  A book in which I found impossible to put down and was even more depressed after watching the first two episodes that I have no idea when I will finally get some answers!  The pace is faster than LOST or many of the other serial failures ABC tried out (Nine, Invasion to name a few) and the storylines are instantly addicting.  One thing is for certain and that is nothing is certain here in Happy Town.

So here is my personal plea to ABC: Please get behind Happy Town and put these 8 episodes on your schedule and do the type of promoting that made Desperate Housewives a household name.  While we’re at it, why not schedule this following Desperate Housewives for a few weeks and give Brothers And Sisters a little break.  Perhaps we can then forgive you for rushing The Deep End onto your schedule first.

“Happy Town” stars Geoff Stults as Tommy Conroy, Sam Neill as Merritt Grieves, Lauren German as Henley Boone, Steven Weber as John Haplin, Amy Acker as Rachel Conroy, Sarah Gadon as Georgia Bravin, Robert Wisdom as Roger Hobbs, Jay Paulson as Eli “Root Beer” Rogers and Ben Schnetzer as Andrew Haplin.

Recurring stars include Frances Conroy as Peggy Haplin, Abraham Benrubi as Big Dave Duncan, M.C. Gainey as Sheriff Griffin Conroy, Peter Outerbridge as Handsome Dan, Warren Christie as Greggy Stiviletto and Sophia Ewaniuk as Emma Conroy.

Josh Appelbaum (“Life on Mars,” “Alias,” “October Road”), André Nemec (“Life on Mars,” “Alias,” “October Road”) and Scott Rosenberg (“Life on Mars,” “October Road”) are executive producers. “Happy Town” is produced by ABC Studios.

January 25, 2010 Posted by | Happy Town | , , | 1 Comment