WATCH: Gay-Adjacent TV You Should Check Out
BY Diane Anderson-Minshall
October 02 2012 3:10 PM ET
Vexed: Series 1 (Acorn): The long-awaited DVD of this witty and irreverent British hit (which has never aired in the U.S.) follows two mismatched British cops who solve crimes while bantering and bickering about nearly everything. Toby Stephens (the villain from Die Another Day; his mom is Downton Abbey's Maggie Smith) plays DI Jack Armstrong, a sort of dinosaur of a man who's charming, sexist, and lazy, while his super efficient partner, DI Kate Bishop (played by Lucy Punch, the breakout costar of the new Fox hit Ben and Kate), is a modern woman and all that entails. While both are clearly straight, the sendup of gender politics and subplots that involve Mamma Mia! and lonely cat ladies is worth a gander for LGBT viewers. Yes, it's Moonlighting 2.0, but with a much sexier male lead. ($29.99, Acornonline.com)
Give Up Tomorrow (PBS/ITVS): Debuting tonight on PBS and streaming online Friday through November 4, this almost Kafkaesque documentary reads like it was ripped from the pages of a mystery novel. Here's what happened: During a tropical storm in the Philippines, two sisters leave work and never make it home. One girl is found dead, having been battered, blindfolded, and handcuffed; the other is never found. A 19-year-old culinary student, Paco, who lived 300 miles away in Manila, is arrested, tried, and sentenced to death for their rapes and murders, despite pretty overwhelming evidence of his innocence. The film goes into whole sordid story that includes tabloid journalism, drug lords, a judge who commits suicide, police torture, two grieving moms, and long-simmering race and class issues surrounding Paco's trial. Gay producer Marty Syjuco, who made the documentary with his partner (in life and work), director Mike Collins, is especially intent on seeing the film make an impact on public consciousness. "I know some will question my objectivity and intent because Paco is my brother's brother-in-law," says Syjuco. "But that relationship gave me inside access and perspective. It also opened my eyes to the part of the Phillipines that, as one of the beneficiaries, I had ignored. My family members are mestizos, a group that traditionally benefits from endemic corruption and cronyism." Syjuco says he left the Philippines but the country "lived inside me. And I knew I had to return. There are many Pacos around the world. We are hoping this film will make not only Filipinos but people of all nationalities sit up, pay attention, and act." (GiveUpTomorrow.com)
Two and a Half Men (CBS): Sure, it's one of the most heterosexist shows out there, but now that Charlier Harper is dead and Ashton Kutcher is playing Walden, the boy-in-a-man's-body billionaire, there's stepped-up homosocialism between him and Alan (played by the always gaydar-pinging Jon Cryer, a.k.a. Duckie from Pretty in Pink — who knew that kid was going to grow up to be gay?). They've partied with lesbians, pretended to be lovers, bromanced over almost every significant moment in their lives, moved in with each other (at the expense of the women on the show), and last week the two seemed to seriously contemplate becoming a real same-sex couple. Was it played for yuks? Sure. But did it sound pretty damn reasonable and thought-out? Yep. Someone writing this show has got to be gay. (CBS.com)
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