Gay people are show dog's best friends

The couple behind Inside Deep Throat are just two of the queers behind the cameras of Bravo’s Showdog Moms and Dads, premiering March 30

BY Richard Andreoli

March 25 2005 1:00 AM ET

Kyra brings her baby to perform at State Fairs in hopes of making her a star. Connie and George let their little ones do whatever they want and never say a word. Gay parents Brandon and Ryan think that a major bonus of adopting is playing dress up with their kids. Unreal? Guess again, because these folks are only some of the people on display in Bravo’s March 30 premiere of Showdog Moms and Dads, where being obsessively eccentric doesn’t necessarily equal insanity.“To us, crazy is the sign of an authentic, passionate person,” says Fenton Bailey, who along with fellow gay executive producer Randy Barbato is the founder of World of Wonder, the production company behind such projects as The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Party Monster, the recently released Inside Deep Throat, and last year’s Showbiz Moms and Dads for Bravo. This time, WOW focuses on the struggles, sacrifices, victories, and defeats that owners and their dogs face on their journey toward the Philadelphia Dog Show. While the premise sounds like Christopher Guest’s film Best in Show, this series about pooches and their parents is a far cry deeper.“We’ve taken Best in Show and pumped it up a notch with the real version of these people,” says Todd Radnitz, the openly gay supervising producer of Showdog Moms and Dads. “We show well-rounded portraits of their lives—the quirky [humor] you’d expect along with the real stress and tension.” From the middle-aged Lourdes, desperately trying to collect her dog’s sperm so that he can have children where she herself cannot, to Brandon and Ryan, who deal with the usual struggles of a young gay relationship while entering the highly competitive world of dog shows, nothing is sacred and nothing is filmed from a place of judgment.“Sometimes people misunderstand our attitude and relationship to the subjects of our films,” says Barbato. “[They often] raise eyebrows, but they’re all extraordinary characters who turn us on, and we adore them.” He then laughs, adding, “We ourselves are freaks, and I think that gives us a connection to them.”What also makes the show stand out is the WOW team’s experience with similar subjects—not dogs but rather people who are judged for the very thing that gives their lives meaning. “Some owners are overly passionate about their dogs, but they do have this genuine love that I think the queer eye can perhaps recognize, whereas a straight eye is maybe jaundiced to being able to recognize it because it’s so contaminated with politics and other social issues,” says Bailey.“It’s an outsider status,” Barbato explains. “The programming [isn’t] overtly gay, but it comes from a very unique gay perspective—relating, connecting, and appreciating people who are off center. It’s what ties all our stuff together and drives so much of what we do.”

 

Tags: World

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