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Gayness Overload


Actually I don't know what's gay about NASCAR except Jeff Gordon.* But someone--I forget who, maybe GLAAD, but someone in any case--does a study each year about how many gays there are on TV. And each year, apparently, we're underrepresented.

But not from where I sit. Maybe they're only counting the big networks? The prime-time narrative shows? Are they leaving out reality programming? Soaps? Jerry Springer and Tyra Banks? Because in a DVR world, none of those distinctions matter. For me, if the Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past is making out with a male space alien on Aqua Teen Hunger Force at 1 a.m. on the Cartoon Network, that's all the gay I need. It counts.

I haven't done a study obviously, but this fall it's going to be extremely homosexualish all over the nation's flat screens. Here's stuff you should start looking for very soon:

Modern Family: A sitcom about three families in the same neighborhood. One of them is a gay male couple with an adopted baby. I saw an extended commercial for this one playing at a local movie theater (not sure why they do that, but whatever) and the gays look pretty typical in terms of their let's-all-get-offended-and-take-a-stand-for-gay-pride behavior, but that might just be the pilot. Maybe they'll mellow out after a while. Or not. Straight audiences love their gays to behave in certain dumb ways. It may just be a phase the world is going through.

Glee: They're bombarding all of us with this one. But that's because they know it's kind of great. Pilot's already aired like 17 times. If you haven't seen it yet it's because you're just not trying. So try. I like it because it's clever. And because of the nerd-revenge feel. And because of Jane Fuckin' Lynch, one of the funniest women around and a major Power-Lez. That doesn't mean I'm going to go buy the soundtrack CD so I can listen to musical theater kids sing "Don't Stop Believing." But I'll at least be watching.

Southland, Mercy, Trauma, Mental
The one-word shows about people in trouble are all over the place this fall. Southland is a cop show. I like cop shows. Actual cop shows, not all this forensic examination stuff. I like it when the guns come out and guys in uniforms are chasing bad robbers. I know I'm starting to sound like a Tom of Finland apologist, but that's what I like. So here comes a cops-on-the-beat show with guns and a gay cop. I'm in. Also, this cop is not played by the kid from The O.C. He plays the other cop. The gay cop is played by a guy who looks like your suburban next-door neighbor. And you know that's hotter.

As for Mercy and Trauma, they're both medical shows, obviously. Both have gays. The one on Mercy is played by the actually gay Guillermo Diaz, who was in Party Girl and Half-Baked and a bunch of other stuff. What's great about these two shows is that I don't have to pay attention to them at all because I already watch Nurse Jackie. Sidekick nurse Thor and I are already very happy together. So one of you can watch those shows and tell me if I'm missing something.

On Mental they're going to have a lesbian psychiatrist character. But, again, I've already got Obsessed and Hoarders in my TiVo and that's about as much mental illness intake as one person should be asked to deal with. And just as an aside here, have you seen Hoarders? Not only are a weirdly disproportionate number of people who live amongst mounds of decaying stuffed animals and garbage and broken furniture homosexuals, but they always seem to be guys whose beloved mothers just died. Would any lesbian psychiatrists reading this please explain that to me? Anyway, you haven't seen the end of what's acceptable on television until you see someone refuse to clean up 12-year-old dog shit from the backyard because it feels like souvenirs of a favorite pet long since passed. ("I think I should keep this turd. I like how it's turned white. That will make a classy accent color when I turn this place into my dream house.")

And coming soon? A webisode show based on the two lesbian characters from Guiding Light. They're canceling GL because after nearly 75 years they've killed off their remaining audience. But the lesbians, having just gotten hip on daytime TV, are not going into the light so quickly. There's a webisode thing coming called Venice where Olivia and Natalia are going to play characters with different non-lawsuit-inducing names. Best of all? DAWN DENBO IS GOING TO BE ON IT. OK, not THE Dawn Denbo. But Elizabeth Keener, who played her on The L Word. She'll be some other lez on this show, I guess. I can't wait.

I also can't wait for The Real L Word, the spin-off reality series that Showtime just gave the go-ahead. Actual Los Angeles lesbians will run around and, if we're lucky, burn down hair salons and destroy film sets, have dogs killed to get back at lovers they hate, and murder each other before dumping the bodies into a pool. It's going to be so good.

Almost finally: Mad Men's Sal is about to bust out of the closet and the son of the protagonist on Hung may be turning queer before our eyes and the gays on Brothers & Sisters are getting (already got?) a kid and should be the angsty alternative to the Modern Family fellows.

And now, for real, finally: Flipping Out and The Rachel Zoe Project and Top Chef and Project Runway and Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives and The Rachel Maddow Show and How I Met Your Mother and Dante's Cove and The Lair and almost everything on BBC America? All extremely gay. See what I mean? A jamboree. No more complaining.

*Totally kidding about Jeff Gordon. Unless it turns out to be true and then I'm not.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

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Dave White