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The Chad Allen vehicle Shock to the System fails to surprise

The Chad Allen vehicle Shock to the System fails to surprise


We love Chad as a gay detective--but could we punch up the mystery?

The second in Here TV's adaptations of author Richard Stevenson's Donald Strachey mystery novels, Shock to the System sees Chad Allen reprising his role as the titular gay gumshoe. This time, P.I. Strachey is hired--and well paid--by Paul Hale (Jared Keeso), the handsome young poster boy for an ex-gay program. But before Paul can tell Strachey exactly what the job entails, Paul is murdered. With support from his boyfriend, Timmy (Sebastian Spence), and a new assistant, Kenny Kwon (Nelson Wong), Strachey goes undercover to try and expose Paul's killer, infiltrating Dr. Trevor Cornell's (Michael Woods) potentially diabolical ex-gay program.

Director Ron Oliver, also of last year's Strachey installment, Third Man Out, keeps things on the light side, to a fault (much like, say, Hart to Hart or Moonraker). Stevenson's source material or Ron McGee's screenplay lacks suspense or surprise, even when a shadowy killer (whose identity mystery mavens will easily see coming) is lurking about or trading gunshots with Strachey. The well-cast Allen and Spence share believable chemistry and romantic sparks, while actress and AIDS activist Morgan Fairchild, as Paul's socialite mother, adds a dash of camp and pop culture value. But shocks don't come milder than this one.

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

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