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Channel surfin'

Channel surfin'


The sun is shining, the birds are singing. Who cares. There's too much good stuff on TV.


The Lair (pictured) See it: Fridays at 8 p.m. Eastern (currently airing) THE PITCH: Two words--gay vampires. A homoerotic horror series featuring a handsome newspaper reporter (David Moretti) who, while investigating a seeming spate of serial killings, finds himself in the dangerous--yet alluring--queer coven of an evil bloodsucker (Shortbus's Peter Stickles). WHY WE'LL BE WATCHING: Don't even pretend you don't watch Here's gay soap Dante's Cove, whose success no doubt inspired this show. And, vampires? Plus porn star-cum-recording artist Colton Ford, who makes his mainstream acting debut as the heroic Sheriff Trout. "I'm sure some people wanted to bite him," Stickles says with a grin.


Hey, Paula! See it: Thursdays at 10 p.m. Eastern (premieres June 28) THE PITCH: Paula Abdul, straight up, in a fly-on-the-wall reality series. WHY WE'LL BE WATCHING: Come on! Why did you watch Whitney Houston's show? For that special something only crazy can provide.

Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List See it: Tuesdays at 9 p.m. Eastern (currently airing)

Top Chef Season 3: Miami See it: Wednesdays at 10 p.m. Eastern (currently airing) THE PITCH: Set in Miami this year, the show has a new batch of cooks competing for the title Top Chef while creating as much drama as possible in the kitchen. WHY WE'LL BE WATCHING: Ted Allen--who can also be heard this summer narrating PBS's wine 101 show Uncorked--returns as a judge. Will there be any "gay dishes"? Even Allen doesn't know what that means. "Evian and a pack of Marlboro Lights?" he muses. There will be at least one requisite gay contestant, according to Allen, "And he's cooked some darn good food, probably one of my favorite dishes, and he's good at mincing, good at sashaying, and he has elaborate hair."


The Graham Norton Show See it: Saturdays at 10 p.m. Eastern/Pacific (currently airing)

Hex See it: Saturdays at 9 p.m. Eastern/Pacific (currently airing) THE PITCH: A British Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The series' sophomore season sees battle among murderous archangels, diabolical spirits, a succubus, a time-traveling telekinetic hero, and a teenage lesbian ghost. WHY WE'LL BE WATCHING: Lesbian ghost Thelma (Jemima Rooper) finds some lovin' with fellow sapphic specter Maya (Laura Donnelly). Rooper also went for the ladies in The Black Dahlia and the excellent, yet-to-be-imported U.K. TV series Sugar Rush. According to Rooper, Thelma and Maya have a leg up on mere mortal girlfriends "because they can do it anywhere and nobody can see them."

Footballers' Wive$ See it: Wednesdays at 9 p.m. Eastern/Pacific (currently airing) THE PITCH: A U.K. Desperate Housewives with the added bonus of Beckhamesque football players as the hubbies. This is the show's fifth and final season and it pulls out all the stops. Resident super bitch Tanya Turner (Zoe Lucker) finally meets her man-hungry match in magazine editor Eva de Wolffe, played by none other than Joan Collins. WHY WE'LL BE WATCHING: Season 3's controversial male-male sex scene is one-upped by this season's lesbian craziness involving a supermodel (Buffy's Phina Oruche) and her lover-personal assistant. Then there's gay-fave Lucker and the iconic Collins locking claws. "It does get quite nasty as you can imagine," Lucker laughs. "The fingernails come out, but none of us get injured. We shot by a swimming pool and could have gotten messy if we'd fallen in."


John From Cincinnati SEE IT: Sundays at 10 p.m. Eastern/Pacific (currently airing) THE PITCH: A surreal dramedy revolving around three generations of Yosts--a legendary and dysfunctional pro surfer family--who all happen to be super hot. WHY WE'LL BE WATCHING: Matt Winston plays Barry Cunningham, the gay owner of the flophouse motel the clan calls home. Although Barry--whose backstory reveals he was molested in the motel as a child--bought the property to burn it down, creator David Milch (Deadwood) tell us, "He inherits these various disreputable characters and begins to establish a new connection with the past." And then there are the gorgeous surfers, some of whom are gay. "The appreciation of surfing is a sometimes homoerotic fixation," Milch adds. "Very understandably."

Big Love SEE IT: Mondays at 9 p.m. Eastern/Pacific (currently airing)

Entourage SEE IT: Sundays at 10 p.m. Eastern/Pacific (currently airing) THE PITCH: Hot young Hollywood actor Vince Chase (Adrian Grenier), his three closest pals, and explosive fireball agent Ari (Jeremy Piven) continue their adventures. WHY WE'LL BE WATCHING: "Llo-o-y-y-yd!" Ari's harried gay assistant, played by out actor Rex Lee, has another standout episode in which "Lloyd has to leave the office for personal reasons," Lee hints. "It's a love-life thing."


Last Comic Standing SEE IT: Wednesdays at 9 p.m. Eastern/Pacific (currently airing) THE PITCH: The latest season of NBC's search for stand-up comedy's funniest undiscovered talent goes international with help from out comic and LCS contestant-turned-talent scout Ant. "We went to England, Australia, Canada, and Singapore," he shares. "And in my opinion, the USA has nothing to worry about." WHY WE'LL BE WATCHING: According to Ant, there was a huge LGBT turnout this year. "We probably saw 20 transgender comedians," he says.


Cruising the Caribbean With Olivia SEE IT: Tuesday, June 26, at 9 p.m. Eastern THE PITCH: From the decks of an Olivia cruise ship, comedian Elvira Kurt hosts an original one-hour special showcasing lesbian comedians and musicians, including Suzanne Westenhoefer, Indigo Girls, Vickie Shaw, and Karen Williams. WHY WE'LL BE WATCHING: "It's like you get to be on the cruise without all the overpacking--and paying!" says Kurt. "This is the cruise for shut-ins."

Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World SEE IT: Tuesdays at 10 p.m. Eastern (premieres July 10) THE PITCH: Q. Allan Brocka's hilarious 1999-2000 series of animated gay shorts finally gets the full TV treatment--in the same Toronto studio where Celebrity Death Match is shot. WHY WE'LL BE WATCHING: To help lampoon contemporary gay culture, Brocka tapped an A-list of queer (and queer-adjacent) voice talent, including Alan Cumming, Margaret Cho, Peter Paige, Wilson Cruz, and Lorna Luft. In the six-episode first season, long-term partners Rick and Steve are asked to help a lesbian couple--one of whom is Steve's nemesis--have a baby.


Indie Sex SEE IT: July 12-15 at midnight Eastern/Pacific THE PITCH: A four-part documentary series, with installments airing on four consecutive nights, about representations of sexuality in film from Lesli Klainberg and Lisa Ades, makers of IFC's Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema. Klainberg says making the miniseries was enlightening. "It was a very, very odd experience of having everyone in my office sitting around watching movies with sex in them all the time," she recalls. "You got used to it--you'd walk by somebody's desk, hear heavy breathing, and didn't look twice." WHY WE'LL BE WATCHING: Assuming we take the high road , we're in it for the amazing archival clips. See everything from ancient stag reels to scenes from modern queer classics like Kinsey, Shortbus, and Edge of Seventeen, plus interviews with the likes of John Cameron Mitchell, Heather Matarazzo, Peter Sarsgaard, Lee Daniels, Dita Von Teese, and Tatum O'Neal.

The Business SEE IT: Sundays at 11:30 p.m. Eastern/Pacific (premieres August 5) THE PITCH: A soft-core porn guru whose claim to fame is a Girls Gone Wild-style video series finds Judaism and goes "legit," turning his production house into a (slightly) more highbrow business. WHY WE'LL BE WATCHING: This year sees the show's first gay story line when a Parisian filmmaker pitches an English-language remake of Emmanuelle. "The whole office goes horny," says creator Phil Price. "It's like Spanish fly in the water cooler, and one of the male characters, who's been quietly in lust with this nerdy male accountant with a rocking body, finally lunges at him and they're quietly together and flirting through the rest of the season."

The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman SEE IT: Sundays at 11 p.m. Eastern/Pacific (premieres August 5) THE PITCH: Our favorite Hollywood gal and her best bud, Tara, continue their quest for "some recognition, a purpose, and a hangover-proof martini." WHY WE'LL BE WATCHING: To see what happens with Kit and Joan, the lesbian couple who last season moved in next door to Jackie. Plus, Tara and Jackie are mistaken for a gay couple and take advantage of the benefits of running with the lesbian crowd.


State of Mind SEE IT: Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern/Pacific (premieres July 15) THE PITCH: Created by psychotherapist and author Amy Bloom, this dramedy stars Lili Taylor as Anne Bellowes, a brilliant therapist saddled with her own issues. This is an interesting casting turn for Taylor, who may be best known to lesbians for playing murderous radical feminist Valerie Solanas in I Shot Andy Warhol, or perhaps for her role as roommate-turned-love interest to unstable-in-real-life Courtney Love in the 2001 indie lesbian flick Julie Johnson. "Anne wouldn't work with Courtney unless she's sober," Taylor muses, "and I don't know if Courtney has been sober. She's a pretty big addict, you know. You take the drugs and alcohol away and you probably have a pretty great person with a lot of feelings... and probably a lot saner." WHY WE'LL BE WATCHING: Inspired by Bloom's research while writing her book Normal: Transsexual CEOs, Crossdressing Cops, and Hermaphrodites With Attitude, episode 2 revolves around a male-identified transgender teen whose family pressures him to wear a bridesmaid dress at his sister's wedding. "That also made me think about how many women, regardless of sexual or gender identity, feel it's unbearable to appear in the bridesmaid dress," shares Bloom. "They feel like they're in drag."


Who Wants to be a Superhero? SEE IT: Thursdays at 9 p.m. Eastern/Pacific (premieres July 26) THE PITCH: Do-gooders vie to become America's next Spider-Man, Superman, or Wonder Woman--and star in their own comic book!--in the second season of this ubergeeky Sci Fi Channel reality series. WHY WE'LL BE WATCHING: A pair of out contestants--Orlando, Fla.'s Dan Williams, a.k.a. Parthenon, and Dallas's Paula Thomas, a.k.a. Whip-Snap--compete with their straight counterparts in Fear Factor-style challenges such as crawling through a tunnel infested with rats, snakes, and tarantulas and braving cages filled with bees. But the gayest reason to watch? "Tight spandex," Williams laughs. "Let's just say it accentuates everything."


HGTV Design Star SEE IT: Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern/Pacific (premieres July 29) THE PITCH: More home-design makeover challenges--can we ever get enough?--on the reality show that launched last year's adorable winner, Color Splash star David Bromstad. WHY WE'LL BE WATCHING: According to insiders, two of the finalists are gay. Which ones?


The Two Coreys SEE IT: Sundays at 10 p.m. Eastern/Pacific (premieres July 15) THE PITCH: Corey "Feldog" Feldman and Corey "Haimster" Haim reunite at long last in this reality series that should land somewhere between guilty pleasure and car crash. WHY WE'LL BE WATCHING: Last time the two Coreys shared billing--in 1992's Blown Away--they gave gay fans a thrill by appearing naked. Today's sober and chubby Haim, whose notorious drug problem got so bad he sold his hair and a rotted tooth on eBay, is prime chaser material. And really, Feldog and Haimster? That's so gay.


Weeds SEE IT: Mondays at 10 p.m. Eastern/Pacific (premieres August 13) THE PITCH: Our favorite pot-dealing single mom, Mary-Louise Parker, continues her suburban adventures in the third season of this highly addictive, satirical comedy. WHY WE'LL BE WATCHING: To see how budding lesbian adolescent Isabelle (Allie Grant) continues to drive mom Elizabeth Perkins crazy. And Justin Kirk is so easy on the eyes.

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Lawrence Ferber