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9 LGBT Shows That Deserve Reboots

Dante's Cove

Our cream-of-the-crop list of titles we think actually deserve a redux.

Some people complain, while others celebrate the fact that we live in the golden age of the do-over. For better or for worse, it's a fact of life that now is the time when many an LGBT-themed film, musical, and TV show may soon be headed for reproduction. The Advocate decided to put forth our cream-of-the-crop list of titles we think actually deserve a redux.

Jumping off a burgeoning movement to reboot our related company Here TV's sultry, many-tentacled 2005-2007 supernatural soap series, Dante's Cove, which made Melrose Place look more like Sesame Street, we present nine TV shows we invite you to weigh in on in the comments section with your own short list of LGBT-oriented shows we missed.

Check out the Kickstarter campaign:

1. Dante's Cove

In many ways, Dante's Cove was born at an optimal time. It was 2005, a year in entertainment that could rightly have been called the zenith of TV's supernatural-revival period.

After all, that was the year a mainstream network, inasmuch as that segment of the media market may or may not still exist today, launched a new show titled simply Supernatural. Originally launched on the WB network, since acquired by the CW, Supernatural continues drawing a respectable audience share and was even renewedg for a 12th season just a couple of months ago.

Now, with a groundswell of support on social media and even a Kickstarter campaign aiming at relaunching the mystique, the magic, the men, women, and supernatural souls of Dante's Cove, 2017 could be the year of a second revival of the supernatural genre; the Here TV series was a leading part of the first one a decade ago. According to an announcement on Kickstarter, new episodes will include gay heartthrob actor-activist Omar Sharif Jr.

The series inspired a cult following when it ran on Here TV from 2005 to 2007. Dante's Cove was a supernatural soap opera that unabashedly showed same-sex love on-screen. Straight people had hundreds of shows about their romances, but Dante's Cove was special because it treated LGBT people without the kid gloves of mainstream networks.

Now Dante's Cove could be coming back, with its director, Sam Irvin, making the pitch for raising $50,000 per episode for a fourth season called "The Next Generation."

"A lot of LGBT projects had a lot of political statements that they were trying to make and this was something that was going to be pure entertainment," said Irvin, remembering the launch of Dante's Cove in a Kickstarter video released Tuesday. That apolitical viewpoint was a statement of its own at the time. Marriage equality had only just come to Massachusetts, and TV was short on gay relationships. The first gay sex scene on a mainstream American soap opera didn't happen until 2009 on One Life to Live, after Dante's Cove aired what had been its last season.

You had to be a Here TV subscriber to see the series, so for those who missed it (and because Here TV is a sister company of The Advocate), we've secured the entire first season for your viewing pleasure. Actor Stephen Amell of Arrow fame was part of that first season, playing the sexy, straight villain in the show.

The show came with nudity and sex scenes that are included in the videos below, making them largely unsafe for work. So bookmark this post and watch at home. Check out Amazon Prime to watch each of the first three seasons.

Favorite line, one-liner, or catchphrase: No shirts. Think of this as truth in advertising. (Source: IMDb)

2. Tales of the City

Tales of the City was a British miniseries that later, in America, on PBS. Rich in queer characters, plot twists, and lovingly detailed jaunts through San Francisco during a time when the City by the Bay was earnestly "The City" that only those who lived there in those days knew, Tales of the City was a small-screen adaptation of Armistead Maupin's legendary newspaper serial turned novel series; the stories first appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle in daily or weekly installments.

The television miniseries told ironic, iconic, and tragic stories of complicated and all-too-human urbanite characters. As Maupin's website notes, "Three miniseries starring Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney were made from the first three Tales novels." An entire universe of many things Maupin are worth exploring at ArmisteadMaupin.com.

We can't help but wonder what Netflix, HBO, Amazon, or the like could or would do with the fictional fodder Maupin's Tales of the City has to offer.

Favorite line, one-liner, or catchphrase:
"We're gonna be ... I mean people like you and me ... we're gonna be 50-year-old libertines in a world full of 20-year-old Calvinists."

"Hey, you look at your tits; I'll look at mine!"

(Source: GoodReads.com)

3. My So-Called Life

Some media critics have referred to My So-Called Life merely as a "teen drama." But IMDb, the uber-authority of all things Hollywood and entertainment elaborates a bit more, describing the single-season classic series this way: "A 15-year-old girl and her trials and tribulations of being a teenager and dealing with friends, guys, parents and school."

But perhaps a review of an IMDd user writing under the handle Kinolieber best captures why the surprisingly short-lived ABC series seems still to pack a disproportionate wallop in terms of lasting impressions on our cultural consciousness:

"Writing this great rarely makes it into series television. As disappointing as it was when the show was cancelled after one year, the result was a self-contained almost novelistic tapestry of interwoven stories that stands alone as one of the finest depictions of adolescence and parenthood ever created for the screen...Among many fine story lines, one standout is that of Rickie Vasquez [Wilson Cruz] probably the first depiction of a gay teen on series television, and if not the first, certainly the most unapologetic."

Favorite line, one-liner, or catchphrase:

"Huge events take place on this earth every day. Earthquakes, hurricanes -- even glaciers move. So why couldn't he just look at me?" (Source: Bustle Media)


4. Will & Grace

Even though their September YouTube reunion episode, filmed in service to Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign was one of many valiant, albeit fruitless, celebrity efforts to make the former secretary of State this nation's first female president, the former cast members and creators of Will & Grace are, naturally, mandatory parts of this list.

A sitcom about a designer and her gay, politically aware roommate-bestie-since-college-guy-pal, plus two power sidekicks -- yes, that's a thing, because ... well, it just is -- Will & Grace all but defined a generation's idea of what it meant to be a hip(-ish), gay, or gay-friendly urbanite in the late 1990s and post-911 America.

Now the multiple Emmy-winning, consistently top-ranking, and unquestionably groundbreaking sitcom that ran on NBC from 1998 to 2006 is a strong contender for a remake. According TVLine.com, Will & Grace's original creators, David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, as well as stars Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes have been in serious discussions with the same network that made the show a hit in the first place.

In fact, just a few days before Christmas, McCormack, who played title character, Will, wowed The Daily Beast's senior entertainment editor, Kevin Fallon not only by disclosing his age as 53 but also by saying that talks with NBC about renewing W&G are indeed very, very serious. Perhaps most exciting is the actor's acknowledgement of how badly needed he thinks the show may be in the age of Donald Trump, Mike Pence. and the avowedly anti-equality and freshly empowered Republican Party.

"It is astonishing," McCormack told Fallon, acknowledging the fact that since Will & Grace ended there hasn't been a sitcom on a major broadcast network whose primary plot or theme centered on gayness, queerness or any other aspect of LGBTQ America.

"And, as you say, for it to be the point -- that's going to be really hard now post-November 8th for people to do that as a whole show," McCormack continued.

Breaking News Update: Thursday, December 22: During an interview with NPR affiliate KPBS in San Diego promoting his appearance at a local night club later that evening, actor Leslie Jordan said in no uncertain terms that NBC had definitely ordered 20 episodes of a rebooted Will & Grace for 2017 and that production is set to begin. As in the original series, he will play Karen Walker's (Megan Mullaly) nemesis, Beverly Leslie.

Favorite line, one-liner, or catchphrase: Too many to choose from, but here's one anyway: "You know how I know? Because I reeallly think so." (Source: Buzzfeed)

5. The L Word

For its legions of fans, The L Word was a as much phenomenon as it was a Showtime original series. As if vying for an award for understatement of the year, IMDb's one-sentence summary -- all snark aside, kudos to the Amazon-owned site for distilling tThe L Word's sophisticated storyline so exquisitely -- says the show "follows the lives and loves of a small, close-knit group of lesbians living in Los Angeles as well as the friends and family members that either support or loathe them."

One L Word fan, Vanessa Dubois, a photographer and nonprofit executive in San Diego, tells The Advocate that the reasons the show still sticks in her heart and mind are both social and aesthetic.

"The show had interesting views on the lesbian and bisexual community in L.A.," says Dubois, who is originally from France. "The cast was diverse, and very attractive, while the writing and casting broke some stereotypes."

Favorite line, one-liner, or catchphrase:
"Y'know, you are going to pickle in that self-loathing homophobia, I swear." (Source: multiple fan sites)

6. Prisoner: Cell Block H

A largely forgotten series exported from Australia to several other English-speaking countries, Prisoner, or Prisoner: Cell Block H as the series was retitled for the U.S. and U.K. markets, boasted a rich cast of well-written and well-acted lesbian characters, as well as thoroughly engrossing storylines replete with corruption, sex, love, and violence.

To this day, Prisoner: Cell Block H fan sites claim millions of followers, who share episode details, scripts, photos, scene remembrances, actors' where-are-they-now information, as well as live-chat forums and Wentworth Detention Centre parties where fans gather as their favorite inmates and guards from the original series -- and even meet some of the original cast and crew, rumor has it.

One of CBH's most beloved characters was Lizzie Birdsworth, who was originally imprisoned for poisoning to death four sheep shearers because they complained about her cooking.

Played by Shelia Florence, Lizzie was released from Wentworth when it was discovered that she'd not put enough poison in the wool-cutters' gruel to kill them. As one episode explained, someone else had added more poison later. However, poor Lizzie had become so accustomed to incarceration at Wentworth that she committed several petty crimes in order to rejoin her compatriots back "home" at the facility.

PrisonerCellBlockHWorld.co.uk has a news page about all things Prisoner as well as a list of other fan sites. No word yet on a remake of the original award-winning series. Our vote is yes; Prisoner: Cell Block H is an LGBT-themed show worthy of consideration for a do-over.

Favorite line, one-liner, or catchphrase:
"Haven't you heard the good news? Special request from the governor; 'Could we have the pleasure of your company in the laundry?'" (Source: WikiQuote)

7. Queer as Folk

Looking back, the U.S. version of Queer as Folk was as unlikely for its unabashedly sexual, intelligently nuanced, and passionately emotive characters and storylines as it was for its time and place: the 1990s in Pittsburgh. Queer as Folk tackled ageism, AIDS, bigotry, racism, homophobia, classism, and just about every other "ism" while depecting lust, beauty, style, and cinematic texture that made Showtime, the cable network the show called home, famous for cutting-edge entertainment.

We think it's time for a reboot.

Favorite line, one-liner, or catchphrase:
Debbie: Well, if it isn't the man behind the asshole.
Michael: Brian's always behind the asshole.
(Source: IMDb)

8. Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

Surprise! It turned out even Middle America during the height of the high-alert Bush years was pleased as pie to have its straight men take fashion and cultural advice from queer men. Five gay dudes with specialties ranging from personal fashion and interior design to fine wines and classical music and live theatre starred in the 2003-2007 Bravo reality series.

It's presumed by America's political punditry class that we're about to enter at least a four-year that could be characterized as "The Revenge of the Straight White Male." If Queer Eye worked once, maybe now sounds would a good time for a redux of Queer Eye II with Jai Rodriguez, Carson Kressley, Ted Allen, Kyan Douglas, and Thom Filicia.

As Kevin Kloosterman, a former Mormon bishop, wrote in a 2012 commentary for The Advocate about Queer Eye, "For me it was much more than watching five gay men help get straight guys' act together in grooming, home decor, fashion, culture, and cuisine. It began to create a bond for me to these men. They had a certain synergy that kept me wanting to watch more. I liked them as people. I saw them as individuals expressing their God-given talents and trying to make people's lives and the world a little bit better."

Favorite line, one-liner, or catchphrase:
It's not a makeover show, it's a make-better show. (Source: The Advocate)

9. Dawson's Creek

Jack McPhee (played by Kerr Smith) was made part of the regular cast of Dawson's Creek during the WB series' second season. Jack came out as gay after being in am opposite-sex relationship with Joey (Katie Holmes), making television history with a nervous yet thrilling and tender-lipped same-sex kiss in 2000.

In 2015, The Huffington Post interviewed that episode's director, James Whitmore. Whitmore told the news site's entertainment reporter Lauren Duca that keeping the kiss scene in the final broadcast version was far from a slam-dunk.

"The truth is TV is a business of ratings," Whitmore said. "If you've got something exciting that's going to happen on TV, everybody tunes in and watches it."

Favorite line, one-liner, or catchphrase:
"I'm an artist. Torture is a prerequisite." (Source: IMDb)

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