Mar 9, 2016

Brian Krause: Not Charming on Charmed

When Brian Krause starred in Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991), yet another "discovering girls on a desert island" movie, there was a collective groan from West Hollywood.  Sure, gay teens probably found him dreamy, but why did they have to sit through two hours of heterosexist "you don't exist" propaganda for a glimpse of a slim chest?

Next he starred in the homoromantic December (1991), as the jock boyfriend of quiet, studious Wil Wheaton in a prep school during World War II.

But it's all downhill from there.

Next Brian starred in an aggressively homophobic movie, Sleepwalkers (1992): Charles Brady (Brian), a feminine-stereotype villain, and his mother/girlfriend, feed off the life force of virgins.  But he takes a moment from his busy schedule to dispatch a gay high school teacher named Mr. Fellows, who keeps hitting on his students. It's Stephen King, so there's bound to be a lot of anti-gay hatred.

Family Album (1994) is not quite as homophobic: Greg Thayer (Brian) is the son of a famous actress (Jaclyn Smith of Charlie's Angels) and her husband (Michael Ontkean).  When his brother Lionel announces that he is gay, it causes immeasurable strife in the family.

Then he starred in some heterosexist "erotic thrillers," which provided some nudity, but they were about guys having sex with girls.

And some buddy-bonding movies, but he never played one of the buddies.

Brian most prominent role to date has been in the tv series Charmed (1998-2006), about three witch sisters (eventually a fourth) living in a gay-free San Francisco.  Brian played Leo Wyatt, the sisters' Whitelighter (guardian angel).  He begins a forbidden romance with Piper (Holly Marie Combs), and eventually they marry and have children.

While the "I've got a secret" genre is always open to queering, the Charmed ladies are so aggressively searching for heterosexual partners that any symbolism is drowned out in the constant exchanges of "I met a new guy!" "Is he hot?"

Plus only one gay character -- Duncan Philips (Blake Bashoff) -- who appears in only one episode, apparently the only gay student at the Magic School, and the only gay person in San Francisco.

Plus female-female friendships are fine, but men approach each other only with suspicion, as competitors and potential enemies.

No word on whether he's a gay ally in real life.  I doubt it.