Feb 16, 2013

Lockie Leonard and His Friend Egg

Australian tv produces a surprising number of blond, bronze teenage surfer hunks: Xavier Samuel in Newcastle, Ryan Kwanten in Home and Away, and Lockie Leonard, the teenage surf rat who first appeared in a trilogy of children's books by Tim Winton (also the author of That Eye, The Sky, which was made into a movie starring Jamie Croft).

Lockie moves with his family from Perth to small-town Angelus, Australia, where he is surrounded by weirdness.  However, instead of becoming a paranormal investigator, as in Eerie, Indiana, Lockie tries his best to conform, to fit in. Which isn't easy when his sister eats linoleum, his dad arrests farm animals, his brother wets the bed, his best friend is a headbanger, and he's in love with a crazy female grommet (an experienced surfer).

I've only seen two episodes of the tv series (2008-2010) starring Sean Keenan as Lockie and Clarence Ryan as his headbanger mate, but I have noticed a few gay-positive moments.

1. Sean Keenan is 14 to 17 years old, considerably older than the 12-13 year old Lockie in the books.

2. His best friend is named Egg, which in the U.S. (at least where I grew up)  is slang for something dirty.

4. Lockie and Egg have more subtexts than in the novels. Egg is devoted to Lockie, and usually dislikes girls.  When Egg makes a new friend, Curtis, Lockie falls into a deep depression.  Meanwhile a girl named Sasha flirts with Egg, who ignores her to hang out with Curtis, who is interested Sasha. Then Lockie decides that he'll do anything to get Egg back.  It gets complicated.

5. Lockie's brother Philip (Corey McKernan), a minor character in the books, is pivotal, embarking on his own relationships, particularly with the gay-vague Joe (Nicholas Rechichi)

6. The books focus on the ups and downs of teenage hetero-romance, but the tv series expands to include a more well-rounded -- and queer -- vision.  Lockie wonders if he should have been born a girl; he is embarrassed by his Dad's oddball antics; Mom has a "polka dot day," and falls prey to the "ladies who lunch"; his brother Philip goes out for girls' netball.

7. Sean Keenan's teenage hunkiness is on display.

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