Feb 6, 2013

Round the Twist: 3 Kids and Some Ghosts

Of all the Australian kids' shows I saw on the Disney Channel during the 1990s -- Spellbinder, Skytrackers, Ocean Girl -- Round the Twist was the least gay-friendly.  It was about the twins Linda and Pete Twist, and their younger brother Bronson, who live in a lighthouse and have paranormal adventures.  The title means "over the edge," "around the bend":

Have you ever felt like this, when strange things happen,
Are you going round the twist?

There have been four seasons, stretching from 1989 to the present. Pete has been played by Sam Vandenberg, Ben Thomas (left), and Rian McLean, and Bronson by Rodney McLenan, Jeffrey Walker, and Matthew Waters.

As we see often in paranormal series, there is a substantial heterosexist content.  All of the characters except Bronson have heterosexual romances, and the plot arcs of each series often involve true love.
Season 1: The kids' dad falls in love with a woman and gets engaged.
Season 2: The ghost of a former lighthouse keeper failed to save a ship carrying his girlfriend.
Season 3: Whoever reads a poem out of Linda's book falls in love (heterosexual love only).
Season 4: A girl from another dimension tries to get Pete to marry her.

Pete, especially when played by Ben Thomas, gets lots of underwear, swimsuit, and semi-nude shots, and there are a few glimmers of gay subtext:

1. The bully-antagonist Richard Gribble has a love-hate relationship with Pete.
2. His friend Tiger may be hanging out with him because he likes him.
3. Some of the ghosts are gay-vague.

Are teens today willing to overlook the constant "boy girl boy girl" chant in search of teenage beefcake and a few moments of potential buddy-bonding?