Jul 10, 2013

Beefcake and Bonding Under the Dome

I don't watch a lot of prime-time tv, due to its incessant heterosexualization, but I have made an exception for the first three episodes of Under the Dome (2013), because I found the premise intriguing: an invisible dome lands on the small town of Carter's Mill, trapping the townsfolk and whoever happened to be passing through.  It lets in light and some air and water, but no sound or radio waves, so they can't communicate with the outside world.

The producers changed the premise of the original Stephen King novel, to allow for an ongoing storyline.  Maybe they would also add some gay characters (other than the bisexual bad-girl).  Or some gay subtexts.

It started badly out, like Fringe, White Collar, Dexter, and practically every other drama, with a plaint of universal heterosexuality, a boy and a girl smooching it up. Nor were there any "teases," characters who could be identified as gay because the producers forgot to establish their heterosexuality. By the end of the first two episodes, all of the main characters had lost a heterosexual partner, discussed one, or flirted with one, with the exception of Caroline (#4, below).

Over 1000 people are trapped under the dome, but the main cast consists of:

1. Barbie (Mike Vogel, left), a hitman or mob enforcer trapped in town after he finished murdering the husband of 2. Journalist Julia, who invites him to stay with her (thinking her husband is on the other side of the dome) and begins a serious flirtation.

3. Deputy Linda Esquivel, who lost her husband on the other side of the dome, and becomes the town's sole police force.

4. Caroline, an African-American lesbian attorney, a new character, not in the book.  On tv, small towns are always gay-free, so they had to make her trapped while "passing through town" with her partner and 5. juvenile delinquent daughter Norrie, who hooks up with 6. teen nerd Joe (Colin Ford, top photo).

7. Big Jim Rennie (Dean Norris, left), a used car salesman and city councilman who flirts with the waitress in the diner and is maneuvering to take over the town.

8. Junior (Alexander Koch, bottom photo), Big Jim's disturbed son, who has kidnapped 9. His ex-girlfriend Angie.

So is there anything of gay interest?

1. Caroline and her partner responding to people who are not aware that lesbians exist. ("Two moms?  What do you mean?  I don't understand?)

2. A lot of beefcake. A lot of shirts off, showers, and bedroom scenes. Carter's Mill is quite warm for Maine in October.

3. After the requisite opening scene, there haven't been many shots of men and women smooching it up.  I guess all of their partners are trapped on the other side of the dome.

4. Barbie has been buddy-bonding with both Joe (on the good side) and Big Jim (on the evil side).  I wonder where he will stand in the coming cosmic battle.

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