Aug 21, 2013

Struck by Lightning: A Big, Scary Gay Scandal

23-year old Chris Colfer, the gay actor who plays the uber-feminine Kurt on Glee, made waves in January 2013 when he wrote, produced, and starred in the black comedy Struck By Lightning.  He plays high schooler Carson Phillips, who doesn't display any romantic or erotic interest in anyone but is probably supposed to be gay.

Carson aspires to go to Northwestern University, major in journalism, and become an editor at The New Yorker (how's that for a specific goal?).

The best way to get into Northwestern?  Submit a literary magazine that he edited.
The best way to get good submissions?  Blackmail students into submitting.

I'm not sure that's logical, but there's scandal aplenty to draw from.

1. Claire (Sarah Hyland) is having sex with the brother of her boyfriend (Robbie Amell, below, previously of True Jackson VP), who also happens to be the coach.

2. Rich kid Nicholas (Carter Jenkins of Aliens in the Attic, top photo) is secretly gay, and involved with drama club queen Scott (Graham Rogers).
3. Dwayne (Matt Prokop) smokes pot.
4. Foreign-exchange student Emilio (Robert Aguirre) is really from San Diego.

Plus there's a nude photo, a Goth girl into S&M, a baby born out of wedlock, and addiction to prescription drugs.  Eventually the entire student body hates Carson.

To make matters worse,  Carson's application was "lost in the mail," so he doesn't get into Northwestern, and will have to attend community college (he didn't have a safety school?).  But it wasn't really lost in the mail, his crazy mother destroyed it so his dreams wouldn't be realized.

But it's all irrelevant anyway, since Carson is dead.  He's struck by lightning in the first scene.  All of his morally suspect skullduggery was futile.

But everyone in the school, including the kids who hate him, comes to the funeral.  Apparently he touched their lives. . .um. . .somehow.

I don't quite understand what the movie is getting at.  Is it the moral of The Simpsons: "Never try"?  Is it "Don't make your goals so darn specific?"  Is it revealing the sordid underbelly of a "perfect" high school?

And Chris Colfer wins the Uncle Tom Award for his depiction of being gay as a big, scary scandal.  Some 43 years after Stonewall. (At least Carson doesn't blackmail the gay kid).