Feb 1, 2015

Homophobic Dog with a Blog: The Disney Channel's Worst Show

The Disney Channel used to be better than Nickelodeon in airing teencoms with gay subtexts, but the last couple of years, it's been slipping.  Of the current crop, the only shows of much interest to gay kids are Austin & Allie (with Ross Lynch, who adds a gay subtext to everything) and Liv & Maddie (with Joey Bragg as the gay-vague older brother).  I heard that Good Luck Charlie will be getting a "real" gay couple sometime this season.  The other programs, like Jessie, are unremittingly heterosexist.

Take Dog with a Blog (2011-) -- please.

It's a standard "my secret" sitcom about a talking dog, Stan (voiced by Stephen Fuller), who uses the anonymity of the internet to write a blog about his family's adventures.  The family, blended to provide conflict, consists of Mom and Dad, 13-year old Avery (G. Hannelius, a girl), 16-year old Tyler (Blake Michael, #8 on my list of Unexpected Disney Channel Teen Hunks), and the preteen Chloe.

Avery is the focus, so the recurring characters consist mostly of her friends, plus her evil nemesis, Karl Fink (LJ Benet), who suspects the secret.

Homophobia: Lots.  Karl is a mincing, swishy, "quel domage!" homophobic stereotype.

Beefcake: none.  Blake Michael, shown here partying with his buds, Eric Unger (Billy Unger's brother) and Mateus Ward (whose homophobic agent asked me to take down his post), is always fully clothed on camera.

Joe Larry Campbell plays Tyler's boss, The Hawk.

Bonding: maybe a little between Avery and her bff Lindsay.  Other than that, Tyler keeps crushing on girls, Avery keeps crushing on guys.

Gay symbolism: Stan the Dog, the outsider masquerading as "normal," constantly in danger of discovery.  Maybe a little.

Do you think the problem is co-creator Philip Stark, who was also responsible for the homophobic Dude Where's My Car (2000)?