Dec 31, 2016
Speechless (2016-) seems to be doing it right.
It's a nuclear family sitcom with Mom, Dad, and three kids, one of whom, the teenage JJ (Micah Fowler), is confined to a wheelchair and "speechless" due to cerebral palsy. He uses a communication board to spell out words and phrases.
18-year old Micah Fowler has cerebral palsy but can speak. He notes that it's difficult to adapt to a non-speaking role. There's a lot of eye-rolling and grimacing involved. .
The rest of the family is filled in by a nebbish dad (John Ross Bowie, the bully Kripke on Big Bang Theory), a fiercely protective Mom (Minnie Driver), the conniving little brother Ray (Mason Cook), and a sarcastic sister, whose name I didn't catch (Kyla Kenedy).
Plus Kenneth (Cedric Yarbrough), JJ's assistant.
The A plot of each episode involves JJ's push for independence (he plays hockey, joins the choir, gets drunk at a party), with Ray's conniving in the B.
Speechless is smartly written, with few moments of gag-inducing smarm. My only complaint is that heterosexism reigns supreme. Plotlines involve what boy is interested in what girl. No gay people exist, unless Kenneth happens to be gay (he hasn't mentioned any romantic interests of any sort).
No beefcake, either. Although Cedric Yarbrough has a nice physique, it's under wraps.
There are occasionally cute guys in guest roles, like Joseph John Schirle as Ben (one episode).
The only gay connection I could find was Emerson Collins, who plays teacher Mr. Powell. He played half of a gay couple with Jonathan Slavin (left) in The Boomerang Effect.
Dec 29, 2016
Bedtime Story Boyfriends: The Wind in the Willows
There are a few challenges to their relationship: Mole misses his old life underground, and Rat longs to explore the world beyond the River -- but the crises are quickly resolved, and the two men always return to the life they have built together, their romantic bond blatantly, painfully obvious.
The reclusive Badger (Bob Hoskins) must defend his home from an invasion by juvenile-delinquent weasels (led by Radu Micu).
I knew that the gay subtext was strong and noble, but I figured it was accidental until, in graduate school at the University of Southern California (1985-1989), I read up on the life of Kenneth Grahame. I even tried to include him in my doctoral dissertation.
Born in 1859, his parents forced him to become a banker; but he looked from afar at the glittering homoeroticism of the aesthetic and decadent movement. He read Arnold Bennett, Max Beerbohm, and Karl Huysmans. He contributed to The Yellow Book. He corresponded with Oscar Wilde.
But Oscar Wilde's conviction for sodomy in 1895 scared Kenneth, and he distanced himself from the movement, and sublimated his same-sex desire. He married in 1899, and had a son, Alastair, who heard bedtime stories about a Mole and a Water Rat who loved each other. They were published as The Wind in the Willows in 1908.
See also: Saki (H.H. Monro).
Dec 25, 2016
Gay Surfers Down Under: Xavier Samuel
the Twilight saga, Xavier Samuel, who plays muscular college-age vampire Riley Biers, has starred in many gay-positive movies and tv series back home in Australia.
2:37 (2006), a high school angst ensemble, with a gay dopehead facing homophobia (and getting a boyfriend).
Best friend to a gay guy (Miles Szanto) in Drowning (2009).
And even when there's no explicit gay content, there's plenty of homoromantic buddy-bonding. And nudity
A Few Best Men (2011), about a bridegroom (Xavier) who can't choose one best man from among his three mates.
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