The premise: Nick is a 13-year old girl (Siena Adugong) who shows up on the doorstep of a nuclear family claiming to be a long-lost relative. Mom and Dad (Sean Astin, Melissa) immediately drop everything and welcome Nick into the family, and their 13-year old daughter Molly is delighted at the prospect of a new sister, but 15-year old Jeremy (Kamala) is suspicious.
As I began watching, I noticed something unusual about Jeremy. Most teenage boys on sitcoms talk like this: "Good morning, Mom. Girls! Good morning, Dad. Girls! What's for breakfast? Girls! I have a test in school today. Girls! It will help me get girls. Girls!"
Ultra-popular, but no boyfriend or girlfriend? What kind of high school is this?
At first I concluded that Jeremy must be asexual. Surely he couldn't be gay, not in a series starring Melissa Joan Hart! But in the second season, third episode, Nick catches him kissing a boy!
"I want to come out my own way," he admonishes her.
Nick, who is full of secrets, agrees to keep his.
In Episode 8, Jeremy plans a complex coming-out performance, with powerpoint presentation, and Diana Ross's "I'm Coming Out," which of course turns into a disaster. But he manages to convey the main idea.
The word "gay" is never spoken, and there are no more references to Jeremy's gayness. It has a 1990s "problem of the week" feel.
But there are so few gay teenage characters on tv -- so few gay men of any age -- that I'll take what I can get.
Especially in a tv series starring Melissa Joan Hart.