Feb 23, 2019

"Hialeah": Gay Panic TV Series

Hialeah is a short comedy series (6 episodes, each about 10 minutes long) now streaming on Facebook and Youtube, produced by and starring Melissa Carcache.

She wanted to celebrate her home town with a series something like Que Pasa, USA, where English and Spanish were used interchangeably.

The premise: uptight Jewish photographer Kay (Jordan Wall) and Cubanita Mari (Melissa Carchache) meet and get married in Chicago.

Lacking money, they decide to move back to Hialeah, Mari's home town, and move in with her estranged Cubano family.  But they must keep the marriage a secret, so Mari introduces him as a mere boyfriend.

Her parents and grandparents are still upset over Mari's decision to abandon the family and "study abroad," and now they are even more upset at her choice of a Gringo, who doesn't speak a word of Spanish (he keeps confusing Kay his name with que?)  Besides, he's Jewish, so he doesn't even have a full-sized penis  -- they cut the tip off, as Grandma mimics with a butcher knife

Although Jordan Wall is quite muscular, he plays Kay as a nebbish, intimidated by the vigor, muscularity, and aggressive physicality of the Cubanos, worried that he doesn't measure up as a man, in his penis, his muscles....

And his lack of homoerotic desire.

Each episode introduces a tidbit of Cubano culture, which somehow gets Kay in trouble.  Three involve homophobic panic:

He shares a bed with Mari's bodybuilder brother (Noel Mirabal), who wants to cuddle

He is discomforted when her bodybuilder ex-boyfriend (Danell Leyva) wants a hug.

While practicing an energetic dance, he accidentally ends up partnered with a boy.

Plus the secret that Kay and Mari are hiding from the family, that they are actually married, could just as easily be the secret that he's gay (although I suspect that la familia is less homophobic than Kay himself).

I really don't see why Mari likes Kay.  He comes across as an insensitive jerk, looking down on Cuban culture, complaining about everything, rude to everyone, even people trying to be nice to him.

The cinematography is very bright and colorful, but I would have liked more location shots in Hialeah, to give us an actual feel for the city.  Almost every scene takes place in the Sanchez house.

I would have also liked an actual gay character.  It would have been interesting to see how Kay and la familia respond when the gay subtext becomes text.

But at least there's substantial beefcake.  Even the older generation is rather buffed.

Feb 22, 2019

Hialeah: Hispanic Beefcake in the Most Boring Town in America

The comedy series Hialeah (2018-) stars the mega-buffed Jordan Wall as a Jewish gringo who marries a Cubanita (Melissa Carcache) and moves in with her extended family (but fails to mention that they're married).  He's told by the mega-buffed Joel (Noah Mirabel), "You're not in Miami, ese.  You're in Hialeah."

The series is so bright and colorful, with so much superlative beefcake, that I wanted to look up the real-life Hialeah.

It's a Nevada-shaped piece of land about five miles northeast of Miami, squeezed between other suburbs.  In the 1920s it was a center of silent movie making, with a famous horse racing track and posh hotels that attracted the glitterati.  But the movie industry moved west.  Today Hialeah's main employers are retailers, health care, and public education.  It has a relatively high unemployment rate but a low crime rate.

It sounds like a paradise of Hispanic beefcake. Population 240,000, 95% Hispanic (mostly Cuban), 96% of the residents speak Spanish at home.

But it is also the fourth most conservative city in the United States, heavily Republican (Hispanic Republicans in the Trump era?  Go figure).   No gay bars.   It only had its first Gay Pride Parade in 2018.

Plus every photo of a guy has him standing next to or hugging a woman.

Hialeah has been  named the most boring city in the United States.  According to Trip Advisor, the top things to do are: the park, the mall, the antiques mall, the racetrack, a shooting place, another shooting place. a fish camp (whatever that is), and a movie theater.  I'm torn between yawning and running far away.

A drive down Main Street (aka 49th Street) reveals endless blocks of familiar chain restaurants (Olive Garden, Papa John's Pizza, Krispy Kreme Donuts, McDonald's, Burger King, KFC), banks, pharmacies, retail centers, and almost nothing that suggests a Hispanic heritage.  No street signs or building signs in EspaƱol.   There's an Arts District with space for local artists.

While we're looking up superlatives, Hialeah has also been named the city with the 4th worst drivers in the U.S. (#1 is Washington, DC).

Three high schools:
1. Hialeah (team: The Thoroughbreds)  No GSA
2. Hialeah-Miami Lakes (team: The Trojans).  No GSA.
3. Westland Hialeah (team: Wildcats).  No GSA

Plus Miami Dade College, Hialeah Campus.  No GSA.

Plus various charter and religious schools.  I'm interested in the Christ-Mar School, which doesn't mention God, Christ, or religion anywhere on its website.  Could Christ-Mar mean something else?  The website gives no explanation.

All in all, I think I'd drive the five miles to Miami, which is 70% Hispanic and has gay bars.

Feb 17, 2019

7 Hunks from "Once Upon a Time," Season 7

Once Upon a Time, Season 7 is a blatant, unnecessary reboot.

Season 1:  Fairytale characters are living in our world, in the town of Storybrooke, with wiped memories and new identities.

Season 7: Fairytale characters are living in our world, in the town of Hyperion Heights, with wiped memories and new identities.

Season 1: The Evil Queen Regina has orchestrated the whole thing in order to get revenge on her stepdaughter, Snow White.

Season 7: The Evil Lady Tremaine has orchestrated the whole thing in order to get revenge on her stepdaughter, Cinderella.

 Season 1: 10-year old Henry Mills tracks down his birth mother, who happens to be Snow White's daughter, the only one who can break the curse.

Season 7: 10-year old Lucy tracks down her birth father, Henry Mills, who happens to be Cinderella's long-lost husband, the only one who can break the curse.

Yawn.  And they're fresh out of fairytale characters.  The only new ones who show up are Mother Nature and Baron Samedi, Hansel and Gretel, and Captain Ahab.  I don't remember Mother Nature actually being a character in any story, and Baron Samedi is a Haitian voodoo god.

Season 7:  Fairytale characters are living in our world, in the town of Hyperion Heights, with wiped memories and new identities.

It's also a beefcake-limited season. The main characters are Cinderella, Lady Tremaine, the wicked stepsisters, Lucy, Regina...men mostly relegated to recurring and guest roles.  I could only find 7 respectable hunks.

1. Andrew J. West (top photo) as the adult Henry Mills, who has forgotten that fairytale worlds exist.  He published a bestselling novel about them, but insists that it is pure fiction.  Oh, and he's Cinderella's husband and Lucy's father.

2. Jeff Pierre (second photo) as Prince Naveen from "The Frog Prince," who is cursed by Baron Samedi but doesn't really turn into a frog.

3. Nathan Parsons as Hansel, who, after the candy house thing, ends up in Oz, and then in Hyperion Heights, where he becomes a serial killer.

4. Liam Hall as the Prince, who dates Cinderella before she marries Henry.  He doesn't have a first name because in the fairytale he's called Prince Charming, but that name is taken.

5. Kevin Ryan as Robert, who is working for Baron Samedi because his lover has been turned into a frog.

6. Dan Payne as Ivo, Hansel and Gretel's father.

7. Chad Rook as Captain Ahab from Moby-Dick, who owns a magic fish hook that Captain Hook needs to....well, who knows?

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