Jul 26, 2019

"Another Life": 3 Shirtless Men and 3,300 Women in Bikinis

I've completely run out of tv programs to watch on Netflix, when I get an email: "We added a program you might like, Another Life."  

So I start watching.   Juliet from Lost, or someone who looks like her -- a middle-aged woman with scraggly blond hair -- is standing on the bridge of a spaceship, wearing black bikini underwear, talking to a fully-clothed man.

Definite sign of trouble.

Juliet (Kalee Sackhoff, who is only 39 but looks over 60) wears that bikini underwear a lot during the first episode; plus, we see Alyssa Milano, or someone who looks like her, reading a magazine with her breasts showing, talking to a fully-clothed guy who looks like Hurley from Lost.

Trouble with a capital T, which rhymes with B, which stands for Boobs.

I'm not going to watch this hetero male gaze monstrosity, but I'll fast forward in case a guy takes his shirt off, or -- dare I hope?  -- a gay character shows up.

Episode #1: Across the Universe.  Nope.  An alien artifact lands on Earth, and renowned elderly astronomer Juliet is assigned to go find its homeworld and make first contact.  She leaves her young trophy husband, Erik (Justin Chatwin, top photo) at home to research the artifact further.

By the way, the fully-clothed guy is actually a hologram, William (Samuel Anderson, left), who is in love with her, naturally.

Her crew consists of three or four black bikini underwear clad women, including Alyssa  and a butch blonde with a man's haircut.  Maybe a lesbian?

Hurley is actually Bernie (A. J. Rivera), the ship's chef and morale officer-type.

There are a couple of other guys in the background.

Episode #2: Through the Valley of Shadows.  Nope.  They wear space suits and walk around in tunnels on an alien planet that's not the right one.

Episode #3:  Nervous Breakdown.  Nope.  The ship is damaged, so they bicker, the  men fully clothed, the ladies in boobalicious black tank tops performing random calisthenics.

To alleviate the boredom, here's a photo of Alex Ozeroff, who plays crewman Oliver.  He has also appeared in the Canadian sci-fi series Freakish, about high school students dealing with radioactive mutants.  Not zombies?

Ok, back to the boobs.

Episode #4: Guilt Trip.   Finally!  One of the guys appears shirtless amid the ladies in black bikini underwear when they're roused in the middle of the night by Juliet's bad dreams.

I think he's Jake Abel, playing Sasha, the diplomatic liaison on the ship, whatever that is.

Episode #5: A Mind of Its Own.  Nope. They find a second artifact, with all the men in orange spacesuits and the women in boobalicious tank tops.  The men stay fully clothed even when having sex with boobalicious ladies.

Episode #6: I Think We're Alone Now.  Nope.  The ship is in trouble again, and there are women displaying their breasts.  I wonder why director Mairzee Almas thought it was a good idea to zoom in for closeups of breasts during moments of crisis.

By the way, Greg Hovanissian plays Beauchamp McCarry, Juliet's second-in-command who doesn't appear in many scenes, and never takes his shirt off. But he seems to have nice abs. You can see more of them in Cupid, a short about Cupid in a sleeveless vest and wings shooting love-arrows at people.

Episode #7: Living the Dream.  A shocking development! A guy has his shirt off (actually, he's completely naked) in a room full of space suits.  I think he's Erik, Juliet's husband who stayed back on Earth.

Episode #8: How the Light Gets Lost.

There's a disco party on the ship, with a lot more crew members than have ever appeared before dancing and hooking up.  Young, innocent, virginal Charlie Brown (I can't figure out which character he actually is) takes off his shirt while bumping foreheads with Alyssa.

Later, he stumbles on Alyssa and another guy drinking peach vodka (I can' figure out who he is, either, but he's sort of shirtless, bearded, with a hairy chest).  They have  a three way!  With same-sex kissing and everything! So there's at least a few bisexuals aboard.

But that's all you get.

Episode #9: Heart and Soul.  The battle for control of the ship comes to a head.  No nudity, boy or girl.

Episode #10: Hello.  They reach their destination and are "staggered" by what they see on the planet: a cave and a green limber-limbed alien.  They realize that the alien artifact is not a gesture of friendship, but a precursor to invasion and Season 2.  There's some kissing and death.  And boobs.

Aren't you glad I went through on fast-forward, so you won't have to?

See also: Lost

Jul 25, 2019

10 Things You Should Know about Sportsball Player Rob Gronkowski

I don't usually do sportsball players, but apparently everybody knows about this one, so I have to do a 10-things article to get up to speed.

1. Rob Gronkowski was born in 1989 in New York.

2.  After college (University of Arizona), he started a career in sportsball for some team.

3. His position was "tight end," which I'm sure has a sexual connotation.

4. His nickname is The Gronk, which sounds like a bad guy in a 1970s Sid and Marty Krofft kids' show: "In today's episode, the evil Gronk tries to steal the ice crown and bring chaos to the Land of Shadows."

5. He's photographed nude a lot, but I have found no actual penises.  It's always a tease, with his genitals covered by a football or a picture of himself.

6. He's photographed with bikini-clad ladies a lot.  Apparently he likes women.

7.  He seems quite full of himself.  I've never seen him on film, but in nearly every photograph, he has an annoying smirk: "Don't you wish you were as good as me?  But you're not, are you?"

8. There are 537 articles in various newspapers and magazines exclaiming, with utter surprise, that Gronkowski would be fine with a gay teammate.  Since when is this newsworthy? Would he also be ok with a black teammate?  How about a Jewish one?

9. There's that annoying smirk again.  I don't care if he is ok with a gay teammate, I don't like him.

10. He's not playing sportsball anymore.  He retired at age 30.

Jul 23, 2019

Three's Company

Three's Company (1977-84) premiered at the height of the disco era, when sex was on everyone's mind,  so of course it was about people having sex.  Or, rather, about people thinking that other people were having sex:

Janet eavesdrops on Jack, the cooking student, talking to a girl in the kitchen.  "Ok, take it out, slowly...that's it...careful...work your hands more..." 

They're having sex right on the kitchen table!  Disgusting!  Outraged, Janet bursts through the door, to find Jack and his classmate...cooking.

No one actually had sex at any time during the eight year run, not even long-married apartment complex managers, Mr. and Mrs. Roper: joke after joke branded him impotent.  Nor, when they left, self-designated ladies' man Ralph Furley (Don Knotts of The Andy Griffith Show).

Certainly not the two single girls who occupied the apartment near the beach in Santa Monica: plain-jane Janet (Joyce DeWitt, right, next-door neighbor to one of my friends in West Hollywood) and dumb-blond Chrissy (Suzanne Somers, left, who was eventually replaced by two other blondes).

Or their roommate, Jack Tripper (John Ritter, who would later star on Eight Simple Rules with Martin Spanjers).

Wait -- a guy with two girls?  Mr. Roper/Mr. Furley is horrified.  This is the 1970s -- it's impossible for a man and a woman to be alone together without sex happening.  Jack can't live here!

Jack hits on a novel solution: he'll pretend to be gay!  Whenever Mr. Roper or Mr. Furley are around, he'll sashay about, limp-wristed and lisping, and maybe bat his eyes at them.   He'll have to hide his girlfriends, of course, or explain them as drag queens.

What could possibly go wrong?

Not much.  Most episodes ignored the pretending-to-be-gay angle in favor of "thinking someone is having sex" gags and heartwarming sitcom antics:
The roommates get a new puppy.
They buy Mr. Roper's car.
Jack and Chrissy take over Janet's babysitting job.
Janet has two concert tickets, and can only invite one of the roommates.

Jack's gay persona was a negative stereotype, no gay characters ever appeared, and at the end of the series, when Jack plans to get married to a woman, he explains to the landlord that he's been "cured."  The writers had apparently never met a real gay person.  But still, there was a lot for gay kids to like on Three's Company.

1. In the fall of 1977, Anita Bryant's Save Our Children campaign was in full force and our preacher had just discovered gay people, so all I heard about gay people was: subhuman monsters, bogeymen who lived only to seduce and destroy.  It was remarkable that anyone would pretend to be such a being, for any reason.

2. Or that a landlord would rent such a being an apartment.

3. Or that others would willingly flirt with the guilt by association. Even horndog neighbor Larry (Richard Kline) had no qualms about people thinking that he wa friends with a gay guy.

4. Jack eventually forgot to do the limp-wristed bit, becoming a conventionally masculine pseudo-gay guy.

5. You could hear the word "gay" frequently.

6. There were frequent muscular men as guest stars, such as Steve Sandor

In 2012, Three's Company was rebooted in the stage play 3C, starring Jake Silbermann.

Jul 22, 2019

Charlie Gillespie: Gay Characters? Gay in Real Life? Beefcake? Or Not

I'm not going to let the 2nd Generation debacle dissuade me from researching Charlie Gillespie.  His Superman-cape photo was mega-hot, and I'm pretty sure his character was gay or gay-coded.

Any other beefcake photos?
Any other gay roles?
Gay in real life?

Unfortunately, I couldn't find any biography at all, not even a single line, and every time I search for a shirtless photo, Google Images tries to push a photo of someone else.  Like Austin Mahone.

Charles Melton of Riverdale

Or someone named Gronkowski who I've never heard of.

Social media has proven fruitless.  There are over 100 Charlie Gillespie profiles on Facebook, most elderly, some women,  over 20 Charlie Gillespie instagram pages, and over 15 Charlie Gillespie twitter accounts.  You'd think that the guy with 7,500 followers would be the right one,but no, that's an airplane pilot.

Do you think this might be him? It's a frame capture from a video uploaded to one of the Charlie Gillespie instagram pages.

How about this guy, sticking his tongue out at a girl? (Obviously his girlfriend: they appear arm-in-arm, hugging, or groping each other n 3,543 other photos on the page.)

Well, at least I can go through his film credits, to see if there are any gay roles.

1. Charlie played himself in the documentary Bienvenue chez nous - La gang à Richibouctou Village (2014), about a New Brunswick village (where they speak English) welcoming a film crew.

2. The film is La gang des hors-la-loi (The Outlaw League, 2014), a sort of French Canadian Bad News Bears, where the kids have names like Shogun, Charlemagne, and Pic-pic.

3. In 2015, Charlie appeared as a guest host on Galala, "un concours télévisé de jeunes talents qui s'adresse aux 5 à 15 ans."   They sought out local talent in a different city each week: Edmonton, Saskatoon, St. Boniface, Halifax.  Charlie's town was Dieppe, New Brunswick.

I don't understand why a French-language tv program is auditioning talent in English speaking towns.

4. Fast forward two years to July 2017.  Charlie has a two-episode story arc on Degrassi: Next Class, a teen soap about students in a fictional Toronto high school.   He plays Oliver, hospital roommate of gay kid Tristan (Lyle Lettau).  But Oliver is straight.

Only two years ago, and Charlie looks a little chunky.  That might explain the lack of beefcake photos.

5. Another guest shot, on a November 2017 episode of The Next Step, about a teen dance troup in Toronto.  Charlie plays Marcus, a member of the math team who becomes captain when Zara leaves.

6. Next comes the 6 horrible episodes of 2nd Generation (2018), which required long hair for the androgynous effect. I think his character is gay-coded,but I can't be sure; that would require watching the tv series.

7. Speed Kills (2018) starred John Travolta as an aging speedboat racer (based on real-life speedboat champion Don Aronoff).   Charlie played his son, Andrew.  Since Travolta is 65 years old, his son must be in his 30s.

8.  A two-episode story in October 2018 on the new Charmed: he plays a college student who is dating Maggie until she dumps him.  When he's possessed by a demon, she saves him, but they still don't get back together.  There's a lot of kissing going on.

9. In January 2019, he appeared in the 6-episode miniseries I Am the Night, something about the Black Dahlia murder case in modern L.A.  Charlie appears only in the pilot as "Surfer Hank."  You can probably figure out what he's doing.

I'm sorry I started this research.  Not many beefcake photos, not gay in real life (if the tongue-wagger is the right Charlie), only one gay-coded role.

And I had such high hopes. The 2nd Generation  bait-and-switch strikes again.

See also: 2nd Generation: the Worst TV Series I Have Ever Seen

Jul 21, 2019

2nd Generation: The Worst TV Series I Have Ever Seen

While looking up Charlie Gillespie, the current uber-hot it-boy, I found a reference to 2nd Generation (2018), a 6-episode Canadian tv series:'

A coming of age story set in today's harsh melting pot society, trying to draw the line between racism, morals, love, friendship, and secrets.   Shouldn't there be several lines?  Between, like love and friendship, or morals and love, or racism and secrets?

The episode guide on IMD was just as semi-literate and clichéd:

 Ticoon's new found popularity has him dealing with some unwanted attention from a new friend in sheep's clothing, something he could of never have imagined but is very accepting of.

  • Ok, it's wolf in sheep's clothing; the cliché doesn't work with "friend."   
  • Could of never have imagined?  Try "could never have imagined."
  • The something he is "very accepting of" must be the "unwanted attention,"  but how can you be accepting of something unwanted?

As Ticoon's, Virginia's and Brody's relationship blossoms so does the money, catching the eyes of the authorities, as well as straining the already tender relationship with Everett

  • Does money blossom?
  • A tender relationship can't get strained. 

But it's on Amazon Prime for free, it stars Charlie Gillespie, and Ticoon looks hot, so I watched the first episode.

Holy bait and switch, Batman.  This guy isn't Ticoon, Brody, Virginia, or Everett.  He's an extra used to sell the show.

This is Ticoon Kim (pronounced as in tycoon), played by an actor named Ticoon Kim.  Nepotism much?

In Act 1, Ticoon's father thinks that he needs "more culture," so he signs him up for an inner-city basketball team.

Wait -- that's culture?  How about a class in Chinese calligraphy?  Or Korean poetry?  Or Shakespeare, depending on what culture you're going for.  Sports aren't culture.

Ticoonis the only non-Jamaic an,  the only person under 6'5", and the only person under 28 years old on the team, but his teammates are still completely accepting. One of the 28-year old 6'5" women even offers to have sex with him: "Me gonna break off yo' dick," she promises.

But all of those characters vanish forever in Act 2, when Ticoon goes to school.  There the 5-year old is bullied by his 28-year old, 6'5" classmates. David (Adam Murciano) makes lots of racist jokes, but the chief bully happens to be Asian: Will (Keanu Lee Nunes, left)

Then Brody (Charlie Gillespie), a long-haired androgynous type, intervenes.  So the outcasts are going to bond?

Even more oddly, Brody's sister appears to be dating the bully Will.  She must be a holdover from 1980s nerd movies, where the It-Girl is dating an obnoxious jock with no redeeming qualities, just so she can be won over by the sexual prowess of the nerd.

Ticoon has two friends his own age, Arnold (Matthew Edmonson) or Jacob (David Knoll), I'm not sure which, and  Sonny (Eshaan Buwadwal).  They get together later to discuss "pussy."  For instance, Ticoon's crush is "Justin pussy," meaning that she'll only date Justin Timberlake or Justin Bieber (rather a small number of options).

But they're also interested in why Brody intervened in the bullying.  No way anybody is actually nice.  And what if they become friends?  Ticoon will automatically become "pussy fam.," which sounds like a bad thing: calling someone a "pussy" means that they are weak and ineffective, like a woman's vagina, right?

No, it' a good thing; you aspire to become a "pussy fam." 

Apparently Brody isn't an outcast after all; he's the coolest guy in school.  When he says "What up," Sonny, overwhelmed by his coolness, exclaims, "Hey, yo, Big B, can I get a BJ?"

Arnold/Jacob points out that BJ means "Blow job," and he is embarrassed.

Brody's courtship of Ticoon is stunningly homoerotic, from confessions of "I like you" to hands on shoulders to request to meet in the bathroom. So obviously homoerotic that I'm sure it's canon: they're going to be a gay couple.

But it doesn't work out that way.  Fast-forwarding through the rest of the series, which seems to be about a basketball team and a marijuana selling business (but it's legal in Canada, yo),  I see a lot of scenes of Ticoon dating, and a lot of scenes of his two friends discussing pussy.  They get girlfriends, too, yo.  Brody and Ticoon are never alone in any scene ever again.

 Another bait and switch.


Not to mention the extremely annoying pseudo-rap talk.  Nobody talks like that, yo.  And the profanity!  I don't mind an occasional "fuck," but every third word?  And every fourth word is "pussy."

Surely they meant cats.

My grade: F---.

Wild Boy: The Gay Jungle Boy of 1950s Comics

There were many variations of the Tarzan mythos during the middle years of the 20th century, but one of the most fondly remembered by the first generation of Baby Boomers was Wild Boy, Prince of the Jungle.

He had a short run, appearing in 8 issues of a  Ziff-Davis series (1950-1952), which oddly starts with 10.  Then St. John took over the title, renamed it Wild Boy of the Congo, and published 6 issues (#9-#15), in 1953.  That's it.

But what he lacked in longevity, Wild Boy made up for in gay potential.

His origin story: the young American boy David Clyde goes to the Congo with his uncle, who hires evil native to kill him.  He escape and grows up in the jungle, but speaks a stilted "me, Tarzan" patois.

He has two animal companions, a panther (Daro) and a monkey (Kimba), and a native boyfriend, Keeto (who speaks the same patois.)

Artists vary in their interpretation of Wild Boy: should he be a little kid or nearly an adult?  And just how feminine should his wavy hair, lipstick, and eye liner get?

But he's definitely a gay icon. He displays no interest in women, but he rescues and hugs Keeto every five minutes.

The comics are hilarious today for their stereotypes of the white Western colonial master and the "childlike" natives.

Hint: the good ones wear Western-style clothes, and the bad ones wear loincloths.

Here he uses the old chestnut "I will make the sun disappear!" to avoid execution by an evil tribe.  How corny can you get?

But at least he's holding hands with Keeto.
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