Oct 11, 2019

The Top 6 Beefcake Stars of "Power Rangers Beast Morphers"

The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers premiered on the Fox Kids Network in August 1993, when I was living in West Hollywood and a big fan of some of the classic kids' shows like Tiny Toon Adventures, Rugrats, Doug, and Rocko's Modern Life.  So I watched.  For about 10 seconds.

Teenagers from a contemporary American high school get assignments from a....a nightmarish disembodied head with bulbous lips floating in a vat of opaque jelly.  They turn into costumed superheroes -- action sequences actually borrowed from an earlier Japanese series -- and the superheroes in turn merge into mechanical creations.  They fight a number of ridiculous monsters sent to destroy the world by the over-the-top Rita Repulsa.

Ridiculous premise, disturbing, disgusting images -- sorry, I can't get over the horror of the opaque-jelly vat guy.  Click.

Who knew that kids would like it?  That there would be years of spin-offs and sequels?

The latest, Power Ranger Beef Morphers, which has just premiered on Nickelodeon, is about...um....

I am copying the premise directly from wikipedia.  I can't understand a word of it:

Set sometime in the future, a secret agency in the city of Coral Harbor known as Grid Battleforce combines a newly-discovered substance called "Morph-X" with animal DNA to create a new team of Power Rangers known as the Beast Morphers. The Beast Morpher Rangers must defend the Morphin Grid from Evox, an evil sentient computer virus that creates evil avatar clones of original Beast Morphers candidates Blaze and Roxy, who have been rendered comatose as a result. When the three of them are transported to the Cyber Dimension, Evox, Cybervillain Blaze, and Cybervillain Roxy gain its de facto ruler Scrozzle as an ally as he helps them in their plan to return Evox to Earth

Holy cow.  I just want to know if there are any cute guys in the cast.

1. Rorie D. Travis stars as Devon Daniels.  I couldn't find any beefcake photos, but this one of him and a buddy is evocative.  I wonder if he's gay.

2. Jasmeet Baduwalla,aka Jazz, as the Blue Power Ranger (top photo).  At least he has some abs.

3. Abraham Rodriguez as Nate Silva.  Cute, but I could use some biceps.

4. Colby Strong as Blaze, the one who is comatose while his cybervillain double tries to take over Scrozzle or something.  Cute, but haven't any of these guys heard of a Nautilus machine?

5.  Cosme Flores as Ben Burke.  It's nice to see plus-sized actors being cast in action-adventure roles, but I'm still holding out for someone who can bench press his body weight.

6.  Reid McGowan as Steel.  Finally, some muscles!

Now,  is a shirtless shot too much to ask for?

Oct 7, 2019

How Queer is "Carmen Sandiego"?

Millions of millennials grew up with Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego  (1991-1995), a game show based on a video game where contestants answered geography questions in order to track down the elusive super-thief (diversity alert: Carmen was middle-aged, female, and I assume Latina).

A powerful woman who thumbs her nose at the system and doesn't have any male admirers.  A lesbian girls' dream!

No other gay content in the show itself, but host Greg Lee is apparently gay.  Seen here with his date, actor Gregory Michael of Dante's Cove,, at the 2007 Outfest.  The top photo is Gregory in action.

Anyway, Carmen won lots of Peabody awards and spun off into Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego (1996-1998), hosted by Kevin Shinick.

And Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? (1994-99), an animated series which pits the superthief (voiced by Broadway legend Rita Moreno) and her V.I.L.E. organization against 14-year old detective Zack (Scott Menville) and his older sister Ivy of the A.C.M.E. Agency.  It also starts to redeem Carmen, making her an anti-hero who uses her thieving skills to help  Zack fight cadres of real baddies.

Now Netflix has released Carmen Sandiego (2019), an animated series with Carmen completely rehabilitated, a "modern day Robin Hood."  Trained to be a V.I.L.E. agent, she decided to devote her life to something other than evil, and went rogue.  Now she works behind the scenes, pursued by both A.C.M.E. and V.I.L.E., to solve crimes and thwart thefts of Vermeer paintings in Amsterdam, the Magna Carta in Mumbai, smart fabric in Greece, and rare gems in Japan, with the ultimate goal of taking down the entire V.I.L.E. enterprise.

Her scoobies include:
1. Teenage computer hacker Player (Finn Wolfhard).

2. Redheaded doofus Zack (Michael Hawley)
3. His sister Ivy, who looks nonbinary.
4. Shadosan, the Japanese sensei who adopted and taught Carmen.

Their main antagonists are A.C.M.E. agent Chase Devineaux (Rafael Petardi) and V.I.L.E. agent Graham (Michael Goldsmith), whom Carmen dates briefly.  Otherwise I don't see any hetero-romance plotlines, which is remarkable.  Not a lot of gay subtext, either, but with children's tv, I'll take what I can get.

The Gay Connection of Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays

I hate sports.  I've never seen a sports match on tv all the way through.  I have no idea who belongs to what team, or what RBA the MVP has with what blocking average and defense in the line draw.

I also hate it when people assume that because I'm a guy, I'm naturally obsessed with sports.  Random people stop me on the street and proclaim "The Vikings are ahead 3-2!"

Vikings?  Like in Thor and Odin?

Or ask "How's the game going?"

The game?  You mean Tetris, on my computer?  It's going ok, I guess.

When I was little and went in for a vaccination, the doctor advised "Be brave!  Be like your hero, Mickey Mantle!"

I was so offended by the imputation of hero-worship for a sports star that I forgot to be afraid of the shot.

Actually, Mickey Mantle (1931-1995) was one of three baseball players that I had actually heard of.  I even know that he played for the New York Yankees during the 1950s and 1960s (because they mentioned him on Seinfeld).  He set some records and stuff, and he has some gay connections:

1. He drew gay rumors, even though he was married for many years, and had many affairs with women. There are homophobic rants online complaining that he doesn't deserve to be in the Hall of Fame "because he was a f***"

2. His nephew Kelly is a famous drag performer, with credits in movies, theater, music, and tv, including RuPaul's Drag Race.

3. He had quite a nice physique, and was apparently gifted beneath the belt.

The other baseball player that I've heard of is Joe DiMaggio, because of that song, and the third is Willie Mays (1931-), who played for the New York Mets and the San Francisco Giants, known as the "Say Hey Kid" for some reason.  He's got a gay connection, too.

1. On an episode of Bewitched, he shows up at a party for witches.  Darren is shocked that Willie Mays might be a ....you know, but Samantha retorts, "The way he hits?  What else?"  So ever after, I thought that Willie Mays did his sports things with witchcraft.

Witchcraft was code for...you know, so I figured that he was gay.

2. Apparently he's straight but not homophobic.  He appeared in a tv commercial for Coors Beer along with gay Olympic medalist Bruce Hayes.  When asked if baseball was "ready" for an openly gay player, he responded: "Can he hit?"

3. He had a very nice physique, and a super-sized baseball bat.

See also: Joe DiMaggio's Nude Frolick
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