Apr 26, 2020

Extracurricular Activities: Endless Gay Teases Ruined by a Horrible Ending

Colin Ford is gay in real life, and a review of the movie Extracurricular Activities notes that his character is "shy around the opposite sex," code for "gay," so I watched to see if he was gay by canon or subtext.

Scene 1: High schooler Reagan (Colin Ford) is heading to a farm-to-table Belgian restaurant with his loving, thoughtful parents (Gary Hudson, Darlene Vogel)  Two other parents are driving on the same highway,  discussing how much they hate their kids.  One is "morbidly obese and stupid,"  and the other is a boy who uses eye-liner.  The two cars pass each other, and then the other parents drive over a cliff to their deaths!  Reagan's parents don't notice.

By the way, Reagan is not all attractive: Grotesquely skinny, like a victim of anorexia, with a long, sad face, painful to look at.

Scene 2: On the way back from dinner, past the accident scene, Detective Dawkins (Timothy Simons) stares at Reagan.

Got a thing for skinny high schoolers, Dawkins?

Scene 3: Grief counseling at the high school.  Reagan is taking donations to help out the bereaved kids, Ben (Paul Iacomo) and Becky (although they've just become heirs to a fortune).

Scene 4: At the funeral, Ben and Becky eulogize their parents as warm, caring, and supportive.  We know they weren't!  Afterwards they talk to Reagan, and to Detective Dawkins.  He notes that his son Kenny (Tanner Stine) is in their class.

Scene 5: Reagan is hanging out at a cafe occupied entirely by parents who are  belittling, ignoring, and abusing their kids.

Scene 6: Dinner with the super-parents. Dad says "Great meal, honey!", a  cliche from tv commercials.  Apparently they follow ancient gender stereotypes, with men bringing home the bacon and women frying it up in a pan.

Reagan asks if he can go to a party thrown by his friend Tom (Isaac Cheung), and Mom asks "Will there be girls?"  She's delighted with his "yes" answer.  Apparently they are also following the heteronormative "boys must like girls!" mandate. I heard that "will there be girls?" question many times growing up 40 years ago.

Scene 7: Reagan doesn't interact at the party.  Socially awkward?  Is it too soon to ask Ben for a date?  Mary cruises him intently while dancing with Kenny (the detective's son).  He's not interested.

The hosts's Dad shows up and acts obnoxious, grabbing the girls and fighting with the boys.  Tom commiserates with Reagan about how awful he is. Later Reagan asks Tom for a ride home (homoerotic romance? or at least a hookup?)

 Meanwhile, an unseen person hands Dad a beer.  He keels over into the hot tub and drowns.

I guess Tom won't want to date the person he was going down on the moment his Dad died.  

Scene 8: Detective Dawkins interviews everyone who was at the party, and checks their videos of Tom's Dad acting like a jerk.

Scene 9: The curiously non-grieving Ben (whose parents went over the cliff in Scene 1) is cheerleading at the basketball game, while Detective Dawkins films his son (left) (actually, he's creepily filming the cheerleaders).  Mom is a total jerk, criticizing her son, making sexual comments about the girls - uh-oh, she's had it.

Then Dawkins sees Reagan in the bleachers!  Surprised that a high school boy would be at a high school basketball game, he starts filming as Goth girl Sidney approaches and complains about her parents (rich, health food nuts, and nudists!)

Later, in bed, Detective Dawkins rejects his wife's boozy, smokey, slutty advances, and reveals that he can't stop thinking about Reagan (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)

Scene 10: While Sydney's parents are away, someone sneaks in and adds poison mushrooms to their stash. Are we really not supposed to know who it is?

Scene 11: The next day Detective Dawkins hears about Sydney's parents' deaths, and connects all of the deaths to Reagan.

Scene 12: Reagan keeps kissing up to the teachers and other adults with a slimy insincerity of an Eddie Haskell (look him up).   He's rather a jerk himself, isn't he?  Mary, who cruised him at the party, arrives to cruise some more. Get a clue,girl -- Reagan is not interested.

Scene 13: Detective Dawkins interviews Reagan, and concludes that he is responsble for the deaths. The other cops think he's crazy.  Reagan is such a nice boy!  He doesn't drink or text , he's respectful to his parents.  Also look up Jason Bateman in the 1980s sitcom "It's Your Move."

Scene 14:  Detective Dawkins goes home to his Kentucky Fried Chicken (gender role stereotype: his wife doesn't cook, therefore she is reprehensible!).  Kenny and his bud James are playing basketball outside.  "They're getting cloeer every day," Mom says.  Another same sex romance brewing!

Then Dawkins goes outside, barges into the game, and berates Kenny.

Scene 15: Reagan meets Grant in the woods (a favorite cruising spot?).  Grant tells him about his mother and her terrible new boyfriend, who are stealing from old ladies at anursing home.  Plus they're abusive.  They need offing! (Ok, ok, blow job first, then business).

Scene 16: Ben and Becky, the first kids with dead parents, decide to stop paying Reagan (wait -- it's not a lump sum?).  But he has a recording of them arranging the murder-for-hire, so they're stuck.

Detective Dawkins, who has been stalking Reagan the whole time, approaches and accuses him of running a murder-for-hire business.  Reagan confesses to...breaking copyright laws!  (Har-har).

When Reagan goes home, Mom is on the phone.  "With a GIRL!" she exclaims in homophobic delight.  (Our boy likes girls!  He's not gay after all!  We were so worried!).  

Stalker Mary is in the library, and sober, for a change!  Reagan gives her an assignment.

Scene 17:  Detective Dawkins has somehow made it to the library while Mary is still there.   While staring at her breasts, he notices that she has checked out a book on trees.

Later, Reagan drills some holes in a tree branch!  So, he needed a book on trees to tell him about tree branches?

Scene 18: Grant from Scene 15 hugs Reagan, and is rebuffed (hey, keep our hookup on the downlow!)  He is extremely hurt. Detective Dawkins is listening.

Scene 19: Detective Dawkins listens to Mary and Reagan planning to get "Dad and Heather" out of the way on Saturday, so they can "really have fun."  Another murder contract!

He rushes to the station and plays the tape to the other cops.  Now do you believe me?

I've seen enough sitcoms to know that they're planning a surprise party, not a murder.

But the cops believe him, and go swarming through the woods to interrupt a date, with  Dad and Heather taking the happy couple's picture!

Stalker Dawkins is suspended.  Reagan's parents file a restraining order.

At home,  his boozy, smokey Wife is abusive.

Scene 20: Grant and his little sister overhear his abusive mom and boyfriend screwing (they like to do it in the car outside).  Meanwhile, Reagan is planting explosives in the tree branch -- above the car.  The tree branch falls, crushing them, then explodes.

Scene 21:  In the morning, Stalker Dawkins accosts Mary  (no, don't get in the car with him!  He's all scraggled and creepy-looking!). She agrees to help him look for evidence. .

That night Mary shows up at Reagan's house.  He tries to blow her off: "I'm supposed to meet Grant!" (take a hint -- he's already got a boyfriend!).  But Mom insists that they hang out.

Mary sneaks into his bedroom, grabs a recording device, runs out, and jumps into the car with Stalker Dawkins (bad move, girl!)..  He's so creepy that she gets spooked and jumps out of the car, but Dawkins has the recorder!

I'm not going to tell you the rest: the final switcheroo was a complete surprise.

However:   Stop watching before the last scene.

Beefcake:  Some of the guys at the party are shirtless.

Other Scenery:  No.  Some rich people's houses.

Gay Characters:  Ben, of course.   Isaac, Grant, and maybe Kenny/James.  Dawkins has an arguably homoerotic fascination with Reagan; his wife is apparently bisexual. 

 Reagan has extremely strong gay coding, displaying interest in guys and an absolute lack of interest in Stalker Mary, until the final scene ruins it all.

Heterosexism:  You better believe it!  I thought that Mom and Dad gushing "He talked to a girl!" was just parental homophobia, but it turns out that the writers and directors completely agree.

My Grade:  A- if you delete the the horrible final scene.  If you include it, F-.


  1. Colin Ford looks a lot better now.

  2. Sorry it took so long, but I corrected about five grammar and spelling errors.

  3. Being gay I have found Colin Ford attractive. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.


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