Feb 15, 2020

Why Don't I Remember "The Mothers In Law"?

Why don't I remember a single scene of The Mothers in Law?

Granted, the only cute guy in the cast, Jerry Fogel, never takes his shirt off, but no on on tv in the 1960s did.

Granted, it ired from 1967 to 1969, when I was only six to eight years old, but I remember a lot of other tv shows of the era, like The Invaders, Lost in Space, The Beverly Hillbillies, Bewitched, Star Trek -- a dozen or more.

Granted, it aired on Sunday nights, when I was usually in church, but if I wasn't feeling well, or Mom or Dad wasn't feeling well, I stayed home.  And I remember a number of episodes of the lead-in series, The Wonderful World of Disney.

It seems to be a culture-clash comedy.  The ritzy, snooty New York WASP Eve (Eve Arden, then known primarily as the man-hungry teacher Our Miss Brooks) and aggressive, big-mouthed Italian Kaye (big-mouthed comedian Kaye Ballard) have lived next door to each other for twenty years, sniping at each other and complaining incessantly. 

Then their children, Jerry and Suzie (Jerry Fogel, Deborah Walley) marry, and the duo settle down to a Lucy-and-Ethel friendship, complete with moneymaking schemes, disguises, and talent show performances.  It's basically I Love Lucy with kids around to say "Mom, stay out of this!"

Even if Mom and Dad had watched, I wouldn't have found anything of interest in that.

I had no itdea that Eve Arden and Kaye Ballard were gay icons.

Or that in the second season,gay actor Richard Deacon took over as one of the husbands, but of course I had no idea that he was gay.

Or that the son, Jerry Fogel, was the subject of gay rumors (he was actually married to women multiple times).

Or that the  bisexual Desi Arnaz appears in several episodes as a flamboyant bullfighter who casts them in movies and such.

Or that his son, teen idol Desi Arnaz Jr., appears in one episode.

Or that most of 1960s gay Hollywood would drop in, including Paul Lynde, Alice Ghostly, and Mary Jane Croft.

Feb 13, 2020

Connor Jessup: The Gay Actor Playing the Semi-Straight Guy on "Locke and Key"

Did anybody else get a gay vibe in Episode 7 of Locke and Key?  Sam hugging Tyler, sobbing, and complaining about how much he screwed things up?  (Yeah, he killed Tyler's father and threatened him and his family).

In flashbacks, Sam never displays any interest in girls.  Instead, he is shown saying goodbye to his Dad as he leaves to "hang out" with Tyler, and then being upset when he learns that Tyler was just pretending to be interested.

Tyler has a girlfriend, sort of, but he could be into guys, too.  There are some hints.  A teacher comments on his closeness to his new friend Javi.  And the scene where he interrupted during sex by a vision of Sam and couldn't perform. 

So who are these gay-subtext actors? 

26 year old Connor Jessup (Tyler) has been acting since age 11.

And taking off his shirt on camera for almost as long.  Here he stars as a troubled teen in Blackbird (2012).

And playing gay teenagers for almost as long.  Here a hypochondriac gay teenager smooches with the class stud in Fragments (2015).

His characters also get -- or lose -- boyfriends in Closet Monster (2015) and Crazy House (2015)

Connor's most popular acting role to date is Ben Mason in Falling Skies (2011-2015), a freedom-fighter in the war against alien invaders.  Ben gets a girlfriend, unfortunately, but at least he takes his shirt off a lot

Connor also starred in two seassons of the anthology series American Crime

Season 2: Taylor Blaine, a gay high school boy who is sexually assaulted by his boyfriend.

Season 4: Coy Henson, a gay drug addict trying to get clean.

In 2019, Connor made a public announcement that he was gay.  announced that he was gay.  He knew at age 11, but he kept closeted for years, worrying that it would hurt his career. 

While auditioning for every gay role listed in The Hollywood Reporter.

Now if only we could get a flashback scene confirming that Tyler and Sam were boyfriends before things went wrong on Locke and Key.
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